The Tower of Babel

The word “Babel” means confusion. It was at Babel that the first recorded organized adulterous religious system in the world was introduced (Genesis 11:1-9).The Tower of Babel must have been an elaborate structure. Perhaps like its later Babylonians counterparts, it c … More


Here in Genesis is man’s first attempt to build a society from which God was to be excluded. This chapter tells of one of the mightiest and far-reaching miracles of history. It finds no parallel until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. J. Vernon McGee in his Through the Bible series says, “This is the greatest tongues movement on record.” The result of God’s intervention was the origin of the different nations. The building of the tower of Babel was man’s first attempt to build a society from which God was to be excluded. “Babylon” in the Bible symbolizes rebellion against God and confusion in religion. We see Babylon opposing the people of God throughout the Bible, culminating in the “Great Babylon” of Rev. 17-18.

1. Their materials (vv.1-3) - “And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick” (v.4).  It is interesting to note that God builds with stone (I Peter 2:4-8) but man uses brick. Brick is simply hardened clay which man puts together.

2. Their method (v.4a) - “And they said, Go to, let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.” The idea was not to build a tower so tall that it would reach to heaven, but to build a tower topped by the heavens. Stargazing and occultism were to be the features.

3. Their motive (v.4b) - “Let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” They were attempting to build something to be a rallying point against God.

4. Their mistake (vv.5-9) - “And the Lord came down to see the city and tower, which the children of men built” (v.5). They had ruled God out of their thinking and thought they were rid of Him. Instead they see Him bring swift judgment by scattering them through the greatest tongues movement of all times.


Is it possible that I have my own tower of Babel? Am I building things in my life that take me away from God rather than bringing me closer to Him?

Genesis 11:1-9 (English Standard Version)

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