And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years
Genesis 11 introduces at least three vital truths.
The first is this: unchecked human pride eventually leads to spiritual disaster. The builders of the Tower of Babel wanted to make a name for themselves.(verse 4) Rather than glorifying God and God alone, they desired to glorify themselves.
Secondly the Babel builders rejected the explicit Word of God. He promised that this world would never be destroyed by a flood again. When God confused their speech the human race lost one of its common unifying factors-language, Disobedience brings division. Unity comes from obeying God not disregarding His commands.
There is one more important truth in this chapter. It is found in Shem’s genealogy. Genesis 11 traces the lineage of Noah’s sons and ultimately focuses on Shem. Abraham is born of Shem’s line. Israel proceeds from the family tree of Abraham and eventually through this line the Messiah is born. Centuries in advance, God had a plan for Abraham and his descendants. God is never caught by surprise. He is planning for your future today.
- Mark Finley