Universal Language, Babel, Confusion
1Now the whole earth #Lit was one lip.spoke one language and used the same words (vocabulary). 2And as people journeyed eastward, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and they settled there. 3They said one to another, “Come, let us make bricks and fire them thoroughly [in a kiln, to harden and strengthen them].” So they used brick for stone [as building material], and they used tar (bitumen, asphalt) for mortar. 4They said, “Come, let us build a city for ourselves, and a tower whose top will reach into the heavens, and let us make a [famous] name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered [into separate groups] and be dispersed over the surface of the entire earth [as the Lord instructed].” 5Now the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one [unified] people, and they all have the same language. This is only the beginning of what they will do [in rebellion against Me], and now no evil thing they imagine they can do will be impossible for them. 7Come, let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) go down and there confuse and mix up their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the surface of the entire earth; and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore the name of the city was #The word “Babel” is similar to the word “confuse” (Heb balal), but not identical.Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the entire earth; and from that place the Lord scattered and dispersed them over the surface of all the earth.
Descendants of Shem
10These are the records of the generations of Shem [from whom Abraham descended]. Shem was a hundred years old when he became the father of Arpachshad, two years after the flood. 11And Shem lived five hundred years after Arpachshad was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
12When Arpachshad had lived thirty-five years, he became the father of Shelah. 13Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after Shelah was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
14When Shelah had lived thirty years, he became the father of Eber. 15Shelah lived four hundred and three years after Eber was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
16When Eber had lived thirty-four years, he became the father of Peleg. 17And Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after Peleg was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
18When Peleg had lived thirty years, he became the father of Reu. 19And Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after Reu was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
20When Reu had lived thirty-two years, he became the father of Serug. 21And Reu lived two hundred and seven years after Serug was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
22When Serug had lived thirty years, he became the father of Nahor. 23And Serug lived two hundred years after Nahor was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
24When Nahor had lived twenty-nine years, he became the father of Terah. 25And Nahor lived a hundred and nineteen years after Terah was born, and he had other sons and daughters.
26After Terah had lived seventy years, he became the father of #Abram (Abraham) is mentioned first because of his importance, not his birth order.Abram and Nahor and Haran [his firstborn].
27Now these are the records of the descendants of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram (Abraham), Nahor, and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot. 28Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in #Abram’s home town was Ur of the Chaldeans. As the result of extensive archeological excavations there in 1922-34, a great deal is known about Abram’s background. The house of the average middle-class person had from ten to twenty rooms and measured forty to fifty-two feet; the lower floor was for servants, the upper floor for the family, with five rooms for their use; additionally, there was a guest chamber and a lavatory reserved for visitors, and a private chapel. A school was found and what the students studied was shown by the clay tablets discovered there. In the days of Abram the pupils had reading, writing, and arithmetic as today. They learned the multiplication and division tables and even worked at square and cube roots. A bill of lading of about 2040 b.c. (about the era in which Abram is believed to have lived) showed that the commerce of that time was far-reaching. Even the name “Abraham” has been found on the excavated clay tablets.Ur of the Chaldeans. 29Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai (later called Sarah), and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30But Sarai was barren; she did not have a child.
31Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together to go from Ur of the Chaldeans into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran [about five hundred and fifty miles northwest of Ur], they settled there. 32Terah lived two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.
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The Languages Confused
1At this time the whole world spoke one language, and everyone used the same words. 2As people moved from the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.
3They said to each other, “Let’s make bricks and bake them to make them hard.” So they used bricks instead of stones, and tar instead of mortar. 4Then they said to each other, “Let’s build a city and a tower for ourselves, whose top will reach high into the sky. We will become famous. Then we will not be scattered over all the earth.”
5The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. 6The Lord said, “Now, these people are united, all speaking the same language. This is only the beginning of what they will do. They will be able to do anything they want. 7Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not be able to understand each other.”
8So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9The place is called Babel since that is where the Lord confused the language of the whole world. So the Lord caused them to spread out from there over the whole world.
The Story of Shem’s Family
10This is the family history of Shem. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, his son Arphaxad was born. 11After that, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
12When Arphaxad was 35 years old, his son Shelah was born. 13After that, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
14When Shelah was 30 years old, his son Eber was born. 15After that, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
16When Eber was 34 years old, his son Peleg was born. 17After that, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
18When Peleg was 30 years old, his son Reu was born. 19After that, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
20When Reu was 32 years old, his son Serug was born. 21After that, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
22When Serug was 30 years old, his son Nahor was born. 23After that, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
24When Nahor was 29 years old, his son Terah was born. 25After that, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
26After Terah was 70 years old, his sons Abram, Nahor, and Haran were born.
The Story of Terah’s Family
27This is the family history of Terah. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot. 28While his father, Terah, was still alive, Haran died in Ur in Babylonia, where he was born. 29Abram and Nahor both married. Abram’s wife was named Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was named Milcah. She was the daughter of Haran, who was the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30Sarai was not able to have children.
31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai (Abram’s wife) and moved out of Ur of Babylonia. They had planned to go to the land of Canaan, but when they reached the city of Haran, they settled there.
32Terah lived to be 205 years old, and then he died in Haran.
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