At one time, the whole Earth spoke the same language.
It so happened that as they moved out of the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled down.
They said to one another, "Come, let's make bricks and fire them well." They used brick for stone and tar for mortar.
Then they said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city and a tower that reaches Heaven. Let's make ourselves famous so we won't be scattered here and there across the Earth."
God came down to look over the city and the tower those people had built.
God took one look and said, "One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they'll come up with next - they'll stop at nothing!
Come, we'll go down and garble their speech so they won't understand each other."
Then God scattered them from there all over the world. And they had to quit building the city.
That's how it came to be called Babel, because there God turned their language into "babble." From there God scattered them all over the world.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)