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The Origin Of Speaking In Tongues

After the Flood, the descendants of Noah and his wife developed their own languages, or "tongues."

"10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. 10:3 And the sons of Gomer; Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. 10:4 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." (Genesis 10:2-5 KJV)

"10:20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations." (Genesis 10:20 KJV)

"10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations." (Genesis 10:31 KJV)

Despite the differences in "tongues" that developed, they were still, at that point, merely regional dialects of and within their single, common ancestral language (just as, for example, people who speak the wide variety of English dialects around the world can still understand each other).

"10:32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood. 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech." (Genesis 10:32, 11:1 KJV)

"The LORD did there confound the language of all the earth"

Unintelligible and uncomprehensible tongues, that is, all of the different languages in the world today, were a creation of the LORD as a response to the united defiance of humanity toward Him.

The Tower of Babel

"10:31 These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. 10:32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood." (Genesis 10:31-32 KJV)

"11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth." (Genesis 11:1-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the Christian purpose of "speaking in tongues"?
See Do You Speak In Tongues?


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Bible Study: Aramaic: The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus


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