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.
This is the story of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he had Arphaxad. It was two years after the flood.
After he had Arphaxad, he lived 600 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Arphaxad was thirty-five years old, he had Shelah.
After Arphaxad had Shelah, he lived 403 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Shelah was thirty years old, he had Eber.
After Shelah had Eber, he lived 403 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Eber was thirty-four years old, he had Peleg.
After Eber had Peleg, he lived 403 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Peleg was thirty years old, he had Reu.
After he had Reu, he lived 209 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Reu was thirty-two years old, he had Serug.
After Reu had Serug, he lived 207 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Serug was thirty years old, he had Nahor.
After Serug had Nahor, he lived 200 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Nahor was twenty-nine years old, he had Terah.
After Nahor had Terah, he lived 119 more years and had other sons and daughters.
When Terah was seventy years old, he had Abram, Nahor, and Haran. The Family Tree of Terah
This is the story of Terah. Terah had Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Haran died before his father, Terah, in the country of his family, Ur of the Chaldees.
Abram and Nahor each got married. Abram's wife was Sarai; Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of his brother Haran. Haran had two daughters, Milcah and Iscah.
Sarai was barren; she had no children.
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and Sarai his daughter-in-law (his son Abram's wife) and set out with them from Ur of the Chaldees for the land of Canaan. But when they got as far as Haran, they settled down there.
Terah lived 205 years. He died in Haran.
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)