Lesson 22

The Tower of Babel

The city "was called Babylon, because it was there that
the Eternal [God] made a babble of the language . . .
and . . . scattered men all over the wide earth."
Genesis 11:9 (Moffatt Translation)

Noah and his family praised God for his justice and power. They were glad for the rainbow which was a sign to them from God that there never again would be such a flood.

But as the years passed, many began to forget what God had done for mankind. When they saw the rainbow in the sky, they did not think of Noah or God or the promise.

Because the people had lost confidence in God, they began to build a great tower. They thought if they built a tower so tall it would reach up to heaven, it would save them from any flood of waters in the future. God saw what they were doing but did not want them to complete the tower. He confused their language so they could not understand one another—Genesis 11:4-8 (Amplified Bible).

How odd if must have been to want to talk to your neighbor and suddenly your words were completely strange to him, just as his words were strange to you. Perhaps he was speaking Hebrew and you were speaking Arabic, and someone else was speaking Greek, or Ethiopian, etc.

This very effectively stopped the building of the tower so they could not work together anymore. It also scattered people to various parts of the earth. This is what God wanted them to do, so that all of the earth would eventually become populated.

The unfinished tower fell into ruins and nothing is left now but a huge hole which is used as a quarry (a place to dig our building stones, such as marble and limestone). When standing, the tower had many platforms, one on top of the other, each smaller than the one below.

Today the language barriers are breaking down and the tendency of humanity is to reunite for protection. There are many people who speak two or more languages. Also, there are those who act as interpreters between speakers of different languages. This allows meetings and conferences to be held with the people of many countries participating.

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