Genesis Chapter 11
1 The whole earth was of one language and of one speech.
2 As they travelled from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they lived there.
3 They said to one another, "Come, let's make bricks, and burn them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.
4 They said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let's make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth."
5 The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built.
6 The LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do.
7 Come, let's go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there on the surface of all the earth. They stopped building the city.
9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. From there, the LORD scattered them abroad on the surface of all the earth.
10 This is the history of the generations of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old when he became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood.
11 Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
12 Arpachshad lived thirty-five years and became the father of Shelah.
13 Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Shelah, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
14 Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber.
15 Shelah lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Eber, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
16 Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg.
17 Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
18 Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu.
19 Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after he became the father of Reu, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
20 Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug.
21 Reu lived two hundred and seven years after he became the father of Serug, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
22 Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nahor.
23 Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nahor, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
24 Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah.
25 Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and became the father of more sons and daughters.
26 Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 Now this is the history of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot.
28 Haran died in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldees, while his father Terah was still alive.
29 Abram and Nahor married wives. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, who was also the father of Iscah.
30 Sarai was barren. She had no child.
31 Terah took Abram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife. They went from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan. They came to Haran and lived there.
32 The days of Terah were two hundred and five years. Terah died in Haran.
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Genesis Chapter 11 Guide
In this chapter we have the account of a human movement against dispersion. The movement was one of rebellion and was frustrated by divine interposition. The divine intention was the covering of the whole earth. The human action was in opposition to that, as men said, "Lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
This rebellious purpose was frustrated by the confusion of tongues. Necessarily belief in this story demands belief in the possibility of God's direct intervention in the affairs of men by what we sometimes speak of as supernatural methods. Any argument which is valid against the story of the confusion of tongues at Babel is equally valid against the account of the gift of tongues at Pentecost.
In this chapter we find the history narrowed. The lines of development through Ham and Japheth are omitted and the generations of Shem are given. This marks the selection of that branch of the race from which a man is to be chosen, out of whose loins a new nation is to spring, from which the great Deliverer will come.
In the last section of the chapter we have an account of the movement toward the adoption of a simple faith as the one law of life. Terah moved from Ur of the Chaldees. It is not stated that this was in response to a faith. The fact, however, that it was in the direction of the divine intention would suggest that it was so. Carefully observe these words, however, "And Terah ... went forth ... to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there." It is the record of a start in a right direction which lacked persistence. Terah paused half way and dwelt at Haran until he died. The true man of faith is seen acting so far under the influence of his father; and bound by the earthly tie he abode with him in Haran.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.