Genesis 11

1 And all the world was of one tonge and one language.
2 And as they came from the east they founde a playne in the lande of Synear and there they dwelled.
3 And they sayd one to a nother: come on let us make brycke ad burne it wyth fyre. So brycke was there stone and slyme was there morter
4 And they sayd: Come on let vs buylde vs a cyte and a toure that the toppe may reach vnto heauen. And let vs make us a name for perauenture we shall be scatered abrode over all the erth.
5 And the LORde came downe to see the cyte and the toure which the childern of Ada had buylded.
6 And the LORde sayd: See the people is one and haue one tonge amonge them all. And thys haue they begon to do and wyll not leaue of from all that they haue purposed to do.
7 Come on let vs descende and myngell theire tonge even there that one vnderstonde not what a nother sayeth.
8 Thus ye LORde skatered them from thence vppon all the erth. And they left of to buylde the cyte.
9 Wherfore the name of it is called Babell because that the LORDE there confounded the tonge of all the world. And because that the LORde from thence skatered them abrode vppon all the erth.
10 These are the generations of Sem: Se was an hundred yere olde and begat Arcphachsad ij. yere after the floude.
11 And Se lyved after he had begot Arphachsad .v. hundred yere an begat sonnes and doughters.
12 And Arphacsad lyued .xxxv. yere and begat Sala
13 and lyved after he had begot Sala iiij. hudred yere and .iij and begat sonnes and doughters.
14 And Sala was .xxx. yere old and begat Eber
15 ad lyued after he had begot Eber .iiij. hudred and thre yere ad begat sonnes and doughters
16 When Eber was .xxxiiij. yere olde he begat Peleg
17 and lyued after he had begot Peleg foure hundred and .xxx. yere and begat sonnes and doughters.
18 And Peleg when he was .xxx. yere olde begat Regu
19 and lyued after he had begot Regu. ij. hundred and .ix. yere and begat sonnes and doughters.
20 And Regu when he had lyued .xxxij. yere begat Serug
21 and lyued after he had begot Serug .ij. hundred and .vij. yere and begat sonnes and doughters.
22 And when Serug was .xxx. yere olde he begat Nahor
23 and lyued after he had begot Nahor .ij. hundred yere and begat sonnes and doughters.
24 And Nahor when he was .xxix. yere olde begat Terah
25 and lyved after he had begot Terah an hundred and .xix. yere and begat sonnes and doughters.
26 And when Terah was .lxx. yere olde he begat Abram Nahor and Haran.
27 And these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram Nahor and Haran. And Haran begat Lot.
28 And Haran dyed before Terah his father in the londe where he was borne at Vr in Chaldea.
29 And Abram and Nahor toke them wyves. Abras wyfe was called Sarai. And Nahors wyfe Mylca the doughter of Haran which was father of Milca ad of Iisca.
30 But Sarai was baren and had no childe.
31 Than toke Terah Abram his sonne and Lot his sonne Harans sonne and Sarai his doughter in lawe his sone Abrams wyfe. And they went wyth hym from Vr in Chaldea to go in to the lade of Chanaan. And they came to Haran and dwelled there.
32 And when Terah was ij. hundred yere old and .v. he dyed in Haran.

Genesis 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

One language in the world, The building of Babel. (1-4) The confusion of tongues, The builders of Babel dispersed. (5-9) The descendants of Shem. (10-26) Terah, father of Abram, grandfather of Lot, they remove to Haran. (27-32)

Verses 1-4 How soon men forget the most tremendous judgments, and go back to their former crimes! Though the desolations of the deluge were before their eyes, though they sprang from the stock of righteous Noah, yet even during his life-time, wickedness increases exceedingly. Nothing but the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit can remove the sinful lusts of the human will, and the depravity of the human heart. God's purpose was, that mankind should form many nations, and people all lands. In contempt of the Divine will, and against the counsel of Noah, the bulk of mankind united to build a city and a tower to prevent their separating. Idolatry was begun, and Babel became one of its chief seats. They made one another more daring and resolute. Let us learn to provoke one another to love and to good works, as sinners stir up and encourage one another to wicked works.

Verses 5-9 Here is an expression after the manner of men; The Lord came down to see the city. God is just and fair in all he does against sin and sinners, and condemns none unheard. Pious Eber is not found among this ungodly crew; for he and his are called the children of God; their souls joined not themselves to the assembly of these children of men. God suffered them to go on some way, that the works of their hands, from which they promised themselves lasting honour, might turn to their lasting reproach. God has wise and holy ends, in allowing the enemies of his glory to carry on their wicked projects a great way, and to prosper long. Observe the wisdom and mercy of God, in the methods taken for defeating this undertaking. And the mercy of God in not making the penalty equal to the offence; for he deals not with us according to our sins. The wisdom of God, in fixing upon a sure way to stop these proceedings. If they could not understand one another, they could not help one another; this would take them off from their building. God has various means, and effectual ones, to baffle and defeat the projects of proud men that set themselves against him, and particularly he divides them among themselves. Notwithstanding their union and obstinacy God was above them; for who ever hardened his heart against him, and prospered? Their language was confounded. We all suffer by it to this day: in all the pains and trouble used to learn the languages we have occasion for, we suffer for the rebellion of our ancestors at Babel. Nay, and those unhappy disputes, which are strifes of words, and arise from misunderstanding one another's words, for aught we know, are owing to this confusion of tongues. They left off to build the city. The confusion of their tongues not only unfitted them for helping one another, but they saw the hand of the Lord gone out against them. It is wisdom to leave off that which we see God fights against. God is able to blast and bring to nought all the devices and designs of Babel-builders: there is no wisdom nor counsel against the Lord. The builders departed according to their families, and the tongue they spake, to the countries and places allotted to them. The children of men never did, nor ever will, come all together again, till the great day, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, and all nations shall be gathered before him.

Verses 10-26 Here is a genealogy, or list of names, ending in Abram, the friend of God, and thus leading towards Christ, the promised Seed, who was the son of Abram. Nothing is left upon record but their names and ages; the Holy Ghost seeming to hasten through them to the history of Abram. How little do we know of those that are gone before us in this world, even of those that lived in the same places where we live, as we likewise know little of those who now live in distant places! We have enough to do to mind our own work. When the earth began to be peopled, men's lives began to shorten; this was the wise disposal of Providence.

Verses 27-32 Here begins the story of Abram, whose name is famous in both Testaments. Even the children of Eber had become worshippers of false gods. Those who are through grace, heirs of the land of promise, ought to remember what was the land of their birth; what was their corrupt and sinful state by nature. Abram's brethren were, Nahor, out of whose family both Isaac and Jacob had their wives; and Haran, the father of Lot, who died before his father. Children cannot be sure that they shall outlive their parents. Haran died in Ur, before the happy removal of the family out of that idolatrous country. It concerns us to hasten out of our natural state, lest death surprise us in it. We here read of Abram's departure out of Ur of the Chaldees, with his father Terah, his nephew Lot, and the rest of his family, in obedience to the call of God. This chapter leaves them about mid-way between Ur and Canaan, where they dwelt till Terah's death. Many reach to Charran, and yet fall short of Canaan; they are not far from the kingdom of God, and yet never come thither.

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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