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NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES (1984 EDITION) See 2013 revision
11 Now all the earth continued to be of one language* and of one set of words.* 2 And it came about that in their journeying eastward they eventually discovered a valley plain in the land of Shi′nar,+ and they took up dwelling there. 3 And they began to say, each one to the other: “Come on! Let us make bricks and bake them with a burning process.” So brick served as stone for them, but bitumen served as mortar for them.+ 4 They now said: “Come on! Let us build ourselves a city and also a tower* with its top in the heavens,+ and let us make a celebrated name* for ourselves,+ for fear we may be scattered over all the surface of the earth.”+ 5 And Jehovah proceeded to go down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built.+ 6 After that Jehovah said: “Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all,+ and this is what they start to do. Why, now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be unattainable for them.+ 7 Come now! Let us+ go down and there confuse+ their language that they may not listen to* one another’s language.”+ 8 Accordingly Jehovah scattered them from there over all the surface of the earth,+ and they gradually left off building the city.+ 9 That is why its name was called Ba′bel,*+ because there Jehovah had confused the language of all the earth,* and Jehovah had scattered+ them from there over all the surface of the earth. 10 This is the history of Shem.+ Shem was a hundred years old when he became father to Ar·pach′shad+ two years after the deluge. 11 And after his fathering Ar·pach′shad Shem continued to live five hundred years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters.+ 12 And Ar·pach′shad* lived thirty-five years. Then he became father to She′lah.+ 13 And after his fathering She′lah Ar·pach′shad continued to live four hundred and three years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. 14 And She′lah lived thirty years. Then he became father to E′ber.+ 15 And after his fathering E′ber She′lah continued to live four hundred and three years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. 16 And E′ber lived on for thirty-four years. Then he became father to Pe′leg.+ 17 And after his fathering Pe′leg E′ber continued to live four hundred and thirty years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. 18 And Pe′leg lived on for thirty years. Then he became father to Re′u.+ 19 And after his fathering Re′u Pe′leg continued to live two hundred and nine years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. 20 And Re′u lived on for thirty-two years. Then he became father to Se′rug.+ 21 And after his fathering Se′rug Re′u continued to live two hundred and seven years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. 22 And Se′rug lived on for thirty years. Then he became father to Na′hor.+ 23 And after his fathering Na′hor Se′rug continued to live two hundred years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. 24 And Na′hor lived on for twenty-nine years. Then he became father to Te′rah.+ 25 And after his fathering Te′rah Na′hor continued to live a hundred and nineteen years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters. 26 And Te′rah lived on for seventy years, after which he became father to A′bram,+ Na′hor+ and Ha′ran. 27 And this is the history of Te′rah. Te′rah became father to A′bram, Na′hor and Ha′ran; and Ha′ran became father to Lot.+ 28 Later Ha′ran died while in company with Te′rah* his father in the land of his birth, in Ur+ of the Chal·de′ans.*+ 29 And A′bram and Na′hor proceeded to take wives for themselves. The name of A′bram’s wife was Sar′ai,+ while the name of Na′hor’s wife was Mil′cah,+ the daughter of Ha′ran, the father of Mil′cah and father of Is′cah. 30 But Sar′ai continued to be barren;+ she had no child. 31 After that Te′rah took A′bram his son and Lot, the son of Ha′ran, his grandson,+ and Sar′ai+ his daughter-in-law, the wife of A′bram his son, and they went with him* out of Ur of the Chal·de′ans to go to the land of Ca′naan.+ In time they came to Ha′ran+ and took up dwelling there. 32 And the days of Te′rah came to be two hundred and five years. Then Te′rah died in Ha′ran.
^ Lit., “of one lip,” MLXXVg.
^ Or, “of one vocabulary.”
^ “And also a tower.” Heb., u·migh·dal′; Gr., pyr′gon; Lat., tur′rem.
^ Or, “make a monument.”
^ Or, “understand.”
^ “Babel.” Heb., Ba·vel′. Moses derived “Babel” from the root verb ba·lal′, “to confuse; to confound,” so giving “Babel” the meaning “Confusion.” SyVg, “Babel”; Gr., Syg′khy·sis, “Confusion.” In Akkadian, Bab-ilu. Local citizens claimed that Bab meant “Gate” and ilu meant “God” (ʼEl in Heb.), thus “Gate of God.”
^ Or, “earth’s population.”
^ LXX vss 12 and 13 read: (12) “And Arpachshad lived a hundred and thirty-five years and became father to Cainan. (13) And after his producing Cainan Arpachshad lived four hundred and thirty years and became father to sons and daughters, and he died. And Cainan lived a hundred and thirty years and became father to Shelah. And after his producing Shelah Cainan lived three hundred and thirty years and became father to sons and daughters, and he died.” This source inserts the name Cainan between the names Shelah and Arpachshad. Compare Lu 3:36.
^ Or, “while Terah still lived.” Lit., “before the face of Terah.”
^ Or, “Ur of Chaldea.”
^ Lit., “they went out with them,” M; Sy, “he went out with them”; SamLXXVg, “he led them out.”