We will begin this lesson today in chapter 11 of Genesis 11:1 “And the
whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.”
We know that when Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth were on the ark, all the
people of the earth, eight, truly did speak the same language. As we have
said before, the Bible was not written in chronological order. At what point
in history Chapter 11 verse 1 occurred, is hard to say. This was, probably,
an explanation of some of the things we have read in the previous chapter.
Details very often overlap in the Bible.
Genesis 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.”
This “They”, that was spoken of above, means the descendents of Ham
that we read about in the last lesson. We learned in our last lesson that
the descendents of Nimrod settled in Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh, which
was in the area of the tower of Babel. This area was in the land of Shinar.
Japheth’s children scattered, and even went to the islands, we learned
two lessons ago. It seemed the group that did not want to scatter was Ham’s
descendents. I believe that was the group that built the tower of Babel.
Genesis 11:3 “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
Verse 3 was, probably, the first mention in the Bible about people
making brick for building. It must have been very similar to the brick we
use today. They even baked them, as we do.
Genesis 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.”
These people were not interested in following what God told them to do
(scatter). They were defiant, doing exactly the opposite. They were seeking
worldly fame. Probably, the heaven that they were speaking of was the
immediate heaven that they could see with their natural eyes. Many teachers
and historians believe they built a zigarut like similar structures which
were built in adjoining towns. The Bible was not clear on this. It just
spoke of a very tall tower.
Jesus is the way to heaven, anyone who tries to get to heaven any other
way, but through Jesus, is a thief and a robber.
Genesis 11:5 “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower,
which the children of men builded.”
You notice in the Scripture above, that God called them children of
men. they were followers of the flesh, and not the spirit. Whatever felt
good, they did, following their fleshly lust.
Genesis 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.”
These people remind me of little children. One child will not get into
much trouble, but when you add the second child, they get into ten times as
These people had evil hearts with every evil imagination. The fact that
they spoke the same language, made it much easier for them to work together.
Working together, people can accomplish more than working as individuals.
Even today, if the Russian and American common people could sit down
and talk together in the same language, we would find that we have many
things in common. They love their families, just as we do; they want a
peaceful world, just as we do. You see, the heads of government are the ones
who have many problems, seeking power.
These people working together were not good, because Nimrod’s
descendents followed false gods. Whatever they did would be bad, because
their hearts were evil.
Genesis 11:7 “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language,
that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
God the Father was speaking to Jesus, probably. Jesus is the doer of
the God Head. They were going to make it impossible to understand each
Genesis 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.”
God scattered this wicked group to many countries and changed their
language, so they would not be able to cooperate in their evil adventures.
What a contrast to the day of Pentecost, when every man heard in his own
language the message of God.
Genesis 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.”
The word Babel is used today to mean something spoken unintelligibly,
something difficult to understand. If they would not scatter on their own,
then God would do it for them.
There is a definite break here. We will take up the ancestry of Shem
which was another group entirely.
Genesis 11:10 “These [are] the generations of Shem: Shem [was] an
hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:”
Genesis 11:11 “And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred
years, and begat sons and daughters.”
Verse 10 lets us know that Shem was 98 years old, when the flood was
over. This, too, makes you wonder about the belief that Noah was 120 years
building the ark.
Notice here in V-11, the apparent dropping of the names of the other
children who were not in the lineage of Jesus. Here, again, you see, the
Bible is not written in chronological order. These few verses were going
more into detail about those who were mentioned in Jesus’ lineage.
Genesis 11:12 “And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat
Salah:” Genesis 11:13 “And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred
and three years, and begat sons and daughters.” Genesis 11:14 “And Salah
lived thirty years, and begat Eber:” Genesis 11:15 “And Salah lived after he
begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.”
Genesis 11:16 “And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:”
Genesis 11:17 “And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty
years, and begat sons and daughters.” Genesis 11:18 “And Peleg lived thirty
years, and begat Reu:” Genesis 11:19 “And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two
hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.”
Have you noticed something here? These years were like our years,
because these people were having their first children around the age of
thirty, something else interesting, the life spans were decreasing just a
Genesis 11:20 “And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:”
Genesis 11:21 “And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven
years, and begat sons and daughters.” Genesis 11:22 “And Serug lived thirty
years, and begat Nahor:”
I guess it is time to stop and look at a few of these names. “Reu”
means friend. In Luke, Reu was called Ragau. Being in the ancestry of
Abraham, it is very important to remember these people. Reu’s son, Serug,
is the great grandfather of Abraham. Serug was the father of Nahor. In
Luke, his name was translated in Greek and came out Saruch. There was a
city in Mesopotamia near Haran, which tells us these Hebrews really did
come to Haran to live. “Nahor” means snoring. Nahor was the son of Serug,
and father of Terah. Nahor would be the grand-father of Abraham. Later on
in this lesson, we will realize that one of Abraham’s brothers was named
Nahor, as well. In Luke, many of these names sound a little different,
because they have been translated into Greek.
Genesis 11:23 “And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years,
and begat sons and daughters.” Genesis 11:24 “And Nahor lived nine and
twenty years, and begat Terah:” Genesis 11:25 “And Nahor lived after he
begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.”
Genesis 11:26 “And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and
Now the reason three sons were mentioned here, specifically, was
because all three would enter into the movement of the history of Abraham.
Terah, the father of Abram (Abraham), was an idolater, as we read in
Joshua 24:2 “And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of
Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time,
[even] Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they
served other gods.” We will find later on that they settled in Ur of the
Chaldees. The word Abram means high father. We will see the name Abram
changed to Abraham in future lessons. The name Haran means road, caravan,
Genesis 11:27 “Now these [are] the generations of Terah: Terah begat
Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.” Genesis 11:28 “And Haran died
before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.”
We see, here, that Abram’s brother, Haran, died and left Abram with Lot
(Abraham’s nephew). It seemed that the whole family lived in Ur of the
Chaldees at this time.
Genesis 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.”
Milcah was mentioned prominently, here, because she was the grandmother
of Rebekah, who later on married Isaac.
Genesis 11:30 “But Sarai was barren; she [had] no child.”
“Sarai”, probably, means contentious. Later on, God changed her name to
“Sarah”, which means princess. Later in the Scriptures, Abraham would call
Sarah his sister. Genesis 20:12 “And yet indeed [she is] my sister; she [is]
the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became
my wife.” It seems, she was his half-sister. The Scriptures did not go into
detail on this. At any rate Sarai had not had children at this point.
Genesis 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.”
The city Haran was named for the man Haran. Abram, at this time, seemed
to have already taken the responsibility for Lot, his nephew.
Genesis 11:32 “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years:
and Terah died in Haran.”
Now, with the death of Abram’s father, Terah, this left Abram kind of
in charge of the entire family. At any rate from this point on, Abram felt
responsible for Lot. Note, again here, that the life spans were getting a
One thing that I forgot to mention before is that if you begin with
Adam and add up all of years to Abram, you will discover that Abram was born
1948 years after Adam. Abram is the promise to the believers. Israel, the
promise to the Jews, was born in 1948 our time. How interesting