Friday, July 2 2010
From Gate Of God To Confusion
In most English translations of the Bible, the first mention of "Babel" (from which came the name Babylon) in the Holy Scriptures occurs in Genesis 10:10, before the tower of Babel was constructed:
"10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
Is this a contradiction in the next chapter then? Did "Babel" exist before the LORD called it "Babel"?
"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 11:8-9 KJV)
From "Gate Of God" To "Confusion"
Although it's often rendered as "babel," the actual word in Genesis 10:10 was the related-Semitic word pronounced bawb-iloo, which meant gate of God. Even the English rendering of "babel" reflects that meaning with the "el" (see El) in "babel" - which, in its root form, also means gate of the LORD. It's that reason that the LORD's presence, or access, is stated in Nimrod's "babel":
"10:9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
But note carefully what happened when the humans began building a tower at the "gate of God" - the very reason that they chose that location to build it was to attempt to enter through the gate of God that was perceived as being there.
"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.
It was then that the LORD renamed it as "babel" (as it's rendered in English), which in Hebrew is pronounced baw-bale. It means confusion - there is no actual "el" in it. The reason that it is often written that way is because translators have confused (amazingly, since the word that they confused means confusion!) for the earlier word which did have "el" in it.
"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.
Fact Finder: Did the LORD identify Himself by the same Name to Abraham and Moses?
This Day In History, July 2
1298: An army under Albert of Austria defeated and killed Adolf of Nassua near Worms, Germany.
1625: The Spanish army took Breda, Spain, after nearly a year of siege.
1644: The Battle of Marston Moor near York brought the first major Royalist defeat in the English Civil War.
1747: Marshall Saxe led French forces to victory over an Anglo-Dutch force under the Duke of Cumberland at the Battle of Lauffeld.
1853: The Russian army crossed the Pruth River, invading Turkey and beginning the Crimean War.
1871: Rome officially became capital of a united Italy; after 1,500 years, Rome again the capital of Italy.
1881: U.S. President James Garfield, who was sworn-in only 3 months earlier, was shot by Charles Guiteau. He died from the injury on September 19.
1900: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin flew his first airship in Germany.
1937: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while trying to fly around the world.
1940: The liner Arandora Star was torpedoed by a German submarine while transporting German and Italian prisoners to Canada; over 750 prisoners and crew died.
1964: U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and the Public Accommodations Bill that guaranteed equality to blacks. Despite the new laws, a month later 3 civil rights workers were found murdered in Mississippi; police were implicated.
1976: Following Vietnam War, North and South Vietnam were reunited as one country with Hanoi as the capital. It had been divided since 1954.