Genesis 11

The story of the Tower of Babel is a curious one. The stated purpose was to build:

a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.

With the whole world being one ethne with one language, why did they need to make a name for themselves? There was no other nation(s) for them the compete with and gain a reputation. The only other name with which they could compete was the Name of God. And so the actions which God took consequently make a lot more sense!

Mankind’s history of preoccupation with towers is a dramatic story. From the unfinished Babel to the destroyed World Trade Centre to the credit-trouble city of Dubai, we can’t seem to help but use towers to get into trouble as much as we use them to show what we can do. I’m not saying that God’s behind September 11, I don’t think He is. I don’t think God’s behind Dubai’s problems either, the model on which Dubai is built was flawed from the start. But on our human end of the action, perhaps we could learn a thing or two about what’s really worth pursuing. Towers don’t seem to work out for us, much as they are an efficient use of land. Anyway. It’s interesting to think about at least.

The rest of the chapter is a genealogy list from Shem to Abram, where life spans progressively wind down to the 120 years God stated would be the limit of man’s life after the flood.

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