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Genesis 11

11
People tried to build a tall building called Babel
1You know, at first everyone talked the same language. 2And as people moved from place to place in the east, they got to some flat country in Babylonia, and they stayed there. 3-4Then they said to each other, “Look, we can make bricks here. So come on, let’s do that. We will bake them properly so that they are good strong bricks, and we will use them to build a city here. So come on, let’s build a big tall building in that city. It will be so tall that it will go right up into the sky.” You see, they had bricks and tar instead of stones and cement. And they said, “If we do that, everyone will think we are smart. Then we will not go and live all over the earth, but we will stay together right here.”
God made people talk in different languages
5So the people started to build a city and a really tall building, and God came down to look at those things. 6He said, “These people can all talk to each other in the same language, so they can do anything they want. If they keep on going this way, nothing will stop them from doing anything. 7Come on, let’s go down to these people, and we will make them talk in different languages. Then they will not understand each other, and they will be all mixed up. They will not work things out with each other, so they will not keep on building this city.”
8So God made all the people talk in different languages. None of them could understand anything the other people were saying. So they stopped building their big city. 9They all left that city and went to live in lots of different places, all over the world. That’s how God got people to be in different tribes all over the world. And they called that city Babel. That means mixed up. They gave it that name because God mixed up their languages at that time.
The story of Shem’s family
10This is the story about Shem’s family.
Shem was 100 years old when he had a son called Arfaxad. That was 2 years after the big flood. 11Shem lived for 500 years after he had Arfaxad, and he had more sons and daughters.
12Arfaxad was 35 years old when he had a son called Shelah. 13Arfaxad lived for 403 years after he had Shelah, and he had more sons and daughters.#Genesis 10:24; Luke 3:35-36
14Shelah was 30 years old when he had a son called Eber. 15Shelah lived for 403 years after he had Eber, and he had more sons and daughters.
16Eber was 34 years old when he had a son called Peleg. 17Eber lived for 430 years after he had Peleg, and he had more sons and daughters.
18Peleg was 30 years old when he had a son called Reyu. 19Peleg lived for 209 years after he had Reyu, and he had more sons and daughters.
20Reyu was 32 years old when he had a son called Serug. 21Reyu lived for 207 years after he had Serug, and he had more sons and daughters.
22Serug was 30 years old when he had a son called Nahor. 23Serug lived for 200 years after he had Nahor, and he had more sons and daughters.
24Nahor was 29 years old when he had a son called Terah. 25Nahor lived for 119 years after he had Terah, and he had more sons and daughters.
26Terah had 3 sons after he was 70 years old. Their names were Abram, Nahor and Haran.
The story of Terah’s family
27This is the story about Terah’s family. Terah had 3 sons, called Abram, and Nahor, and Haran.
Haran had a son called Lot. 28-29And he also had 2 daughters called Milcah and Iscah. After that, Haran died, while his father, Terah, was still alive. He died in Ur, in Chaldia country, the place where he was born.
Nahor, Haran’s brother, married Milcah. And Abram married a woman called Sarai, 30but Abram and Sarai didn’t have any kids. Sarai just couldn’t have a baby.
31Then Terah went away from Ur, in Chaldia country, and he took some of his family with him. They were his son Abram, and Abram’s wife Sarai, and his grand-son Lot. They all left Ur, and they started to go to the country called Canaan. But they stopped half-way, at a place called Haran, and they stayed there.
32Terah lived until he was 205 years old. Then he died there in Haran.
11
The tower of Babel
1At first everyone spoke the same language, 2but after some of them moved from the east#11.2 from the east: Or “to the east”. and settled in Babylonia,#11.2 Babylonia: See the note at 10.6-20. 3-4they said:
Let's build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We'll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We'll become famous, and we won't be scattered all over the world.
5But when the LORD came down to look at the city and the tower, 6he said:
These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7Come on! Let's go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won't be able to understand each other.
8-9So the people had to stop building the city, because the LORD confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That's how the city of Babel#11.8,9 Babel: In Hebrew “Babel” sounds like “confused”. got its name.
The descendants of Shem
10-11Two years after the flood, when Shem was one hundred, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of six hundred. This is a list of his descendants:
12When Arpachshad was thirty-five, he had a son named Shelah. 13Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of four hundred and thirty-eight.
14When Shelah was thirty, he had a son named Eber. 15Shelah had more children and died at the age of four hundred and thirty-three.
16When Eber was thirty-four, he had a son named Peleg. 17Eber had more children and died at the age of four hundred and sixty-four.
18When Peleg was thirty, he had a son named Reu. 19Peleg had more children and died at the age of two hundred and thirty-nine.
20When Reu was thirty-two he had a son named Serug. 21Reu had more children and died at the age of two hundred and thirty-nine.
22When Serug was thirty, he had a son named Nahor. 23Serug had more children and died at the age of two hundred and thirty.
24When Nahor was twenty-nine, he had a son named Terah. 25Nahor had more children and died at the age of one hundred and forty-eight.
The descendants of Terah
26-28After Terah was seventy years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah's sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea,#11.26-28 Ur in Chaldea: Chaldea was a region at the head of the Persian Gulf. Ur was on the main trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea. and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah's descendants.
29-30Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have any children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.
31Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran,#11.31 Haran: About 885 kilometres north-west of Ur. they decided to settle there instead. 32Terah lived to be two hundred and five years old and died in Haran.