Genesis 11:1-9 New International Version

The Tower of Babel

11 1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward,[1] they found a plain in Shinar[2] and settled there. 3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel[3] -because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.


[1] 11:2 Or "from the east" ; or "in the east"

[2] 11:2 That is, Babylonia

[3] 11:9 That is, Babylon; "Babel" sounds like the Hebrew for "confused" .

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