Gen. 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
After the flood, the peoples of the earth spoke one language and one speech. Their words, the way of saying them and all meanings were the same.
Gen. 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
Gen. 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
Gen. 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
- The land of Shinar has already been established as part of NimrodŐs kingdom. He was the recognized leader of men at this time.
- ŇThey said,Ó but they were obviously following someoneŐs lead.
- They already had the knowledge of how to make bricks and use mortar to hold them together. (See note on 9:20-21.)
- The command had been to be fruitful and replenish the earth—not to congregate in a big group in a city.
- Their desire was to reach the heavens and make a name for themselves (pride).
- Their purpose was to keep from being scattered. This was in direct disobedience to GodŐs command.
- See notes on Nimrod above.
Gen. 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
This verse is interesting since it says Ňthe Lord came down to see the city and the tower.Ó Why? In what form? He is omnipresent and omniscient. He didnŐt have to leave heaven/His dwelling place. (This would also imply that heaven is UP.)
Gen. 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Gen. 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one anotherŐs speech.
Gen. 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Gen. 11:9 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 upon the face of all the earth.
There is an inference here that man can accomplish some pretty incredible things. (This is very apparent in our day and age. IsnŐt it interesting that the more we are able to communicate with one another, the less that language is a barrier, the more quickly ŇadvancesÓ in knowledge and creativity are made.) I think the more we are able to do Ňon our own,Ó the less likely we are to see the need for a Savior. (So, I think it was another act of mercy that God confused the languages.) Babel is where God confused the language of the whole world and scattered people over the face of the earth.
Gen. 11:10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
Gen. 11:11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
Gen. 11:13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
Gen. 11:15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:
Gen. 11:17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:
Gen. 11:19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
Gen. 11:21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:
Gen. 11:23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:
Gen. 11:25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
Gen. 11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Gen. 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
Gen. 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
Gen. 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of AbramŐs wife was Sarai; and the name of NahorŐs wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
Gen. 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Gen. 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his sonŐs son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son AbramŐs wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
Gen. 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
Now we are given a more detailed listing of the genealogy of Shem through Abraham. This is specific to the people to whom this history is being given. God is very careful throughout scripture to document the line of the Savior as well as the kingly and priestly lines of Israel.
- Shem was 100 years old two years after the flood.
- Terah = AbramŐs father
- Nahor & Haran = AbramŐs brothers (Were they triplets?)
- Haran died while his father was still alive.
- Sarai = AbramŐs wife; she was barren (childless).
- Lot = HaranŐs son
- Terah took Abram, Sarai and Lot and left Ur of the Chaldees to head for Canaan.
- They stopped when they reached Haran.
- Terah died in Haran at age 205.
- No explanation is given of why Terah wanted to leave.
- Shem was still alive (age 390) when Abram was born and died 15 years after Abram died; Eber died 29 years after Shem died.
- There is a significant drop in life expectancy from Shem (600) to Abram (175).
- Abram was contemporary with them all
Person Died Son FatherŐs age at sonŐs birth Total
Shem 600 Arphaxad 100
Arphaxad 438 Salah 35 135
Salah 433 Eber 30 165
Eber 464 Peleg 34 199
Peleg 239 Reu 30 229
Reu 239 Serug 32 261
Serug 230 Nahor 30 291
Nahor 148 Terah 29 320
Terah 205 Abram 70 390