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1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speach.

2 And it came to passe as they iourneyed from the East, that they found a plaine in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.

3 And they sayd one to another; Goe to, let vs make bricke, and burne them thorowly. And they had bricke for stone, and slime had they for morter.

4 And they said; Goe to, let vs build vs a city and a tower, whose top may reach vnto heauen, and let vs make vs a name, lest we be scattered abroad vpon the face of the whole earth.

5 And the LORD came downe to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6 And the LORD said; Behold, the people is one, and they haue all one language: and this they begin to doe: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they haue imagined to doe.

7 Goe to, let vs go downe, and there cōfound their language, that they may not vnderstand one anothers speech.

8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence, vpon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the Citie.

9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel, because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad vpon the face of all the earth.

10 These are the generations of Shem. Shem was an hundred yeres old, and begate Arphaxad two yeeres after the Flood.

11 And Shem liued, after he begate Arphaxad, fiue hundred yeeres, and begate sonnes and daughters.

12 And Arphaxad liued fiue and thirtie yeeres, and begate Salah.

13 And Arphaxad liued, after he begate Salah, foure hundred and three yeeres, and begate sonnes and daughters.

14 And Salah liued thirtie yeeres, and begate Eber.

15 And Salah liued, after hee begate Eber, foure hundred and three yeeres, and begate sonnes and daughters.

16 And Eber liued foure and thirty yeeres, and begate Peleg.

17 And Eber liued, after hee begate Peleg, foure hundred and thirtie yeres, and begate sonnes and daughters.

18 And Peleg liued thirtie yeeres, and begate Reu.

19 And Peleg liued, after hee begate Reu, two hundred and nine yeeres, and begate sonnes and daughters.

20 And Reu liued two and thirtie yeeres, and begate Serug.

21 And Reu liued, after hee begate Serug, two hundreth and seuen yeres, and begate sonnes and daughters.

22 And Serug liued thirtie yeeres, and begate Nahor.

23 And Serug liued, after he begate Nahor, two hundred yeeres, and begat sonnes and daughters.

24 And Nahor liued nine and twentie yeeres, and begate Terah.

25 And Nahor liued, after he begate Terah, an hundred & nineteene yeeres, and begate sonnes and daughters.

26 And Terah liued seuenty yeeres, and begate Abram, Nahor, & Haran.

27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begate Abram, Nahor, and Haran: And Haran begate Lot.

28 And Haran died, before his father Terah in the land of his natiuity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

29 And Abram and Nahor tooke them wiues: the name of Abrams wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahors wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

30 But Sarai was barren; she had no childe.

31 And Terah tooke Abram his sonne, and Lot the sonne of Haran his sonnes sonne, and Sarai his daughter in lawe, his sonne Abrams wife, and they went foorth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to goe into the land of Canaan: and they came vnto Haran, and dwelt there.

32 And the dayes of Terah, were two hundred and fiue yeres: and Terah died in Haran.

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Commentary for Genesis 11

One language in the world, The building of Babel. (1-4) The confusion of tongues, The builders of Babel dispersed. (5-9) The descendants of Shem. (10-26) Terah, father of Abram, grandfather of Lot, they remove to Haran. (27-32)1-4 How soon men forget the most tremendous judgments, and go back to their former crimes! Though the desolations of the deluge were before their eyes, though they sprang from the stock of righteous Noah, yet even during his life-time, wickedness increases exceedingly. Nothing but the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit can remove the sinful lusts of the human will, and the depravity of the human heart. God's purpose was, that mankind should form many nations, and people all lands. In contempt of the Divine will, and against the counsel of Noah, the bulk of mankind united to build a city and a tower to prevent their separating. Idolatry was begun, and Babel became one of its chief seats. They made one another more daring and resolute. Let us learn to provoke one another to love and to good works, as sinners stir up and encourage one another to wicked works.

5-9 Here is an expression after the manner of men; The Lord came down to see the city. God is just and fair in all he does against sin and sinners, and condemns none unheard. Pious Eber is not found among this ungodly crew; for he and his are called the children of God; their souls joined not themselves to the assembly of these children of men. God suffered them to go on some way, that the works of their hands, from which they promised themselves lasting honour, might turn to their lasting reproach. God has wise and holy ends, in allowing the enemies of his glory to carry on their wicked projects a great way, and to prosper long. Observe the wisdom and mercy of God, in the methods taken for defeating this undertaking. And the mercy of God in not making the penalty equal to the offence; for he deals not with us according to our sins. The wisdom of God, in fixing upon a sure way to stop these proceedings. If they could not understand one another, they could not help one another; this would take them off from their building. God has various means, and effectual ones, to baffle and defeat the projects of proud men that set themselves against him, and particularly he divides them among themselves. Notwithstanding their union and obstinacy God was above them; for who ever hardened his heart against him, and prospered? Their language was confounded. We all suffer by it to this day: in all the pains and trouble used to learn the languages we have occasion for, we suffer for the rebellion of our ancestors at Babel. Nay, and those unhappy disputes, which are strifes of words, and arise from misunderstanding one another's words, for aught we know, are owing to this confusion of tongues. They left off to build the city. The confusion of their tongues not only unfitted them for helping one another, but they saw the hand of the Lord gone out against them. It is wisdom to leave off that which we see God fights against. God is able to blast and bring to nought all the devices and designs of Babel-builders: there is no wisdom nor counsel against the Lord. The builders departed according to their families, and the tongue they spake, to the countries and places allotted to them. The children of men never did, nor ever will, come all together again, till the great day, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, and all nations shall be gathered before him.

10-26 Here is a genealogy, or list of names, ending in Abram, the friend of God, and thus leading towards Christ, the promised Seed, who was the son of Abram. Nothing is left upon record but their names and ages; the Holy Ghost seeming to hasten through them to the history of Abram. How little do we know of those that are gone before us in this world, even of those that lived in the same places where we live, as we likewise know little of those who now live in distant places! We have enough to do to mind our own work. When the earth began to be peopled, men's lives began to shorten; this was the wise disposal of Providence.

27-32 Here begins the story of Abram, whose name is famous in both Testaments. Even the children of Eber had become worshippers of false gods. Those who are through grace, heirs of the land of promise, ought to remember what was the land of their birth; what was their corrupt and sinful state by nature. Abram's brethren were, Nahor, out of whose family both Isaac and Jacob had their wives; and Haran, the father of Lot, who died before his father. Children cannot be sure that they shall outlive their parents. Haran died in Ur, before the happy removal of the family out of that idolatrous country. It concerns us to hasten out of our natural state, lest death surprise us in it. We here read of Abram's departure out of Ur of the Chaldees, with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and the rest of his family, in obedience to the call of God. This chapter leaves them about mid-way between Ur and Canaan, where they dwelt till Terah's death. Many reach to Charran, and yet fall short of Canaan; they are not far from the kingdom of God, and yet never come thither.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Genesis 11

  • Israel
    the tower of babel is the pyramids. in my opinion...from the text it says they began to build a tower that reaches unto heaven....and in verse 8, it says they were scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.....AND THEY LEFT OFF TO BUILD THE CITY. Although God did change their language,and scattered them, they still had the idea......that is why their are pyramids all ver the earth........
  • Evangelist Chatauna Robinson
    Hello Falco Sarai named was changed to Sarah Genesis 17 15. God then fulfilled his promise of given her a child in Genesis 21 1 thru 3.
  • Falco
    That is a very good chapter but it 's sad that sarai had no children
  • Evangelist Chatauna Robinson
    Hello Bremmer Yes, from Adam to the tower of Babel they spoke one language, Genesis 11 6. You are talking about the descendants of Noah s son Shem, Genesis 11 11 thru 18. This only backs up the scriptures saying that all life was destroyed except for the 8 souls in the Ark along with the animals that God spared. According to the scripture once again the Earth was populated by Noah and his sons there was no other people who survived after the flood, but Noah s family. Genesis 9 19 These are the three sons of Noah and of them was the whole earth overspread . Also in Genesis Chapter 11 is talking about the tower of Babel. In short, if I can say it like this, when they left the Ark they did not do what God told them to. They were to scatter over the whole Earth and populate it. However, what they did instead was pick a spot and decided to build a tower to heaven. God seeing this came confused their language and scattered them all over the Earth each according to the many languages that they were now speaking. The land was divided to each clan that spoke the same language.
  • Bremmer
    Matt Rosas 's At one time the earth was one land mass before the days of Eber 's son Peleg which means divided To Eber were born two sons the name of the one was Peleg,3 for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother s name was Joktan. this was only around 200 years after the flood the earths population was small and all were descendents of Noah who was still alive so everyone came from one grand father.before Noah everyone came from Adam they only had one language.
  • Evangelist Chatauna Robinson
    Hello Everyone First let me say this, the Bible is broken up into seven dispensations of time. God has always had one way of salvation under each dispensation. These passages of scriptures fall up under the Third Dispensation which is Human Government. This is where man was giving authority to govern other men and visit punishment upon crime, Genesis 9 6. Man was responsible to govern the world. The salvation under this dispensation was to replenish the earth. They were to spread out gradually over the face of it, Genesis 9 1. During this time the people spoke only one language and were of one speech, Genesis 11 1. Coming to the close of this dispensation we found that the people disobeyed God, they remained in one spot after their journey, and then they wanted to make a name for themselves, Genesis 11 2 thru 4. Now they started off trying to do the right thing by journeying to a land name Shinar but when they got there they stopped doing what they were supposed to do and decided not to go any further. They decided to make a name for themselves. How this dispensation ended was with God confusing their speech and scattering them abroad, Genesis 11 59. Webster states that the word Babel, means a confusion of voices, languages or sounds . The judgment was that God confused their language and scattered them abroad. Here were many languages were born.

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