Genesis

The Fall of Babel

   Genesis 9 narrates the curse Noah puts on Ham for viewing him naked in his tent. The descendants of Ham (called the descendants of Canaan, Ham's son), are to be the lowest of slaves. Because his sons Shem and Japheth cover their father's nakedness, Noah blesses them and their descendants, giving them the sons of Ham as slaves. Genesis 10 lists the descendants of the three sons of Noah which make up the three great races: the Japhethites (sons of Japheth), the Hamites (sons of Ham), and the Semites (the sons of Shem). "From these the nations spread out over the earth after the flood."


The Tower of Babel

Chapter 11: 1 Now all the earth had one language and the words were common [to all].
2 And men moved east, and they found a plain in the land of Shinar 1 and they settled there.
3 And they said to each other, each to their fellow, "Come. Let us make bricks, and let us bake them with fire." They used brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar.
4 Then they said, "Come. Let us build a city for ourselves, and a tower, the top of which reaches the heavens. So let us make a name for ourselves lest we be scattered over the face of the entire earth."
5 But Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built,
6 And Yahweh said, "See! The people are one and their language is the same for all of them. And now they have begun to do this; in the future nothing that they plan to do will be impossible for them.
7 Come. Let us go down and let us confuse their language so that they will not understand each other's language, each will not understand their fellow."
8 So Yahweh scattered them from there over the face of the entire earth, and they stopped building the city.
9 Because of this, the name of the city is called "Babel," 2 because Yahweh confused the language of the entire world, and Yahweh scattered them from there over the face of the entire world.

Translated from the Hebrew by Richard Hooker (1994)


ENDNOTES

1 Babylonia
2 The word sounds like the Hebrew word, "to confuse."




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1996, Richard Hooker
Updated 2-17-97