Genesis 11:1-9

Talks for Growing Christians

The Tower of Babel and the Confusion of Languages

Genesis 11:1-9

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Lesson Number 24

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Man in his pride tries to reach heaven by his own efforts.
  2. God in His wisdom thwarts man’s proud religious efforts.

Practical Application

  1. Whose name are we trying to magnify?


  1. The Tower of Babel was most likely what type of tower?
  2. From archaeological evidence, these towers of ancient pagan religions are also associated with other forms of worship. Name some of these forms, which remain prevalent even today.
  3. How was it possible that the seventy nations of Genesis 10 could develop in such a short time?
  4. How did the different languages come about? What is the support for the biblical account of the Tower of Babel concerning the different languages?
  5. What is human religion by definition?
  6. How was God’s wisdom seen in His scattering of the people and dividing them into nations?


  1. The Tower of Babel was probably an ancient ziggurat. A ziggurat was a wide-based temple tower. It looked like a step-pyramid, with a staircase or ramp running from top to bottom. The staircase was designed to allow man to ascend the tower to reach the shrine at the top and to allow the gods to descend from heaven to earth. Some of these towers reached as high as 300’.
  2. Polytheism, astrology and the zodiac find their roots in ancient pagan religions associated with these ziggurats.
  3. Peleg is the fifth generation after Noah, which could produce enough people to form seventy sub-groups of about a dozen or more extended family members, which became the basis of the seventy nations.
  4. The study of languages indicates that all languages are related.
  5. Man in his pride tries to reach heaven by his own efforts.
  6. God scattered the people and divided them into nations, which was far better than allowing them to be unified in apostasy against God.


  1. “Let us make a name for ourselves...” (Genesis 11:4) Man rebelled against and disobeyed God. In building the Tower of Babel, man’s desire was not to reach God, but to reach the heavens for his own advancement. Do you see this today?
  2. Discuss how God in His wisdom thwarted man’s proud religious efforts in the building of the Tower of Babel. How does God thwart man’s proud religious efforts today?


  1. The builders of the Tower of Babel tried to magnify their own names. Can you say with Paul, Philippians 1:20-21?

Key Verses

  • “The whole earth had one language...” Gen 11:1
  • “They said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’“ Genesis 11:4
  • “The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built...’Come, let Us go down and confuse their language...’ so the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:5, 7, 9

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