33. The Tower of Babel – The Origin of Languages

The Flood caused the great event of worldwide catastrophe and the Tower of Babel worldwide confusion of tongues. Genesis gives us the only realistic explanation for the spread of nations and the different languages.

Satan was still working and influencing man whose immorality and spiritual deterioration was to be seen in Nimrod and his followers and recorded in Romans 1:18-32. They left off from worshipping the Creator and began to worship the creation. This soon led to pantheism and polytheism and idolatry. All forms of paganism come form ancient Babylonian religion. The gods and goddess’ of Assyria, Egypt, of Greece, of Rome, India and all other nations flow out of the Babylonian pantheon. Nimrod himself was apparently later deified as the chief god (Merodach or Marduk, of Babylon.) All followed the astrological emblems of the zodiac and wall were associated with idols and communicated in some way with evil spirits who were associated with idols.

Pagan Deities and Astrology

The pagan deities were identified with the stars and planets- “the host of heaven” with sun worshiping occupying the central place. This system formalised in the zodiac, with its numerous constellations, which many nations followed in history. Behind the images of “men and birds and four footed beast” was the real “host of heaven” was Lucifer and his demon hordes.

Many of these rebel angels had already been “cast down to hell” (or Tartarus) and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment (2 Peter 2:4), because of their participation in the attempt to corrupt the human race in the days of Noah (Gen. 6:1-4). The great part of this demonic army remained at liberty to actively oppose the work of God and the people of God (Eph. 6:12). The main thrust of Satan and his host have always been that of deception. He is the one “which deceived the whole world”(Rev. 12:9) into worshipping something or someone rather than the true God of creation (Rev.13: 14-15).

Satan is a notorious corrupter, rather than an innovator. He distorted and corrupted the genuine desire to appreciate Gods creation into mythologies, mysteries and stories that are not true. The truth of the zodiac was to d5raw men to God. The stars and planets were given for “signs and seasons” originally in genesis 1. Job refers to them in Job. It is probable that the patriarchs were conscious of the divine message in them and they were drawn to worship the on who made the, God. In Psalm 19 is recorded the stars as it were testifying and preaching about God. Astrology magnifies God astronomy corrupts the revelation of God. Nimrod and his followers were the first to corrupt the divine message of the heavens and this led into paganism and idolatry.

Babylon was the original system and source o fall the worlds non- Christian religions but were are told Babylon was the “mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Rev. 17:5.) The Babylonian system has also infiltrated and corrupted Christendom to a great degree. The ritualism, the idolatry, the new age philosophies and other philosophies, along with evolutionary pantheistic humanism permeated s though our education system and political systems.

The Whole Earth Was of One Language

Vs 1 “The whole earth was of one language and one speech.” They all used the same words, the same vocabulary. They all knew what the other was talking about and there was no confusion. When they wrote they all understood what was written. They named the rivers Tigris and Euphrates after the two streams that flowed in the Garden of Eden. They all spoke the same language that had been spoken since the creation of Adam. It may have been Hebrew. Shem may have kept his own languages, which may have been preserved since he did not contribute to the rebellion and it was uninfected. They had settled in shiner, a plain lying between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. They were originally descendants of Ham
The Migration to the East

Vs 2 As people migrated eastward or southward from Ararat, they finally came the Shinar which was southeast of Ararat and settled in the fertile Mesopotamian plain. They liked the area and settled there and the population soon grew causing them to produce more and more food for the urban community.

The Great Building Project

Vs 3-4 They wanted to build a permanent structure and community. This was to be established along with the great Tower of Babel. It was then that Nimrod established himself as a mighty man and Satan used him to bring the people together to build a city. This leader wanted to intricate all the people under his structure and system and that society was no longer dependant upon God. A council was called tighter and a command was given to “Go to, let us make brick…and build a city, and a tower, whose top may reach into heaven, and let us make a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the earth.” The tower of Babel explains the great mysteries of the human race. The Hamitic people made bricks out of dirt and clay wherever they have gone. They used bitumen for cement. When bricks were used by Egypt and Assyria they were sun dried. Later they discovered the process of burning them in a furnace until they became hard and impermeable brick such as we know it today. The first city was built by Cain. He wanted to keep people together but God had told them to go forth and multiply.
Mans Desire For Cities. Cities become crowded with people. They are the place of business and commerce. But they are also centres of sin. The more sinners you have together the more sin there will be. Cities are centres of pleasure and culture, where all the hungers of the soul can be satisfied: hunger for beauty, art, and music and all the ingredients of culture. Houses and business places had been established.
Mans Desire for Buildings. They built a great tower that would dominate the cit both architecturally and culturally. The tower, represents the spiritual hunger man has. It was the focal point of religious and political life. A symbol of their unity and strength. Even though he loves to satisfy his fleshy desires he has a spiritual hunger. And so he builds temple, mosques, and cathedrals and expects to find God in them but God does not dwell in temples made with hands. The Babylonians built great towers called ziggurats, which were built in a circular fashion with an ascending staircase that terminates in a shrine at the top, around which are written the signs of the zodiac. The tower was a religious building, intending to expose man to the mystery of the heavens and the greatness of God. They built a tower with its top in the heavens. It was an impressive building and many would stand in awe at its architecture as it towered towards heaven. But they also unquestionably were thinking of it as a means of communication with They manufactured their own way to God.
However you will not find God in any of these two.
God’s has a final city for man to dwell in. Abraham looked for “a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God,” (Hebrews 11:10). But man was not yet ready for that.

Mans Blind Pride. “let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” They wanted to be settled, they wanted to be remembered. They wanted to stay together or they may have been forced by Nimrod and his followers to stay together under his government. Perhaps they were afraid of being isolated from others or missing out on the benefits. People in our world wan to make a name for themselves. They want to build a great house, a wonderful Church building, and a marvellous business. Man wants to glorify himself and leave a monument to himself. He wants the glory that only God should have. Man puts himself at the centre of religion and all his achievements. Man uses Gods name to glorify himself.

God Came Down

Vs 5-6 “And the Lord came down” to investigate this tiny tower that men had erected. The Omnipotent, Omniscient God who knows everything, sees everything and is all-powerful was watching all that was going on. He permits man to go so far and no further. He suffers the consequences of his actins. God knew what was going down but He decided to come down on His judicial capacity and take control of the situation that was getting out of control. He deals with the conspiracy.
Human Unity. “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language”. Unity was possible because they had a common language. They could co-operate and communicate and organize. They had unity with each other but not with God. Man still longs for unity. They try it through the United Nations, through interfaith worship, through social concern, global policies. But he still cannot achieve world unity. He gathers his information, his technological abilities, his ideas and philosophies and says, “Let us cooperate, we can do anything” We can make our dream real. Let us get together and merge Europe, merge countries, merge languages, merge business corporations, merge governments, merge nations, merge churches in ecumenical endeavour. Bring communities together and merge. The desire in man is strong to do these things but the old sin nature within still causes wars, splits, fights, and disagreements. He cannot master the earth. The dream becomes a nightmare. God sends a sword and still scatters. God yet continues the confusion of tongues.

Human Creativity. “This they begin to do…” God gave him the ability to create wonderful things but here they were using it for the wrong reason.
Human Pride. “and nothing will be restrained from them, which they imagined to do.” Man thinks he can do anything, solve any problem. Man may be a genius but without God all he does will eventually be corrupted.

God Took action

Vs 7 “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” A divine council took place between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God was not threatened by what they were doing. He was not afraid of loosing control. He knew they were foolish little beings. After all He built the universe with greater building blocks, atoms. His universe was more fantastic that this tower of mud. It is not that he can’t control them. It is not that they threaten to have major affect on the universe. No, they are small human beings like ants in the vast cosmos. They were saying, “We don’t need God.” We can do without Him” We don’t have to obey him and go into all the earth and multiply we can do it right hear.” They made God an option in human life. (Ps.2:2). They brought god’s wrath upon their heads. They all began to talk nonsense. Men are like that today they have never learned. They are happy to keep God in a corner, or in a building while they live sinfully in their cities. They built their city so as not to be scattered but it was the very thing that caused them to be scattered. They had created a monster for themselves.
Because man is flawed and his mind distorted he does not glorify God. He glorifies himself, his abilities, his achievements, he is the centre of things, he is the master of the universe, and he thinks he is God. Man is blinded he forgets he does not give the spring, the summer the harvest, the winter. He does not control the planetary system. Man without God is a very small creature in deed. Like it or not man is dependent being; he always was, and always will be. He thinks he can control the weather, the harvest, the snow, the flood, the winds, but he sinks into insignificance when they decide to work without him or against him. He continually depends upon god. He thinks he can master the earth but is impotent.
When God came down he was showing mankind he knows nothing of the vastness of God plan and purpose. God came down to protect man form himself.
God was saying “Let us stop man, in his mad folly, from destroying himself off the face of the earth, because he is not God enough to handle it.”
One day these men got up to go to work as usual. They thought they would go on building just like we have done for a long while. But suddenly, God came down, as the workers gathered for work one morning; they found they could not communicate with each other any more. They all began to talk nonsense. Can you imagine the confusion, as the foreman would give orders, but the men would shake their heads; they didn’t understand. The foreman would yell, but they stood bewildered. He would get more frustrated and shout louder and shake his fist. It was utter confusion. Arguments would have erupted and chaos reigned.

God Scatters Mankind

Vs 8-9. Eventually families moved away from Babel and populated other areas. Populations grew and geographic expansion was rapid. Migration and culture developed rapidly. The stronger and more industrious and intelligent tribes took and held the more favourable regions. They built temporary homes at first then built villages, hunted and fished, began to grow crops, cultivate the land, mine the earth, develop farming and animal husbandry, mine the earth for metals, makes tools etc. This was not a Stone Age culture but reactions to a temporary situation because of the scattering. Village economy was quickly succeeded by urbanization as the population increased and building materials were developed. They became great nations over a period of time. The weaker tribes and families were pushed away form the great centres of civilization being forced to colonize new regions, before they could set about establishing heir own culture. Tribes began to invade other tribes and drive out or destroy the occupants.

Variations of Peoples Because of Inbreeding

“As each family and tribal unit migrated away form Babel they each developed a distinctive culture and distinctive physical and biological characteristics. They began to marry family or close relatives and inbreeding caused genetic variations among each group. The dominant genes would find a common expression in the outward physical characteristics, which were latent in the gene pool. In a smaller population the particular suite of genes would be present in its members, but recessive in the larger population. Inside a few generations such inbreeding caused distinctive characteristic of skin colour, height, hair texture, facial features, temperament, environmental adjustment, and other could come to be associated with particular tribes and nations. Sine it was not long after the Flood environmental radiations were at a minimum to produce genetic mutations, and there was yet no genetic danger from inbreeding. After further centuries elapsed, the accumulation of mutations and associated danger of congenital defects had become sufficiently serious to cause God to declare incestuous marriages illegal (Lev. 18:6-14).” (Dr. Henry Morris).

Babel the Gateway to God Becomes Confusion

The Bible plays upon the name for Babel, and links it with the Hebrew word for confusion, balal. It says this was a veritable Babel of confusion. It is interesting that the name Babel means “the gate of God.” That is what man named the tower. But in the ultimate outcome, Babel became the place of confusion. “The gate of God,” in man’s eyes, becomes confusion in the eyes of God. Since that day men have been divided by this confusion of tongues.


The word “confound” is Hebrew balal, which means to “mingle” or “mix.” The confounding of tongues was a miracle. It is connected with the word Babel. Ever since Babel has been known for confusion of religion and language. Although the confusion of tongues has continued ever since people became diligent in understanding languages. Linguists know that most of the languages of earth can be gathered into family groups (e.g., the Indo-European family of languages), and in the Japhetic line and the Semitic line they are quite closely allied; it is not difficult to group those various tongues. The Hamitic languages are even more confusing than the rest since they initiated the building of the Tower. Tribes of people, growing up close by one another, have completely different languages. It still persists into this day, and it still divides mankind. Translation is a continual challenge to mankind. The United Nations cannot even meet together without mechanical gadgets of translation by means of which they can understand one another.
We have devices and gadgets to help solve this confusion by translating one language into another. However language is much deeper than words it includes the culture of the people, their thought and life patterns. To know a language does not mean you know a culture or understand it. It just means you can communicate in a different language. There remains a lack of understanding between peoples, mentally, psychologically and culturally.
Speech and language is amazing and colourful in variety. Even within ones own language group some are more adept than others. Some become word – smiths and have a great ability of communicating. Some become wonderful orators and hold large audiences spellbound. Evolutionists are unable to explain the gulf between the chattering of animals and human language. God uses words to speak to mankind.

God Will Return Man to One Language

One day God will “turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent” (Zeph. 3:9). Even though there will e distinctive nations they will praise the Lord with one language (Zech. 14:9, 16-18; Isa. 2:2; Micah 4:2; Psalm 72:17; Rev. 21:24-26). There is a foretaste of this in Acts 2:6-11.

Our Lord Jesus was the “Living Word” of God. God spoke though his Son (Heb. 1:2). Mans ability to speak is no accident. God spoke with Adam in the Garden of Eden and made it possible for Adam to speak to Eve. But when men began to co-operate and communicate their desire to rebel against their Maker, appropriately god judgment was to confuse their tongues and language this forced them to separate from each other.
Modern man is trying everything to bring unity to the kingdoms of the world but find it impossible. Even the Antichrist will attempt to bring world union but will not succeed, as many will not comply with his demands. Division will continue until the Prince of Peace comes and sets up His Kingdom.