Notes on Genesis 11
Gen 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
I don't know what the one language was. I would venture to guess, Hebrew but I
could be wrong. It is getting closer to the time when the earth will again be
one language and one speech. The language barriers are being torn down. Will we
use it for good or evil?
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 mortar.
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.
Is it wrong to build cities and towers? It could be that this unity was not for
good purposes. Perhaps they wanted to build a structure high enough to escape
another flood. This would have showed rebellion against God and unbelief because
God promised not to sent one. This most probably though was a false religious
system. There must be something more to this than we see on the surface. Other
references tell us that Nimrod is the one who had this tower built in rebellion
against God. I read where Nimrod was killed perhaps by one of the wild beasts he
fought. His wife became pregnant and declared her son Tammaz to be the
reincarnation of Nimrod. This began the Babylonian mother and child image that
was worshipped long before Christ. She may have tried to make people believe her
son was the promised Messiah. How much of this is true, I don't know. We are at
the mercy of historians and other writers. However, I wouldn't put it past Satan
to try to bring in a false Messiah before the real one came along. In the latter
days a false Messiah will come on the scene so why not before Christ also?
We see though that God eventually breaks up false religious systems. He may even
break up Christian religions also to keep us from getting too big and taking
over governments instead of preaching the gospel that saves the soul.
What we see for sure in these passages is, "Let us make a name for ourselves."
This is the beginning of apostasy and false religious systems. We tend to want
to make a name for ourselves. We want to get big and create big organizations in
the name of the Lord. It is not wrong to have large churches because we grow
bigger when we need more space to meet and worship God but instead of trying to
just get people into our own space, why not spread the gospel all over the world
and start small churches all over. We don't have to make a name for ourselves,
boasting of our large numbers. Our goal should be to spread the message of the
gospel even if it doesn't benefit our own local church. The whole world needs to
hear the gospel which is:
Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved
Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
Luk 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his
name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem
If doing this makes our church grow, that is great but if we grow in souls
whether or not they ever attend our own local body, that should be our
Some people get upset over the many different denominations, saying division is
not of God. I wonder though, how do we know that? I know our local congregations
need to be made one in love in order have God's will in our mist but sometimes
division is of God. If we all joined into one church with one head of the church
and that head is not Christ but some man, we would get very big but sooner or
later, we would take over governments and use force to spread our religion
instead of preaching the gospel of repentance. If we stay small, we have less
money and less power in this world but we would have to depend more on God to
survive. The only numbers we need to be concerned with is the number of souls
saved from sin whether or not we receive any material benefit.
Unbelievers, may ask, how would we know the real from the false? We shall know
them by their fruits. Very rarely will a false Messiah sacrifice himself but
rather will sacrifice others in his place. A true Messiah is not going to hide
in the mountains and send innocent children to their deaths by encouraging them
to strap bombs to themselves to blow up Jews. A true Messiah would encourage us
to love one another and love God with all our hearts. Many old false religious
systems had child sacrifices, torture, forced conversions, mysterious rites,
secrets and other things that is contrary to the bible and what God really
stands for. A true Messiah will want to save the lost from the sin that
separates them from God. If someone had to die as a sacrifice for those sins, a
true Messiah would give himself.
The devil steals, kills and destroys and his followers will do the same. Jesus
came that we may have life and have the living water within us. The well of
living water will spring up and we will inherit eternal life. This is available
to men and women, children and adults, rich and poor, bond and free, and is
available to all races, not one being inferior to another. Women are welcome.
Jesus ministered to women. He cared for women as well as men. He didn't leave
them out. A religion that makes women dependent upon a man for her salvation is
not a true religion. Women can be filled with the Holy Spirit as well as men.
Joe 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit
upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men
shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Joe 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I
pour out my spirit.
Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the
children of men 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.
We see God causing the first great division. If we are united in evil, we need
to be stopped. If we try to set up God's kingdom before His comes by the use of
force or military might, we are not doing God's will. If we didn't have separate
denominations and churches, this is what we would end up doing. How do I know? I
read church history.
Being one with Christ and in the same mind and one accord doesn't mean that we
have to all join the same church and have one head with a hierarchy. I can
accept my Baptist neighbors as brothers and sisters in the Lord, without having
them join my church. I literally do have Baptist neighbors by the way. I
would hope they accept me as a fellow Christian even if I don't go to their
Gen 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they
may not understand one another's speech.
Who is God talking to here? He said, let us go down. It had to be either angels
or Jesus. Perhaps both for Jesus existed long before He became man.
I don't believe God stopped something innocent here. I often wonder what it was
that God was putting a stop to. There will come a time when God will stop
mankind again from crossing bounds that are not to be crossed.
That must have been a time of great confusion for a while but it seems as if God
allowed certain groups to speak the same language so that they would not be
divided not be completely alone.
Gen 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all
the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Gen 11:9 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.
This is different from the tongues given on the day of Pentecost because when
one speaks in tongues by the Holy Spirit they do not lose their ability to
understand and speak their own native language. Here at Babel, they seemed to
have lost their ability to communicate with one another and had to scatter all
over the world in groups.
Before the literal return of Jesus Christ, we can't have total unity. Man has
proven himself too weak and vulnerable to being lifted up in pride. We tend to
rob God of glory when we get too big. I'm not against church growth but
something happens when we get so big and powerful. Church and State has to
remain separate until that which is perfect has come and that is Jesus Christ.
This tower of Babel represented a false unity. It was a unity against God. True
unity will not exalt one person above another. It may be hard for some to
believe but there should be no difference between clergy and laity, a bishop and
a minister or even a lay minister. The whole feet washing incident with Jesus
and His disciples was to show us humility and that we are the same in Christ.
Unity is being in the same mind and one accord in the spreading of the gospel.
It doesn't mean all join one large church with a leader, under him bishops and
elders and under him others and the laity being on the bottom of a big totem
No religious system should be set up that makes people dependent upon man for
salvation. Man has no business getting in the way between and individual and
Jesus Christ. Never should we forsake the assembling of ourselves together with
other believers but this is not confined to any one denomination or church
organization. We can meet in homes or church buildings. It makes no difference
as long as Jesus is held as the head and no man or woman is exalted above Him or
stands in between Him and the individual believer. We can intercede for other
believers in prayer with the same mind and one accord but we are not to do the
praying for them all the time but encourage them to learn to pray to God
themselves. A true minister brings people to Christ for salvation, not become a
go medium between that person and God. We want to bring people to God, not
If a person lived in a remote area where there was no church, he or she should
be able to live for God and stay near to Him. It is not the best way but God's
salvation is individual. It is being born again by the spirit that saves, not
being baptized into a church or joining a church.
Now we have the genealogy or line of Abraham from which comes the promised
Messiah that is to be a light to the Gentiles as well as the Jews.
Gen 11:10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was a hundred years old, and
begot Arphaxad two years after the flood:
Gen 11:11 And Shem lived after he begot Arphaxad five hundred years, and begot
sons and daughters.
Gen 11:12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begot Salah:
Gen 11:13 And Arphaxad lived after he begot Salah four hundred and three years,
and begot sons and daughters.
Gen 11:14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber:
Gen 11:15 And Salah lived after he begot Eber four hundred and three years, and
begot sons and daughters.
Gen 11:16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begot Peleg:
Gen 11:17 And Eber lived after he begot Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and
begot sons and daughters.
Gen 11:18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu:
Gen 11:19 And Peleg lived after he begot Reu two hundred and nine years, and
begot sons and daughters.
Gen 11:20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begot Serug:
Gen 11:21 And Reu lived after he begot Serug two hundred and seven years, and
begot sons and daughters.
Gen 11:22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor:
Gen 11:23 And Serug lived after he begot Nahor two hundred years, and begot sons
Gen 11:24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begot Terah:
Gen 11:25 And Nahor lived after he begot Terah a hundred and nineteen years, and
begot sons and daughters.
Gen 11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Gen 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and
Haran; and Haran begot Lot.
Gen 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in
Ur of the Chaldees.
So we see some of Shem's descendants came from the area of Babylon as well as
the whole human race. They were scattered from Babel unto different parts of the
earth. The line of Shem through which came Abraham was from the Ur of the
Gen 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them 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 the father of Iscah.
Gen 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Gen 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son,
and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with
them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto
Haran, and dwelt there.
Haran is close to what is Syria today so we see some of Abraham's kin settled in
that area while Abraham and Lot went further south into the land of Canaan.
Gen 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah
died in Haran.
Abraham didn't depart from Haran until the death of his father, Terah. Although
the lives of men were considerable shorter, they still lived longer than men do
today. Disease and inherited disease had not yet totally increased in the line
The bible does not give us all genealogies of men but concentrates on those
that leads to the Messiah that is to save the world from the sin that separates
them from God. We see through Abraham the hope of all mankind to have eternal
life. After Jesus Christ came years later, genealogy records were no longer
recorded in the bible. The purpose had been fulfilled by then to show us how
Christ fulfills all the law and is the one God promised to send to us in Genesis
3:15. I'm not totally against researching genealogy but there may be a
good reason that it is no longer important in the bible. Now it doesn't
matter who our ancestors were, through Christ we can inherit eternal life and
become a child of God.
Both Moses and the prophets wrote of Him. David prophesied of Him. His name is
Jesus or Yeshua. This is the Son of God, Christ, Messiah and savior. The
only bridge between God and man. There is no other way to receive eternal