A A A A A
Bible Book List

Genesis 11:1-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Universal Language, Babel, Confusion

11 Now the whole earth [a]used the same language and [b]the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and [c]settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have [d]the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be [e]impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their [f]language, so that they will not understand one another’s [g]speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called [h]Babel, because there the Lord confused the [i]language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 11:1 Lit was one lip
  2. Genesis 11:1 Or few or one set of words
  3. Genesis 11:2 Lit dwelt
  4. Genesis 11:6 Lit one lip
  5. Genesis 11:6 Lit withheld from
  6. Genesis 11:7 Lit lip
  7. Genesis 11:7 Lit lip
  8. Genesis 11:9 Or Babylon; cf Heb balal, confuse
  9. Genesis 11:9 Lit lip
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Genesis 11:1-9 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

11 And the whole earth is of one pronunciation, and of the same words,

and it cometh to pass, in their journeying from the east, that they find a valley in the land of Shinar, and dwell there;

and they say each one to his neighbour, `Give help, let us make bricks, and burn [them] thoroughly:' and the brick is to them for stone, and the bitumen hath been to them for mortar.

And they say, `Give help, let us build for ourselves a city and tower, and its head in the heavens, and make for ourselves a name, lest we be scattered over the face of all the earth.'

And Jehovah cometh down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men have builded;

and Jehovah saith, `Lo, the people [is] one, and one pronunciation [is] to them all, and this it hath dreamed of doing; and now, nothing is restrained from them of that which they have purposed to do.

Give help, let us go down, and mingle there their pronunciation, so that a man doth not understand the pronunciation of his companion.'

And Jehovah doth scatter them from thence over the face of all the earth, and they cease to build the city;

therefore hath [one] called its name Babel, for there hath Jehovah mingled the pronunciation of all the earth, and from thence hath Jehovah scattered them over the face of all the earth.

Genesis 11:1-9 New International Version (NIV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The 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. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 11:2 Or from the east; or in the east
  2. Genesis 11:2 That is, Babylonia
  3. Genesis 11:9 That is, Babylon; Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Genesis 11:1-9 King James Version (KJV)

11 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

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.

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.

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.

And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

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.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

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.

Genesis 11:1-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused[a] the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 11:9 Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes