Richard Agee

Genesis 11: God confounds the united nations of Nimrod

Richard AgeeJust as Nimrod tried to unite people into one nation whose evil inclinations are propelled by endless innovation, people will try to unite again. Just as God confounded Nimrod’s confederation, God will confound the Babylonian confederation again. This is one of the lessons of the book of Revelation.

Gen. 11 centers around on three areas: the tower of Babel, the descendants of Shem and the descendants of Terah, just as Genesis 10 is divided into three sections: the descendants of Yafet (Japeth), of Ham and of Shem. 

People are biblically named after an event, not before an event. 

As we noticed in Genesis 10, Nimrod was the first person to collect people into four kingdoms (Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh) in the land of Shinar, divided into four capitals (Nineveh, Rehoboth-ir, Calah, and Resen) . Yet, all the people of the world at the time were united by one written language and one oral language. Resen was the greatest of these cities. We know where Nineveh was located 

How many cities are called “great cities” in the Bible? There are several but Resen was the first. 

At the beginning of chapter 11, “the whole earth used the same language and the same words” (Gen. 11:1). From that, Nimrod created a united nation and set out to make a great building project: “Come let us make bricks, and burn them….” (Gen. 11:3).

The Hebrew word translated as make bricks לָבַן laban (Strong’s lexicon No. H3835), which is related to לְבוֹנָה lebonah (H3828), translated as frankincense or just incense. When it is burned is white (לָבָן laban, Strong’s H3836). 

When gold or silver are passed in fire, they are purified, when mud or clay is burned, it is made stronger than the original. 

The people wanted to build a tower that reached the heavens. In our modern day, thanks to innovations such as concrete, we have buildings that are far taller than people in ancient times could have ever dreamed but these people were dreaming even bigger than architects of our day often dream now. They had high hopes for this new tower they were constructing. They were not only wanting to reach the heavens and “get into God’s face” but they also hope this building project would permanently cleave themselves to each other. 

We are told that God came down to take a look around. He noticed that the people were  אֶחָד ’echad (Strong’s H259), united with each other. God didn’t like this development at all because as the Scripture records, “now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” 

God broke up this confederation without killing a single soul. How?

“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” (Gen. 11:7)

Their collaboration was halted in one fell swoop. They stopped building the city and the people separated. 

Nimrod wanted control over all the people of the world and with one language, this was much easier to do. With a common language, it’s easier to encourage a common culture. It’s easier to control the education, politics and every aspect of the lives of the people. 

When the 13 colonies was fighting for their independence from Great Britain, we were united by a common language, a common culture and common ideas about our own identity as Americans, separate from Great Britain. We became united with each other as separate people from Great Britain. 

Just as people were trying to unite into one common nation in Nimrod’s time, people will try to unite again. Just as God came down and confounded this confederation, God will confound the Babylonian confederation again, this is one of the lessons of the Book of Revelation. History does repeat itself.

We now live in a world where it seems that “nothing is withheld from us.” We are trying to unite ourselves in a confederation called the United Nations. President Obama is trying to demote the United States of America into a common, ordinary country, and he’s working hard to demote our country with his financial, trade, military and political schemes. How should we, as Americans, respond to this?

We see in the rest of Genesis 11 a clue. Right after the story of the confusion of the languages and the dismantling of Nimrod’s power, we see Shem’s line recorded a second time. This is the line that carries God’s name. Shem’s line culminates in Yeshua haMashiach. 

Recall that Shem was alive during this time. Did Shem have warning of the confusion of the language? No, yet he witnessed the aftermath of it, as it started during the lifetime of his descendant Peleg. 

This chapter culminates in the line of Abram and Sarah. If you chart out the birth and deaths of the patriarchs of Shem’s line, you’ll discover that Shem was alive when Isaac was born. There is a continuity in this family line. 

We see that God put a stop to evil inclinations of Ham’s descendant Nimrod to preserve the knowledge of God through Shem’s line. 

Even though Noah had taken a long time to prepare the ark for the Flood, when the Flood actually came, God only gave them 7 days to make the final preparations, get the animals and themselves safe in the ark. God Himself sealed up the ark. 

God’s main question to Adam in the Garden of Eden was, from the literal Hebrew, “Why are you not here?” (Gen. 3:9). God’s question to Cain was similar, “Why is your brother not here?” (Gen. 4:9) As much as Yeshua says that the people did not know what was happening at Babel and at the Flood until after it God did it. The Messiah is going to come as a thief in the night, they will be caught completely unaware. It is very important to be aware. 

The reason this story ends with Shem and Abram because they were aware of God. God has a secret weapon to deal with the end time dictators, His Son Yeshua. Are you ready for Him?

Speaker: Richard Agee. Reader: Jeff. Summary: Tammy.

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