Enter the Babble of Babel

Genesis 11:1-9

Just nine little verses, but rather of import to me, sitting here, jumping my thoughts between Hebrew, English, and Nkonya, checking the first Nkonya draft of the book.

So often I have focused my thoughts on the vision of Revelation with every tribe and language gathered around the throne of God in worship, or on the day of Pentecost with divine simultaneous translations into multiple languages.

But here is the start of it all.  From one language to many, in a blink.

The presumptuous tower of Babel – with its head in the clouds, lofting to the place of God.

The city that would draw men to a place of unified strength, and go against a divine command to spread out and repopulate the earth.

And God came down, and looked things over and said, “If this is the way they have begun, nothing will stop these sons of Adam from carrying out every intention.”

An ironical statement, as without further ado he put a spoke in their wheel and sent them out to the far corners of the earth, as previously commanded, but now each with their own language, unable to communicate with former associates.

Multiple languages were designed to keep people from unifying against God, to hinder the multiplication of evil. They were not to keep them from communicating with the Creator, from whom all languages originate.

And so I plug on.

Can’t help wondering though- when we all gather at the throne of God, before the Lamb, representing close to 7000 languages and who knows how many dialects, will the need for differing speech vanish, and will we again speak one language with one set of words?


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