The Hunter of Men--Nimrod and the Tower of Babel

Genesis 11 brings us to the last of the first 2,000 year history of man. Nimrod comes on the scene. What about this man Nimrod? Notice in verse 2 that it says, “...they journeyed from the east" to the land of Shinar. Genesis 8:4 tells us that the ark rested in the mountains of Ararat. These mountains were several hundred miles east of Mesopotamia or what is referred to here as Shinar.

It is very easy to believe that Noah's sons would have talked to their families about the land from which they came. Perhaps at some point Ham's sons decided to visit the land. Ham's grandson Nimrod became a mighty hunter, a leader. Nimrod was a warrior and a tyrant. In a sense, he was a hunter of men. His desire was to rule and dominate.

The Hebrew language in verse one would imply that not only was there one language, but also one dialect. Years before, Cain was instructed by God to be "...a fugitive and a vagabond...in the earth" (Genesis 4:12). Now Cain's rebellious children were rebelling against the same God. Maybe if they would but stay together they would not face the same condemnation.

Maybe if they bound themselves together under the "tower" they could withstand the wrath of God. Isaiah, although written much later proclaims the principle involved, "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:19,20).

Again in Deuteronomy 28:1, "And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth", and verse 15, "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:".

Granted, these verses are written to Israel, but God's moral principles never change. What was true for Cain was true for those at the Tower of Babel, and it is also true for you and me. God always blesses obedience. God always curses disobedience. The tower was cursed from the very beginning.

In verse three we see man's efforts ("let us"). It was always about them. They turned from worship of the One True God and bowed at the feet of satan in astrology worship. In a very real way, this was another first in the book of beginnings--the beginning of devil worship. Everywhere you look in Scripture God condemns the worship of the planets, sun, moon, and stars.

Remember, too, that there are three heavens. They were attempting to build the tower. I do not think for a minute that these people were trying to reach the throne room of God, or even the starry heaven. It was meant to be a high tower that reached high up, possibly like a present day observatory. The stars could be studied closer. Their alignments could be noticed more accurately.

One ruin that has been found in Babylon is a building 153 feet high with a 400 foot base. It was constructed in seven layers of different colors, each representing a color of the then known planets. The lowest was black representing Saturn. Next, on top of the black was orange for Jupiter followed by a layer of red for Mars, etc.

Man can make his plans, but God still is in complete control of everything. When He decides to take action there is no escape. First God visits (verse 5). Then He confounds their language (verse 7). Next he scatters (verse 8). Notice too that the Trinity was involved in this work (verse 7).

"Babel", it was called. Originally, the name literally meant "the Gate of God". God met man there and destroyed their plan. Man no longer able to communicate with each other was scattered abroad. Their evil plans had come to naught. God changed the meaning of "Babel" to "confusion".

Confusion is still very evident in the world we live in today. We still try to build our high towers, to avoid or escape the only Truth we have. God sees all of this too. He is watching. He is waiting in His mercy. But He will still judge. What kind of a tower are you building? And what foundation are you building upon?

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Comments 14 comments

GodTalk profile image

GodTalk 4 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

Thanks for the study. It's true that man continues to build his monuments, or towers today for his own glory. But we both know that they will ultimately be destroyed. And God's Kingdom and glory will last forever.

Keep up the good work!


Michael Adams1959 profile image

Michael Adams1959 4 years ago from Wherever God leads us.

Great study, we have been on Genesis at church for awhile now.


buckleupdorothy profile image

buckleupdorothy 4 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

I love the idea that the tower of Babel might have been intended to be an observatory. Very interesting hub: voted up.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

lifegate: This story of the tower of Babel, is the one story I was never fully able to grasp. God really gives no definite indication as to the sin or sins being committed by the people in this story. One is really left guessing, what was on God's mind. What is obvious is that God got ticked off about something, and decided to confound a people who were of one thinking and one language, and scatter them.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

GodTalk,

I wonder why we don't learn from history. The towers keep getting built. But oh how wonderful, God is in control no matter what. Thanks for the visit.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Michael,

Genesis is a wonderful book. So much to learn. What I find interesting is that the first 2,000 years of man's history is found in the first 11 chapters. Then it takes the next 39 chapters to cover the next 300 years--but it's all good. Thanks for checking in.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

buckleupdorothy,

Thank you for stopping by and for the vote. I guess what we have to remember is that the tower wasn't an observatory to study the heavens from a scientific view point (astronomy), but was used for astrology which the Bible condemns. Good of you to stop by.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Dave,

It would seem the sin of the people was that of pride and rebellion. In verses 4-6 we read, "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.

Gen 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

Gen 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.

In verse 4 they were intent on spiritually reaching the very throne room of God. Pride caused them to want to make a name for themselves (also verse 4). The Lord, seeing this in verse 6 confuses the language to stop communication which in turn would stop their pride and rebellion (which was symbolized in the tower).

Also, archaeological evidence seems to point to the fact that the tower was used for astrology--a sin greatly condemned by God. Hope that helps a little, and thanks for the visit.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

So very interesting and makes perfect sense. I always wondered why they thought they could reach Heaven but the colored layers does show planets. Thank you for a great read!


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Jackie,

You're quite welcome, and thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota

I enjoyed how you ended this lesson up with a personal application. It is true we try to build ourselves up sometimes in some false and deceptive ways as did the ancients as you recounted in their testimony of "let us"

loved all the background information to this biblical text. It really shows the roots of false religion today.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

TJ,

Yes, things haven't changed much. Confusion of language may have stopped the tower, but man has found other ways to continue in his rebellion toward God. The day is coming when those towers too, will be brought down, and God's Kingdom will replace all of man's attempts to live without Him. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."


skye2day profile image

skye2day 4 years ago from Rocky Mountains

lifegate Brother Another awesome writing. Very interesting. I love it. Amazing how the circle of life goes around again and again. Yes we keep building those towers!

God still sits on the throne, amen. The tower of Babel is a fascinating story. How they ever got it that HIGH in those days alone baffles me? I love the book of Genesis, one of my favorite! I gained much from your writing bro. Thank You.

God is God and in control. You keep shining the love lifegate. I love ya brother. Hug to you. Your sister.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA Author

Skye,

It's wonderful to know that God sits on the throne. He's in total control and there's not a thing rebellious man do about it. Always glad to have y ou stop by with your words of wisdom!

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