The Tower of Babel

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

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

But the Lord came down(J) to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language(K) they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us(L) go down(M) and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”(N)

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

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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.

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost(A) came, they were all together(B) in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.(C) They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit(D) and began to speak in other tongues[a](E) as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing(F) Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed,(G) they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans?(H) Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,(I) Pontus(J) and Asia,[b](K) 10 Phrygia(L) and Pamphylia,(M) Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene;(N) visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

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Footnotes

  1. Acts 2:4 Or languages; also in verse 11
  2. Acts 2:9 That is, the Roman province by that name