Genesis 10:1 – 11:26

What was the deal with the Tower of Babel?  In Chicago they have tonnes of skyscrapers and God hasn’t come down and destroyed the economy here because of pride, greed, or corruption.  No, wait …

Actually it is quite different.  The Tower of Babel is a Ziggurat, a centre for religious worship.  Mankind transitions in the story here from having a view of God the is transcendant to building a home and a stairway for God that brings him down to their level.  Mankind ceases to be remade in the image of God, but remakes God in the image of man.  In many ways we have created a God in our image who satisfies us.  Is your God beholden to you, or are you beholden to him?

Genesis 10:1 – 11:26

 1These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.

 2<SUP class=xref value='(A)’>(A) The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4The sons of Javan: Elishah,<SUP class=xref value='(B)’>(B) Tarshish,<SUP class=xref value='(C)’>(C) Kittim, and Dodanim. 5From these<SUP class=xref value='(D)’>(D) the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

 6<SUP class=xref value='(E)’>(E) The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. 7The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 8Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man.<SUP class=footnote value='[a]’>[a] 9He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10The beginning of his kingdom was<SUP class=xref value='(F)’>(F) Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in<SUP class=xref value='(G)’>(G) the land of Shinar. 11From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and 12Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. 13<SUP class=xref value='(H)’>(H) Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom<SUP class=footnote value='[b]’>[b] the Philistines came), and<SUP class=xref value='(I)’>(I) Caphtorim.

 15<SUP class=xref value='(J)’>(J) Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 16and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. 19And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. 20These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

 21To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born. 22The<SUP class=xref value='(K)’>(K) sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24Arpachshad fathered<SUP class=xref value='(L)’>(L) Shelah; and Shelah fathered Eber. 25<SUP class=xref value='(M)’>(M) To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg,<SUP class=footnote value='[c]’>[c] for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. 26Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29<SUP class=xref value='(N)’>(N) Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 30The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east. 31These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

 32These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations,<SUP class=xref value='(O)’>(O) and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

 

 1Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in<SUP class=xref value='(A)’>(A) the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone,<SUP class=xref value='(B)’>(B) and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower<SUP class=xref value='(C)’>(C) with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 5And<SUP class=xref value='(D)’>(D) the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come,<SUP class=xref value='(E)’>(E) let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8So<SUP class=xref value='(F)’>(F) the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore its name was called<SUP class=xref value='(G)’>(G) Babel, because there the LORD confused<SUP class=footnote value='[a]’>[a] the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

 

 10<SUP class=xref value='(H)’>(H) These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11And Shem lived after he fathered Arpachshad 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

 12When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he fathered Shelah. 13And Arpachshad lived after he fathered Shelah 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

 14When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber. 15And Shelah lived after he fathered Eber 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

 16When Eber had lived 34 years, he fathered Peleg. 17And Eber lived after he fathered Peleg 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

 18When Peleg had lived 30 years, he fathered Reu. 19And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

 20When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug. 21And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

 22When Serug had lived 30 years, he fathered Nahor. 23And Serug lived after he fathered Nahor 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

 24When<SUP class=xref value='(I)’>(I) Nahor had lived 29 years, he fathered Terah. 25And Nahor lived after he fathered Terah 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

 26When<SUP class=xref value='(J)’>(J) Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

Questions

  1. Whose accounts are these?
  2. Who grew to be a mighty warrior?
  3. What did people build?
  4. Who is superintending this process?
  5. Do you see God at work in the unfolding of history and current events?

Going Deeper

Observation

  • What was said about Nimrod?
  • What towns are mentioned as the borders of the Canaanite clans?
  • What spread out from these people over the earth after the flood?
  • What did the people learn to make?
  • What is God’s solution to the Tower of Babel?

Interpretation

  • Which King of the area of southern Mesopotamia and beyond fits the description of Nimrod?
  • Why do some of the children mentioned have names associated with nations and places?
  • How would a common language be helpful?
  • How do new inventions, like bricks, tend to lead to pride?
  • Why did the people scatter?

Application

  • Is there a hero in your life that you want to be like?  What great qualities set him/her apart?
  • Do you know your heritage?  Is it important to pass on information about how God has worked in your family?
  • Is it wrong to have a common language?  Should a nation have one language?  Should we attempt to be a polyglot?
  • How has technology led to apostacy and distance from God?
  • How do churches and religions reinvent God and make him other than he is?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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