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Beginnings in Genesis – Dispersion & Confusion

June 5, 2008

scattered…over the face of the earth
gen 11:9

The story of Babel is not left here in Genesis. It recurs a number of other times in the bible and merits a quick look.

Though diversity is God’s will, it was never meant to confuse. God’s ideal it seems is unity in diversity.

So the prophets foresee a time when the dispersion and confusion of Babel will be undone, but notice, NOT the diversity, there is still a variety of nations:

Isaiah 2:1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Zephaniah 3:9 “Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder. 10 From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings. 11 On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill. 12 But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD.

And in the book of Acts, Luke obviously understood the events of Pentecost, marked as they were by everyone understanding the words of God in their own tongue, as an undoing of the confusion:

Acts 2:6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs– we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”…

[see also here, here, here, &  here. And for more on Pentecost, see part of my reflections on Psalm 29.]

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One Comment
  1. Wow, this piece of writing is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing these things, therefore I am
    going to convey her.

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