Genesis 11:7
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

New Living Translation
Come, let's go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won't be able to understand each other."

English Standard Version
Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

New American Standard Bible
"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech."

King James Bible
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another's speech."

International Standard Version
Come on! Let's go down there and confuse their language, so that they won't understand each other's speech."

NET Bible
Come, let's go down and confuse their language so they won't be able to understand each other."

New Heart English Bible
Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Let us go down there and mix up their language so that they won't understand each other."

JPS Tanakh 1917
Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.'

New American Standard 1977
“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now, let us go down and there confound their language that they may not understand one another's speech.

King James 2000 Bible
Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

American King James Version
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

American Standard Version
Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there may not understand one another's speech.

Darby Bible Translation
Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

English Revised Version
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Webster's Bible Translation
Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

World English Bible
Come, let's go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."

Young's Literal Translation
Give help, let us go down, and mingle there their pronunciation, so that a man doth not understand the pronunciation of his companion.'
Study Bible
The Tower of Babel
6The LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them. 7"Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another's speech." 8So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.…
Cross References
Genesis 1:26
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Genesis 42:23
They did not know, however, that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them.

Exodus 4:11
The LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

Deuteronomy 28:49
"The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand,

Isaiah 33:19
You will no longer see a fierce people, A people of unintelligible speech which no one comprehends, Of a stammering tongue which no one understands.

Jeremiah 5:15
"Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel," declares the LORD. "It is an enduring nation, It is an ancient nation, A nation whose language you do not know, Nor can you understand what they say.
Treasury of Scripture

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Go to. The Hebrew word signifies, 'Come,' or, 'make preparation,' as for a journey or the execution of a purpose.

let.

Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children …

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and …

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to …

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and …

confound.

Job 5:12,13 He disappoints the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot …

Job 12:20 He removes away the speech of the trusty, and takes away the understanding …

Psalm 2:4 He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

Psalm 33:10 The LORD brings the counsel of the heathen to nothing: he makes the …

Acts 2:4-11 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak …

may.

Genesis 10:5,20,32 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every …

Genesis 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spoke to them …

Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end …

Psalm 55:9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence …

Jeremiah 5:15 See, I will bring a nation on you from far, O house of Israel, said …

1 Corinthians 14:2-11,23 For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to …

Verse 7. - Go to. An ironical contrast to the "Go to" of the builders (Lange). Let us (cf. Genesis 1:26) go down, and there confound their language (vide infra, ver. 9), that they may not understand (literally, hear; so Genesis 42:23; Isaiah 36:11; 1 Corinthians 14:2) one another's speech. Not referring to individuals (singuli homines), since then society were impossible, but to families or nations (singulae cognationes), which each had its own tongue (Poole). Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language,.... These words are not spoken to the angels, as the Targum and Aben Ezra; for, as Philo the Jew observes (h), they are said to some as co-workers with God, which angels could not be in this work of confounding the language of men; it being above the power of creatures so to work upon the mind, and on the faculty of speech, as to make such an alteration as was at the confusion of tongues, when men were made to forget their former language, and had another put into their minds, and a faculty of speaking it given; or, however, the first language was so differently inflected and pronounced, that it seemed another, and various; all which could not be done but by him who is almighty, even that Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, said Genesis 11:8 to confound man's language; and the first of these speaks to the other two, with whom he consulted about doing it, and with whom he did it. Not that every man had a new and distinct language given him, for then there could have been no society and converse in the world, but one was given to each family; or rather to as many families as constituted a nation or colony, designed for the same place of habitation; how many there were, cannot be said with any certainty. Euphorus, and many other historians (i), say they were seventy five, according to the number of Jacob's posterity that went down into Egypt; others say seventy two: the Jewish writers generally agree with the Targum of Jonathan in making them seventy, according to the number of the posterity of Noah's sons, recorded in the preceding chapter; but several of them spoke the same language, as Ashur, Arphaxad, and Aram, spoke the Chaldee or Syriac language; the sons of Canaan one and the same language; and the thirteen sons of Joktan the Arabic language; Javari and Elisha the Greek language; so that, as Bochart (k) observes, scarce thirty of the seventy will remain distinct: and it is an observation of Dr. Lightfoot (l) not to be despised, that"the fifteen named in Acts 2:5 were enough to confound the work (at Babel), and they may very well be supposed to have been the whole number.''The end to be answered it was:

that they may not understand one another's speech; or "hear" (m), that is, so as to understand; the words were so changed, and so differently pronounced from what they had used to hear, that though they heard the sound, they could not tell the meaning of them: hence, as Jarchi observes, when one asked for a brick, another brought him clay or slime, on which he rose up against him, and dashed his brains out.

(h) De Confus. Ling. p. 344. (i) Apud Clement. Alexandr. Strom. l. 1. p. 338. (k) Phaleg. l. 1. c. 15. Colossians 55. (l) See his Works, vol. 1. p. 694. (m) "audiant", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. 7. confound their language—literally, "their lip"; it was a failure in utterance, occasioning a difference in dialect which was intelligible only to those of the same tribe. Thus easily by God their purpose was defeated, and they were compelled to the dispersion they had combined to prevent. It is only from the Scriptures we learn the true origin of the different nations and languages of the world. By one miracle of tongues men were dispersed and gradually fell from true religion. By another, national barriers were broken down—that all men might be brought back to the family of God.11:5-9 Here is an expression after the manner of men; The Lord came down to see the city. God is just and fair in all he does against sin and sinners, and condemns none unheard. Pious Eber is not found among this ungodly crew; for he and his are called the children of God; their souls joined not themselves to the assembly of these children of men. God suffered them to go on some way, that the works of their hands, from which they promised themselves lasting honour, might turn to their lasting reproach. God has wise and holy ends, in allowing the enemies of his glory to carry on their wicked projects a great way, and to prosper long. Observe the wisdom and mercy of God, in the methods taken for defeating this undertaking. And the mercy of God in not making the penalty equal to the offence; for he deals not with us according to our sins. The wisdom of God, in fixing upon a sure way to stop these proceedings. If they could not understand one another, they could not help one another; this would take them off from their building. God has various means, and effectual ones, to baffle and defeat the projects of proud men that set themselves against him, and particularly he divides them among themselves. Notwithstanding their union and obstinacy God was above them; for who ever hardened his heart against him, and prospered? Their language was confounded. We all suffer by it to this day: in all the pains and trouble used to learn the languages we have occasion for, we suffer for the rebellion of our ancestors at Babel. Nay, and those unhappy disputes, which are strifes of words, and arise from misunderstanding one another's words, for aught we know, are owing to this confusion of tongues. They left off to build the city. The confusion of their tongues not only unfitted them for helping one another, but they saw the hand of the Lord gone out against them. It is wisdom to leave off that which we see God fights against. God is able to blast and bring to nought all the devices and designs of Babel-builders: there is no wisdom nor counsel against the Lord. The builders departed according to their families, and the tongue they spake, to the countries and places allotted to them. The children of men never did, nor ever will, come all together again, till the great day, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, and all nations shall be gathered before him.
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