Genesis 11:1-9

1 Now the whole earth had one language and few words.
2 And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built.
6 And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
7 Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
9 Therefore its name was called Ba'bel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of 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 Now the whole earth had one language and few words.
2 And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built.
6 And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
7 Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
9 Therefore its name was called Ba'bel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
10 These are the descendants of Shem. When Shem was a hundred years old, he became the father of Arpach'shad two years after the flood;
11 and Shem lived after the birth of Arpach'shad five hundred years, and had other sons and daughters.
12 When Arpach'shad had lived thirty-five years, he became the father of Shelah;
13 and Arpach'shad lived after the birth of Shelah four hundred and three years, and had other sons and daughters.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.