Genesis 11

The myth of Babel comes at the ‘us and them’ issues of peoples’ differences in a story of language. One language, with few words, and one common technological enterprise, becomes many languages, pursuing many ends.

Like the story of being east of Eden, is that simply a curse? I say not, that this tale of diversity is affirmation, and Pentecost in Acts doesn’t reverse the curse, but fulfills the promise of Babel.

Don’t just skip the ‘toledot’ of Shem, associated with roots, places and peoples running east from Palestine – construing 10 generations from Noah to Avram, to balance 10 from Adam to Noah, primeval tales of the boot & reboot of humanity!

As the primeval myths give way to something more legendary and epic, we start to recognize more of the geography. There is asserted a human migration from the Tigris-Euphrates valleys of Iraq and Iran, by way of Syria and Turkey. From Ur of Chaldea, we reached Haran.

Notice this set of toledot, with fathers of first-born in their early 30’s, and life-spans half or a quarter of the earlier figures, on their way to our shorter ‘120 years’. We don’t know the stories of many on the liset, but those we do come near the end, the grand-father and father of Avram, leaving the Tigris Euphrates and arriving ‘over the top’ around desert to lands north of Palestine.

We are ready for the story of Babel, and then the toledot of Avram.