Genesis chapter 10-11 Star Chart: From when "Shem (Pollux) was an hundred years old, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Arphaxad (Castor) two years after the flood" (11:10) (2302 B.C.) till "Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Salah" (11:12) (Leo) (2267 B.C.) is 35° years. Then "Salah lived thirty years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Eber" (11:14) (Coma) (2237 B.C.) which is 30° years more. "And Eber lived four and thirty years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Peleg" (11:16) (Centaur) (2203 B.C.) which is 34° years. "And Peleg lived thirty years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Reu" (11:18) (Hercules) (2173 B.C.) which is 30° years. "And Reu lived two and thirty years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Serug" (11:20) (Sagittarius) (2141 B.C.) which is 32° years. "And Serug lived thirty years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Nahor" (11:22) (Capricorn) (2111 B.C.) which is 30° years. "And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Terah" (11:24) (Aquarius) (2082 B.C.) which is 29° years. "And Terah lived seventy years, and (lunar testes with red radius penis) begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran" (11:26) (Cepheus, Perseus and Aries) (2012 B.C.) which is 70° years. Therefore Abraham was born 2° + 35° +30° + 34° + 30° + 32° + 30° + 29° + 70° = 292° years after the flood. By looking at the unfinished (red radius) city and tower above, we can determine when they stopped building both and were "scattered" (11:8) in the days of Peleg when "the earth (was) divided" (10:25). It was on 2082 B.C. when the structural pattern ends. This is within the lifetime of Peleg (2203-1964 B.C.).
Bullinger quotes a Lt. Gen. Chesney who excavated the ruins of Babylon and who described the mound known to the Arabs as Birs Nimroud. This is 153 ft. high and the square base has 400 ft. long sides. He claimed that there were seven stages made of bricks in different colours each representative of one of the planets. On the top was a tower on the summit of which were the signs of the Zodiac.
Table of Nations & Tower of Babel
10:1 Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
Magog = Scythia(Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.);
Madai = Medes
Javan = Ionia or Greece (Homer Iliad. 13. ver. 685. )(Aristophanes Acharneus. Acts 1. scen. 3. p. 376.);
Tubal = Iberians, a people in Asia, that dwelt near the Euxine sea; and in Albania was a place called Thabilaca, as may be seen in Ptolemy and another called Thilbis, from whom might spring the Iberians in Europe, now called SpaniardsTibarenes are the descendants of Tubal (Josephus Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.)(Ptolemy Geograph. l. 5. c. 12.)
Meschech = Mosocheni, as Josephus (q), who in his time were called Cappadocians, with whom there was a city then named Mazaca, since Caesarea (r); and these seem to be the same that Pliny (s) calls Moscheni, who inhabited the mountains Moschici, which were at the north east of Cappadocia. Some derive the Muscovites from them, which is not improbable: (q) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (r) Vid. Ammian. Marcellin. l. 20. p. 170. Ed. Vales. (s) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 9, 10.
Tiras = Thracia; for the descendants of Thiras, as Josephus (u) observes, the Greeks call Thracians; and in Thrace was a river called Atyras (w), which has in it a trace of this man's name; and Odrysus, whom the Thracians worshipped, is the same with Tiras, which god sometimes goes by the name of Thuras; and is one of the names of Mars, the god of the Thracians.(u) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (w) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. c. 11.
3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
Ashkenaz = in Pontus and Bithynia, where were some traces of his name in the river Ascanius, and in the Ascanian lake or bay; and also in the lesser Phrygia or Troas, where was a city called Ascania, and where were the Ascanian isles (x), and the Euxine Pontus, or Axeine (y), as it was first called, which is the sea that separates Asia and Europe, and is no other than a corruption of the sea of Ashkenaz. It seems to have been near Armenia, by its being mentioned along with Minni or Armenia, in Jeremiah 51:27.(x) Strabo Geograph. l. 12. p. 387, 388. & l. 14. p. 468. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 4. 12. & 5. 30, 31, 32. (y) Vid. Orphei Argonautic, ver. 84.
Riphath = Josephus (a) says, that the Riphathaeans which came from him are the Paphlagonians, a people of Asia Minor, near Pontus, so that he settled near his brother Ashkenaz; perhaps his posterity are the Arimphaei of Pliny (b), and the Riphaeans of Mela (c), who inhabited near the Riphaean mountains, which might have their name from this son of Gomer, who in 1 Chronicles 1:6 is called Diphath, the letters and being very similar.
Togarmah = his posterity are the Phrygians, according to Josephus (d); but some place them in Galatia and Cappadocia; and Strabo (e) makes mention of a people called Trocmi, on the borders of Pontus and Cappadocia; and Cicero (f) of the Trogmi or Trogini, who may have their name from hence; for the Greek interpreters always call him Torgama or Thorgana. The Jews make the Turks to be the posterity of Togarmah. Elias Levita says (g), there are some that say that Togarmah is the land of Turkey; and Benjamin of Tudela (h) calls a Turkish sultan king of the Togarmans, that is, the Turks; and among the ten families of Togarmah, which Josephus ben Gorion (i) speaks of, the Turks are one; and perhaps this notion may not be amiss, since the company of Togarmah is mentioned with Gog, or the Turk; see Gill on Ezekiel 38:6. The Armenians pretend to be the descendants of Togarmah, who, with them, is the son of Tiras, the son of Gomer, by his son Haik, from whom they and their country, from all antiquity, have bore the name of Haik (k). (d) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (e) Geograph. l. 4. p. 130. & l. 12. p. 390. (f) De Divinatione, l. 2.((g) In Tishbi, p. 259. (h) ltinerarium, p. 27, 54. (i) Hist. Heb. l. 1. c. 1. p. 3.((k) See the Universal History, vol. 1. p. 377.
4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
Elishah, gave name to the Elysaeans, now called Aeoles, as Josephus (l) says; hence the country Aeolia, and the Aeolic dialect, all from this name; and there are many traces of it in the several parts of Greece. Hellas, a large country in it, has its name from him; so the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem interpret Elishah by Allas. Elis in Peloponnesus, Eleusis in Attica, the river Elissus, or Ilissus, and the Elysian fields, are so called from him.
Tarshish, second son of Javan, gave name to Tarsus, by which Cilicia was formerly called, as Josephus says (m), of which the city named Tarsus was the metropolis, the birth place of the Apostle Paul, Acts 22:3. Hence the Mediterranean sea is called Tarshish, because the Cicilians were masters of it; and Tartessus in Spain might be a colony from them, as Broughton observes; and so Eusebius says, from the Tarsinns are the Iberians, or Spaniards; and which Bochart (n) approves of, and confirms by various evidences; and Hillerus, (o) makes Tarshish to be the author of the Celtae, that is, of the Spanish, French, and German nations.
The third son of Javan is Kittim, whom Josephus (p) places in the island of Cyprus, a city there being called Citium, from whence was Zeno the Citian: but rather the people that sprung from him are those whom Homer (q) calls Cetii; and are placed by Strabo (r) to the west of Cilicia, in the western parts of which are two provinces, mentioned by Ptolemy (s), the one called Cetis, the other Citis: likewise this Kittim seems to be the father both of the Macedonians and the Latines; for Alexander the great is said to come from Cittim, and Perseus king of Macedon is called king of Cittim,"And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,'' (1 Maccabees 1:1)"Beside this, how they had discomfited in battle Philip, and Perseus, king of the Citims, with others that lifted up themselves against them, and had overcome them:'' (1 Maccabees 8:5)and Macedonia is sometimes called Macetia, as it is in Gellius (t), which has something of the name of Cittim or Cetim in it; and also the Latines or Romans seem to spring from hence, who may be thought to be meant by Cittim in Numbers 24:24 Daniel 11:30 and Eusebius says the Citians are a people from whom came the Sabines, who also are Romans; and in Latium was a city called Cetia, as says Halicarnassensis (u); and Bochart (w) has shown, that Latium and Cethem signify the same, and both have their names from words that signify to hide; "latium a latendo", and "celhem", from "to hide", see Jeremiah 2:22 in which sense the word is frequently used in the Arabic language; and Cittim in the Jerusalem Targum is here called Italy.
The last son of Javan mentioned is Dodanim; he is omitted by Josephus: his country is by the Targum of Jonathan called Dordania; and by the Jerusalem Targum Dodonia; and he and his posterity are placed by Mr. Mede in part of Peloponnessus and Epirus, in which was the city of Dodona, where were the famous temple and oracle of Jupiter Dodonaeus, under which name this man was worshipped. In 1 Chronicles 1:7 he is called Rodanim, and in the Samaritan version here; and the word is by the Septuagint translated Rodians; which have led some to think of the island of Rhodes as the seat, and the inhabitants of it as the posterity of this man; but Bochart (x) is of opinion, that they settled in the country now called France, gave the name to the river Rhodanus, and called the adjacent country Rhodanusia, and where formerly was a city of that name, much about the same tract where now stands Marseilles; but this seems too remote for a son of Javan.
(l) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (m) Ib. (n) Phaleg. l. 3. c. 7. (o) Onomastic. Saer. p. 944. (p) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 1.) (q) Odyss. 11. ver. 520. (r) Geograph. l. 13. p. 423. (s) Ibid. l. 5. c. 8. (t) Attic. Noct. l. 9. c. 3.((u) Hist. l. 8. p. 376. (w) Phaleg. l. 3. c. 5. col. 159, 160. (x) Phaleg. l. 3. c. 6. col. 163, 164.
5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,
12 And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.
Who was Nimrod of history? Sayce, Pinches, and others, identify Nimrod with Marduk, the Babylonian Mercury. Those who identify Nimrod with Marduk say that the signs which constitute the name of Marduk, who also is represented as a hunter, are read phonetically "Amar Ud"; and ideographically they may be read "Namr Ud"—in Hebrew "Nimrod." The difficulty of reconciling the Biblical Nimrod, the son of Cush, with Marduk, the son of Ea, may be overcome by interpreting the Biblical words as meaning that Nimrod was a descendant of Cush. Moreover, it would have been very natural for Israelites to call Marduk (who was also the Babylonian god of war) by the name Nimrod. Both would probably have been perceived as containing the Hebrew root MRD, meaning "to rebel." The Semitic root "marah" (M*R) in Hebrew means bitterness as well as disobedience. From this roof is derived "marad" (M*R*D), or rebellion, which is the original both of Nimrod (the Babylonian Nin-Mir-Rud), or (N*M*R*D), as well as Marduk/Merodach (M*R*D*K). The Bible tells us that Nimrod was the founder of Ninevah, and Nineveh's own half-legendary history ascribes that honor to one Ninur or Nimur (N*M*R). Marduk was the original in both name and character of the gods Mercury (M*R*K*R) and Mars (M*R*TS) from which of course we derive the current names of these planets.
13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
14 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.
15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,
16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,
17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.
21 Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.
22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram.
Elam and Ashur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram; and who, as Josephus (f) says, inhabited Asia, from Euphrates to the Indian ocean: his first born, Elam, was the father of the Elymaeans, from whom sprung the Persians, as the same writer observes, and his posterity are called Elamites, Acts 2:10 their country Elam, and is sometimes mentioned with Media, when the Persians and Medes are intended, Isaiah 21:2 see also Isaiah 22:6, &c. in Daniel's time, Shushan, in the province of Elam, was the seat of the kings of Persia: the country of Elymais, so called from this man, is said by Pliny (g) to be divided from Susiane by the river Eulaeus, and to join with Persia; and the famous city of Elymais, the metropolis of the country, is placed by Josephus (h) in Persia.
Ashur, the second son of Shem, gives name to Assyria, a country frequently mentioned in Scripture; and which, according to Ptolemy (i), was bounded on the north by part of Armenia the great, and the mountain Niphates, on the west by Mesopotamia and the river Tigris, on the south by Susiane, and on the east by part of Media. Strabo says (k) they call Babylonia, and great part of the country about it, Assyria, in which was Ninus or Nineveh, the chief city of the Assyrian empire; and which was built by Ashur, as Josephus (l) affirms, and says he gave the name of Assyrians to his subjects:
Arphaxad, the third son of Shem, from him that part of Assyria, which lay northward next to Armenia, was called Arphaxitis, as it is probable that was its original name, though corruptly called by Ptolemy (m) Arrapachitis: Josephus says (n), he gave name to the Arphaxadaeans, whom he ruled over, now called Chaldeans; and indeed the name of the Chaldeans may as well be derived from the latter part of Arphaxad's name, "Chashad", as from Chesed, the son of Nahor, and brother of Abraham, as it more commonly is; since the Chaldeans were called Chasdim before Chesed was born, and were a nation when Abraham came out of Ur, before Chesed could be old or considerable enough to build towns and found a nation; see Genesis 11:31 though Bochart treats this as a mere dream, yet he is obliged to have recourse to the usual refuge, that Ur was called Ur of the Chaldees, by anticipation.
The fourth son of Shem was Lud, from whom sprung the Lydians, a people of Asia minor, and whose country is called Lydia, including Mysia and Caria, which all lay by the river Maeander; and Lud, in the Phoenician language, signifies bending and crooked, as that river was, being full of windings and turnings: some think that the posterity of Lud are carried too far off from those of his brethren, but know not where else to fix them.
From Aram, the last son of Shem, sprung the Aramaeans, called by the Greeks Syrians, as Josephus (o) observes; and by Homer (p) and Hesiod (q) and so says Strabo (r); some by the Arimi understand the Syrians, now called Arami; and elsewhere (s) he observes, that they who are by us called Syrians, are by the Syrians themselves called Aramaeans, and this is the name they give to themselves to this day: the country inhabited by them included Mesopotamia and Syria, and particularly all those places that have the name of Aram added to them, as Padan Aram, and Aram Naharaim (which is Mesopotamia), Aram of Damascus, Aram Zobah, Aram Maacha, and Aram Beth Rehob, Genesis 28:2 and the title of Psalm 60:1, the Septuagint version here adds, "and Cainan", but without any authority.
(f) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. (g) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 27. (h) Antiqu. l. 12. c. 8. sect. 1.((i) Geograph. l. 6. c. 1.((k) Ib. l. 16. p. 507. (l) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4. (m) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 1.) (n) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.). So R. Gedaliah, in Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 76. 2.((o) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.) (p) Iliad. 2.((q) Theogonia. (r) Geograph. l. 13. p. 431. l. 16. p. 540. (s) Ib. l. 1. p. 28.
23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.
Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash: the first of these sons of Aram, Uz, is generally thought to be the founder of Damascus; so Josephus (t) says. Usus founded Trachonitis and Damascus, which lies between Palestine and Coelesyria: there was a place called Uz in Idumea, Lamentations 4:21 and another in Arabia, where Job dwelt, Job 1:1 but neither of them seems to be the seat of this man and his posterity, who, in all probability, settled in Syria: his second son Hul, whom Josephus (u) calls Ulus, according to him, founded Armenia; which notion may be strengthened by observing that Cholobotene is reckoned a part of Armenia by Stephanus (w); which is no other than Cholbeth, that is, the house or seat of Chol, the same with Hul; and there are several places in Armenia, as appears from Ptolemy (x), which begin with Chol or Col, as Cholus, Cholua, Choluata, Cholima, Colsa, Colana, Colchis: but perhaps it may be better to place him in Syria, in the deserts of Palmyrene, as Junius and Grotius; since among the cities of Palmyrene, there is one called Cholle, according to Ptolemy (y). Gether, the third son, is made by Josephus (z) to be the father of the Bactrians; but these were too far off to come from this man, and were not in the lot of Shem: Bochart (a) finds the river Getri, which the Greeks call Centrites, between Armenia and the Carduchi, whereabout, he conjectures, might be the seat of this man; but perhaps it may be more probable, with Grotius and Junius, to place him in Coelesyria, where are the city Gindarus of Ptolemy (b), and a people called Gindareni, by Pliny (c); though Bishop Patrick thinks it probable that Gadara, the chief city of Peraea, placed by Ptolemy (d) in the Decapolis of Coelesyria, had its name from this man: Mr. Broughton derives Atergate and Derceto, names of a Syrian goddess, from him, which was worshipped at Hierapolis in Coelesyria, as Pliny says (e). The last of the sons of Aram, Mash, is called Meshech, in 1 Chronicles 1:17 and here the Septuagint version calls him Masoch; his posterity are supposed to settle in Armenia, about the mountain Masius, thought to be the same with Ararat, and which the Armenians call Masis; perhaps the people named Moscheni, mentioned by Pliny (f), as dwelling near Armenia and Adiabene, might spring from this man.
(t) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.) (u) Ibid. (w) Apud Bochart. Phaleg. l. 2. c. 9. Colossians 81. (x) Geograph. l. 5. c. 13. (y) Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. (z) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.) (a) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 10. (b) Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. (c) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23. (d) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 5. c. 15.) (e) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23. (f) Ib. l. 6. c. 9.
24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.
And Arphaxad begat Salah,.... Or Shelach which signifies "a sending forth"; that is, of waters: it is part of the name of Methuselah, given him by his father, as prophetic of the flood, see Genesis 5:21 and Arphaxad, who was born two years after the flood, gives this name to his first born, as commemorative of it: according to some, from him are the Susians (g); and in Susiana is found a city called Sele, by Ptolemy (h); but this seems not to be a sufficient proof:
and Salah begat Eber; from whom, Josephus (i) says, the Jews were called Hebrews from the beginning; and which, perhaps, is as good a derivation of their name as can be given, and seems to be confirmed by Numbers 24:24 though some derive it from Abraham's passing over the rivers in his way from Chaldea into Syria; but be it so, why might not this name be given to Eber, as prophetic of that passage, or of the passage of his posterity over the Euphrates into Canaan, as well as Eber gave to his son Peleg his name, as a prediction of the division of the earth in his time? the Septuagint version of this text inserts a Cainan between Arphaxad and Salah, but is not to be found in any Hebrew copy, nor in the Samaritan, Syriac, and Arabic versions, nor in Josephus, see Luke 3:36.
(g) Vid. Bochart. Phaleg. l. 2. c. 13. Colossians 92. (h) Geograph. l. 6. c. 3.((i) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 4.)
25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan.
And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg,.... Bochart (k) thinks, that either Peleg, or one of his posterity, in memory of him, gave the name of Phalga to a town situated on the Euphrates; though the reason of the name, as given by Arrianus, as he himself observes, was because it divided between the two Seleucias, as the reason of Peleg's name was:
for in his days was the earth divided; among the three sons of Noah, and their respective posterities; their language was divided, and that obliged them to divide and separate in bodies which understood one another; hence that age, in which was this event, was usually called by the Jews the age of division; whether this was done about the time of his birth, and so this name was given him to perpetuate the memory of it, or in some after part of his life, and so was given by a spirit of prophecy, is a question: Josephus, Jarchi, and the Jewish writers, generally go the latter way; if it was at the time of his birth, which is the sense of many, then this affair happened in the one hundred and first year after the flood, for in that year Peleg was born, as appears from Genesis 11:11.
and his brother's name was Joktan, whom the Arabs call Cahtan, and claim him as their parent, at least, of their principal tribes; and say he was the first that reigned in Yaman, and put a diadem on his head (l); and there is a city in the territory of Mecca, about seven furlongs or a mile to the south of it, and one station from the Red sea, called Baisath Jektan, the seat of Jektan (m), which manifestly retains his name; and there are a people called Catanitae, placed by Ptolemy (n) in Arabia Felix.
(k) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 14. Colossians 93. (l) Vid. Pocock. Specimen. Arab. Hist. p. 39. 55. (m) Arab. Geograph. apud Bochart. Phaleg: l. 2. c. 15. Colossians 98. (n) Geograph, l. 6. c. 7.
Sayce, on the strength of palgu being Assyrian for “canal,” would conjecture “the division of the earth” to signify the introduction of a system of canals into Babylonia during the reign of Hammurabi.
26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
And Joktan begat Almodad,.... And twelve more mentioned later: the Arabic writers (o) say be had thirty one sons by one woman, but all, excepting two, left Arabia, and settled in India; the Targum of Jonathan adds,"who measured the earth with ropes,''as if he was the first inventor and practiser of geometry: from him are thought to spring the Allumaeotae, a people whom Ptolemy (p) places in Arabia Felix, called so by the Greeks, instead of Almodaei: Mr. Broughton (q) sets Eldimaei over against this man's name, as if they were a people that sprung from him; whereas this word is wrongly put in Ptolemy (r) for Elymaeans, as it is in the Greek text, a people joining to the Persians:
and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah: to the first of these, Sheleph, the Targum of Jonathan adds,"who drew out the water of the rivers;''his people are supposed by Bochart (s), to be the Alapeni of Ptolemy (t), which should be read Salapeni, who were, he says, more remote from the rest, almost as far as the neck of Arabia, and not far from the spring of the river Betius. The next son, Hazarmaveth, or Hasermoth, as in the Vulgate Latin, is thought to give name to a people in Arabia, called by Pliny (u) Chatramotitae, and by Ptolemy Cathramonitae, whose country, Strabo says (w), produces myrrh; according to Ptolemy (x) they reached from the mountain Climax to the Sabaeans, among whom were a people, called, by Pliny (y), Atramitae, who inhabited a place of the same name, and which Theophrastus calls Adramyta, which comes nearer the name of this man, and signifies the court or country of death: and in those parts might be places so called, partly from the unwholesomeness of the air, being thick and foggy, and partly from the frankincense which grew there, which was fatal to those that gathered it, and therefore only the king's slaves, and such as were condemned to die, were employed in it, as Bochart (z) has observed from Arrianus; as also because of the multitude of serpents, with which those odoriferous countries abounded, as the same writer relates from Agatharcides and Pliny. The next son of Joktan is Jerah, which signifies the moon, as Hilal does in Arabic; and Alilat with the Arabians, according to Herodotus (a), is "Urania", or the moon; hence Bochart (b) thinks, that the Jeracheans, the posterity of Jerah, are the Alilaeans of Diodorus Siculus (c), and others, a people of the Arabs; and the Arabic geographer, as he observes, makes mention of a people near Mecca called Bene Hilal, or the children of Jerah; and he is of opinion that the island Hieracon, which the Greeks call the island of the Hawks placed by Ptolemy (d), in Arabia Felix, adjoining to the country which lies upon the Arabian Gulf, is no other than the island of the Jeracheans, the posterity of this man: the Arabs (e) speak of a son of Joktan or Cahtan, they call Jareb, who succeeded his father, which perhaps may be a corruption of Jerah; and another, called by them Jorham.
(o) Apud Pocock. Specimen. Arab. Hist., p. 40. (p) Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. (q) See his Works, p. 3. 59. (r) Ut supra, (Geograph. l. 6.) c. 5. (s) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 16. Colossians 99. (t) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) (u) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (w) Geograph. l. 16. p. 528. (x) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) (y) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 14. (z) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 17. Colossians 102. (a) Thalia sive, l. 3. c. 8. (b) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 19. (c) Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 179. (d) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) (e) Apud Pocock. Specimem. Arab. Hist. p. 40.
27 And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah,
And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah. The posterity of Hadoram, from the likeness of the name and sound, might seem to be the Adramitae of Ptolemy (f), but Bochart (g) thinks they are the Drimati of Pliny (h), who dwelt in the extreme corner of Arabia, to the east, near the Macae, who were at the straits of the Persian Gulf; and he observes, that the extreme promontory of that country was called Corodamum, by transposition of the letters "D" and "R": Uzal gave name to a city which is still so called; for R. Zacuth (i) says, the Jews which dwelt in Yaman, the kingdom of Sheba, call Samea, which is the capital of the kingdom of Yaman, Uzal; and who also relates, that there is a place called Hazarmaveth unto this day, of which see Genesis 10:26 the kingdom in which Uzal is said by him to be was the south part of Arabia Felix, as Yaman signifies, from whence came the queen of the south, Matthew 12:42 and Uzal or Auzal, as the Arabs pronounce it, is the same the Greeks call Ausar, changing "L" into "R"; hence mention is made by Pliny (k) of myrrh of Ausar, in the kingdom of the Gebanites, a people of the Arabs, where was a port by him called Ocila (l), by Ptolemy, Ocelis (m), and by Artemidorus in Strabo, Acila (n), and perhaps was the port of the city Uzal, to the name of which it bears some resemblance: Diklah signifies a palm tree, in the Chaldee or Syriac language, with which kind of trees Arabia abounded, especially the country of the Minaei, as Pliny (o) relates; wherefore Bochart (p) thinks the posterity of Diklah had their seat among them, rather than at Phaenicon or Diklah, so called from the abundance of palm trees that grew there, which was at the entrance into Arabia Felix at the Red sea, of which Diodorus Siculus (q) makes mention; and so Artemidorus in Strabo (r) speaks of a place called Posidium, opposite to the Troglodytes, and where the Arabian Gulf ends, where palm trees grew in a wonderful manner, on the fruit of which people lived, where was a Phaenicon, or continued grove of palm trees; and here is placed by Ptolemy (s) a village called Phaenicon, the same with Diklah.
(f) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.) (g) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 20. (h) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (i) Juchasin, fol. 135. 2.((k) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 16. (l) lb. c. 19. (m) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5). So Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 23. (n) Geograph. l. 16. p. 529. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (p) Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 2. c. 22.) (q) Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 175. (r) Geograph. l. 16. p. 34. (s) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 5.)
28 And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba. The first of these, Obal, or Aubal, as the Arabs pronounce, Bochart (t) is obliged to make his posterity pass over the straits of the Arabian Gulf out of Arabia Felix into Arabia Troglodytice; where he finds a bay, called by Pliny (u) the Abalite bay, which carries in it some trace of this man's name, and by Ptolemy (v) the Avalite bay; and where was not only an emporium of this name, but a people called Avalites and also Adulites, which Bishop Patrick believes should be read "Abulites", more agreeably to the name of this man, but Pliny (w) speaks of a town of the Adulites also: Abimael is supposed by Bochart (x) to be the father of Mali, or the Malitae, as his name may be thought to signify, Theophrastus (y) making mention of a place called Mali along with Saba, Adramyta, and Citibaena, in spicy Arabia, which is the only foundation there is for this conjecture: Sheba gave name to the Sabaeans, a numerous people in Arabia; their country was famous for frankincense; the nations of them, according to Pliny (z), reached both seas, that is, extended from the Arabian to the Persian Gulf; one part of them, as he says (a), was called Atramitae, and the capital of their kingdom Sabota, on a high mountain, eight mansions from which was their frankincense country, called Saba; elsewhere he says (b), their capital was called Sobotale, including sixty temples within its walls; but the royal seat was Mariabe; and so Eratosthenes in Strabo (c) says, the metropolis of the Sabaeans was Mariaba, or, as others call it, Merab, and which, it seems, is the same with Saba; for Diodorus Siculus (d) and Philostorgius (e) say, the metropolis of the Sabaeans is Saba; and which the former represents as built on a mountain, as the Sabota of Pliny is said to be,
(t) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 23. (u) Nat. Hist. l. 26. c. 29. (v) Geograph. l. 4. c. 7, 8. (w) Nat. Hist. l. 26. c. 29. (x) Ut supra. (Phaleg. l. 2. c. 24.) (y) Ut supra, (Hist. Plant. l. 9.) c.4. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (a) Ib. l. 12. c. 14. (b) Ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28.) (c) Geograph. l. 16. p. 528. (d) Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 180. (e) Hist. Ecclesiast. l. 3. p. 477.
29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan.
And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab,.... If several of the sons of Joktan went into India, as the Arabs say, one would be tempted to think that Ophir in India, whither Solomon sent his ships once in three years, had its name from the first of these; See Gill on Genesis 10:26 but as this would be carrying him too far from the rest of his brethren, who appear to have settled in Arabia, some place must be found for him there; and yet there is none in which there is any likeness of the name, unless Coper can be thought to be, a village in the country of the Cinaedocolpites, on the Arabian Gulf, as in Ptolemy (f), or Ogyris, an island in the same sea, Pliny (g) makes mention of the same with the Organa of Ptolemy (h), placed by him on the Sachalite bay; wherefore Bochart (i) looks out elsewhere for a seat for this Ophir, or "Oupheir", as in the Septuagint version, and finding in a fragment of Eupolemus, preserved by Eusebius (k), mention made of the island of Ourphe, which he thinks should be Ouphre, or Uphre, situated in the Red sea, seems willing to have it to be the seat of this man and his posterity, and that it had its name from him; or that their seat was among the Cassanites or Gassandae, the same perhaps with the tribe of Ghassan, Aupher and Chasan signifying much the same, even great abundance and treasure: Havilah, next mentioned, is different from Havilah, the son of Cush, Genesis 10:7 and so his country; but it is difficult where to fix him; one would rather think that the Avalite bay, emporium, and people, should take their name from him than from Obal, Genesis 10:28 but Bochart (l) chooses to place him and his posterity in Chaulan, a country in Arabia Felix, in the extreme part of Cassanitis, near the Sabaeans: and Jobab, the last of Joktan's sons, was the father of the Jobabites, called by Ptolemy (m) Jobarites, corruptly for Jobabites, as Salmasius and Bochart think; and who are placed by the above geographer near the Sachalites in Arabia Felix, whose country was full of deserts, as Jobab in Arabic signifies, so Bochart (n) observes, as the countries above the Sachalite bay were, by which these Jobabites are placed:
all these were the sons of Joktan; the thirteen before mentioned, all which had their dwelling in Arabia or near it, and which is further described in the following verse.
(f) Geograph. l. 6. c. 7. (g) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 28. (h) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) (i) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 27. (k) Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30. p. 457. (l) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 20. (m) Ut supra. (Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.) (n) Ut supra, (Phaleg. l. 2.) c. 29.
30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east.
31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2 And it came to pass, as they (Gemini) journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they (Gemini) dwelt there.
Babylon was built in a large plain is not only here asserted, but is confirmed by Herodotus (f), who says of it, that it lay , in a vast plain, and so Strabo (g); which was no other than the plain of Shinar. (f) Clio sive, l. 1. c. 178. (g) Geograph. l. 16. p. 508.
3 And they (Gemini) said one to another, Go to, let us make (lunar) brick, and (solar) burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for (lunar) stone, and (Milky Way) slime had they for morter.
4 And they said, Go to, let us (Gemini) build us a (red radius) city and a (red radius) tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
The famous tower at Borsippa, on the left bank of the Euphrates, whose ruins now go by the name of Birs Nimrud, was a temple dedicated to Bel-Nebo, and rose in seven tiers or stages, representing the seven planets. This building, having fallen into ruins, was restored by Nebuchadnezzar
5 And the Lord (Argo) came down to see the (red radius) city and the (red radius) tower, which the (Gemini) children of men builded.
6 And the Lord said, Behold, the (Gemini) people is one, and they have all one (red radius) language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have (red radius) imagined to do.
7 Go to, let us (Gemini) go down, and there (red radius) confound their language, that they may not understand one another's (red radius) speech.
Jewish writers generally agree with the Targum of Jonathan in making them seventy languages, according to the number of the posterity of Noah's sons, recorded in the preceding chapter; but several of them spoke the same language, as Ashur, Arphaxad, and Aram, spoke the Chaldee or Syriac language; the sons of Canaan one and the same language; and the thirteen sons of Joktan the Arabic language; Javan and Elisha the Greek language; so that, as Bochart (k) observes, scarce thirty of the seventy will remain distinct: and it is an observation of Dr. Lightfoot (l) not to be despised, that"the fifteen named in Acts 2:5 were enough to confound the work (at Babel), and they may very well be supposed to have been the whole number.''The end result was:
that they may not understand one another's speech; or "hear" (m), that is, so as to understand; the words were so changed, and so differently pronounced from what they had used to hear, that though they heard the sound, they could not tell the meaning of them: hence, as Jarchi observes, when one asked for a brick, another brought him clay or slime, on which he rose up against him, and dashed his brains out. (k) Phaleg. l. 1. c. 15. Colossians 55. (l) See his Works, vol. 1. p. 694. (m) "audiant", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.
8 So the Lord (red radius) scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Eupolemus (n) says, that first the city of Babylon was built by those that were saved from the flood, who were giants; and then they built tower, so much spoken of in history, which falling by the power of God, the giants were "scattered throughout the whole earth". One would think this writer, by his language, must have read this account of Moses: some of them say the fall of the tower was by storms and tempests raised by the gods. So the Sybil in Josephus (o) says,"the gods sending winds overthrew the tower, and gave to every one his own speech, and hence the city came to be called Babylon.'' Agreeably to which Abydenus (p), an Assyrian writer, relates, that "the winds being raised by the gods overthrew the mechanism (the tower) upon them (the builders of it), and out of the ruins of it was the city called Babylon, when those who were of the same language, from the gods spoke a different one, and of various sounds.''And so Hestiaeus (q), a Phoenician writer, speaking of those who came to Sennaar or Shinar of Babylon, says, from thence they were scattered; and, because of the diversity of language, formed colonies everywhere, and everyone seized on that land which offered to him. These writers indeed seem to be mistaken as to the destruction of the tower, and that by tempestuous winds; otherwise they agree with Moses in the confusion of languages, and scattering of the people at the tower of Babel: in what year this was done is not certain; it was in the days of Peleg, who was born in the year one hundred and one after the flood; and if it was at the time of his birth, as many are of opinion, both Jews (r) and Christians, it must be in the above year; but the phrase used does not determine that: the eastern writers (s) say, that it was in the fortieth year of the life of Peleg, and then it must be in the year after the flood one hundred and forty one; but others, and which is the common opinion of the Jewish chronologers (t), say it was at the end of Peleg's days; and whereas he lived two hundred and thirty nine years, this must happen in the year three hundred and forty after the flood, and so it was ten years, as they observe, before the death of Noah, and when Abraham was forty eight years of age.
But of this see more in Buxtorf's dissertation concerning the confusion of the Hebrew language. It follows here:
"and they left off to build the city; it seems they had finished the tower, but not the city, and therefore are only said to leave off building that; though the Samaritan and Septuagint versions add, "and the tower"; for not understanding one another, they were not able to go on with their work, for when they asked for one thing, as before observed out of Jarchi, they had another brought them; which so enraged them, that the Targum of Jonathan says they killed one another; and, say some Jewish writers (u), they fought one with another upon this occasion, until half the world fell by the sword. (Unlike traditions of the Flood, legends of the Tower of Babel and confusion of speech are not common. (12) That said, noteworthy support for the biblical account comes from Babylonia itself, where a damaged inscription reads: "Babylon corruptly proceeded to sin, and both small and great mingled on the mound. ...All day they founded their stronghold, but in the night he put a complete stop to it. In his anger he also poured out his secret counsel to scatter them abroad, he set his face, he gave a command to make foreign their speech.'' (13-15)This appears to have some basis in an historical event and is very close to the biblical account. Likewise, the Roman mythographer Hyginus (floruit 10 BC) writes:"Men for many generations led their lives without towns or laws, speaking one tongue under the rule of Jove. But after Mercury interpreted the language of men--whence an interpreter is called hermeneutes, for Mercury in Greek is called Hermes; he, too, distributed the nations--then discord began amoug the mortals.'' (16)Taken from p. 47, "Creation Technical Journey". Volumn Nine, Part 1, 1995, published by "Creation Science Foundation Ltd.", Brisbane, Australia. (12) Strickling, J. E., 1974. "Legendary evidence for the confusion of tongues." Creation Research Society Quarterly, 11:97-101. (13) Sayce, A. H. (ed.), "Records of the Past" (old Series), Vol. VII, p. 131f. (14) "Journey of American Oriental Society", 88:108-111 (1968) (15) Smith, J., 1876. "Chaldean Account of Genesis", Scribners, New York. (16) Hyginus, C. Julius, Fabulae 143. Editor)
(n) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 17. p. 418. (o) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 4. sect. 13. (p) Apud Euseb. ut supra, (Praepar. Evangel. l. 9.) c. 14. p. 416. (q) Apud Joseph. ut supra. (Antiqu. 1. 1. c. 4. sect. 13.) (r) Vid. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 75. 2.((s) Elmacinus, p. 28. Patricides, p. 13. apud Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. p. 267. (t) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 1. p. 1. Juchasin, fol. 8. 1. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 1. 2. (u) Pirke Eliezer, c. 24.
9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord (red radius) scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Assyrian name meaning the “Gate of God,” Bab-ilu. Heb. balal = “to confound,” the same word as in Genesis 11:7. To the Hebrew the sound of the name Babel suggested “confusion.” “Babel” is regarded as a contraction from a form Balbêl (which does not exist in Hebrew, but occurs in Aramaic) = “Confusion”:
10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem (Pollux) was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad (Castor) two years after the flood (2302 B.C.):
11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah (2267 B.C.):
13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber (2237 B.C.):
15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg (2203 B.C.):
17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu (2173 B.C.):
19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.
20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug (2141 B.C.):
21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.
22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor (2111 B.C.):
23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah (2082 B.C.):
25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran (2012 B.C.).
And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Abram, though named first, does not appear to be the eldest, but rather Haran; Abram was not born until the one hundred and thirtieth year of his father's life, for Terah was two hundred and five years old when he died, Genesis 11:32 and Abram was but seventy five years of age when he went out of Haran to Canaan, Genesis 12:4 and that was as soon as his father died there; and so that if seventy five are taken out two hundred and five, there will remain one hundred and thirty, in which year and not before Abram must be born:
27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran (Cepheus, Perseus and Aries); and Haran begat Lot.
28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
this account is given of Nahor's wife, as Aben Ezra observes, to show the pedigree of Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah: some think, as before observed, that Abram married the other daughter of his brother Haran, Iscah, and that she is the same with Sarai; and indeed, without supposing that, it is difficult to conceive for what reason this should be observed, that Haran, the father of Milcah, was also the father of Iscah; and if Sarai is not Iscah, no account is given by Moses of her descent, which may seem strange; and it can hardly be thought he would omit it, when it must be so agreeable to his people to know from whom they descended, both by the father's and mother's side.
30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
The Tower Of Babel in Secular History?
Many nations have accounts of the "Tower of Babel." Although they don't always agree in minor details, they do agree in major themes. The tower is linked in most accounts with the dividing of mankind into different languages. The similarity of these legends and traditions indicates an ancient common shared experience. Notice some of these tower stories from sources outside of the Bible:
The Sumerian Account
The entire Sumerian account and a discussion of it can be found in the article “The ‘Babel of Tongues’: A Sumerian Version,” Journal of American Oriental Society 88 (1968, pages 108-11) :
In those days, the lands Subur (and) Hamazi, Harmony-tongues (?) Sumer,. . .Uri,... The land of Martu, ... The whole universe, the people in unison spoke, To Enlil in one tongue ... Then ... Enki, the lord of abundance, (whose) commands are trustworthy, The lord of wisdom, who understands the land, The leader of the gods, Endowed with wisdom, the 1 (ord) of Eridu, Changed the speech in their mouths, set up contention into it, Into the speech of man that (until then) had been one
Yes, people in unison spoke one tongue until the Lord of Wisdom changed the speech and created contention.
The Assyrian Account
George Smith, well-known Assyriologist and explorer for the British Museum in the last century, translated an Assyrian inscription in 1875. This document had some fragments missing but gave an unmistakable account:
...His heart was evil ...against the father of all the gods was wicked ... of him his heart was evil ... Babylon brought to subjection, (small) and great he confounded their speech. Their strong place (tower) all the day they founded; to their strong place in the night entirely he made an end ... Bitterly they wept at Babi- ... very much they grieved ... [The Cbaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 160-1621].
He counfounded their speech at Babylon. Notice the partial word Babi-, due to a fragmented text. Professor Smith felt there was only one word it could be: Babil or Babel! So the Assyrians talked of a “confusion of tongues” as the Sumerians did. Work on a “strong place” or tower is made to end.
The Greek Accounts
Plato mentions that at one time all men had one speech but were confused and scattered when they sought immortality. The Titans of Greek mythology tried to ascend to heaven and fight against the gods but were overthrown. Yes these are garbled accounts. But the Babel tradition is still there. A better account is found in Josephus who mentions the record of the Sibyl:
When all men were of one language, some of them built a high tower, as if they would thereby ascend up to heaven, but the gods sent storms of wind and overthrew the tower, and gave everyone his peculiar language; and for this reason it was called Babylon. [Antiquities, 1, 4, 3. He further cites Hestiaeus’ mention of certain priests going to Shinar after the flood.]
Eusebius in the Praeparatio Euangelica quotes ancient authorities extant in his time. He gives Abydenus’ account contained in the work Of Assyrian History:
But there are some who say that the men who first arose out of the earth, being puffed up by their strength and great stature, and proudly thinking that they were better than the gods, raised a huge tower, where Babylon now stands: and when they were already nearer to heaven, the winds came to the help of the gods, and overthrew their saucture upon them, the ruins of which were called Babylon. And being up to that time of one tongue; and afterwards war arose between Cronos and Titan
Eusebius goes on to quote from Alexander Polyhistor’s Of the Jews:
Eupolemus in his book Concerning the Jews of Assyria says that the city Babylon was first founded by those who escaped from the Deluge; and that they were giants, and built the tower renowned in history. But when this had been overthrown by the act of God, the giants were dispersed over the whole earth (418c).
The Tower of Babel was overthrown causing dispersion.
The Mexican Accounts
A native Cholula gave the following account, which first appeared in Duran’s Historia Antigua de la Nueva Esputia (1585 A.D.) .
In the beginning ... all was a plain ... and immediately after the light and the sun arose in the east there appeared gigantic men of deformed stature and possessed the land.. . they determined to build a tower so high that its summit should reach the sky. Having collected materials for the purpose, they found a very adhesive clay and bitumen, with which they speedily commenced to build the tower; and having reared it to the greatest possible altitude, so that they say it reached to the sky, the Lord of the Heavens, enraged, said to the inhabitants of the sky, “Have you observed how they of the earth have built a high and haughty tower ...? Come and confound them. ...” Immediately the inhabitants of the sky sallied forth like flashes of lightning; they destroyed the edifice and divided and scattered its builders to all parts of the earth.
A further account is given by the native Mexican historian Ixtlilxochitl, from the legend of the Toltecs:
...after men had multiplied [after the flood], they erected a very high “zaculai,” which is today a tower of great height, in order to take refuge in it should the second world (age) be destroyed. Presently their languages were confused, and not being able to understand each other, they went to different parts of the earth. The Toltecs, consisting of seven friends, with their wives, who understood the same language, came to these parts, having first passed great land and seas, having lived in caves, and having endured great hardships in order to reach this land; they wandered 104 years through different parts of the world before they reached Hue Hue Tlapalan, which was in Ce Tecpatl, 520 years after the Flood.
The Toltec account agrees with the Biblical account, even though given from an entirely different perspective and obviously independent. The reason for the agreement lies in the fact that the Toltecs came almost immediately to Mexico and thereby maintained an accurate record of the original eyewitness account.
"According to the ancient traditions collected by Bishop Francis Nunez de la Vega, the Wodan of the Chiapenese (Mexicans) was the grandson of that illustrious old man, who, at the time of the Great Deluge in which the greater part of the human race perished, was saved on a raft together with his family. Wodan co-operated in the construction of the great edifice which had been undertaken by men to reach the skies; the execution of this rash project was interrupted; each family received from that time a different language; and the great spirit Teotl ordered Wodan to go and people the country of Anahuac (Mexico)" (Humbolts Mexican Researches, vol.1, p.320).
Similar traditions are found among the Chinese, the Hindus, the Persians, the Romans, the Irish, and even the Estonians. In his 1918 book, Folklore in the Old Testament, Scottish social anthropologist Sir James George Frazer documented similarities between Old Testament stories, such as the Flood, and Tower of Babel and indigenous legends around the world. He found in Lozi mythology that wicked men built a tower of masts to pursue the Creator-God, Nyambe, who has fled to Heaven on a spider-web, but the men perish when the masts collapsed. He further related similar tales of the Ashanti that substitute a pile of porridge pestles for the masts. Frazer moreover cited such legends found among the Kongo people, as well as in Tanzania, where the men stacked poles or trees in a failed attempt to reach the moon. He further cited the Karbi and Kuki people of Assam as having a similar story. The traditions of the Karen people of Myanmar, which Frazer considered to show clear 'Abrahamic' influence, also relate that their ancestors migrated there following the abandonment of a great pagoda in the land of the Karenni 30 generations from Adam, when the languages were confused and the Karen separated from the Karenni. He notes yet another version current in the Admiralty Islands, where mankind's languages are confused following a failed attempt to build houses reaching to heaven.
The reason for the similarity of the stories is a shared experience -- the Tower of Babel. The differences are because each nation has preserved details particularly relevant to its own national interests, which other mations may have regarded as unimportant. The closer to the site of the actual event the nation or people were, or the more civilized the nation which kept the account, the more like the Genesis account it is !
In any case, there are at least three major points on which all accounts are remarkably similar:
1) All humans originally spoke only one language which was understood by all.
2 ) A tower was built contrary to God’s will and was never completed. The bulk of mankind participated in that building.
3) God generated many different, unrelated languages at one time.
Why did God stop construction? Probably in order to prevent the people from advancing too swiftly and reaching the brink of cosmocide prematurely. God confounded and divided the people by linguistic, racial and geographical means. Evidence for the Tower of Babel is found in historical records around the world.