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Chapter 11 begins with a prideful people trying to preserve their name and build a monument to themselves that would reach to heaven. (I suspect this may be where the saying "pride cometh before a fall" came from!) Then the chapter ends with the genealogy of Shem: ten generations, ending with Terah and his three sons Abram, Nahor and Haram.

THE TOWER OF BABEL

Did you ever think about how much pride these people who lived in the land of Shinar had? So much they built a city and a tower "whose top may reach unto heaven." They wanted to make a name for themselves. I'm afraid many a fall has been had by people trying to "make a name for themselves."

Matthew 23:12 "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted."

The bible is clear on this; we are not to lift ourselves in high esteem but, rather, humble ourselves before others; then we may be exalted. The Tower of Babel was made of mud and bricks. Most bible scholars believe it was shaped like a pyramid but with the sides recessed at intervals. In the picture above, "The Tower of Babylon" taken by Chris Queant just 3 years ago, we see a tower with a round shape getting smaller as it ascends. At intervals in these towers there were temples where images of the people's false gods were kept and religious ceremonies were held.

God came down to see what the people were doing. How silly and vain this must have looked to Him! God's reaction was to scatter the people and stop their foolish notions. He confused their language so that they could no longer understand each other. Thus the name "Babel": to confuse. Babel is also the Hebrew name for Babylon. This was the beginning of the wicked city of Babylon.

Chapter 11 ends with the genealogy of Shem. This is the line leading to Abram, or as he was later called, Abraham. These chapters (1-11) are sometimes referred to as the primeval history section of Genesis. Chapters 12-50 being the patriarchal history section. Genesis 11:27-32 is a bridge linking the first section to the second. These verses introduce the people who begin the patriarchal section. They are: Abram (Abraham), his wife Sarai (Sarah), his brother Nahor, his nephew Lot, and his father Terah. They all left Ur of the Chaldees and moved 500 miles up the Euphrates River to a city called Haran.




FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Do you think the people were capable of building a tower that would reach all the way to heaven?

If not, why did God feel it was necessary to scatter them?

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