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.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations for Genesis 11:4

And they said; Goe to, let vs build vs a city and a tower, whose top may reach vnto heauen, and let vs make vs a name, lest we be scattered abroad vpon the face of the whole earth.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

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, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."
- New American Standard Version (1995)

And they said, Come, 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.
- American Standard Version (1901)

And they said, Come, let us make a town, and a tower whose top will go up as high as heaven; and let us make a great name for ourselves, so that we may not be wanderers over the face of the earth.
- Basic English Bible

And they said, Come on, let us build ourselves a city and a tower, the top of which [may reach] to the heavens; and let us make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered over the face of the whole earth.
- Darby Bible

And they said, come, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we should be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
- Webster's Bible

They said, "Come, let's build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top reaches to the sky, and let's make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth."
- World English Bible

And they say, `Give help, let us build for ourselves a city and tower, and its head in the heavens, and make for ourselves a name, lest we be scattered over the face of all the earth.'
- Youngs Literal Bible

And they said: 'Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, with its top in heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible Commentary for Genesis 11:4

Wesley's Notes for Genesis 11:4


11:2 And they found a plain in the land of Shinar - A spacious plain, able to contain them all.

11:3 Go to, let us make brick, let us build us a city - The country being a plain, yielded neither stone nor morter, yet that did not discourage them, but they made brick to serve instead of stone, and slime, or pitch, instead of morter. Some think they intended hereby to secure themselves against the waters of another flood, but if they had, they would have chosen to build upon a mountain rather than upon a plain. But two things it seems they aimed at in building. To make them a name: they would do something to be talked of by posterity. But they could not gain this point; for we do not find in any history the name of so much as one of these Babel - builders. Philo Judeus saith they engraved every one his name upon a brick; yet neither did that serve their purpose. They did it to prevent their dispersion; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth - It was done (saith Josephus) in disobedience to that command, #Gen 9:1|, replenish the earth. God orders them to scatter. No, say they, we will live and die together. In order hereunto they engage themselves and one another in this vast undertaking. That they might unite in one glorious empire, they resolve to build this city and tower, to be the metropolis of their kingdom, and the center of their unity.

11:5 And the Lord came down to see the city - 'Tis an expression after the manner of men, he knew it as clearly as men know that which they come upon the place to view. And the tower which the children of men builded - Which speaks, Their weakness and frailty, it was a foolish thing for the children of men, worms of the earth, to defy heaven. Their sinfulness, they were the sons of Adam, so it is in the Hebrew; nay, of that Adam, that sinful disobedient Adam, whose children are by nature children of disobedience. Their distinction from the children of God, from whom those daring builders had separated themselves, and built this tower to support and perpetuate the separation.

11:6 And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language - And if they continue one, much of the earth will be left uninhabited, and these children of men, if thus incorporated, will swallow up the little remnant of God's children, therefore it is decreed they must not be one. And now nothing will be restrained from them - And this is a reason why they must be crossed, in their design.


Discussion for Genesis 11:4

  • Toni on Genesis 11:4
    To Aubrey's question Why did God do this to the people?First, they did not do as God had told them to do. Genesis 9:7 God had told Noah and his sons to spread out and repopulate the world. Remember that God made humankind in His image and God said, “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” Having one language can make the development of technology easier and faster for good or for evil. God wanted to “slow down” people’s ability to do and invent new ways of doing evil. You know how it is these days, many morals have dropped to an all time low. There is no self-respect or love for self or others. God was just wanting to slow down man's capacity to endanger himself and the world so He handled that by confusing the speech and split the one language into different tongues which confused them scattering them into other parts of the world.
  • Renee on Genesis 11:4
    Did they know that God would scatter them about the world before it happened?
  • Aubrey on Genesis 11:4
    why would god do this to the people.. did he fear that they may actually reach him with a tower?
  • T Levis - in Reply on Genesis 11:4
    Genesis 1:28


 

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