The Tower of Babel

A story of rebellion and false religion.

Now the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 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. 11:1-2).

The story of the Tower of Babel begins in Genesis 11 but gives us the reason for the formation of the 70 prime nations or ethnic groupings outlined in Genesis 10. The Lord had told Noah and his family to “be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Gen. 9: 1). But Noah’s descendants had decided to remain on the plains of Shinar and build a civilization for themselves there, following the pattern of the Cainites before them (See ). They determined to “build ourselves 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 earth” (Gen. 11:4). This was contrary to God’s instructions of course and guaranteed to cause problems.

Where Are We?

Here’s something I find interesting. They settled on the plains of Shinar an area we know as Mesopotamia, modern Iraq. They had come from the east, or Iran, where the ark had settled (Genesis 11:2). The Tigris and Euphrates rivers that border the area (Mesopotamia means between the rivers) are mentioned in the Creation account as flowing through the Garden of Eden. When it came to building materials for their city and tower, the people chose tar as a substitute for mortar, there being no cement handy. Put all this circumstantial evidence together and you can surmise that the Garden of Eden encompassed the whole region, and was buried under tons and tons of sand after the flood. The weight of the sand compressed the decaying vegetation and helped produce the oil that then bubbled up out of the ground as tar. But that’s another story.

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the men were building (Gen. 11:6). Enough of the ruins of the Tower of Babel have been discovered to permit archaeologists to speculate on its appearance and purpose. It covered 4 acres at its base and was 153 feet tall. There were 7 stages, each one smaller than the one below, giving it the appearance of a gigantic weeding cake. Each stage was dedicated to one of the then known planets, and a tower at the top had the 12 signs of the zodiac inscribed in the walls. It was apparently intended as a combination observatory and temple to enable the people to worship the celestial bodies and practice astrology.

What Sign Are You?

The 12 signs of the zodiac are a perversion of the Hebrew Mazzaroth. By tradition Adam, Seth, and Enoch named 12 constellations of the stars in such a way as to foretell the gospel story. As shepherds lay under the stars at night fathers could use them to instruct their sons on the Lord’s plan of redemption for His fallen people (Read “The Gospel in the Stars” by J.A. Seiss). The “horror-scope” in your newspaper lists the Babylonian names of these constellations. In reading it you are inadvertently following the false religion that originated with the tower of Babel and that denies everything the Bible says about the relationship that began with your Creator at the moment of conception. These corrupt names are virtually the same in every known language except Hebrew where the true names and meanings of the 12 signs can be learned. This is why the study of astrology (observer of times KJV) was an offense punishable by death in Israel and was given as one of the causes for the Canaanites’ expulsion from the land (Deut. 18:9-11).

Justice and Mercy

Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. So the Lord scattered them from there all over the earth and they stopped building the City. That is why it was called Babel – because the Lord confused the language of the whole world (Gen. 11:7-9). Once again an act of judgment contained an element of mercy. By stopping things when He did the Lord prevented the people from going entirely astray and bringing about their complete destruction. Confusing their language curtailed their misplaced spirit of cooperation and so they separated, accomplished God’s purpose, and escaped a much greater penalty. Hidden in every human effort to unite in common cause you’ll find Satan’s strategy of separating us from our Creator. If achieving God’s will is not the overriding issue whether in a group of individuals or a community of nations, Satan orchestrates our utter defeat by simply appealing to our sense of pride and self-determination.

Are We Related?

I believe God first separated the people by physical appearance based on their family lines. The children of Ham became the Egyptian and other African races, those of Shem became the Arabs and Jews, and those of Japeth became the Chinese, Russian and European peoples. Within a generation or two inbreeding caused the dominant and recessive genetic patterns of each group to make them even more easily distinguishable from one another. Language differences completed the separation into the 70 nations listed in Genesis 10 (see ), and for a time sinful man’s natural inclination to rebel against God was thwarted.

Now you know the adult version.