Summary: The Table of Nations (Chapter 10) & The Tower of Babel (Chapter 11). (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com)
(A). The Table of Nations (Chapter 10)
(1). It is a Record of Nations.
(2). It is a Selective List.
(3). It is a Puzzling Inventory.
(4). It is a Historic Index.
(B). The Tower of Babel (Chapter 11)
(1). Man’s Rebellion
(2). God’s Response
(3). God’s Remedy
• An airline flight attendant shared the story of a passenger from Bombay, India,
• Who had a limited grasp of the English language.
• As the airline flight attendant served the man his meal;
• He nodded his head and replied, “From the heart of my bottom, I am thanking you.”
• The flight attendant said:
• I think what he was trying to say was, ‘from the bottom of my heart,’
• But there was no way I could convey to this man that this sentence was wrong.
• Although we had a fun time trying,
Quote: Dorothy Parker on the English language
“The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘check enclosed.’”
Quote: Ronald Reagan:
“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are,
‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
Quote: English is a strange language:
• Let's face it.
• English is a strange language.
• There is no egg in the eggplant,
• No ham in the hamburger,
• And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
• English muffins were not invented in England.
• French fries were not invented in France.
• We sometimes take English for granted,
• But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
• Quicksand takes you down slowly,
• Boxing rings are square,
• And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
• If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
• If the plural of tooth is teeth,
• Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone booth?
• If the teacher taught,
• Why didn't the preacher praught.
• If a vegetarian eats vegetables,
• What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
• Why do people recite at a play,
• Yet play at a recital?
• Park on driveways and
• Drive on parkways?
• You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
• Of a language where a house can burn up as
• It burns down,
• And in which you fill in a form
• By filling it out,
• And a bell is only heard once it goes!
• English was invented by people, not computers,
• And it reflects the creativity of the human race
• (Which of course isn't a race at all).
• That is why
• When the stars are out they are visible,
• But when the lights are out they are invisible.
• And why it is that when I wind up my watch
• It starts,
• But when I wind up this poem
• It ends.
• Language is a key feature in this passage today.
• Because the Tower of Babel is best known for two things that happened.
• It is the place God scattered the nations;
• It was here that God confused people with different languages.
• There are about 50 distinct language families in the world;
• And they seem to bear no relation to each other at all.
• Some languages have sub-divided into scores of other languages;
• e.g. French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish all go back to Latin.
• e.g. Some languages like Basque language, which is spoken only in the Pyrenees;
• Appear to have no ‘ancestor’ and no ‘descendants’.
• The oldest known languages are the most difficult and complex.
• e.g. Ancient Chinese was harder than modern Chines.
• e.g. Ancient Greek was harder than modern Greek.
Genesis chapter 11 teaches that at Babel:
• God broke up the one original language in 50 (or more) major languages,
• All equally complex and all mutually unintelligible without long and hard study.
• The phrase "Tower of Babel" does not appear in the Hebrew Bible;
• It is always, "the city and its tower" (àÆú-äÈòÄéø åÀàÆú-äÇîÄÌâÀãÈÌì) or just "the city" (äÈòÄéø).
• According to the Bible (Genesis chapter 11 verse 9),
• The city received the name "Babel";
• From the Hebrew word ‘balal’, meaning; ‘to jumble’.
(A). The Table of Nations (Chapter 10)
• To the casual reader of the Bible;
• These verses in chapter 10 are about as interesting as reading the telephone directory!
• But if we give them time;
• Then we can discover they are more than ‘Just a list of names’;
• Those names relate to people who play an important part in biblical history!
Quote: Scholar William Foxwell Albright:
“The tenth chapter of Genesis…stands absolutely alone in ancient literature, without remote parallel, even among the Greeks, where we find the closest approach to a distribution of peoples in genealogical framework…The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document”.