Summary: The Table of Nations (Chapter 10) & The Tower of Babel (Chapter 11). (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(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”.

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