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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Genesis 11



1One language in the world.
2The building of Babel.
5It is interrupted by the confusion of tongues, and the builders dispersed.
10The generations of Shem.
27The generations of Terah, the father of Abram.
31Terah, with Abram and Lot, remove from Ur to Haran.

Verse 1
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
A. M. 1757. B.C. 2247. was
Isaiah 19:18; Zephaniah 3:9; Acts 2:6
Heb. lip. speech. Heb. words.

Verse 2
And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
from the east
or, eastward.
9; 10:10; 14:1; Isaiah 11:11; Daniel 1:2; Zechariah 5:11

Verse 3
And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
they said one to another
Heb. a man said to his neighbour. Go to.
4,7; Psalms 64:5; Proverbs 1:11; Ecclesiastes 2:1; Isaiah 5:5; 41:6,7; James 4:13; 5:1
not as
Hebrews 3:13; 10:24
burn throughly
Heb. burn to a burning. brick.
Exodus 1:14; 5:7-18; 2 Samuel 12:31; Isaiah 9:10; 65:3; Nahum 3:14
14:10; Exodus 2:3

Verse 4
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Deuteronomy 1:28; 9:1; Daniel 4:11,22
and let
2 Samuel 8:13; Psalms 49:11-13; Proverbs 10:7; Daniel 4:30; John 5:44
8,9; Psalms 92:9; Luke 1:51

Verse 5
And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
18:21; Exodus 19:11; Psalms 11:4; 33:13,14; Jeremiah 23:23,24; John 3:13; Hebrews 4:13

Verse 6
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
3:22; Judges 10:14; 1 Kings 18:27; Ecclesiastes 11:9
the people
1; 9:19; Acts 17:26
6:5; 8:21; Psalms 2:1-4; Luke 1:51

Verse 7
Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
Go to
The Hebrew word signifies, "Come," or, "make preparation," as for a journey or the execution of a purpose.
5; 1:26; 3:22; Isaiah 6:8
Job 5:12,13; 12:20; Psalms 2:4; 33:10; Acts 2:4-11
10:5,20,32; 42:23; Deuteronomy 28:49; Psalms 55:9; Jeremiah 5:15; 1 Corinthians 14:2-11,23

Verse 8
So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
4,9; 49:7; Deuteronomy 32:8; Luke 1:51

Verse 9
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
that is, Confusion. The tower of Babel, Herodotus informs us, was a furlong or 660 feet, in length and breadth; and, according to Strabo, it rose to the same altitude. It was of a pyramidical form, consisting of eight square towers, gradually decreasing in breadth, with a winding ascent on the outside, so very broad as to allow horses and carriages to pass each other, and even to turn. This magnificent structure is so completely destroyed that its very site is doubtful; and when supposed to be discovered, in all cases exhibiting a heap of rubbish.
10:5,10,20,31; Isaiah 13:1-14; Jeremiah 50:1-51; 1 Corinthians 14:23
the face
10:25,32; Acts 17:26

Verse 10
These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
A. M. 1658. B.C. 2346
27; 10:21,22; 1 Chronicles 1:17-27; Luke 3:34-36

Verse 11
And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 2158. B.C. 1846. Shem
begat sons
1:28; 5:4; 9:7; Psalms 127:3,4; 128:3,4; 144:12

Verse 12
And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
A. M. 1693. B.C. 2311. begat
Luke 3:36

Verse 13
And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 2096. B.C. 1908

Verse 14
And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
A. M. 1723. B.C. 2281

Verse 15
And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 2126. B.C. 1878

Verse 16
And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:
A. M. 1757. B.C. 2247. Eber
10:21,25; Numbers 24:24; 1 Chronicles 1:19
Luke 3:35

Verse 17
And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 2187. B.C. 1817

Verse 18
And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:
A. M. 1787. B.C. 2217. Reu
Luke 3:35

Verse 19
And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 1996. B.C. 2008

Verse 20
And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
A. M. 1819. B.C. 2185. Serug
Luke 3:35

Verse 21
And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 2026. B.C. 1978

Verse 22
And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:
A. M. 1849. B.C. 2155. Nahor
Joshua 24:2

Verse 23
And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 2049. B.C. 1955

Verse 24
And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:
A. M. 1878. B.C. 2126. Terah
Luke 3:34

Verse 25
And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
A. M. 1997. B.C. 2007

Verse 26
And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
A. M. 1948. B.C. 2056. Abram
12:4,5; 22:20-24; 29:4,5; Joshua 24:2; 1 Chronicles 1:26,27

Verse 27
Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
A. M. 2008. B.C. 1996. Lot
31; 12:4; 13:1-11; 14:12; 19:1-29; 2 Peter 2:7

Verse 28
And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
15:7; Nehemiah 9:7; Acts 7:2-4

Verse 29
And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
17:15; 20:12
22:20; 24:15
Iscah is called the daughter-in-law of Terah, (ver. 31,) as being Abram's wife; yet Abram afterwards said, "she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother." (ch. 20:12.) Probably Haran was the eldest son of Terah, and Abram his youngest by another wife; and thus Sarai was the daughter, or grand-daughter of Terah, Abram's father, but not of his mother.

Verse 30
But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
15:2,3; 16:1,2; 18:11,12; 21:1,2; 25:21; 29:31; 30:1,2; Judges 13:2; 1 Samuel 1:2; Psalms 113:9; Luke 1:7,36

Verse 31
And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
A. M. 2078. B.C. 1926. took
26,27; 12:1
they went
28; 12:1; Joshua 24:2,3; Hebrews 11:8
Ur was probably the place called Ouri, in Mesopotamia, two days' journey from Nisibis, in the way to the river Tigris.
Joshua 24:2; Nehemiah 9:7; Acts 7:2-4
the land
10:19; 24:10
B. C. cir. 1923. A.M. cir. 2081. Haran
32; 12:4; 24:10,15; 27:43; 29:4,5; Acts 7:2-4

Verse 32
And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
A. M. 2083. B.C. 1921


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 11:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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