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What the Bible says about Confusion of Language
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 10:8-12

Notice the word “before” in "He was a might hunter before the LORD." The word literally means "face"—that which is in the front and which appears to another, as in “face to face.” Nimrod was a mighty hunter facing the Lord. The word before literally means "that which turns." It has a wide variety of usages. It can be translated “facing,” “before,” “in front of,” or “against.”

“Against” is the correct translation here, according to the context. He was a mighty hunter against the Lord. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord in the sense of fighting against Him. You do not turn your back on your enemy. You face him, and he faces you.

Nimrod was against God; he was facing the Lord in battle, in antagonism rather than in submission. That is shown in the context by his conquests. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel. There is more here than meets the eye. He conquered Babel. He conquered Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar. He was bringing what were probably city-states under his control and forming them into one nation. Nowhere did God give the right to dominion over other men by conquering them, and that was what Nimrod did.

The Sperling Translation renders this phrase, "He began to be a despot." He was a despot against God; and he deceived, manipulated, and controlled those he brought under his dominion. Satan and his demons, through Nimrod, conspired against God to bring mankind into one government against God.

God does not destroy things that are good. He does not intervene unless something is evil. This was something evil against God and against God's purpose. That is why He stepped in and confused the languages, because this was something directly against God's purpose, against the timeline that God had worked out in His own mind.

There we have the first example in the Bible of people under the sway of Satan. They were under the sway because they were his children spiritually and because they were antagonistic to God's purpose. They were not submissive to it or obedient to God.

Here we have mankind's first attempt to bring all of mankind under one government. From the very beginning in the book of beginnings, Genesis, God shows that bringing governments together under man is not a part of His purpose. It is antagonistic to God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What I Believe About Conspiracy Theories

Genesis 11:4-6

How technologically developed the people were at this time is sketchy. The Great Pyramid of Giza, whether built before or after the Flood, is evidence of a high degree of technology. Whatever the case, God's statement that "nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them" implies the builders of Babel were at least on the verge of great technological leaps. How much can a person discover and develop in a seventy-year life span? Yet these people lived hundreds of years! Since knowledge accumulates from generation to generation, imagine how it would build in a person over 500 years!

Consider what man has accomplished in the last 150 years. He has learned how to harness the power of mighty rivers by building dams to produce electricity. He has built soaring bridges across great chasms. He has drilled deeply into the earth to tap its stores of oil and gas to transport ourselves from place to place, heat our homes, and fuel our factories. Man has put satellites hundreds of miles into the heavens and placed men on the moon. We can watch the astronauts on television though they are 240,000 miles away!

The list of our technological accomplishments seems endless. Technology, though, is not the answer to mankind's problems. By the time the Millennium begins, the world will have realized that knowledge of physical things cannot solve our problems, especially those of the spirit. Each new technological stride merely titillates us for a while, failing miserably to give a sense of meaning to our lives. Technology cannot rid us of competition and inordinate desire. Instead, it only seems to accelerate the plunge toward oblivion and meaninglessness.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing to Rule!

Genesis 11:4

The city and the tower, taken together, represent the cohesion-imparting structure we call community. Babel's builders believed that her bricks would provide economic and social stability, ensured by shared religious and military establishments. To them, Babel meant survival. The city and tower were, then, the first post-Flood comity of nations. Babel failed, of course, because God's response—dividing mankind's language—so thoroughly forced dispersion that man could never unite long enough to rebuild a single Babel.

Yet how he keeps trying! In one sense, the empire builders throughout history have merely relived the story of Babel. Its successors have been many and great: societies deemed by their inhabitants to be stable, indeed insuperable—Thebes, Tyre, Babylon, Nineveh, Rome, Paris, London, Washington. Babel just gets bigger and bigger—from city, to city-state, to nation-state, to empire, to world. Globalism, representing as it does mankind's desperate response to his fear of death due to scattering, is today's version of Babel.

Charles Whitaker
Globalism (Part One): Founded on Fear and Faithlessness

Genesis 11:6-9

The people were uniting themselves in disagreement against God, led by the arch-criminal and mastermind of this project, Nimrod. This time, instead of wiping them out in death as He had done through the Flood, God permitted them to live, but He segregated them by confusing their means of communication. In the end, they are separated from one another. All their glorious plans of building a great city and tower had to be abandoned because they could not communicate with each other.

Another tragic resulted from what happened in Genesis 11. All of these people who were scattered over the face of the earth were also separated from the holy line—a family through which God almost exclusively worked, that began with Shem. Actually, the line began after the death of Abel with Seth, the son of Adam, and came down through Enoch to Noah and from Noah to Shem. From Shem the descent finally produced Abraham. After Babel, the scattered people were, in fact, not only separated from that holy line, but also from God's Word, which this family preserved and passed down. This was another tragic result of their sin!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Division, Satan, Humility


 




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