Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."
But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.
The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."
So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel--because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
This is the account of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad.
And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah.
And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber.
And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg.
And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu.
And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug.
And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor.
And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah.
And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.
This is the account of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot.
While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth.
Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Iscah.
Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.
He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.
The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe.
As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, "I know what a beautiful woman you are.
When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live.
Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you."
When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was a very beautiful woman.
And when Pharaoh's officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace.
He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels.
But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram's wife Sarai.
So Pharaoh summoned Abram. "What have you done to me?" he said. "Why didn't you tell me she was your wife?
Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!"
Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.
So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him.
Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier
and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD.
Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.
But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together.
And quarreling arose between Abram's herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.
Is not the whole land before you? Let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left."
Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:
Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.
Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.
The LORD said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west.
All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.
I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.
Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you."
So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD.