Genesis 11:1-10 The Tower of Babel

We have said so far through our walk in Genesis many of these events are said to be fables instead of historical accounts of what actually took place. Just like the flood account,  this story is told all over the world by other tribes and religions. Although the stories differ the point of the story came from an origin proving it to be more of a factual event than a fable. It is easy for people to make the claim that the Bible is full of fairy tales and made up stories but once again the Bible proves to be accurate in its account of the evidence we see around us today. So along with the naming of historical people and places the Bible also is accurate in showing us how some things that science has no explanation for took place.

Read Genesis 11:1-9

1)    One World Language

There are over 5,000 languages in the world (Estimated between 5- 7,000) and there are only theories how this could have happened.  When the world began there was only one language and everyone could communicate freely with each other. We believe when Adam and Eve were created they were created to be able to communicate clearly with each other and with God. It is because people believe that we evolved that they say we grunted to communicate instead of having a language like we do today that we can teach our children as they grow up.  All of us having one language will also how it will be when God restores us for all eternity.

This is another area where the Bible has always been right. When you think about the Bible being proven true you do  not usually think about languages and how the world has so many, but the Bible tells us how all of this came about.  People used to believe that there were several groups of people who evolved all having their own language. One of the main problems with humanity not coming from one man is that the Bible says sin entered through one man. (Romans 5) So if you believe the Bible then you have to believe that everyone originated from one man who we know as Adam. Of course evidence shows that we originated from one man.

“There is evidence for uniformity of language with regard to phonology, grammatical structure, and vocabulary. This would mitigate against a plurality of origins, while the case for single beginning seems fairly strong. “ (Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, pg 159)

Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

As we have been saying through our study of Genesis it all depends on your world view. If we start with Gods Word we can show evidence that proves it true. Of course those that start that the world can be explained naturally have to come up with other solutions to how these things came about. The main point is that the Bible shows itself to be consistently true to the observations we see in our world.

All of man came from one man according to the Bible and the basics of language and physiology match what the Bible says. Evolution has no way of knowing why would each tribe and nation have their own language, there are only theories.

The root word for Babel is balal which means to stir up or mix up.

The word Babel is still used today as a term associated with unintelligible speech. Alan Richardson says that Pentecost (Acts 2:5-11) is the reversal of the confusion of Babel. Everyone heard in their own language the good news of Jesus Christ and His payment for our sin. So although God caused a language barrier to happen among humanity, He also made sure all of humanity could hear about the sacrifice of Christ in their own language.

2)   One World Society

That our name may be great

When you first read the story you wonder why this is such a big deal to God. Many believe that it was because they did not continue to inhabit the whole earth as they were commanded. Although that may be true there is also this idea that they are going to make their own name great.

In Genesis 10:9-10 in the showing of Noah’s descendants, it shows the one who began all of this whose name was Nimrod. He  is associated with building Babylon, Nineveh and other cities. The name Nimrod name means rebel but he was known as a mighty hunter, although some believe he was a hunter of men.  Nimrod was the Great Grandson of Noah and is recorded in history by the Babylonians, Hittites,  Assyrians along with writings found in Israel. This means he must have been worthy to write about and shows the historicity of the Bible in naming actual places and names.

Although some say that they were disobedient in spreading throughout the world others believe it was because Nimrod was purposefully moving people away from God. Historian writer Josephus talks about how Tyrannical Nimrod became and  kept people from fearing God through force. (see: Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, chapter 4)

Another one of Noah’s sons was Shem and his name means “The Name”. It is through Shem’s lineage that Christ would come. Nimrod coming from Noah’s Son Ham was cursed because of Hams actions toward Noah. (Genesis 9:22)  Just like Cain Nimrod set out to do things his own way instead of the ways of God. Nimrod wanted his name to be great among the nations and not Gods name.  Nimrod was building a nation and excluding God. There is only one name that can be praised.

Philippians 2:9-10 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

(See Also Matthew 1:21 and Acts 4:12)

3)   One World  Religion

                                              

This is a structure that many believe the Tower of Babel would have looked like because they have been found in the region.  (30 or so have been found) Because the language used the word tower many growing up in church were shown a straight tower reaching up into the sky. The term in the Hebrew language that was used was more equivalent to large structure than tower. To Reach up to Heaven was a common phrase for saying really tall or big.(Deuteronomy 1:28;  9:1-6)

To reach up to the heavens was to set yourself, or your religion to be praised above any other. This is why I believe the main sin was that they were trying to make a name to themselves more so than the disregard of inhabiting the whole earth as God had said.

The fact that these structures still exist today shows how well built these structures were. The Ziggurat of Ur rose over 200 feet high and being made of sun dried bricks along with bitumen mortar made the structure very strong. Bitumen was a mineral pitch that when hardened forms a strong cement. The details of the story show the accuracy of the Bible as well as what kind of building we could guess they were making. (The details and accuracy of the archeological evidence shows that the Bible is not a fictional book) Bitumen mortar was the most expensive and was only used in Government and Religious buildings.

Some say it was built in case God sent another flood which would show they did not listen to the Promise God gave Noah. It also shows that they did not have a relationship with God since they were worried about how He may act toward them and they were preparing to do what they could do to survive.

Almost all the false religions can be traced back to Babylon. The word Babel means “Gate of the gods”  Whenever Babel is used in the Bible it is in opposition to God and its roots all show that from the start Babylon was against God. It is not surprising that the Book of Revelation talks about the fall of Babylon in the end times as being evil because it began as an evil empire.(See Revelation 18:2)

The plan was simple and that was to make a name for themselves. Is this not always the sin of man, Who is going to be God? Human independence is what our world is about but not God or His Church. We are made to rely on God and each other. This is about man making themselves God  and looking at all they have done and forgetting the God who provided for them and who gave them their abilities. This is very similar in our day where people say that because of technology we no longer need God. We begin to look at our own abilities and accomplishments and forget God altogether.

Psalm 2:1-4 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,“Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in
derision.

4)   God came down

Babylon is thought to be the original seat of all culture. It is not just cultural history but a place that has continually stood against God. Similar to Adam and Eve God did not stay in Heaven and not do something about how His creation was acting. Throughout the Bible God has come to His creation in different forms, (Genesis 18:2; Exodus 3; Joshua 5:13-15; and Jude 6) until He finally came in the form of Jesus Christ to pay for our sins.

Some believe that when God came down He came down to try and talk them out of this structure or the worshiping of other gods.  Of course God can see the final result of mans decisions and that is why the Bible tells us the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) When they would not listen is when God struck them to speak different languages in the hopes of trying to get them to stop running from Him and start turning to Him.

If you ever want to be frustrated try communicating in a foreign country with no way of being able to get the person to understand you. God did not deal with them how they deserved but instead just confused and frustrated their efforts so they would stop. So God’s punishment was not what they deserved but was done with gracious preservation.

5)   They Departed

They must have been shocked that they could no longer understand each other after they had been communicating so freely for so many years. We do not understand this fully because we grew up in a culture that has always known people speak different languages. So to get a better understanding picture everyone in your family all of a sudden not being able to communicate with one another.

They probably called out to others until they found others who spoke the same language as them and then they departed across the world. God had them spread out across the whole world which is what He desired they do in the first place.  Genesis 10 shows where each group went and where they inhabited land.

So how did they cross over to the different continents?

“In 1996 a geological and paleontological study discerned that a land bridge in that area actually joined Northe America to Asia between 40,000 and 11,000 years agao. A team of Arctic researchers discovered the remains of land vegetation across the full lenthg of what is now under the Bering Strait… Another relevant study by another research team working in British Columbia indicates that other land bridges opened and closes at about the same time as the Bering. … The Speed with which the bridge formed and dsappeared came as a surprise to the research team.  (Dr. Hugh Ross, Navigating Genesis, pg 187-188)

Genesis 10:25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg,[a] for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan.

The Bible has talked about this dividing of land masses for thousands of years and now the evidence proves it. Moses wrote that passage 3400 years ago and that is the estimate that scientist date the collapse of the world land bridges.

What does this mean for us?

The first thing we see is that since the beginning there is a battle for man to be God. How many times do we see people trying to make a name for themselves even if it is 15 seconds of fame? The One world religion and Society is what people are striving for today and in the process leaving out the True God who sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins. The end times will be an attempt to set this up and then the anti-Christ will show himself for who he really is the one who wants to be worshiped. (See Matthew 24)

What does this mean for the Church?

Is our church more about doing what God wants or making a name for ourselves? We are called to go into the entire world (Matthew 28) and yet many times we just try to build a tower for ourselves to sit in. Our actions look religious but they are not about God. We have to be careful that our churches do not become towers of Babel when we are to be going into all the world to tell the good news of Christ.

This entry was posted in Genesis. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *