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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Genesis 11

 

 

Verse 1

earth = people of the earth. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject). App-6; "earth" put for inhabitants.

language. Hebrew "lip". Figure of speech Metonymy (of cause); lip put for language. The chapter begins with man"s attempt to unify mankind, and ends with God"s new provision to unify all in blessing with Abraham"s seed.


Verse 2

from the east = eastward.

Shinar = Babylonia.


Verse 3

said. Sin with their tongues punished in the same manner (Genesis 11:7).

burn, &c. Hebrew brick bricks, and burn a burning. Figure of speech Polyptoton, emphasizing their determination. Burning in fire, not waiting for sun. See note on "brick-kiln", 2 Samuel 12:3.

slime = bitumen. So tenacious to-day that detachment almost impossible. Compare the slime of Babel with the jewels of Zion (Revelation 21:19).


Verse 4

may reach. No Ellipsis here. Hebrew "and its top with the heavens", i.e. with the Zodiac depicted on it, as in ancient temples of Denderah and Esneh in Egypt.

a name. Manifesting independence of God. Nimrod being the rebel leader. See Genesis 10:8-10, and Compare Genesis 12:2.


Verse 5

came down. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia (App-6).


Verse 7

Go to, let Us go down. This is always in judgment (Compare Genesis 18:21. Exodus 3:8). Here in contrast with Genesis 11:4, to man"s "Go to, let us go up". Figure of speech Anthropopatheia, App-6. See Genesis 11:5.


Verse 8

scattered. Septuagint same word as in Acts 8:1 (Isaiah 8:9). This was to preserve the revelation contained in the Zodiac and the constellations.


Verse 9

Babel. Hebrew = confusion. Compare Job 5:12, another application of the Hebrew word.

scatter. Septuagint same word as in Acts 8:1. Result of which was the conversion of the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26) of HAM. Saul (Acts 9) of SHEM. Cornelius (Acts 10) of JAPHETH. Tongues confounded in judgment (Genesis 11:9). Given in grace (Acts 2:4). United in glory (Revelation 7:9).


Verse 11

Shem. A return to the main purpose of the Book. See note on Genesis 5:32.


Verse 12

Salah., Luke 3:36 says Cainan, but this was probably a gloss from Septuagint, and crept into the text. No second Cainan in Hebrew text here or elsewhere. Compare 1 Chronicles 1:18.


Verse 16

Eber. See above, Genesis 10:24. Peleg born (Genesis 10:25) Genesis 10:14 years before Genesis 11:9.


Verse 17

Peleg. See above, Genesis 10:25 (Luke 3:36, Phalec).


Verse 20

Serug born (Luke 3:35. Saruch).


Verse 24

Terah. Name probably = traveller.


Verse 27

Generations of Terah. The centre of the eleven. See page 1 and App-29. Abram the youngest comes first (born 1996). Compare Shem (Genesis 10:21), Jacob (Genesis 25:23; Genesis 27:15), Ephraim (Genesis 48:20).


Verse 28

before his father. The first death so recorded. Ur = the Uru or "city" of the cuneiform texts. Now = Mugheir on W. bank of Euphrates.


Verse 29

Iscah. See App-29.


Verse 31

Terah took. Terah being 200 and Abram 70. Compare Genesis 15:7. Joshua 24:3. Nehemiah 9:7. Acts 7:2-4. Hebrews 11:8.

daughter in law = daughter by another wife. See App-29.

they. Others beside those named. Compare Genesis 24:10, Genesis 24:15; Genesis 29:10.

Ur = a city of great pretensions. Recent excavations show luxury and attainments. Abraham no nomad. See note on Genesis 11:28.

Haran. Not the Haran of Genesis 11:26 above; but Charran (Acts 7:2, Acts 7:4), the frontier town of Babylonian Empire, devoted to the worship of the Moon-god.

dwelt. Till he died (Genesis 11:32).


Verse 32

died in Haran (Charran). With this Acts 7:4 agrees. Not seeing this, the Massorites wrongly marked Genesis 11:32 with an inverted Nun () as being a dislocation of the Text.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 11:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/genesis-11.html. 1909-1922.

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