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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Genesis

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FRAMEWORKS: Genesis 11

 

v.1-4 People decide to build a city & a tower

v.5-9 The Lord confuses their language

v.10-26 Family Tree from Shem to Abram

v.27-32 Abram's Family

 

 

v.1-4 People decide to glorify themselves with a city & a tower

 

v.1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.

v.2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

v.3 They said to each other, “Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.

v.4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

 

[Notes: There are some interesting things revealed here:

•  There is a worldwide common language so far.
•  Most building until then had been with stone.
•  Now the inventiveness of man was making bricks & mortar.
•  Their object was to satisfy and exalt their pride.]

   

    

v.5-9 The Lord confuses their language to thwart their plans

 

v.5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.

v.6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

v.7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

v.8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.

v.9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

 

[Notes: God's understanding of this was that if man's pride was let loose who knew what might happen [He has the capability of seeing ‘what might be'] and thus to protect the earth and future mankind He caused them to be scattered.]

 

 

v.10-26 Family Tree from Shem to Abram

 

v.10 This is the account of Shem's family line .

Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad.

v.11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah.

v.13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber.

v.15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg.

v.17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu.

v.19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug.

v.21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor.

v.23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah.

v.25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

v.26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.

 

[Notes: We have seen something of this in chapter 10 already. This table adds time spans and takes us up to Abram.]

 

 

v.27-32 Abram's Family

 

v.27 This is the account of Terah's family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot.

v.28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth.

v.29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah.

v.30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

v.31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

v.32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.

 

[Notes: This account starts to add key details about Abram that will have significance in days to come:

- Abram is the oldest of three sons. The first two only are married.

- Haran has already had a son, Lot, who is thus Abram's nephew.

- Haran died in their home city, Ur.

- Abram's wife, Sarai, was childless.

- Terah, the father, led Abram, Sarai & Lot to leave Ur but stopped at the town of Harran where Terah eventually died.

- from the account of chapter 12 it would appear that they left Ur to go to Canaan because Abram insisted God had told him to go. We'll see more about this shortly. Working on the ages of individuals in the text we note the following:

- Terah: was 70 when he had Abram [11:26], was 205 when he died in Harran [11:32].

- Abram: 75 when he left Harran [12:4], meaning Terah would be 135 when Abram left, i.e. Abram left Terah in Harran where he lived on and died 60 years later. Abram obviously continued to feel the call that was so strong he had to leave Terah there.]

 

As we come to the end of chapter 11, we come to the end of the first part of Genesis. To add clarity we add the following ‘Contents' of Genesis:

 

PART 1: Early Days

Gen 1 – the ‘big picture' of Creation

Gen 2 – reiterates creation plus God interacting with Adam and Eve

Gen 3 – ‘the Fall') and their banishment from Eden

Gen 4 – Cain killing Abel and being banished

Gen 5 – family tree from Adam to Noah.

Gen 6-9 – up to the Flood.

Gen 10 – tables the nations that are formed after the Flood

Gen 11 –a tower at Babel, and the family tree of Shem and then Terah

 

PART 2: Specific Families

Gen 12-25 – Abram

Gen 25-28 – Isaac

Gen 25,28-36 – Jacob, later renamed Israel

Gen 37-50 – Joseph

     

    

Lessons or Challenges to Ponder from Genesis Chapter 11

  

1. The Tower of Babel was a monument to the folly of the pride of man. Will I look back on my life to land littered with similar monuments? Will I be able to look back and see fewer and fewer such monuments as I allow God to work change in me?

2. Years and names pass and eventually a name appears – Abram – that initially carries little significance, apart from the fact that in a world that values family, he remains childless. There starts a period of Scripture that has an underlying anguish and sorrow. Is that me, or can my heart reach out to those to whom it does apply to?

   

            

Continue to Chapter 12