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The Book of Genesis - Michael Joseph Murano EPISODE 23, 15th January 2021
Gen 23: Chapter 11
00:00:00 01:13:14

Gen 23: Chapter 11

Book of Genesis #23

Like the Table of Nations that we studied in the previous talk (Genesis 10: The Table of Nations), Chapter 11 has no parallel in Mesopotamian literature.

Chapter 11 displays an intimate acquaintance with Babylonian construction techniques, a familiarity with some characteristic formulas of cuneiform royal building inscriptions.

But familiarity does not mean similitude. If anything, this chapter is a spiritual and ideological tract against the Babylonian ambitions to conquer the sky. A key expression, repeated 5 times, is "all the earth," for the entire human race is presumed involved in the sinful construction of the tower.

What is being condemned here is not human enterprise, for after all God told Adam to subdue the Earth (that is, use the resources that I, the Lord, have placed at your disposal to better your life, but do so responsibly). What is condemned is human hubris, the folly of man to build a tower for the sole purpose of escaping a second flood, even though the Lord promised not to punish the world by water.

The net result of this whole messy affair is that God has to start again and this time with Abram.