The Tower of Babel
1 There was a time when the whole world spoke one language. Everyone used the same words. 2 Then people began to move from the East. They found a plain in the land of Babylonia and stayed there to live. 3 Then they said to each other, “Let’s make some bricks of clay and bake them in the fire.” Then they used these bricks as stones, and they used tar as mortar.
4 Then the people said, “Let’s build ourselves a city and a tower that will reach to the sky. Then we will be famous. This will keep us together so that we will not be scattered all over the earth.”
5 Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower. 6 The LORD said, “These people all speak the same language. And I see that they are joined together to do this work. This is only the beginning of what they can do. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7 Let’s go down and confuse their language. Then they will not understand each other.”
8 So people stopped building the city, and the LORD scattered them all over the earth. 9 That is the place where the LORD confused the language of the whole world. That is why it is called Babel.* Babel Or “Babylon.” This is like a word meaning “confuse.” And it was from there that the LORD caused the people to spread out to all the other places on earth.
The History of Shem’s Family
10 This is the history of Shem’s family. Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, his son Arphaxad was born. 11 After that Shem lived 500 years. He had other sons and daughters.
12 When Arphaxad was 35 years old, his son Shelah was born. 13 After Shelah was born, Arphaxad lived 403 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters.
14 After Shelah was 30 years old, his son Eber was born. 15 After Eber was born, Shelah lived 403 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters.
16 After Eber was 34 years old, his son Peleg was born. 17 After Peleg was born, Eber lived another 430 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters.
18 After Peleg was 30 years old, his son Reu was born. 19 After Reu was born, Peleg lived another 209 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters.
20 After Reu was 32 years old, his son Serug was born. 21 After Serug was born, Reu lived another 207 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters.
22 After Serug was 30 years old, his son Nahor was born. 23 After Nahor was born, Serug lived another 200 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters.
24 After Nahor was 29 years old, his son Terah was born. 25 After Terah was born, Nahor lived another 119 years. During that time he had other sons and daughters.
26 After Terah was 70 years old, his sons Abram, Nahor, and Haran were born.
The History of Terah’s Family
27 This is the history of Terah’s family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran was the father of Lot. 28 Haran died in his hometown, Ur of Babylonia,† Ur of Babylonia Literally, “Ur of the Chaldeans.” A city in southern Babylonia. Also in verse 31. while his father Terah was still alive. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. Abram’s wife was named Sarai. Nahor’s wife was named Milcah. Milcah was the daughter of Haran. Haran was the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Sarai did not have any children because she was not able to have children.
31 Terah took his family and left Ur of Babylonia. They planned to travel to Canaan. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai (Abram’s wife). They traveled to the city of Haran and decided to stay there. 32 Terah lived to be 205 years old. He died in Haran.
*11:9 Babel Or “Babylon.” This is like a word meaning “confuse.”
†11:28 Ur of Babylonia Literally, “Ur of the Chaldeans.” A city in southern Babylonia. Also in verse 31.