Genesis 11

The tower in Babel

1 At this time, everyone who lived on the earth spoke one language. They used the same words. 2 People moved to the East. They reached a large flat piece of land called Shinar. They stayed there to live. 3 They said to each other, ‘We should make bricks and cook them until they are hard.’ These people used bricks instead of stones to build houses. They used tar to hold the bricks together, instead of cement.

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

4 They said, ‘Let us build a city to live in. We should also build a very tall tower. The tower will go up into the heavens. Then we will always be famous. If we do that, we will not have to separate and go to live in different places on the earth.’

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower. He saw that the people had started to build them. 6 The Lord said, ‘Because they all speak the same language, they are able to do this. If they can do this together, they may decide to do whatever they want. 7 Now we must go down to them. We must make their language become confused. Then they will not be able to understand each other.’

8 So the Lord separated the people from one another. They went to live in different lands all over the earth. They stopped building the city for themselves. 9 That is why people called the city Babel. It was because the Lord confused all the people of the world and he gave them different languages to speak. From that time, the Lord separated the people from each other so that they lived in different places all over the earth.

11:9The name ‘Babel’ shows that God confused the people there.

Shem's family

10 This is the report about Shem and his family.

Two years after the deep water went away from the earth, Shem was 100 years old. He became the father of Arphaxad. 11 After Arphaxad was born, Shem lived for 500 years. He had other sons and daughters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26 After 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 still alive, his son, Haran, died. Haran died in Ur, the land of the Chaldeans. That was where Haran had been 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 his grandson Lot. (Lot was Haran's son.) Terah also took Abram's wife Sarai. 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 lived for 205 years. Then he died in Haran.