There is a lot to unpack here, especially in the second part of the chapter, so I’m going to split 11 into two posts. Basically, I don’t want you losing interest before you get to the end of the chapter. That’s where the gold is.

In chapter 10 we learned where all of Noah’s children scattered to, but in Genesis 11 we learn why they were scattered. (It’s a literary style called hourglass or inverted structure, in case you were wondering.) Here’s a brief synopsis of a story you’re probably somewhat familiar with:

Noah’s clan (the only clan on earth) moves eastward from Mount Ararat and settles on a plain in Shinar (Shinar means country of two rivers – the Euphrates and the Tigris). All the uncles and cousins get together and resolve to build a huge tower up to the sky so they’ll be famous. Because God thinks that’s rather presumptuous, he decides to mix up their language (hence the Tower of Babel) so they can’t all communicate with each other and scatters them all over the earth.

A few thoughts:

In verse 4 the people said, “Come, let us build…”

In verse 7 God says, “Come, let us go down and confuse their language…”

Do you think that’s sarcasm? I hope so. I’ve always said I have the gift of sarcasm, and if this is God being sarcastic, then I would say it’s a spiritual gift. I’m adding it to the list.

But I digress…

6The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”

Think about that. Today we can communicate with nearly all peoples and look at the knowledge and the capabilities we have compared to then. In fact, there is no comparison. Advances in science and technology exploded in the last century and continue to stun and amaze us with each new discovery or milestone. I mean, just look at the Berj Khalifa tower in Dubai, the tallest man made structure in the world at a half a mile high. A little like a tower built to the heavens, don’t you think?

 

Let’s Chat

Do you think God was being sardonic when he chose to use the same words as the people in Babel? Or maybe that was Moses’ spin when he wrote Genesis. Thoughts?

What about how far we’ve come since the attempt to build the tower?

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