Genesis 11
Contemporary English Version

The Tower of Babel

1At first everyone spoke the same language, 2but after some of them moved from the east+ and settled in Babylonia,+ 3-4they said:

Let's build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We'll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We'll become famous, and we won't be scattered all over the world.

5But when the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower, 6he said:

These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. 7Let's go down and confuse them! We'll make them speak different languages, and they won't be able to understand each other.

8-9So the people had to stop building the city, because the Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That's how the city of Babel+ got its name.

The Descendants of Shem

10-11Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100, he had a son named Arpachshad. He had more children and died at the age of 600. This is a list of his descendants:

12When Arpachshad was 35, he had a son named Shelah. 13Arpachshad had more children and died at the age of 438.

14When Shelah was 30, he had a son named Eber. 15Shelah had more children and died at the age of 433.

16When Eber was 34, he had a son named Peleg. 17Eber had more children and died at the age of 464.

18When Peleg was 30, he had a son named Reu. 19Peleg had more children and died at the age of 239.

20When Reu was 32 he had a son named Serug. 21Reu had more children and died at the age of 239.

22When Serug was 30, he had a son named Nahor. 23Serug had more children and died at the age of 230.

24When Nahor was 29, he had a son named Terah. 25Nahor had more children and died at the age of 148.

The Descendants of Terah

26-28After Terah was 70 years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah's sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea,+ and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah's descendants.

29-30Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.

31Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran,+ they settled there instead. 32Terah lived to be 205 years old and died in Haran.


11.2 from the east: Or “to the east.”
11.2 Babylonia: See the note at 10.6-20.
11.8,9 Babel: In Hebrew “Babel” sounds like “confused.”
11.26-28 Ur in Chaldea: Chaldea was a region at the head of the Persian Gulf. Ur was on the main trade routes from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea.
11.31 Haran: About 885 kilometers northwest of Ur.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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