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The Tower of Babel

11 At first everyone spoke the same language, but after some of them moved from the east[a] and settled in Babylonia,[b] 3-4 they said:

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.

But when the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower, 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. 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.

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Footnotes

  1. 11.2 from the east: Or “to the east.”
  2. 11.2 Babylonia: See the note at 10.6-20.
  3. 11.8,9 Babel: In Hebrew “Babel” sounds like “confused.”

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