Genesis 11:9

9 That is why it was called Babel[a] —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:9 in Other Translations

KJV
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
ESV
9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
NLT
9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the LORD confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.
MSG
9 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.
CSB
9 Therefore its name is called Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:9 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 11:9

Therefore is the name of it called Babel
The name of the city mentioned, and the tower also, which signifies "confusion", as the Septuagint version renders it; and so Josephus F23 says the Hebrews call confusion "Babel": perhaps this name was given it by the sons of Eber, or it might be a common name preserved in all languages, as some are; and though the first builders desisted from going on with building it, yet it seems that afterwards Nimrod went on with it, and completed it, and made it the beginning of his kingdom, or his capital city; and perhaps he and his family might continue after the confusion and dispersion somewhere near unto it, see ( Genesis 10:10 ) . The reason of its name is given,

because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth;
and therefore it is false what is said by some, that the above city had its name from Babylon, the son of Belus:

and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of
all the earth;
which is repeated for the confirmation of it, and that it might be taken notice of and observed as a very wonderful and important event. These Babel builders were an emblem of self-righteous persons, who, as those were, are the greater part of the world, and, under different forms of religion, are all upon the same foot of a covenant of works; they all speak the same language; and indeed all men naturally do, declaring and seeking for justification by their own works; and journey from the east, depart from Christ, one of whose names is the east, or rising sun; they turn their backs on him and his righteousness; build on a plain, not on a rock or mountain, but on the sandy bottom of their own works, in a land of Shinar, or shaking, on a tottering foundation; their view is to get themselves a name, to be seen of men, and be applauded for their work sake, and that they might reach heaven, and get to it this way; but the issue of all is confusion and scattering abroad; for upon the foot of their own righteousness they can never enter into the kingdom of heaven.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 13.)

Genesis 11:9 In-Context

7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
9 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.
10 This is the account of Shem’s family line. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad.
11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

Cross References 4

  • 1. S Genesis 10:10
  • 2. Psalms 55:9
  • 3. Acts 2:5-11
  • 4. Isaiah 2:10,21; Isaiah 13:14; Isaiah 24:1

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, Babylon; "Babel" sounds like the Hebrew for "confused" .