Genesis 11:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

New Living Translation
As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

English Standard Version
And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.

New American Standard Bible
It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
As people migrated from the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.

International Standard Version
As people migrated westward, they came across a plain in the region of Shinar and settled there.

NET Bible
When the people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

New Heart English Bible
It happened, as they traveled from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they lived there.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As people moved toward the east, they found a plain in Shinar [Babylonia] and settled there.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

New American Standard 1977
And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
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.

American King James Version
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelled there.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and dwelt there.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
It happened, as they traveled east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they lived there.

Young's Literal Translation
and it cometh to pass, in their journeying from the east, that they find a valley in the land of Shinar, and dwell there;
Study Bible
The Tower of Babel
1Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3They 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.…
Cross References
Genesis 10:10
The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Genesis 11:1
Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.

Genesis 14:1
And it came about in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,

Daniel 1:2
The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.

Zechariah 5:11
Then he said to me, "To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal."
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelled there.

from the east. or, eastward.

Genesis 13:11 Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: …

Shinar. See on ver.

Genesis 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there …

Genesis 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, …

Genesis 14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch …

Isaiah 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his …

Daniel 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part …

Zechariah 5:11 And he said to me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and …

(2) As they journeyed.--The word literally refers to the pulling up of the tent-pegs, and sets the human family before us as a band of nomads, wandering from place to place, and shifting their tents as their cattle needed fresh pasture.

From the east.--So all the versions. Mount Ararat was to the north-west of Shinar, and while so lofty a mountain could not have been the spot where the ark rested, yet neither could any portion of Armenia or of the Carduchian mountains be described as to the east of Babylonia. The Chaldean legends make the ark rest on Mount Nizir, or Elwend, on the east of Assyria; and though Ararat may possibly signify Aryaverta, "Holy Land," yet the transference of the name from Elwend to Armenia is not easily explicable. Moreover, the Bible elsewhere seems to point to Armenia as the cradle of the human race. Most modern commentators, therefore, translate eastward, and such certainly is the meaning of the word in Genesis 13:11, where also the versions, excepting our own, render from the east.

Land of Shinar.--See on Genesis 10:10. The whole of Chaldea is a level plain, and the soil immensely rich, as it is an alluvial deposit, which still goes on forming at the head of the Persian Gulf, at the rate of a mile in a period estimated at from seventy to thirty years (Rawlinson, Anc. Mon., i. 4). A strip of land 130 miles in breadth has been added to the country, by the deposit of the earth washed down by the Tigris and Euphrates, since the time when Ur of the Chaldees was a great port.

Verse 2. - And it came to pass, as they journeyed. Literally, in their journeyings. The root (גָקַע, to pull up, as, e.g., the stakes of a tent when a camp moves, Isaiah 33:20) suggests the idea of the migration of nomadic hordes (cf. Genesis 12:9; Genesis 33:17). From the east. Ab oriente (Ancient Versions, Calvin, et alii), meaning either that they started from Armenia, which was in the east respectu terrae Canaan (Luther), or from that portion of the Assyrian empire which was east of the Tigris, and called Orientalis, as distinguished from the Occidentalis on the west (Bochart); or that they first traveled westwards, following the direction of the Euphrates in one of its upper branches (Bush); or that, having roamed to the east of Shinar, they ultimately returned occidentem versus (Junius). The phrase, however, is admitted to be more correctly rendered ad orientem (Drusius, Lange, Keil, Murphy), as in Genesis 13:11. Kalisch interprets generally in oriente, agreeing with Luther that the migrations are viewed by the writer as taking place in the east; while T. Lewis prefers to read from one front part (the original meaning of kedem) to another - onwards. That they found a plain בִּקְעָה; not a valley between mountain ranges, as in Deuteronomy 8:7; Deuteronomy 11:11; Psalm 104:8, but a widely-extended plain (πεδίον, LXX.), like that in which Babylon was situated (Herod., lib. 1:178, κέεται ἐν πεδιῳ μεγάλῳ; cf. Strabo, lib. 2:109). In the land of Shinar. Babylonia (cf. Genesis 10:10). The derivation of the term is unknown (Gesenius), though it probably meant the land of the two rivers (Alford). Its absence from ancient monuments (Rawlinson) suggests that it was the Jewish name for Chaldaea. And they dwelt there. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east,.... That is, the inhabitants of the whole earth; not Ham and his posterity only, or Nimrod and his company; but as all the sons of Noah and his posterity for a while dwelt together, or at least very near each other, and finding the place where they were too scanty for them, as their several families increased, they set out in a body from the place where they were, to seek for a more convenient one: it seems a little difficult how to interpret this phrase, "from the east", since if they came from Ararat in Armenia, where the ark rested, as that lay north of Shinar or Babylon, they might rather be said to come from the north than from the east, and rather came to it than from it: so some think the phrase should be rendered, "to the east" (b), or eastward, as in Genesis 13:11. Jarchi thinks this refers to Genesis 10:30 "and their dwelling was", &c. at "the mountain of the east"; from whence he supposes they journeyed, to find out a place that would hold them all, but could find none but Shinar; but then this restrains it to Joktan's sons, and besides, their dwelling there was not until after the confusion and dispersion. But it is very probable the case was this, that when Noah and his sons came out of the ark, in a little time they betook themselves to their former habitation, from whence they had entered into the ark, namely, to the east of the garden of Eden, where was the appearance of the divine Presence, or Shechinah; and from hence it was that these now journeyed: and so it was as they were passing on:

that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; which the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases the land of Babylon; and Hestiaeus (c), a Phoenician historian, calls it Sennaar of Babylon; there are plain traces of this name in the Singara of Ptolemy (d) and Pliny (e), the Hebrew letter being sometimes pronounced as "G", as in Gaza and Gomorrah; the first of these place a city of this name in Mesopotamia, near the Tigris, and that of the other is reckoned a capital of the Rhetavi, a tribe of the Arabs, near Mesopotamia. This plain was very large, fruitful, and delightful, and therefore judged a fit place for a settlement, where they might have room enough, and which promised them a sufficient sustenance:

and they dwelt there; and provided for their continuance, quickly beginning to build a city and tower, afterwards called Babylon: and that Babylon was built in a large plain is not only here asserted, but is confirmed by Herodotus (f), who says of it, that it lay , in a vast plain, and so Strabo (g); which was no other than the plain of Shinar.

(b) "ad Orientem, sive Orientem versus"; so some in Schmidt. Vid. Drusium in loc. & Fuller. Miscell. Sacr. l. 1. c. 4. (c) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 3.((d) Geograph. l. 5. c. 18. (e) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 24. (f) Clio sive, l. 1. c. 178. (g) Geograph. l. 16. p. 508. 2. land of Shinar—The fertile valley watered by the Euphrates and Tigris was chosen as the center of their union and the seat of their power.11:1-4 How soon men forget the most tremendous judgments, and go back to their former crimes! Though the desolations of the deluge were before their eyes, though they sprang from the stock of righteous Noah, yet even during his life-time, wickedness increases exceedingly. Nothing but the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit can remove the sinful lusts of the human will, and the depravity of the human heart. God's purpose was, that mankind should form many nations, and people all lands. In contempt of the Divine will, and against the counsel of Noah, the bulk of mankind united to build a city and a tower to prevent their separating. Idolatry was begun, and Babel became one of its chief seats. They made one another more daring and resolute. Let us learn to provoke one another to love and to good works, as sinners stir up and encourage one another to wicked works.
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