Genesis 11:1-9

Origin of languages and cultures

1 All people on the earth had one language and the same words.
2 When they traveled east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them hard." They used bricks for stones and asphalt for mortar.
4 They said, "Come, let's build for ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and let's make a name for ourselves so that we won't be dispersed over all the earth."
5 Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the humans built.
6 And the LORD said, "There is now one people and they all have one language. This is what they have begun to do, and now all that they plan to do will be possible for them.
7 Come, let's go down and mix up their language there so they won't understand each other's language."
8 Then the LORD dispersed them from there over all of the earth, and they stopped building the city.
9 Therefore, it is named Babel, because there the LORD mixed up the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD dispersed them over all the earth.

Genesis 11:1-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 11

This chapter gives an account of the inhabitants of the earth before the confusion of tongues at Babel, of their speech and language, which was one and the same, and of the place where they dwelt, Ge 11:1,2 and of their design to build a city and tower, to make them a name and keep them together, which they put in execution, Ge 11:3,4 of the notice the Lord took of this affair, and of the method he took to put a stop to their designs, by confounding their speech, and dispersing them abroad upon the face of the earth, Ge 11:5-9 then follows a genealogy of Shem's posterity down to Abraham, Ge 11:10-26 and a particular relation is given of Terah, the father of Abraham, and his family, and of his going forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, in order to go into the land of Canaan, and of his death at Haran by the way, Ge 11:27-32.

Genesis 11:1-9 In-Context

1 All people on the earth had one language and the same words.
2 When they traveled east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them hard." They used bricks for stones and asphalt for mortar.
4 They said, "Come, let's build for ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and let's make a name for ourselves so that we won't be dispersed over all the earth."
5 Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the humans built.
6 And the LORD said, "There is now one people and they all have one language. This is what they have begun to do, and now all that they plan to do will be possible for them.
7 Come, let's go down and mix up their language there so they won't understand each other's language."
8 Then the LORD dispersed them from there over all of the earth, and they stopped building the city.
9 Therefore, it is named Babel, because there the LORD mixed up the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD dispersed them over all the earth.
10 These are Shem's descendants. When Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arpachshad, two years after the flood.
11 After Arpachshad was born, Shem lived 500 years; he had other sons and daughters.
12 When Arpachshad was 35 years old, he became the father of Shelah.
13 After Shelah was born, Arpachshad lived 403 years; he had other sons and daughters.

Footnotes 3