The Tower of Babel
- 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 Old Testament - A Brief Overview
The Tower at Babel
According to the Bible, the families of the sons of Noah represent all of the
racial groups upon the earth. Chapter 10 of Genesis lists a total of 70
individual founders of nations or racial groups, and divides them into three
primary classifications: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. It is interesting to note that
Ethnologists generally agree that mankind divides into three basic groups. Here
is how the Bible divides them geographically:
Shem's Descendants. Central Nations
Shemites included Jews, Assyrians, Syrians, Elamites, in north Euphrates
Valley and its borders.
Ham's Descendants. South Nations
Hamites went Southward. The names given seem to be South and Central Arabia,
Egypt (Heb. Mitzraim or Lands of Ham), East Mediterranean, and East Africa.
There was at one point a great migration to Egypt, but Canaan (son of Ham)
settled in the land later called Israel.
Japheth's Descendants. North Nations
Japhethites went Northward, and settled in the areas around the Black and
Caspian Seas. They became the great Caucasian races of Europe and Asia.
An interesting event happened in Genesis 11. Proud and rebellious men desired to
build a city and make a name for themselves under the leadership of Nimrod, so
they built a tower, in the land of Shinar (Babel), that would reach to heaven.
This was the first organized system of idolatry recorded after the flood. They
also disobeyed God's command to be fruitful and fill the earth. God condemned
their arrogant ways by coming down and confusing their languages (probably
racial distinctions also) which forced them to scatter throughout the whole
earth. Before this they all spoke one language.
So what does all this tell us? There are many things but two facts should be
First, man is given over to sin and rebellion, as Jeremiah' the
Jer 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;
who can know it?
Secondly, it tells us that God loves man unconditionally and, though
He will not tolerate disobedience, He will fulfill His promises to redeem
humanity and go to whatever measure to keep anyone from thwarting His purposes.