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Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Let’s build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We’ll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We’ll become famous, and we won’t be scattered all over the world.
5 But when the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower, 6 he said:
These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7 Come on! Let’s go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won’t be able to understand each other.
8-9 So the people had to stop building the city, because the Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That’s how the city of Babel[c] got its name.
10-11 Two years after the flood, when Shem was one hundred, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of six hundred. This is a list of his descendants:
12 When Arpachshad was thirty-five, he had a son named Shelah. 13 Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-eight.
14 When Shelah was thirty, he had a son named Eber. 15 Shelah had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-three.
16 When Eber was thirty-four, he had a son named Peleg. 17 Eber had more children and died at the age of four hundred sixty-four.
18 When Peleg was thirty, he had a son named Reu. 19 Peleg had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.
20 When Reu was thirty-two he had a son named Serug. 21 Reu had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.
22 When Serug was thirty, he had a son named Nahor. 23 Serug had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty.
24 When Nahor was twenty-nine, he had a son named Terah. 25 Nahor had more children and died at the age of one hundred forty-eight.
26-28 After Terah was seventy years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah’s sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea,[d] and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah’s descendants.
29-30 Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have any children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.
31 Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran,[e] they decided to settle there instead. 32 Terah lived to be two hundred five years old and died in Haran.
12 The Lord said to Abram:
Leave your country, your family, and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless anyone who blesses you, but I will put a curse on anyone who puts a curse on you. Everyone on earth will be blessed because of you.[f]
4-5 Abram was seventy-five years old when the Lord told him to leave the city of Haran. He obeyed and left with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all the possessions and slaves they had gotten while in Haran.
When they came to the land of Canaan, 6 Abram went as far as the sacred tree of Moreh in a place called Shechem. The Canaanites were still living in the land at that time, 7 but the Lord appeared to Abram and promised, “I will give this land to your family forever.” Abram then built an altar there for the Lord.
8 Abram traveled to the hill country east of Bethel and camped between Bethel and Ai, where he built another altar and worshiped the Lord. 9 Later, Abram started out toward the Southern Desert.
10-11 The crops failed, and there was no food anywhere in the land. So Abram and his wife Sarai went to live in Egypt for a while. But just before they got there, he said, “Sarai, you are really beautiful! 12 When the Egyptians see how lovely you are, they will murder me because I am your husband. But they won’t kill you. 13 Please save my life by saying that you are my sister.”
14 As soon as Abram and Sarai arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians noticed how beautiful she was. 15 The king’s[g] officials told him about her, and she was taken to his house. 16 The king was good to Abram because of Sarai, and Abram was given sheep, cattle, donkeys, slaves, and camels.
17 Because of Sarai, the Lord struck the king and everyone in his palace with terrible diseases. 18 Finally, the king sent for Abram and said to him, “What have you done to me? Why didn’t you tell me Sarai was your wife? 19 Why did you make me believe she was your sister? Now I’ve married her. Take her and go! She’s your wife.”
20 So the king told his men to let Abram and Sarai take their possessions and leave.