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Genesis 11:1-9New 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)

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Genesis 11:1-9New 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.

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