1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 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. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. (NKJV)
One of the questions that arise after reading this account is what was so worrisome about the city and tower that were built that God sent angels down to stop mankind? Most theologians have taught that it was arrogant rebellion of mankind against the Creator that was the reason. Now that could be the reason since God hates arrogance and rebellion. But was the mere construction of a city and tower because of mankind’s arrogant attitude enough for God to take drastic action?
People today have a misconception that ancient man was very primitive based on the history that has been passed down to us. But is this necessarily true? For example, modern humans marvel at the Great Pyramid in Egypt which we would be unable to duplicate today even with our modern technology. Because of secular humanism, modern man tends to view history with a minimalist view going from cavemen to today. However, the simplest explanation may be that ancient man was more advanced than we think.
Rabbi Ariel bar Tzadok at http://www.koshertorah.com/ has an interesting essay on the Tower of Babel. He looks deeper into the Hebrew words within the text for a more clear understanding of what actually was going on in the narrative. He notes that the Hebrew words for “journeyed from the east” is ‘m’kedem and it has the connotation of moving away from the Ancient or away from God. He then points out that the words “found a plain” is not the Hebrew word bik’a which means valley, but it is bik’ia which means opening or discovery. Based on the Biblical text and ancient rabbinical commentaries he concludes that the people in this story may actually have found ancient technology from before the flood of Noah’s time. Technology advanced enough for Heaven to pay attention to and take corrective action by confusing mankind’s languages to stop their efforts.
As we push the envelopes of our modern technology and try to distance ourselves from the Creator, maybe the same fate awaits us? God’s angels led by the anointed messiah will descend to do battle with mankind as the judgment of evil and redemption of the righteous take place!