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GRIFFIN COMMENTS—GEN 11 (Gen 11:1) And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. There is no way to know what that original language was, but it very likely included much of what is in all languagestoday. That is, every language is structured so that the order is understandable to that people, and all can understand each language structure. Each language can be broken down into an alphabet of some sort. It is obvious also that God gave a means of writing the language to Adam, and that he had a vocabulary, so all of these languagesretained something from the past. (Gen 11:2) And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. This is the territory originally belonging to Asshur, and taken over by Nimrod later. Thus it is most likely that he was the power behind all of this effort to build the city. All of the sons of Noah were migrating in that direction at the time, but had not yet been separated into the various regions, as they would be after the change of languages. (Gen 11:3) And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. Ordinarily bricks were sun dried, but these were made in the kiln and thus would be much stronger, and last longer. By this we know that they were acquainted with brick making and knew the art well enough to understand what would be the best. Very likely God gave man knowledge of many of these things from the very beginning. The evolutionist wants us to believe all these things came gradually into the knowledge of man. (Gen 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. Notice the three things they wanted. They wanted to build a city whose top reached the heavens. This was probably so that if another flood came they could survive. They wanted to make a name for themselves, and they wanted to keep from scattering abroad. Both of these are humanistic ideas that go against the direct command of God. God’s name was to be the great GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 11—PAGE 1


name and He wanted a theocracy. He also told the sons of Noah to scatter and repopulate the earth abundantly. This effort was more than a community trying to get together with a neighborly project to improve society. There was a definite defiance of God involved. OLDTESTAMENTSURVEY2Co_3:14 *D. THETOWEROFBABEL(Confusion) Gen_11:4 Once Noah had foretold the destinies of his sons, they went forth and took up their abode for some time in the rich alluvial plains of Shinar, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Here they decided to build a tower in defiance of God's command to replenish the whole world. God confounded their language, so that they could not understand one another. This rent the closest bond of human society. Unable to continue the erection of their city and tower, which was henceforth called Babel, or Confusion, they were scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth, and thus constrained to fulfill the eternal designs of Him, who has "Determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitations" (Act_17:26). He had "made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth." Why did God feel it necessary to confuse the languagesof men? Gen_10:8 (Gen 11:5) And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. This was of course anthropomorphic language. God is everywhere and does not go down, though at times He does send angels to areason a mission to bring back a report as we find with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18 – 19); and in Zechariah. This could imply here also that an angel was sent, though the language declares that Jehovah Himself came down.

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(Gen 11:6) And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. God recognized the power of faith and the ambition of man. Men have overcome impossible odds through the years by these means and they are powerful things. Of course, we must recognize that God is the one who has allowed men to accomplish such goals as they have and as in this case stopped those He does not want man to discover. WHAT LANGUAGEDOYOUSPEAK? Crumpacker 10-01-05 Madagascar Gen_11:6 1Ti_6:6 God's discontent Gen_1:2 Jdg_12:6 Many probably found out what you had to say to get across. They practiced how to say it but with people who spoke the same language so they were still slain. They spoke tower language and God came down to change their language Num_16:3Korah could have said the same thing he said here in the right way and at the right time and it would have been commendable. His spirit was wrong. Joh_12:3-6 It was many years later that John wrote of Judasstatement and added "he was a thief." He probably thought the same when he heard Judas say it. When you are discouraged you influence others. Thus Mosessaid for the fainthearted to depart so they did not discourage others. Ten spies discouraged three million Jews. Deu_20:8 (Gen 11:7) Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. There is nothing God could have done to causegreater division among men than to confound their language. The more I travel the more I realize the need for communication. I have been around a dozen or so languages in my life and find that it is a barrier that is very difficult to overcome. There was more than mere language that was lost at that time however,

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for if that was the only problem they could have used sign language, but communication skills themselves were lost. (Gen 11:8) So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. The thing that scattered them was a lack of communication, and not just the inability to understand the other person’s speech. They could have continued by some sort of sign language. They could have pointed to what they wanted. The real problem was one we all have today. Even when we understand another’s speech, we have to filter it through our own vocabulary bank, our experience, so that it is difficult to get across to anyone exactly what we mean. That is why, usually when we hear someone say something about what we said, or what we believe, we disagree wholeheartedly. That is not what I said, or what I meant, or what I believe. So much was lost that day beyond pronunciation of words. (Gen 11:9) 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 counter-part to that is of course the Day of Pentecost where God again used language to let the world know the Holy Ghost had been given to men. One hundred and twenty spoke as the Spirit of God gave the utterance and they all heard them speaking the “wonderful works of God (Act_2:11).” Each person must have been speaking of what Jesushad done for them, especially those who were healed or delivered who would be describing their healing. (Gen 11:10) These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: This would be one way to prove that Noah did not take 120 years to build the ark as has been taught. This child was born to a man who was not over one hundred, and he was born two years after the flood, so the building of the ark is limited to at least one hundred years, and was very likely much shorter than that. The idea of 120 comes from the fact that before the flood, God said that man’s life would be 120 years (Gen_6:3), but we do not know how long before God told Noah to build the ark that this statement was made. GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 11—PAGE 4


(Gen 11:11) And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. Shem continued to live much longer than people did after that generation, but he was not nearly as old as those before the flood. From this time forth the life span would be shorter. "God calmly and resolutely proceedswith His purpose of mercy. In the accomplishment of this eternal purpose He moves with all the solemn grandeur of long suffering patience. One day is with Him as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Out of Adam's three sons He selects one to be the progenitor of the seed of the woman. Out of Noah's three sons He again selects one. And now out of Terah's three is one to be selected. Among the children of this one He will choosea second one, and among his a third one before He reachesthe holy family. Doubtless this gradual mode of proceeding is in keeping with the hereditary training of the holy nation, and the due adjustment of the Divine measures for at length bringing the fullness of the Gentiles in the covenant of everlasting peace." (T. H. Leale)

(Gen 11:12) And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah: Bochart says that the reason he is named Salah [emission or the sending forth of water] is in memorial of the Flood, though his father would not have remembered the flood since he was born two years later. The Septuagint bring in here a second Cainan, with an addition of one hundred and thirty years. St. Luke follows the Septuagint, and brings in the same person in the same way. But the Hebrew text, both here and in 1Ch_1:1-28, is perfectly silent on this subject, and the best chronologists have agreed in rejecting this as a spurious generation.

(Adam Clarke) (Gen 11:13) And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. From Gen_10:22-24, it appears that the region settled by Arphaxad’s descendants likewise took his name. The conjecture of Bochart (Pkaleg, ii, 4) has been adopted by several others (Michaelis, Suppl. p. 129; Orient. Bibl. 17:77 sq.; Mannert, v, 439), that it is the province Arrhapachitis, in

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northern Assyria, near Armenia (Ptol. 6:1), the primitive country of the Chaldaeans(Josephus, Ant. i, 6, 4; comp. Syncell. Chronicles p. 46), (McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia) (Gen 11:14) And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber: [Eber] Literally, the region on the other side; from, to passover, Greek; uber, German; over, Saxon). The ancestor of the Hebrews (Gen_10:21), so called from his descendants having crossed the Euphrates and commenced a southward emigration, or from the circumstance that he or another portion of his posterity remained on the other side. Prof. Lewis thinks that this branch of the Shemites, having lingered so long in the upper country, had not much to do with the tower building on the plain of Shinar. (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 11:15) And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters. We find this very important difference in the duration of life before and after the flood, that the patriarchs after the flood lived upon an average only half the number of years of those before it, and that with Peleg the average duration of life was again reduced by one half. Whilst Noah with his 950 years belonged entirely to the old world, and Shem, who was born before the flood, reached the age of 600, Arphaxad lived only 438 years, Salah 433, and Eber 464; and again, with Peleg the duration of life fell to 239 years, Reu also lived only 239 years, Serug 230, and Nahor not more than 148. (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary) (Gen 11:16) And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg: There are five men named Eber in the Bible 1. The son of Shelah and father of Peleg, being the third postdiluvian patriarch after Shem (Gen_10:24; Gen_11:14; 1Ch_1:18, 1Ch_1:25). He is claimed as founder of the Hebrew race (Gen_10:21; Num_24:24). In Luk_3:35his name is anglicized Heber.

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2. The last named of the seven chiefs of the Gadites in Bashan (1Ch_5:13; "Heber," KJV). 3. The oldest of the three sons of Elpaal the Benjamite; and one of those who rebuilt Ono and Lod and their towns (1Ch_8:12), 535 BC 4. A Benjamite and son of Shashak (1Ch_8:22; "Heber," KJV), before 598 BC 5. The head of the priestly family of Amok in the time of the return from the Exile under Zerubbabel (Neh_12:20), 535 BC (New Unger's Bible Dictionary) (Gen 11:17) And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. As "Asshur" represented the Shemites who dwelt in the far East, including Elam, so Eber represents the western Shemites. (Fausset's Bible Dictionary) Here and in Gen_10:22-31 appears a list of Shem's descendants, who were blessed (Gen_9:26). Becauseof that blessing, from Shem's line came Abram and the entire Jewish nation, which would eventually conquer the land of Canaan in the days of Joshua. (LASB)

(Gen 11:18) And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: Peleg was marked by the division 2000 years ago the cross divided the world. Two thieves denote the sides of that division We are a people marked by that division Chosen (Rom_8:28-31; Eph_1:4-12) There is a constant division going on now. Those who will walk with God and those who will not 1Jo_2:19 Joktan: "He will be made little" from kawtone "to diminish, it be (cause, make) diminutive" or (fig) of no account. be a (make) small (thing) be not

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worthy. They were Arabians. Out of the confusion came a division (separation) to prepare a people (Act_15:14-17). Cain was separated from Abel Esaufrom Jacob Israel from Egypt Orpah from Ruth (Gen 11:19) And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters. There was also a division in the family of Eber; the younger branch of whom (the Joktanids) migrated into southern Arabia, while the elder remained in Mesopotamia. In Arabic the name Peleg is division. In Hebrew it is watercourse. It is usually believed that the division was that among the family, but it could possibly have to do with the division of water and land. (Gen 11:20) And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug: It is interesting that a man named “Division,” would name his son “Friend.” Was it that he wanted to get as far away as possible from the name of division which speaks of disharmony, and chose to use the opposite for his son? [And Reu lived thirty two years, and begat Serug] He is thought to give name to a city called Sarug, which, according to the Arabic geographer (i), was near Charrae, or Haran, in Chaldea; and another Arabic writer (j) speaks of a city called to this day "Sarug", which he places in Mesopotamia.

(i) Apud Bochart. Phaleg. l. 2. c. 14. col. 95. (j) Comment. ad Tab. Ilchanic apud Hyde, Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 2. 57. (Gill) (Gen 11:21) And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters. [Reu] is listed in Luke's genealogy of Jesus(Luk_3:35; Ragau, KJV). It is good to hear a great name “friend,” in this genealogy becauseHe had so many that were not so good, including harlots and an idolater.

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Sothat the whole of his life was two hundred and thirty nine years, the exact age of his father: in his days various kingdoms arose; according to the Arabic writer (k), in the one hundred and thirtieth year of his life began Nimrod to reign at Babylon, the first king that reigned on earth: and according to the Jewish writers (l), in his days began the kingdom of Egypt, which continued to the times of Octavian; and the kingdom of the Bohemians, the metropolis of which was Prague, and the kingdom of the Amazons, which continued to the times of Alexander: in his time also, the Arabic writers (m) say, idolatry prevailed, the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, and other things; and images of men and women were made by the Babylonians and Egyptians, and worshipped by them: (k) Elmacinus, p. 29. apud Hottinger. p. 270. (l) Juchasin, fol. 135.2. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 76. 1. Tzemach David, par. 2. fol. 3. 2. (m) Elmacinus, p. 20. Patricides, p. 14. apud Hottinger. p. 275, 276. (Gill)

(Gen 11:22) And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor: [Serug] Vine-shoot, from sarag, to wind (Gesenius, Lange, Lewis, Murphy); strength, firmness, from the senseof twisting, which the root bears (Furst). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 11:23) And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. The combination of the supposed meaning of the name of Serug gives the concept of an apprehension. First is the idea of a vine that winds around something, and the other is strength, or firmness. Apprehension is from prehensile. It is something that wraps around tightly and will not turn loose. That is what apprehension is. Paul said he wanted to apprehend that for which he was apprehended. Jesusfirst apprehended him for a purpose of reaching gentiles. He wanted to apprehend gentile churches for Christ, and that way there would be a three way apprehension, he would apprehend churches and Christ, Christ would apprehend Paul and churches. (Phi_3:12) (Gen 11:24) And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah: The name Nahor is said to mean “ snoring,” and if so we find that the problem has been around awhile. It would be too bad to have to carry the GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 11—PAGE 9


name around with you however, all your life for something you have no control over. The whole purpose of listing these following names are to connect us with Abraham who is the father of the faithful. (Gen 11:25) And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters. [Nahor] who was his elder brother; married Milcah his niece, Haran's daughter, who bore eight sons (Gen_11:26-29; Gen_22:20-24). His concubine Reumah bore Zebah and Maachah (whose descendants David came in contact with: 1Ch_18:8; 1Ch_19:6), Gaham and Thahash. Bethuel his son was Rebekah's father. She formed a tie between Abraham's seed and the original Mesopotamian family. (Fausset's Bible Dictionary) (Gen 11:26) And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. [Terah] was an idolater (Jos_24:2), yet he raised a son who would the greatest advocate of the One God in the world, Abraham. He had more than one wife, for Abraham married a sister who had the same father but not the same mother. Terah moved to Haran and remained there until he died. Abraham remained there in Haran until after the death of his father, and then he took Lot and departed for Canaan in obedience to the word given to him from God (Gen_12:1). (Gen 11:27) Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. [Terah] is listed in the genealogy of Jesuswhich also includes many others that do not make for a good pedigree, yet Jesusnever said anything derogatory about His ancestors. Of course, none of us have anything to boast of or feel ashamed about in our ancestry, becausewe cannot help from whom we sprang, but we can have something to do with the character of family we leave behind. (Gen 11:28) And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

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The ancient Jewish tradition is that Haran was burnt in the furnace of Nimrod for his wavering conduct during the fiery trial of Abraham. (See the Targum Ps. —Jonathan; Jerome's Quaest. in Genesim, and the notes thereto in the edition of Migne). This tradition seemsto have originated in a translation of the word Ur, which in Hebrew signifies "fire." (McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia) (Gen 11:29) And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. Both Abram and Nahor married within the family. Abraham married his half sister and Nahor married his niece. Such marriages were later forbidden by the law. Arabic writers (g) say,"the mother of Abraham died, whosename was Juna; and Terah married another wife, whose name was Lahazib; she bore him Sarah, whom Abraham afterwards married:"

(g) Ut supra, (Elmacinus, p. 31. Patricides, p. 17.) apud Hottinger. p. 281. (Gill) (Gen 11:30) But Sarai was barren; she had no child. This was to prove the greatest consternation in her life. She was promised a child by God, and it seemed it would never happen so she took things into her own hands, and gave Hagar, a servant, to her husband then regretted it when she was despised by the maid, and later had her put out of the home. She finally did have a child and called him “Laughter,” (Isaac) for God had made her laugh, after laughing herself before the child was born and then denying it (Gen_18:12-15). (Gen 11:31) And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. It is interesting that both in Ur and Haran the primary god is that of the Moon cult and Terah and Haran were from those two areas. Terah could very well have been attached to that cult, and it could be why God told Abraham to leave his family and go to a land the Lord would show him.

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OLDTESTAMENTSURVEY2Co_3:14 *E. THELIFEOFABRAHAM Gen_11:31 The man selected by Jehovah to be the ancestor of a people destined to exert so momentous an influence on the salvation of the world was Abraham, the son of Terah, who lived in the eighth generation from Shem, in Ur of the Chaldees. The family had become tainted with the general prevailing idolatry (Jos_24:2, Jos_24:14) so Terah moved to Haran where he stayed until he died. God had told Abraham, meanwhile, to leave his entire family and go to a land of promise. The country, the future home of the great nation destined to spring from his loins, was in many respects eminently adapted for its special mission in the history of the world. It was at the crossroads of the commercial world, and the lifeline for any military travel. Yet it was a secluded land, being shut off by mountains, desert and sea. Abraham is usually called the first of the Patriarchs. The word comes from "pater," meaning the father, and "arche," meaning rule. Thus it is rule by the father. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph are the Patriarchs of the Hebrew people. The remainder of Genesis is the life stories of these great men. FOURTEENIMPORTANTEVENTSOFABRAHAM'SLIFE (1) He was called out from idolatry (Gen_12:1). (2) God made a covenant with him in which he was promised a seed, a land, and a blessing (including prosperity and spiritual life forever). This covenant was expanded in the Palestinian covenant (land), the Davidic covenant (seed), and the New Covenant (Blessing) (Gen_12:24). (3) The whole family moved from Ur of the Chaldeesto Haran (Gen_12:5). (4) Abraham moved after his father died in Haran. He took Lot into Canaan where he built altars to God throughout the land (Gen_12:6). (5) He went to Egypt to escapethe famine and lied about his wife (Gen_12:14-20). (6) He separated from Lot (Genesis 13), and later had to recapture him from the Sodomites (chapter 14). (7) He stopped at Salem on the way home and paid tithes to Melchizedek (Genesis 14). (8) He bore Ishmael by Hagar (Genesis 16). GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 11—PAGE 12


(9) He had all the males of his household circumcised in a perpetual covenant with God (Genesis 17). (10) He bargained with God for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18). (11) Lot's family alone was saved from the destruction of these two cities (Genesis 19). (12) Isaac was born (Genesis 21) and sacrificed (Genesis 22). (13) Abraham sent for a bride for Isaac (Genesis 24). (14) Abraham had six children by his third wife, Keturah (Genesis 25). (Gen 11:32) And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran. Whatever Terah’s beliefs he apparently could not influence Abraham. It is likely that Abraham went to Haran and stayed there until his father died out of due respect to his parents. But it is to his credit that he retained the One God messageuntil the end and out of it received a covenant that insured him not only a place in history, but to be center stage by producing the Messiah that savesthe world.

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GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 11  

There is no way to know what that original language was, but it very likely included much of what is in all languagestoday. That is, every l...

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