The tower of Babel
1At first everyone spoke the same language, 2but after some of them moved from the east#11.2 from the east: Or “to the east”. and settled in Babylonia,#11.2 Babylonia: See the note at 10.6-20. 3-4they said:
Let's build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We'll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We'll become famous, and we won't be scattered all over the world.
5But when the LORD came down to look at the city and the tower, 6he said:
These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7Come on! Let's go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won't be able to understand each other.
8-9So the people had to stop building the city, because the LORD confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That's how the city of Babel#11.8,9 Babel: In Hebrew “Babel” sounds like “confused”. got its name.
The descendants of Shem
10-11Two years after the flood, when Shem was one hundred, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of six hundred. This is a list of his descendants:
12When Arpachshad was thirty-five, he had a son named Shelah. 13Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of four hundred and thirty-eight.
14When Shelah was thirty, he had a son named Eber. 15Shelah had more children and died at the age of four hundred and thirty-three.
16When Eber was thirty-four, he had a son named Peleg. 17Eber had more children and died at the age of four hundred and sixty-four.
18When Peleg was thirty, he had a son named Reu. 19Peleg had more children and died at the age of two hundred and thirty-nine.
20When Reu was thirty-two he had a son named Serug. 21Reu had more children and died at the age of two hundred and thirty-nine.
22When Serug was thirty, he had a son named Nahor. 23Serug had more children and died at the age of two hundred and thirty.
24When Nahor was twenty-nine, he had a son named Terah. 25Nahor had more children and died at the age of one hundred and forty-eight.
The descendants of Terah
26-28After Terah was seventy years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah's sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea,#11.26-28 Ur in Chaldea: Chaldea was a region at the head of the Persian Gulf. Ur was on the main trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea. and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah's descendants.
29-30Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have any children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.
31Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran,#11.31 Haran: About 885 kilometres north-west of Ur. they decided to settle there instead. 32Terah lived to be two hundred and five years old and died in Haran.
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© British and Foreign Bible Society 2012