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Genesis 11:1-9Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Tower of Babel

11 [a]Now the whole earth had one language and few words. And as men 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 scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men 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, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad 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[b] the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. 11.1-9 The tower of Babel (= Babylon) is taken as a symbol of political power, empire-building, and the civilization that opposes God’s plan. The tower was probably a ziggurat, i.e., Babylonian temple.
  2. Genesis 11:9 Compare Heb balal, confuse
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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