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Genesis Chapter 11
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The Tower of Babel
11:1 The entire earth had one language with uniform words.
11:2 When [the people] migrated from the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar, and they settled there.
11:3 They said to one another, 'Come, let us mold bricks and fire them.' They then had bricks to use as stone, and asphalt for mortar.
11:4 They said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top shall reach the sky. Let us make ourselves a name, so that we will not be scattered all over the face of the earth.'
11:5 God descended to see the city and the tower that the sons of man had built.
11:6 God said, 'They are a single people, all having one language, and this is the first thing they do! Now nothing they plan to do will be unattainable for them!
11:7 Come, let us descend and confuse their speech, so that one person will not understand another's speech.'
11:8 From that place, God scattered them all over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city.
11:9 He named it Babel, because this was the place where God confused the world's language. It was from there that God dispersed [humanity] over all the face of the earth.

The Eleventh Generation
11:10 These are the chronicles of Shem:

Shem was 100 years old when he had a son Arpachshad, two years after the flood.

11:11 Shem lived 500 years after he had Arpachshad, and he had sons and daughters.

The Twelfth Generation
11:12 Arpachshad was 35 years old when he had a son Shelach.
11:13 Arpachshad lived 403 years after he had Shelach, and he had sons and daughters.

The Thirteenth Generation
11:14 Shelach was 30 years old when he had a son Eber.
11:15 Shelach lived 403 years after he had Eber, and he had sons and daughters.

The Fourteenth Generation
11:16 Eber was 34 years old when he had a son Peleg.
11:17 Eber lived 430 years after he had Peleg, and he had sons and daughters.

The Fifteenth Generation
11:18 Peleg was 30 years old when he had a son Reu.
11:19 Peleg lived 209 years after he had Reu, and he had sons and daughters.

The Sixteenth Generation
11:20 Reu was 32 years old when he had a son Serug.
11:21 Reu lived 207 years after he had Serug, and he had sons and daughters.

The Seventeenth Generation
11:22 Serug was 30 years old when he had a son Nachor.
11:23 Serug lived 200 years after he had Nachor, and he had sons and daughters.

The Eighteenth Generation
11:24 Nachor was 29 years old when he had a son Terach.
11:25 Nachor lived 119 years after he had Terach, and he had sons and daughters.

Abram
11:26 Terach was 70 years old when he fathered Abram, Nachor and Haran.
11:27 These are the chronicles of Terach:

Terach fathered Abram, Nachor and Haran.

Haran had a son Lot.

11:28 Haran died during the lifetime of his father Terach, in the land of his birth, Ur Casdim.
11:29 Abram and Nachor married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai. The name of Nachor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran (who was the father of Milcah and Yiscah).
11:30 Sarai was sterile; she had no children.
11:31 Terach took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran's son), and his daughter-in-law Sarai (Abram's wife). With them, he left Ur Casdim, heading toward the land of Canaan. They came as far as Charan and settled there.
11:32 All of Terach's days were 205 years, and Terach died in Charan.



Commentary:

Shinar
  See note on Genesis 10:10.

asphalt
  See Genesis 14:10, Exodus 2:3. In ancient times, asphalt was often used as a mortar. The Targum Yonathan, however, renders the word chemar here as clay.

descended
  An anthropomorphism denoting special attention, especially for the purpose of punishing the wicked (Moreh Nevukhim 1:10).

us
  God was speaking to the angels, or to the forces of creation (Rashi; Ibn Ezra). See note on Genesis 1:26.

Babel
  Hebrew for Babylonia or Babylon.

confused
  Balal in Hebrew, cognate to Babel.

Arpachshad
  See Genesis 10:24.

Ur Casdim
  Often translated Ur of the Chaldeans. Some say that the Casdim derived their name from Arpachshad, which is Arp-casad. Others say that the name came from Kesed (Genesis 22:22), and was not used until after Abraham's time (Radak). (See Yov'loth 11:3).

Yiscah
  Usually identified with Sarah (Rashi; Targum Yonathan; Josephus, Antiquities 1:6:5). In English, this is sometimes rendered as Jessica.

Charan
  A city in Mesopotamia, some 400 miles northeast of the Holy Land. The journey from Ur to Charan was close to 600 miles.





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