Genesis 11

The tower in Babel

11:1The events in verses 1-9 happened before the events that we read about in chapter 10.

1 At this time, everyone who lived on the earth spoke one language. 2 People moved to the East. They reached a large flat piece of land called Shinar. They stayed and lived there. 3 They said to each other, ‘Let us build a city with a tower. We will first make bricks and heat them until they are hard. They used brick instead of stone. They used tar to hold the bricks together.’

11:3You use bricks to build things. If you cook them like bread, they go hard. Tar is black and sticky. It becomes soft when hot and hard when cold.

4 They said, ‘Let us build a city with a tower. The tower will go up into the heavens. Then people will remember us. If we build a tower then we will not have to go and live in different places.’

5 But the Lord came down. He came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. 6 The Lord said, ‘Because they all speak the same language, they can build this tower. What will they do after this? 7 Let us go down. Let us make them speak in different languages. Then they will not understand each other.’ 8 So the Lord separated the people, and they went to live in different lands. They stopped building the city. 9 That is why people called the city Babel. It was because the Lord gave the people different languages. They could not understand each other. From that time, the Lord separated the people. They lived in different countries all over the earth.

11:9A tower is a very tall building. The name ‘Babel’ means that God confused the people.

Shem's family

10 This is the report about Shem and his family.

Two years after the earth was dry, Shem was 100 years old. He became the father of Arphaxad. 11 After he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem was alive for 500 years. He had other sons and daughters.

12 When Arphaxad was 35 years old, he became the father of Shelah. 13 After he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad was alive for 403 years. He had other sons and daughters.

14 When Shelah was 30 years old, he became the father of Eber. 15 After he became the father of Eber, Shelah was alive for 403 years. He had other sons and daughters.

16 When Eber was 34 years old, he became the father of Peleg. 17 After he became the father of Peleg, Eber was alive for 430 years. He had other sons and daughters.

18 When Peleg was 30 years old, he became the father of Reu. 19 After he became the father of Reu, Peleg was alive for 209 years. He had other sons and daughters.

20 When Reu was 32 years old, he became the father of Serug. 21 After he became the father of Serug, Reu was alive for 207 years. He had other sons and daughters.

22 When Serug was 30 years old, he became the father of Nahor. 23 After he became the father of Nahor, Serug was alive for 200 years. He had other sons and daughters.

24 When Nahor was 29 years old, he became the father of Terah. 25 After he became the father of Terah, Nahor was alive for 119 years. He had other sons and daughters.

26 When Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.

Terah's family

27 This is the report about Terah and his family.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While Terah was alive, Haran died. Haran died in Ur, the land of the Chaldeans. This was where Haran was born. 29 Abram married Sarai. Nahor married Milcah. Milcah was Haran's daughter. Haran was the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Sarai could not give birth to children. She did not have any children.

31 Terah took his son Abram, and Abram's wife, Sarai. Terah took his grandson Lot. (Lot is the son of Haran.) They all left Ur, the land of the Chaldeans. They began to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they stayed there. 32 Terah was alive for 205 years. He died in Haran.