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Genesis 11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Tower of Babel

11 At first everyone spoke the same language, but after some of them moved from the east[a] and settled in Babylonia,[b] 3-4 they said:

Let’s build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We’ll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We’ll become famous, and we won’t be scattered all over the world.

But when the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower, he said:

These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. Come on! Let’s go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won’t be able to understand each other.

8-9 So the people had to stop building the city, because the Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That’s how the city of Babel[c] got its name.

The Descendants of Shem

10-11 Two years after the flood, when Shem was one hundred, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of six hundred. This is a list of his descendants:

12 When Arpachshad was thirty-five, he had a son named Shelah. 13 Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-eight.

14 When Shelah was thirty, he had a son named Eber. 15 Shelah had more children and died at the age of four hundred thirty-three.

16 When Eber was thirty-four, he had a son named Peleg. 17 Eber had more children and died at the age of four hundred sixty-four.

18 When Peleg was thirty, he had a son named Reu. 19 Peleg had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.

20 When Reu was thirty-two he had a son named Serug. 21 Reu had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty-nine.

22 When Serug was thirty, he had a son named Nahor. 23 Serug had more children and died at the age of two hundred thirty.

24 When Nahor was twenty-nine, he had a son named Terah. 25 Nahor had more children and died at the age of one hundred forty-eight.

The Descendants of Terah

26-28 After Terah was seventy years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah’s sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea,[d] and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah’s descendants.

29-30 Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have any children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.

31 Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran,[e] they decided to settle there instead. 32 Terah lived to be two hundred five years old and died in Haran.

Footnotes:

  1. 11.2 from the east: Or “to the east.”
  2. 11.2 Babylonia: See the note at 10.6-20.
  3. 11.8,9 Babel: In Hebrew “Babel” sounds like “confused.”
  4. 11.26-28 Ur in Chaldea: Chaldea was a region at the head of the Persian Gulf. Ur was on the main trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea.
  5. 11.31 Haran: About 550 miles northwest of Ur.

Genesis 11 New International Version (NIV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel[c]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

From Shem to Abram

10 This is the account of Shem’s family line.

Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father[d] of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.[e]

14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.

Abram’s Family

27 This is the account of Terah’s family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 11:2 Or from the east; or in the east
  2. Genesis 11:2 That is, Babylonia
  3. Genesis 11:9 That is, Babylon; Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused.
  4. Genesis 11:10 Father may mean ancestor; also in verses 11-25.
  5. Genesis 11:13 Hebrew; Septuagint (see also Luke 3:35, 36 and note at Gen. 10:24) 35 years, he became the father of Cainan. 13 And after he became the father of Cainan, Arphaxad lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters, and then he died. When Cainan had lived 130 years, he became the father of Shelah. And after he became the father of Shelah, Cainan lived 330 years and had other sons and daughters
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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