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Lessons from the Tower of Babel

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


More than likely you have read the story about the Tower of Babel. Maybe you overlooked the lessons from the story. However, there are at least seven major lessons everyone can learn from what happened at the Tower of Babel.

The Tower of Babel

Between the Great Flood and the story of the patriarch Abram, there is a story that explains how so many different languages came into the world. Before the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9, all the descendants of Noah spoke the same language with a common speech. Today, there are thousands of different languages in the world.

The people were speaking a single language and moving eastward when they stopped at the land of Shinar after God told them to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. This was in disobedience to God because he told them to keep moving, but after 130 years they hadn't done what God had told them to do.

Even though there was a whole group of people, all of them agreed to be disobedient. Not one of them reminded the others of God's instruction. Not one of them suggested they should continue. The entire group agreed to stay together and disobey God.

In Shinar, they thought they could build a city and a tower tall enough to reach heaven. Therefore, all of them agreed to that task instead of being scattered as God had instructed.

They all agreed to build a city and a tower that reached heaven. The city and tower were to be for themselves so they come make a name for themselves instead of being scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

The Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people were building. God clarified what the children of men were doing. He said they were one people with one language. God said if they got away with that, there would be no telling what they would be capable of doing.

God waited to see what the people would do. He could have stopped it at the very beginning but he didn't. He stopped the project only when he saw they were going through with it.

God allowed them to use their free well. When he saw how their free will would impact others, God concluded that one act of disobedience could lead to other acts of disobedience. Their free will would let nothing would stop them from doing other things against his will.


Why So Many Languages Today?

Before the attempt to build the Tower of Bible, everyone spoke the same language with the same speech. Because of disobedient people banded together and agreed to build a tower in Babylon that glorified their own achievements, rather than those of God, they were punished and had to scatter as they had originally refused to do.

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God confused their speech and scattered them over the face of the earth. That’s why we have the word “babble” which means "confused speech." That’s the reason we have a minimum of 6,700 languages in the world today.

The people gave up their building project because that was not God's plan. That is not the way to get to heaven.

God scattered the one people with a single speech to do what he had told them to do fill the earth and multiply.

The Tower of Babel Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. How many years did it take the people to stop to build the tower?
    • 50
    • 100
    • 130
    • 150
  2. Where did the group stop to build the tower?
    • Shinar
    • Shingar
    • Ethopia
    • Egypt
  3. Why did the people want to build a tower?
    • to get to heaven
    • to make a name for themselves
    • both of the above
    • neither of the above
  4. What word is used for confused language or talk?
    • mispronounciation
    • hyperbole
    • confusion
    • babble
  5. About how many languages do we have today because the people were scattered?
    • 100
    • 1,000
    • 6,700
    • 7,600

Answer Key

  1. 130
  2. Shinar
  3. both of the above
  4. babble
  5. 6,700


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on January 10, 2018:

Dora, thank you so much for reading my article and commenting. I always like reading your feedback because it is so positive. Happy New Year!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 09, 2018:

All great lessons which we should consider seriously. Numbers 5 and 7 have so much meaning for me.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on January 08, 2018:

Windy Grace Mason, thank you for reading my article and for responding to a particular lesson from it.

Windy Grace Mason from Poplar Cove, Virginia, USA on January 07, 2018:

"Lesson 5: God stops projects that do not give him the glory especially those tasks people undertake to make a name for themselves." Powerful! Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Many Blessings!

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on January 07, 2018:

As always, thanks for reading and responding.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on January 07, 2018:

Superb article on this important topic from Genesis. I enjoyed the fact that you reminded each of us that we have tasks God wants us to do and we should be obedient. Thank you.

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