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. 7Let's go down and confuse them! We'll make them speak different languages, and 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 100, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of 600. This is a list of his descendants:
12When Arpachshad was 35, he had a son named Shelah. 13Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of 438.
14When Shelah was 30, he had a son named Eber. 15Shelah had more children and died at the age of 433.
16When Eber was 34, he had a son named Peleg. 17Eber had more children and died at the age of 464.
18When Peleg was 30, he had a son named Reu. 19Peleg had more children and died at the age of 239.
20When Reu was 32 he had a son named Serug. 21Reu had more children and died at the age of 239.
22When Serug was 30, he had a son named Nahor. 23Serug had more children and died at the age of 230.
24When Nahor was 29, he had a son named Terah. 25Nahor had more children and died at the age of 148.
The Descendants of Terah
26-28After Terah was 70 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 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 kilometers northwest of Ur. they settled there instead. 32Terah lived to be 205 years old and died in Haran.
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Origin of languages and cultures
1All people#11.1 Heb lacks people. on the earth had one language and the same words. 2When they traveled east,#11.2 Or from the east they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them hard.” They used bricks for stones and asphalt for mortar. 4They said, “Come, let’s build for ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and let’s make a name for ourselves so that we won’t be dispersed over all the earth.”
5Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the humans built. 6And the LORD said, “There is now one people and they all have one language. This is what they have begun to do, and now all that they plan to do will be possible for them. 7Come, let’s go down and mix up their language there so they won’t understand each other’s language.” 8Then the LORD dispersed them from there over all of the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore, it is named Babel, because there the LORD mixed up#11.9 Heb balal, wordplay on Babel the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD dispersed them over all the earth.
10These are Shem’s descendants.
When Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arpachshad, two years after the flood. 11After Arpachshad was born, Shem lived 500 years; he had other sons and daughters.
12When Arpachshad was 35 years old, he became the father of Shelah. 13After Shelah was born, Arpachshad lived 403 years; he had other sons and daughters.
14When Shelah was 30 years old, he became the father of Eber. 15After Eber was born, Shelah lived 403 years; he had other sons and daughters.
16When Eber was 34 years old, he became the father of Peleg. 17After Peleg was born, Eber lived 430 years; he had other sons and daughters.
18When Peleg was 30 years old, he became the father of Reu. 19After Reu was born, Peleg lived 209 years; he had other sons and daughters.
20When Reu was 32 years old, he became the father of Serug. 21After Serug was born, Reu lived 207 years; he had other sons and daughters.
22When Serug was 30 years old, he became the father of Nahor. 23After Nahor was born, Serug lived 200 years; he had other sons and daughters.
24When Nahor was 29 years old, he became the father of Terah. 25After Terah was born, Nahor lived 119 years; he had other sons and daughters.
26When Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27These are Terah’s descendants. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot. 28Haran died while with his father Terah in his native land,#11.28 Or birthplace in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29Abram and Nahor both married; Abram’s wife was Sarai, and Nahor’s wife was Milcah the daughter of Haran, father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30Sarai was unable to have children. 31Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (son of Haran), and his son Abram’s wife, Sarai his daughter-in-law. They left Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan, and arriving at Haran, they settled there. 32Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.
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