(Gen 11:1 NASB) Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.
Gen 11:1: The record of the scattering of the nations has almost the level of importance as the Great Flood. The flood was worldwide in its impact and so was the confusion of tongues.
Paul may have partially been talking about Nimrod and his followers in Romans 1:18-32. People willfully left the Torah of Elohim to worship the creation. This led to pantheism (worshipping creation), polytheism, and idolatry.
It appears that all cultures from all over the world have some very peculiar items in common. If all cultures have particular things in common, it would seem logical that we could trace these things back to the Tower of Babel.
All cultures have the same seven day work week that Elohim instituted for us at creation. Virtually all cultures from around the world have named that seven day week after five planets and the sun and moon. Consider the following: SUN-day, MOON-day, TUISCO, or Tuesday (Tuisco is the Anglo-Saxon term for Mars, WODEN’s-day (Woden is the word for Mercury), THOR’s-day (Thor is the same as Jupiter, FRIGA-day (Friga is the same as venus), and SATURN-day. In pagan cultures, SUN-day is almost universally declared the most sacred of all days.
Bel, the sun-god, whose proper name was Marduk, was the patrol god of the Babylonians. To him they dedicated the first day of the week. Their calendar was adjusted in such a way that the first day of every month was also the first day of the week.
“It is clear that the first day of every month was originally a day of rest and fasting.”–Langdon, Babylonian Menlogies and Semitic Calendars, p. 86.
In ancient Egypt the sun-cult originated at Heliopolis. The early sun-god of the ancient Egyptians was Re, and later Osiris, who came to be also the god of the dead and of the resurrection.
“Sunday (day of the sun) as the name of the first day of the week is derived from Egyptian astrology.” –Catholic Encyclopedia, Art. Sunday.
“Each day in the week, the planet to which the day was sacred was invoked in a fixed spot in the crypt; and Sunday, over which the sun presided, was especially holy.” –Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, p. 167.
Among the Hindus, every Sunday was a holy day. One author writes:
“The different days enjoy degrees of veneration according to certain qualities which [the Hindus] attribute to [the days of the week]. They distinguish, for example, the Sunday, because it is the day of the sun and the beginning of the week.” –Albiruni’s India, II, p. 185.
“Buddha is reported to have been of solar descent, as were the Incas of Peru and are the present royal house of Japan (whose ancestress is stated to have been the sun-goddess Amaterasu).” –E. Royston Pike, Encyclopedia of Religion, Art. Sun Worship.
“The most ancient Germans being pagans, and having appropriated their first day of the week to the peculiar adoration to the sun, whereof, that day doth yet in our English tongue retain the name of Sunday.” –Verstegan, Antiquities, p. 10.
“At Sparta on the first day of every month the king made a sacrificial offering to Apollon [or Appollo], the sun-god, and the same practice was carried on at Athens.” –Cook, Zeus, II, p. 237.
“The first day of the week was the Mithraic Sunday before it was the Christian, and December 25 was Mithra’s birthday.” –E. Royston Pike, Encyclopedia of Religion, Art. Mithraism.
Mithraism and Christianism
The popular worship of Mithra [the “Invincible Sun-god”] became so pre-eminent in the Roman Empire in the days of Constantine, that he decreed “The Venerable Day of the Sun” to be the weekly rest day of the Empire.
One authority points out the influence of Mithraism on Christianity, saying:
“It [Mithraism] had so much acceptance that it was able to impose on the Christian world its own Sun-day in place of the Sabbath, its Sun’s birthday, 25th December, as the birthday of Jesus.” –G. Murray, Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge, pp. 73, 74.
Still another author says: “The early Christians had at first adopted the Jewish seven-day week, with its numbered week days, but by the close of the third century A.D. this began to give way to the planetary week; and in the fourth and fifth centuries the pagan designations became generally accepted in the western half of Christendom.
…During these same centuries the spread of Oriental solar worships, especially that of Mithra, in the Roman world, had already led to the substitution by the pagans of dies Solis (Sun-day) for dies Saturni (Saturday), as the first day of the planetary week…Thus gradually a pagan institution was engrafted on Christianity.” –Hutton Webster, Rest Days, pp. 220, 221.
Contrary to popular belief, there is not the slightest indication in the Bible that Sunday observance may have originated with Christ or the apostles.”
Another common item is the word “alleluia.” Most cultures and races around the world have in their vocabulary the word “alleluia” with its meaning being “Praise Yah, you people.”
There are indications that Nimrod set a military dictatorship, as well as set up a priestly system of worship with himself as the central figure of worship. Ancient traditions also indicate that Nimrod’s wife (and also mother), named Semiramis, was also an active leader of the early conspiracy against Elohim.
This pagan worship is another item that is shared by almost all cultures. Not only was this original Babylonian religious system the source of the world’s non-Scriptural religions, but it also infiltrated and infected Christianity through paganism and idolatry.
The Roman Church, in order to accommodate other pagan religions and be the “one world church,” adopted much of the Babylonian pagan deities (Rev. 17:3-5). For instance, some religions worshipped Semiramis as the “queen of heaven” which was probably a corruption of “the seed of the woman” from Genesis 3. The Church, in it’s zeal to appeal to these people, said that the real name of the queen of heaven was not “Semiramis,” but “Mary” and that prayer is to be offered up to her by that name. Other so-called “saints” were adopted by the Roman church and originally worshipped by the Roman Church in a similar manner. Unfortunately, these facts are rooted in the history of the Roman Church. The Church has corrupted the message in Elohim’s Word with idolatry and paganism that has its roots in ancient Babel or Babylon.
Elohim is apparently referring to the Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantine Empire which was governed by Catholicism, as “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots” in Revelation. As a final warning, Yeshua warns those in the Babylonian Roman Church to get out of it (Rev. 18:1-4).
(Gen 11:2 NASB) And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
Gen 11:2: The whole earth had one language at this time. The language spoken was probably a Semite language and maybe even Hebrew since it is doubtful that Shem participated in the city of Babel and therefore kept his speech. Another issue that points to the Hebrew language is that the names of people and places recorded before Babel all have significance in the Hebrew language.
The people settled near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. They probably named these rivers at this time because it reminded them of the area near Eden before the flood (Gen. 2:10-14 not shown).
(Gen 11:3 NASB) And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.” And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.
Gen 11:3: Nimrod wanted to establish a strong centralized society to control resources and people and be totally self-sufficient. Elohim’s plan was for man to multiply and fill the entire earth, work hard and till the ground for food, and rely upon Elohim for his needs.
Nimrod ordered the start of a brick-making industry. The mortar used was probably tar from the tar pits that are still in that river valley.
(Gen 11:4 NASB) And they said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
Gen 11:4: It is obvious that the people are intentionally rebelling against Elohim by this statement. Nimrod apparently developed his religious system to not only glorify himself, but to keep the people together. This tower was probably to be a place of pagan worship.
(Gen 11:5 NASB) And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.
(Gen 11:6 NASB) And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.
Gen 11:6: They really captured Elohim’s attention with this project that they undertook. Elohim is saying that man, totally unified and led by their own desires, could corrupt themselves beyond return as they did before the flood.
This also implies that there is virtually no limit to the abilities of mankind if they are unified. This would be a wonderful thing if these unified men were led by Elohim. However, sinful mankind was being led by their own intentions and they were going to use their unified knowledge and power against Elohim. Elohim was not going to permit this type of cancer to grow at that time.
(Gen 11:7 NASB) “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
Gen 11:7: Elohim was ending their ability to understand each other.
Once again, notice the plural usage by Yahweh. I believe He is talking to angels. He would probably use angels to perform such a task. He used the angel of death in Egypt to finally convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites. He used the Angel of the Master to slay 185,000 Assyrians (Isaiah 37:36). We see that Elohim will use angels in powerful ways in the book of the Revelation. Four angels stop the winds on the earth. Seven angels blow the seven trumpets of judgments. And seven angels pour out the seven bowl judgments also.
So to say that Elohim is using angels to confuse the speech of man fits very well with Scripture.
(Gen 11:8 NASB) So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
(Gen 11:9 NASB) Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
Gen 11:9: Since the people could no longer communicate, they split. Families could probably understand one another.
The entire earth could have essentially been populated in only a few generations. Archeology has shown that civilizations did occur at many different parts of the world at about the same time and only a few thousand years ago.
(Gen 11:10 NASB) These are the records of the generations of Shem. Shem was one hundred years old, and became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood;
(Gen 11:11 NASB) and Shem lived five hundred years after he became the father of Arpachshad, and he had other sons and daughters.
Gen 11:11: Now we have the life spans of the line of Shem that leads us to Abram, or Abraham. These life spans quickly shorten from Shem (602 years) to Abraham (175 years).
(Gen 11:12 NASB) And Arpachshad lived thirty-five years, and became the father of Shelah;
(Gen 11:13 NASB) and Arpachshad lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Shelah, and he had other sons and daughters.
(Gen 11:14 NASB) And Shelah lived thirty years, and became the father of Eber;
(Gen 11:15 NASB) and Shelah lived four hundred and three years after he became the father of Eber, and he had other sons and daughters.
(Gen 11:16 NASB) And Eber lived thirty-four years, and became the father of Peleg;
(Gen 11:17 NASB) and Eber lived four hundred and thirty years after he became the father of Peleg, and he had other sons and daughters.
(Gen 11:18 NASB) And Peleg lived thirty years, and became the father of Reu;
(Gen 11:19 NASB) and Peleg lived two hundred and nine years after he became the father of Reu, and he had other sons and daughters.
(Gen 11:20 NASB) And Reu lived thirty-two years, and became the father of Serug;
(Gen 11:21 NASB) and Reu lived two hundred and seven years after he became the father of Serug, and he had other sons and daughters.
(Gen 11:22 NASB) And Serug lived thirty years, and became the father of Nahor;
(Gen 11:23 NASB) and Serug lived two hundred years after he became the father of Nahor, and he had other sons and daughters.
(Gen 11:24 NASB) And Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and became the father of Terah;
(Gen 11:25 NASB) and Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years after he became the father of Terah, and he had other sons and daughters.
(Gen 11:26 NASB) And Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.
(Gen 11:27 NASB) Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot.
Gen 11:27: Abram means “exalted father.” His name was changed to Abraham with means “father of a great number.” There is something to keep in mind about Terah and even Abraham. They were mere idol worshippers when Yahweh called Abraham (Josh 24:2-3).
(Gen 11:28 NASB) And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans.
Gen 11:28: Ur of the Chaldeans was a wealthy, populous, and sophisticated pagan center of southern Mesopotamia. Hundreds of years after the time of Abraham, it was at its most prosperous and literate era.
Ur of the Chaldeans was located about 220 miles Southeast of Baghdad (see map).
The best-known discoveries in Ur of the Chaldeans are the royal tombs, which are some of the richest finds in archaeology. There were over 1,800 private graves and tombs, and 16 royal tombs, including six pits containing mass burials of retainers. There was a large quantity of gold and silver cups, gold, lapis lazuli, and carnelian jewelry, and inlaid furniture and musical instruments indicating the skill of the craftsmen and the wealth and power of the kings (see picture). The mass burials in the pits contained chariots and oxen in addition to humans. They were perhaps killed on their ruler’s death to accompany them to the netherworld.
The ziggurat of Ur is another amazing archeological find. It consists of three stages with the temple to Nanna, the city’s god on the top. The structure measures 203 by 141 by 66 feet high with a long central stairway and two flanking stairways leading to a gatehouse on the first stage. Smaller stairways lead to the temple. The structure was not a tomb or an observatory, and its function is not fully understood.
Now… With all that history in mind, it is unlikely that this is where Abraham came from. The “Chaldeans” is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word “Kasdiy.” The Babylonian Chaldeans did not settle in southern Mesopotamia until 700 BC. Scoffers use this information as evidence that Genesis was written about 1100 years after it claims it was. That is, naturally, preposterous.
Abraham probably came from northern Mesopotamia from a nomadic people of this name. Joshua 24:2-3 tells us that Abraham came from the other side of the river. Scripture gives no evidence that Ur of the Chaldeans from which Abram came was a prosperous area at all.
(Gen 11:29 NASB) And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah.
Gen 11:29: We are told that Sarai was a half sister of Abram (Gen. 20:11-12).
(Gen 11:30 NASB) And Sarai was barren; she had no child.
(Gen 11:31 NASB) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.
(Gen 11:32 NASB) And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.
Gen 11:32: A map of Abrams journeys show that he easily could have originated from a northern area near the mountains of Ararat instead of in the southern Mesopotamian region (see map).
The excavated ruins of Ur of the Chaldeans is likely a place that thrived during the time of Isaiah (700 BC) and beyond for several hundred years.
The time of the Patriarchs is interesting to view on a chart. Shem, the son of Noah, actually outlived Abraham.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas