Children’s Study – The City of Babel

The City of Babel

by Victor Torres

Today we will look at the story of the city of Babel. This story is directly connected to what happened to Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth and their descendants. But before we do that, let’s look at God’s command to them after they got out of the ark.

Gen 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Gen 9:7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”

So God commanded the three sons of Noah to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth with humans again.

Gen 9:18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
Gen 9:19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

When we read Gen 9:19, it looks like Shem, Ham and Japheth did what the Lord told them to do. But let’s see what really happened:

Gen 10:1 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.
Gen 10:2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
Gen 10:3 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
Gen 10:4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Gen 10:5 From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.
Gen 10:6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan.
Gen 10:7 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan.
Gen 10:8 Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man.
Gen 10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.”
Gen 10:10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
Gen 10:11 From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and
Gen 10:12 Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.
Gen 10:13 Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim,
Gen 10:14 Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom the Philistines came), and Caphtorim.
Gen 10:15 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth,
Gen 10:16 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites,
Gen 10:17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites,
Gen 10:18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed.
Gen 10:19 And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
Gen 10:20 These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.
Gen 10:21 To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born.
Gen 10:22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram.
Gen 10:23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash.
Gen 10:24 Arpachshad fathered Shelah; and Shelah fathered Eber.
Gen 10:25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan.
Gen 10:26 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah,
Gen 10:27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah,
Gen 10:28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba,
Gen 10:29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.
Gen 10:30 The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east.
Gen 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.
Gen 10:32 These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

I highlighted some things in chapter 10 because they provide the background to the story of the city of Babel.

We saw that it was in the time of Peleg, the great-grandson of Shem, that the earth was divided.

Gen 10:25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan.

Why would God tell us that? Was there a time that the whole earth was not divided? Actually, there was, before the time of Peleg:

Gen 11:1 (KJV) And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

The first verse of Genesis 11 confirms to us that Noah’s family had one language and one speech in the beginning, after the flood. This is in contrast to the people who had different languages after they were scattered all over the earth.

Gen 10:5 From these [the sons of Japheth] the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

Gen 10:20 These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

Gen 10:31 These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

Let’s continue reading Genesis 11:

Gen 11:2 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.
Gen 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
Gen 11:4 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.
Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.
Gen 11:6 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.

The LORD said, “Behold (behold means pay attention!), the people is one”.   In other words they did not only have one language, they were also united with what they were doing. If we look back at Gen 11:1

Gen 11:1 (KJV) And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

The words translated language and speech there are two different Hebrew words.

The first one translated “language” comes from the Hebrew word saphah.

H8193
שֶׂפֶת   שָׂפָה
śâphâh   śepheth
saw-faw’, sef-eth’

(The second form is in dual and plural); Probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490); the lip (as a natural boundary); by implication language; by analogy a margin (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.): – band, bank, binding, border, brim, brink, edge, language, lip, prating, ([sea-]) shore, side, speech, talk, [vain] words.

The second one translated “speech” comes from the Hebrew word dabar

H1697
דָּבָר
dâbâr
daw-bawr’

From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) of thing; adverbially a cause: – act, advice, affair, answer, X any such (thing), + because of, book, business, care, case, cause, certain rate, + chronicles, commandment, X commune (-ication), + concern [-ing], + confer, counsel, + dearth, decree, deed, X disease, due, duty, effect, + eloquent, errand, [evil favoured-] ness, + glory, + harm, hurt, + iniquity, + judgment, language, + lying, manner, matter, message, [no] thing, oracle, X ought, X parts, + pertaining, + please, portion, + power, promise, provision, purpose, question, rate, reason, report, request, X (as hast) said, sake, saying, sentence, + sign, + so, some [uncleanness], somewhat to say, + song, speech, X spoken, talk, task, + that, X there done, thing (concerning), thought, + thus, tidings, what [-soever], + wherewith, which, word, work.

Total KJV occurrences: 1438

The main difference with these two words is that saphah or language is mainly talking about things that we say, and dabar or speech includes the way we act.

The sons of Noah were obedient to God in being fruitful, in having children and filling the earth. But there came a time, a few generations after them, in the days of Peleg, everyone decided to stop doing that and do this instead:

Gen 11:2 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.
Gen 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
Gen 11:4 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.

Name is Bible code word for nature. Our name is our earthy nature. Our nature is to please ourselves and disobey God. So the people were united in disobeying God, and what they were really saying in those 3 verses above is “let’s just stay here in Shinar and build a city and a tower instead of going all over the earth and have children there”.

Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built.
Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
Gen 11:7 Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
Gen 11:8 So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
Gen 11:9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

Now we see that just a few generations after the sons of Noah, the people obeyed their nature first, they did what they wanted to do instead of obeying God. And for that they got punished, but this punishment paved the way for God’s will to be done, they were dispersed or scattered over the face of all the earth and they filled the earth with people.

So that is what Babel means – confusion. The story of the city of Babel is a very important story if you know that it’s where the word Babylon comes from. Babylon is all of the religions of the world that is against God. It is not only the Catholics or the many protestant denominations but Babylon also includes any church that teaches anything against what the Bible teaches.

Psa 35:26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.

Isa 41:29 Behold, they are all vanity; their works are nothing: their molten images [the idols of their heart, their false beliefs] are wind and confusion.

There is so much confusion in these churches because of their false beliefs. I used to belong to one of the churches of Babylon, and I got very confused by their teachings.

My former church teach not to celebrate Christmas and Halloween because they came from pagan religions, but they still celebrate birthdays and New Year’s day even though these traditions also came from pagan religions. In fact, birthdays are the most important holiday in the Satanic bible. Here’s an excerpt from wikipedia:

According to the Satanic Bible, the primary holiday within LaVeyan Satanism is one’s own birthday. Walpurgisnacht is also a major holiday within LaVeyan Satanism and marks the anniversary of the founding of the Church of Satan, where the folklore surrounding the holiday (Hexennacht [Dutch: heksennacht; literally “Witches’ Night”]) is embraced. Halloween is considered a significant holiday and is “…celebrated as a time when one’s inner-self might be explored through the use of a costume, or one might recall those of importance in one’s life who have died — as was done on that night in European tradition”. Since LaVeyan Satanism embraces nature, the seasonal turning points of the Spring equinox, Summer solstice, Autumn equinox and Winter solstice are also acknowledged. Yule may also be celebrated in conjunction with the winter solstice (or in place of Christmas), and is seen as a time of indulgence and other festivities where the images of the Yule Goat and Krampus might be embraced.

Isn’t this what birthdays and all these traditions of men is all about? They are all about a time of indulgence, of pleasing ourselves, rather than pleasing God.

My former church also teaches that God is merciful and kind, but at the same time they teach God will burn unbelieving people without end (including babies who have never even heard of Jesus Christ, much less heard about their church).

How utterly confusing is that?

The Bible teaches that God will have mercy upon all:

Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

It is God who has concluded the people in the time of Noah in unbelief. It is God who concluded the people in the time of Peleg to disobey Him and build the city and tower of Babel instead. It is also God who has concluded all those people that belong to Babylon to not believe Him. He did this not to burn them without mercy for all eternity, He did this so that He might have mercy upon all.

These false churches of Babylon cause so much evil in the world that God calls His chosen people to get out of them:

Rev 18:4 (ERV) Then I heard another voice from heaven say, “Come out of that city [Babel/Babylon], my people, so that you will not share in her sins. Then you will not suffer any of the terrible punishment she will get.

I am thankful to God that He has dragged me out of my former church and has put me into His true church, the body of Christ. But I also know that these people are only acting out of their own nature, like the people who built the city of Babel. They are just pleasing themselves, loving themselves and their families in their own way. But unknowingly, they are disobeying God in the process.

They will be punished for their sins, but in time, God will also be merciful to them and give them a new name, a new nature:

Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

1Co 15:49 And according as we bore the image [the nature, the name] of the earthy man, we shall also bear the image [the nature, the name] of the heavenly Man.
1Co 15:50 And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
1Co 15:51 Behold [pay attention!], I speak a mystery to you [I am telling you a secret]; we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed;

Let’s finish up chapter 11 where we are introduced to two very significant figures in the Bible: Abraham and Lot.

Gen 11:10 These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood.
Gen 11:11 And Shem lived after he fathered Arpachshad 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:12 When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he fathered Shelah.
Gen 11:13 And Arpachshad lived after he fathered Shelah 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber.
Gen 11:15 And Shelah lived after he fathered Eber 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he fathered Peleg.
Gen 11:17 And Eber lived after he fathered Peleg 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he fathered Reu.
Gen 11:19 And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug.
Gen 11:21 And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he fathered Nahor.
Gen 11:23 And Serug lived after he fathered Nahor 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he fathered Terah.
Gen 11:25 And Nahor lived after he fathered Terah 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:26 When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Gen 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot.
Gen 11:28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
Gen 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah.
Gen 11:30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Gen 11:31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Gen 11:32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

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