11 And the whole earth was of one language and of one accent and mode of expression.
2 And as they journeyed eastward, they found a plain (valley) in the land of Shinar, and they settled and dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly. So they had brick for stone, and slime (bitumen) for mortar.
4 And they said, Come, let us build us a city and a tower whose top reaches into the sky, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered over the whole earth.
5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, they are one people and they have [a]all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do, and now nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them.
7 Come, let Us go down and there confound (mix up, confuse) their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of the whole earth, and they gave up building the city.
9 Therefore the name of it was called Babel—because there the Lord confounded the language of all the earth; and from that place the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
10 This is the history of the generations of Shem. Shem was 100 years old when he became the father of Arpachshad, two years after the flood.
11 And Shem lived after Arpachshad was born 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
12 When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah.
13 Arpachshad lived after Shelah was born 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber.
15 Shelah lived after Eber was born 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg.
17 And Eber lived after Peleg was born 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu.
19 And Peleg lived after Reu was born 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug.
21 And Reu lived after Serug was born 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor.
23 And Serug lived after Nahor was born 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah.
25 And Nahor lived after Terah was born 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of [at different times], [b]Abram and Nahor and Haran, [his firstborn].
27 Now this is the history of the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot.
28 Haran died before his father Terah [died] in the land of his birth, in [c]Ur of the Chaldees.
29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah.
30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together to go from Ur of the Chaldees into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran, they settled there.
32 And Terah lived 205 years; and Terah died in Haran.
Genesis 11:6Some noted philologists have declared that a common origin of all languages cannot be denied. One, Max Mueller (The Science of Language), said “We have examined all possible forms which language can assume, and now we ask, can we reconcile with these three distinct forms, the radical, the terminational, the inflectional, the admission of one common origin of human speech? I answer decidedly, ‘Yes’.” The New Bible Commentary says, “The original unity of human language, though still far from demonstrable, becomes increasingly probable.”
Genesis 11:26Abram is only mentioned first by way of dignity. Noah’s sons also are given as “Shem, Ham, and Japheth” in Gen. 5:32, although Shem was not the oldest, but for dignity is named first, as is Abram here (Adam Clarke, The Holy Bible with A Commentary).
Genesis 11:28Abram’s home town was Ur of the Chaldees. As the result of extensive archaeological excavations there by C. Leonard Woolley in 1922-34, a great deal is known about Abram’s background. Space will not permit more than a glimpse at excavated Ur, but a few items will show the high state of civilization. The entire house of the average middle-class person had from ten to twenty rooms and measured forty to fifty-two feet; the lower floor was for servants, the upper floor for the family, with five rooms for their use; additionally, there was a guest chamber and a lavatory reserved for visitors, and a private chapel. A school was found and what the students studied was shown by the clay tablets discovered there. In the days of Abram the pupils had reading, writing, and arithmetic as today. They learned the multiplication and division tables and even worked at square and cube root. A bill of lading of about 2040 b.c. (about the era in which Abram is believed to have lived) showed that the commerce of that time was far-reaching. Even the name “Abraham” has been found on the excavated clay tablets (J.P. Free, Archaeology and Bible History).
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