Bible Reading: Genesis chapters 10+11

“These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.” 

Genesis 10v32 KJV

When Noah left the ark there were only eight human beings alive in the whole wide world. They were all members of the same family and probably looked pretty much alike. They spoke the same language (Genesis 11v1). Now we have many different peoples scattered over all the earth, with different skin colours and features, speaking many different languages. How did all the languages come about? Where did the ‘races’ come from? How did all the different skin colours arise? Are all black people cursed? What about cavemen?

Once again, the Bible is the key to the past. Genesis chapter 10 tells us how the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth began to spread out to fill the world with people. Then Genesis chapter 11 gives us the reason why they began to spread out – confusion of their language at Babel. Did the tower of Babel really reach to heaven? Is it not just another ‘story’?

Take time to look up the Bible verses if you want to really benefit from this study

The Building of the Tower

The Bible makes it clear that all people on earth at this time spoke the same language. Also, the people had left Ararat (where Noah’s ark had landed) and moved eastward for the fertile plains of Shinar (Genesis 11v1-2), situated in the region of Babylon.

The descendants of Noah were repopulating the earth and, according to Genesis chapter 10, the family groups were already well established by this stage. God wanted the population to grow but He also wanted the earth filled (Genesis 1v28; 9v1). To replenish simply means ‘to fill.’

All the people alive in the world at this time were settling together (Genesis 10v4 – “lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth”). They were not scattering to fill the earth as God had distinctly commanded them to do (Genesis 9v1). Thus, they were disobeying God and disobeying God is sin. God had judged the world in Noah’s day because of the wickedness of the people but the worldwide flood had not eliminated sin from this world. People were born with a sinful nature that caused them to rebel against the Thrice-Holy God.

Animals would have started to spread out immediately after the flood and so would have reached other countries before people did.

As the people settled together in one place in disobedience to God, they decided to build a city and a tower, lest they would be scattered (Genesis 11v3-4). Perhaps the post-Flood world was so inhospitable that they wanted to stay close together. Please notice that there were those who were skilled in building.

Notice the use of the word ‘us’ in Genesis 11v3-4 – “let us make brick…. let us build us a city and a tower…. let us make us a name.” The people were choosing to go their own way, doing as they wanted and making a name for themselves, without taking God’s will into their considerations. Man defies God because he thinks that he knows better than his Creator.

The tower that they proceeded to build probably looked like ziggurat, a stepped structure.

Top of the Tower

The words “whose top may reach unto the heavens” (Genesis 11v4) may be taken to mean that the tower was going to reach into the heavens, a figure of speech meaning it would be impressively high (like we talk of ‘skyscrapers’). However, it may also mean that its top would be, like some of the ziggurats in ancient Babylon (Babel), open to the heavens as a giant astrological observatory for the false worship of those times.

This temple tower would have been used for false worship – worshipping the sun, moon, and stars. Thus, the people sinned against the Lord. They rebelled against the True God.

For further information on creation/evolution issues visit:

Answers in Genesis
Creation Ministries International