Summary: God confuses the language of the Cushites to keep them from building a tower of idolatry and scatters them across the earth.

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Everyone came out of the ark and started having kids. Fast forward 101 years and you get to chapter eleven:

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

They were one family, they all spoke one language with one dialect and vocabulary, and they all still lived in the same general area:

2And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

Now, we know from 10:8-10 that Ham’s descendants through Cush are the ones on this journey. They were semi-nomadic and they were making their way around the Middle East when they came across a large flat space suitable for building a city. This place is called Shinar, and we need to understand its importance in Scripture. First, you need to know that “Shinar” is the Hebrew term for a place also called Sumer or Babylonia. The capital city of Babylonia was Babylon. Babylon, of course, was also called Babel.

But there’s more to it than that: turn to Zechariah 5:5-11: Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. 6And I said, What is it? And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth. 7And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. 8And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. 9Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. 10Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? 11And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.

Shiner is defined in the Scriptures as the base or resting place of wickedness.

I’m sure the mention of Babylon also brings the book of Revelation to your mind:

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Rev. 17:1-6).

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