The Tower of Babel
1At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia#11:2 Hebrew Shinar. and settled there.
3They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”
5But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6“Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”
8In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9That is why the city was called Babel,#11:9 Or Babylon. Babel sounds like a Hebrew term that means “confusion.” because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.
The Line of Descent from Shem to Abram
10This is the account of Shem’s family.
Two years after the great flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of#11:10 Or the ancestor of; also in 11:12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24. Arphaxad. 11After the birth of#11:11 Or the birth of this ancestor of; also in 11:13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25. Arphaxad, Shem lived another 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
12When Arphaxad was 35 years old, he became the father of Shelah. 13After the birth of Shelah, Arphaxad lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.#11:12-13 Greek version reads 12When Arphaxad was 135 years old, he became the father of Cainan. 13After the birth of Cainan, Arphaxad lived another 430 years and had other sons and daughters, and then he died. When Cainan was 130 years old, he became the father of Shelah. After the birth of Shelah, Cainan lived another 330 years and had other sons and daughters, and then he died. Compare Luke 3:35-36.
14When Shelah was 30 years old, he became the father of Eber. 15After the birth of Eber, Shelah lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
16When Eber was 34 years old, he became the father of Peleg. 17After the birth of Peleg, Eber lived another 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
18When Peleg was 30 years old, he became the father of Reu. 19After the birth of Reu, Peleg lived another 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
20When Reu was 32 years old, he became the father of Serug. 21After the birth of Serug, Reu lived another 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
22When Serug was 30 years old, he became the father of Nahor. 23After the birth of Nahor, Serug lived another 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
24When Nahor was 29 years old, he became the father of Terah. 25After the birth of Terah, Nahor lived another 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
26After Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
The Family of Terah
27This is the account of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. 28But Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the land of his birth, while his father, Terah, was still living. 29Meanwhile, Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah. (Milcah and her sister Iscah were daughters of Nahor’s brother Haran.) 30But Sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children.
31One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. 32Terah lived for 205 years#11:32 Some ancient versions read 145 years; compare 11:26 and 12:4. and died while still in Haran.
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People tried to build a tall building called Babel
1You know, at first everyone talked the same language. 2And as people moved from place to place in the east, they got to some flat country in Babylonia, and they stayed there. 3-4Then they said to each other, “Look, we can make bricks here. So come on, let’s do that. We will bake them properly so that they are good strong bricks, and we will use them to build a city here. So come on, let’s build a big tall building in that city. It will be so tall that it will go right up into the sky.” You see, they had bricks and tar instead of stones and cement. And they said, “If we do that, everyone will think we are smart. Then we will not go and live all over the earth, but we will stay together right here.”
God made people talk in different languages
5So the people started to build a city and a really tall building, and God came down to look at those things. 6He said, “These people can all talk to each other in the same language, so they can do anything they want. If they keep on going this way, nothing will stop them from doing anything. 7Come on, let’s go down to these people, and we will make them talk in different languages. Then they will not understand each other, and they will be all mixed up. They will not work things out with each other, so they will not keep on building this city.”
8So God made all the people talk in different languages. None of them could understand anything the other people were saying. So they stopped building their big city. 9They all left that city and went to live in lots of different places, all over the world. That’s how God got people to be in different tribes all over the world. And they called that city Babel. That means mixed up. They gave it that name because God mixed up their languages at that time.
The story of Shem’s family
10This is the story about Shem’s family.
Shem was 100 years old when he had a son called Arfaxad. That was 2 years after the big flood. 11Shem lived for 500 years after he had Arfaxad, and he had more sons and daughters.
12Arfaxad was 35 years old when he had a son called Shelah. 13Arfaxad lived for 403 years after he had Shelah, and he had more sons and daughters.#Genesis 10:24; Luke 3:35-36
14Shelah was 30 years old when he had a son called Eber. 15Shelah lived for 403 years after he had Eber, and he had more sons and daughters.
16Eber was 34 years old when he had a son called Peleg. 17Eber lived for 430 years after he had Peleg, and he had more sons and daughters.
18Peleg was 30 years old when he had a son called Reyu. 19Peleg lived for 209 years after he had Reyu, and he had more sons and daughters.
20Reyu was 32 years old when he had a son called Serug. 21Reyu lived for 207 years after he had Serug, and he had more sons and daughters.
22Serug was 30 years old when he had a son called Nahor. 23Serug lived for 200 years after he had Nahor, and he had more sons and daughters.
24Nahor was 29 years old when he had a son called Terah. 25Nahor lived for 119 years after he had Terah, and he had more sons and daughters.
26Terah had 3 sons after he was 70 years old. Their names were Abram, Nahor and Haran.
The story of Terah’s family
27This is the story about Terah’s family. Terah had 3 sons, called Abram, and Nahor, and Haran.
Haran had a son called Lot. 28-29And he also had 2 daughters called Milcah and Iscah. After that, Haran died, while his father, Terah, was still alive. He died in Ur, in Chaldia country, the place where he was born.
Nahor, Haran’s brother, married Milcah. And Abram married a woman called Sarai, 30but Abram and Sarai didn’t have any kids. Sarai just couldn’t have a baby.
31Then Terah went away from Ur, in Chaldia country, and he took some of his family with him. They were his son Abram, and Abram’s wife Sarai, and his grand-son Lot. They all left Ur, and they started to go to the country called Canaan. But they stopped half-way, at a place called Haran, and they stayed there.
32Terah lived until he was 205 years old. Then he died there in Haran.
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