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Racism and the Tower of Babel

I recently posted a link on Facebook to an article explaining how there are over 7,000 languages spoken on earth. This brought up the bible story of the Tower of Babel in the comments. I got to thinking about that story and thought I would share a couple of thoughts on it.

It’s a very interesting story in that God’s reasoning is clearly stated. Basically, he wanted us not to get along with each other anymore.

We read in Genesis 11: 6, “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”


That’s pretty amazing stuff right there. Humans were cooperating too much. They could do whatever they set their minds to do. We can only speculate as to why this is a bad thing as that part isn’t given. Some say it’s because of human arrogance and it needed to be punished, some say it’s because man would have destroyed himself before Christ could have come to save them, and others speculate that man would have stopped believing in God because they didn’t need him anymore because they could do anything. None of these are far fetched reasons.

Faced with a united humanity God decides something needs to be done and in verse 7 we read, “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Some also speculate that along with the change in language came a change in the way people looked so they could easily find someone who spoke the same new language. Either way, the idea was to make people so they couldn’t cooperate. That trend has continued up until this day hasn’t it? People of different races, cultures, and languages find it difficult to get along.

In a way, the United States of America has been the Promised Land that has reversed the curse of the Tower of Babel. People of divers races, languages, and cultures have come to one place to cooperate again. English has become somewhat of a world language and we’ve begun to see once again that nothing we have imagined will be impossible to us to do. That can be good, or bad depending on what it is we are seeking to accomplish.

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