Genesis 11:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
That is why it was called Babel --because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

New Living Translation
That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the LORD confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

English Standard Version
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore its name is called Babylon, for there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

International Standard Version
Therefore it was called Babylon, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth, and from there the LORD scattered them over the surface of the entire earth.

NET Bible
That is why its name was called Babel--because there the LORD confused the language of the entire world, and from there the LORD scattered them across the face of the entire earth.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is why it was named Babel, because there the LORD turned the language of the whole earth into babble. From that place the LORD scattered them all over the face of the earth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore the name of it was called Babel because there the LORD confounded the language of all the earth, and from there the LORD scattered them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confuse the language of all the earth: and from there did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

American King James Version
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from there did the LORD scatter them abroad on the face of all the earth.

American Standard Version
Therefore was the name of it called Babel; because Jehovah did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did Jehovah scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded: and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all countries.

Darby Bible Translation
Therefore was its name called Babel; because Jehovah there confounded the language of the whole earth. And Jehovah scattered them thence over the face of the whole earth.

English Revised Version
Therefore was 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore is the name of it called Babel, because the LORD there confounded the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

World English Bible
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there Yahweh confused the language of all the earth. From there, Yahweh scattered them abroad on the surface of all the earth.

Young's Literal Translation
therefore hath one called its name Babel, for there hath Jehovah mingled the pronunciation of all the earth, and from thence hath Jehovah scattered them over the face of all the earth.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - Therefore is the name of it called Babel. For Balbel, confusion (σύγχυσις, LXX., Josephus), from Balal, to confound; the derivation given by the sacred writer in the following clause (cf. for the elision of the letter l, totaphah for tophtaphah, Exodus 13:16, and cochav for covcav, Genesis 37:9). Other derivations suggested are Bab-Bel, the gate or court of Bolus (Eichhorn, Lange), an explanation of the term which Furst thinks not impossible, and Kalisch declares "can scarcely be overlooked;" and Bab-il, the gate of God (Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Colenso); but the first is based upon a purely mythical personage, Bel, the imaginary founder of the city; and the second, if even it were supported by evidence, which it is not, is not so likely as that given by Moses. Because the Lord did there confound - how is not explained, but has been conjectured to be by an entirely inward process, viz., changing the ideas associated with words (Koppen); by a process wholly outward, viz.. an alteration of the mode of pronouncing words (Hoffman), though more probably by both (Keil), or possibly by the first insensibly leading to the second - the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them. As the result not simply of their growing discord, dissensio animorum, per quam factum sit, ut qui turrem struehant distracti sint in contraria studia et consilia (Vitringa); but chiefly of their diverging tongues - a statement which is supposed to conflict with the findings of modern philology, that the existing differences of language among mankind are the result of slow and gradual changes brought about by the operation of natural causes, such as the influence of locality in changing and of time in corrupting human speech. But

(1) modern philology has as yet only succeeded in explaining the growth of what might be called the sub-modifications of human speech, and is confessedly unable to account for what appears to be its main division into a Shemitic, an Aryan, and a Turanian tongue, which may have been produced in the sudden and miraculous way described; and

(2) nothing prevents us from regarding the two events, the confusion of tongues and the dispersion of the nations, as occurring simultaneously, and even acting and reacting on each other. As the tribes parted, their speech would diverge, and, on the other hand, as the tongues differed, those who spoke the same or cognate dialects would draw together and draw apart from the rest. We may even suppose that, prior to the building of Babel, if any of the human family had begun to spread themselves abroad upon the surface of the globe, a slight diversity in human speech had begun to show itself; and the truthfulness of the narrative will in no wise be endangered by admitting that the Divine interposition at Babel may have consisted in quickening a natural process which had already commenced to operate; nay, we are rather warranted to conclude that the whole work of subdividing human speech was not compressed into a moment of time, but, after receiving this special impulse, was left to develop and complete itself as the nations wandered farther and ever farther from the plains of Shinar (cf. Kurtz, 'Hist. of the Old Covenant,' vol. 1. pp. 108-117 (Clark's For. Theol. Lib.), and 'Quarry on Genesis,' pp. 195-206).

CHALDAEAN LEGEND OF THE TOWER OF BABEL. Berosus, indeed, does not refer to it, and early writers are obliged to have recourse to somewhat doubtful authorities to confirm it. Eusebius, e.g., quotes Abydenus as saying that "not long after the Flood, the ancient race of men were so puffed up with their strength and tallness of stature that they began to despise and contemn the gods, and labored to erect that very lofty tower which is now called Babylon, intending thereby to scale the heaven& But when the building approached the sky, behold, the gods called in the aid of the winds, and by their help overturned the tower, and cast it to the ground! The name of the ruin is still called Babel, because until this time all men had used the same speech; but now there was sent upon them a confusion of many and diverse tongues" ('Praep. Ev.,' 9:14). But the diligence of the late George Smith has been rewarded by discovering the fragment of an Assyrian tablet (marked If, 3657 in British Museum) containing an account of the building of the tower, in which the gods are represented as being angry at the work and confounding the speech of the builders. In col. 1, lines 5 and 6 (according to W. St. C. Boscawen's translation) run -

"Babylon corruptly to sin went, and
Small and great mingled on the mound;"


while in col 2, lines 12, 13, 14, 15, am-

"In his anger also the secret counsel he poured out
To scatter abroad his face he set
He gave a command to make strange their speech
... their progress he impeded."
('Records of the Past,' vol. 7. p. 131; cf. ' Chaldaean Genesis, p. 160.)



Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Therefore is the name of it called Babel,.... The name of the city mentioned, and the tower also, which signifies "confusion", as the Septuagint version renders it; and so Josephus (w) says the Hebrews call confusion "Babel": perhaps this name was given it by the sons of Eber, or it might be a common name preserved in all languages, as some are; and though the first builders desisted from going on with building it, yet it seems that afterwards Nimrod went on with it, and completed it, and made it the beginning of his kingdom, or his capital city; and perhaps he and his family might continue after the confusion and dispersion somewhere near unto it, see Genesis 10:10. The reason of its name is given:

because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth; and therefore it is false what is said by some, that the above city had its name from Babylon, the son of Belus:

and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth; which is repeated for the confirmation of it, and that it might be taken notice of and observed as a very wonderful and important event. These Babel builders were an emblem of self-righteous persons, who, as those were, are the greater part of the world, and, under different forms of religion, are all upon the same foot of a covenant of works; they all speak the same language; and indeed all men naturally do, declaring and seeking for justification by their own works; and journey from the east, depart from Christ, one of whose names is the east, or rising sun; they turn their backs on him and his righteousness; build on a plain, not on a rock or mountain, but on the sandy bottom of their own works, in a land of Shinar, or shaking, on a tottering foundation; their view is to get themselves a name, to be seen of men, and be applauded for their work sake, and that they might reach heaven, and get to it this way; but the issue of all is confusion and scattering abroad; for upon the foot of their own righteousness they can never enter into the kingdom of heaven.

(w) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 13.)



Genesis 11:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Tower of Babel
8So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
Cross References
Genesis 10:10
The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar.

Psalm 55:9
Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city.

Jeremiah 50:1
This is the word the LORD spoke through Jeremiah the prophet concerning Babylon and the land of the Babylonians:
Treasury of Scripture

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from there did the LORD scatter them abroad on the face of all the earth.

Babel. that is, Confusion. The tower of Babel, Herodotus informs us, was a furlong or

Genesis 10:5,10,20,31 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every …

Isaiah 13:1-14:32 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see…

Jeremiah 50:1-51:64 The word that the LORD spoke against Babylon and against the land …

1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and …

the face.

Genesis 10:25,32 And to Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in …

Acts 17:26 And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all …

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