Before the book of Genesis begins to shift its focuses primarily on the lineage of Shem through the Patriarch Abraham in chapter 12, there is chapter 11, the Tower of Babel. As I have spent the better part of a year unpacking Genesis and giving you some insights through my blog series, Insights in Genesis, I have only reached up to chapter 11! After blogging on the Tower of Babel, I will be leaving Genesis to blog on other questions that have risen from my personal time in the Scripture.
The Tower of Babel is extremely significant as a milestone in time. I do not think we Christians have been taught much on this event, or understand the gravity of it. I do not think we grasp how every generation since its demise has been connected to Babel up until today. For the Tower of Babel, as it was going to be a crowning achievement of man, ended up as one of the biggest judgments of God upon the earth. With every man joining together with wicked intent, God brought down his rebellion. The earth still has not recovered from it.
Shocking as that may be, something more to consider with Babel: God chose a judgment that did not cause physical suffering or death. He was gracious in His sentence, though He didn’t have to be.
Technology and Survival
Through technology and development, since the dawn of humanity, mankind has made great improvements to aid in survival. Indeed, without technology it is doubtful man would have survived or advanced. Keeping in mind the series on the sons of Noah that I have just completed, particularly Ham, we have his lineage to thank for this. These advancements came natural for Ham as he and his sons and all their descendants were simply using their God-given talents.
Technology, however, brings with it a dark side. The Tower of Babel is the best example. The quick-telling of Babel, the one we have in our minds at the mention of Babel, is that humanity was so advanced during Babel and men had the intellect to construct a great tower. They devised their blueprint and began construction. This tower was so great that it reached up to the heavens! God was angry with the tower, knocked it down and to prevent it from being reconstructed, he mashed up the tongue of mankind, bringing a vast number of new languages. In confusion from the sudden chaos, people had to single one another out in order to find someone they could talk to. Once this process was completed, and clans were formed, the clans then migrated to new regions. Nations were born.
We get the idea that our little god was jealous and threatened and didn’t want people to be smart so he destroyed their beautiful masterpiece.
Questions on the Tower of Babel
What was the tower made of? Was it functional? Were people going to live and work in the tower? Was there a real sense of community that was torn apart? What was so bad about Babel, anyway?
In order to comprehend Babel, we need to put aside our present culture and not read it into antiquity. Instead, in order to understand the Tower of Babel, we must understand the culture of the day. It is all too probable that when we read the word “tower” we think of a tower today, like a skyscraper of steel or even a tower of defense like that surrounding old cities, castles or fortresses.
Watch this space for part 2…
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…