The Tower of Babel

 


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Now the whole earth had one language and few words. And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another,

"Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly. " And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. “Genesis 11

The Babylonians referred to the tower as Elemenanki. Babel-“locia"means gate; “el " meaning “God", Hence, the Gate of God. Hebrew word “babal" means confusion.

The Tower of Babel has inspired artists, writers, archeologists , historical researchers and many others. The Greek historian, Herodotus, was impressed by the immensity of the tower when he visited it in 460 B. C. Nebuchadnezzar II successfully built " ïncarnations" during his reign as ruler of Babylon, 605-562 B. C.

The tower started to crumble by 478 B. C. when King Xerxes of Persia crushed a rebellion. The tower traces its origins in the bible, built by Nimrod the Hunter, a great- grandson of Noah. Nimrod was the son of Cush, the son of Ham, brother of Sem and Japhet who were the sons of Noah.

Nimrod was the king of Shinar. He was a ruthless conqueror, an ambitious politician and a great hunter. The Talmud refers to him as the hunter of the souls of men. Nimrod’s name means: let us revolt.

He used religion on his people to build a tower to reach to the heavens, a place of worship. However, he was a tyrant who organized a rebellion against Yahweh as his power grew.

Symbolically, the top of the tower was dedicated to the heavens, a representation of God. As the tower was taking form, reaching God was no longer the ultimate goal.

The intent was to build a place of worship of God. Was it to ensure their place on earth, an offering to God? What better shrine can man offer to God? But as the work progressed, it became clear that the tower was being built as a shrine to man’s glory and achievement.

Symbolically, the tower represents man’s need to understand and satisfy the unity of mind, body and spirit.

They had their tower and their city. Cities then, were built to satisfy the physical/material needs of man and to nourish his spirit. Cities were centers of culture, commerce. pleasure and social life. Through art, music, beauty and the other ingredients of culture, the needs and the hunger of the spirit was satisfied.

The intent in building the tower was a place to reach out to God. A tower tall enough to reach out to heaven. Were they that naïve to think that such a structure can be built to reach upwards to the heavens?

As the tower got closer to completion, it was no longer a place to worship God, but it was evolving into a shrine to man’s achievement. It was built to serve man’s purpose, not that of the Creator.

The tower was built as a testament to themselves. “Let us make a name for ourselves. " Man finds glory with his achievements. Sure, originally, God was in their thoughts as they built their tower. Religion has always permeated through mankind. It was a great motivator in every facet of society.

Was the tower built to communicate to God? Or was it a means to control Him? Was it a way to channel Him to fulfill man’s glory?

God “visited" the site of construction. He knows man’s folly, which He ultimately forgives.

From the Tower of Babel, languages evolved, Many tongues were spoken and there must have been utter confusion. Man spread out into different parts of the world . Thus, nations were born.

Think of the change in the whole world after the bombing of the World Trade Center, the Twin Towers of New York City.

Disclaimer: This is not a biblical essay nor study. This is too broad a subject to be covered in a personal essay. Just my thoughts reflecting on a tower as a catapult to change.

Reference:

Tower of Babel and Confusion of Languages by Lambert Dolphin

Nimrod, Son of Cush, Son of Ham by Ray C. Stedman

Bonnie Moss writes to inspire and to motivate her readers to explore the depths of their heart and soul and make a difference in this world. She draws from personal experience and her interest in the New Age Visit her website: http://goldencupcafe.net

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