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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.

The Descendants of Shem

10-11 Two years after the flood, when Shem was one hundred, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of six hundred. This is a list of his descendants:

12 When Arpachshad was thirty-five, he had a son named Shelah. 13 Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-eight.

14 When Shelah was thirty, he had a son named Eber. 15 Shelah had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-three.

16 When Eber was thirty-four, he had a son named Peleg. 17 Eber had more children and died at the age of four hundred sixty-four.

18 When Peleg was thirty, he had a son named Reu. 19 Peleg had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.

20 When Reu was thirty-two he had a son named Serug. 21 Reu had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.

22 When Serug was thirty, he had a son named Nahor. 23 Serug had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty.

24 When Nahor was twenty-nine, he had a son named Terah. 25 Nahor had more children and died at the age of one hundred forty-eight.

The Descendants of Terah

26-28 After Terah was seventy years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah’s sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea,[d] and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah’s descendants.

29-30 Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have any children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.

31 Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran,[e] they decided to settle there instead. 32 Terah lived to be two hundred five years old and died in Haran.

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.”
  4. 11.26-28 Ur in Chaldea: Chaldea was a region at the head of the Persian Gulf. Ur was on the main trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea.
  5. 11.31 Haran: About 550 miles northwest of Ur.

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