(Hebrew: מגדל בבל Migdal Bavel Arabic: برج بابل Burj Babil), according to the Book of Genesis, was an enormous tower built in the plain of Shinar (Hebrew: שנער).
According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar, where they resolved tobuild a city with a tower "with its top in the heavens...lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the Earth." Yahweh came down to see what they did and said: "They are one people and have one language, and nothing will be withholden from them which they purpose to do." So Yahweh said, "Come, let us go down and confound their speech." And so Yahweh scattered them upon the face of the Earth,and confused their languages, and they left off building the city, which was called Babel "because Yahweh there confounded the language of all the Earth."(Genesis 11:5-8).
The Tower of Babel has often been associated with known structures, notably the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to Marduk by Nabopolassar (c. 610 BC). The Great Ziggurat of Babylon base was square (not round), 91m in height,but was finally demolished by Alexander the Great before his death in an attempt to rebuild it. A Sumerian story with some similar elements is preserved in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta.
* 1 Biblical narrative and themes
o 1.1 Narrative
o 1.2 Themes
* 2 Historical context
* 3 In other sources
o 3.1 Destruction
o 3.2 Etemenanki, the ziggurat at Babylon
o 3.3 Book ofJubilees
o 3.4 Pseudo-Philo
o 3.5 Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews
o 3.6 Greek Apocalypse of Baruch
o 3.7 Midrash
o 3.8 Kabbalah
o 3.9 Qur'an and Islamic traditions
o 3.10 Book of Mormon
o 3.11 Irish folklore
o 3.12 In Western culture
* 4 Comparable mythemes
o 4.1 Sumerian parallel
o 4.2 Towers
o 4.3 Multiplication of languages
* 5 Height of the tower
* 6 Enumerationof scattered languages
* 7 See also
* 8 Notes
* 9 References
* 10 External links
Biblical narrative and themes
The story is found in Genesis 11:1-9˄, and appears in the King James Version as follows:
1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; andthey dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower,which the children built. 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. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all theearth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The phrase "the Tower of Babel" does not actually appear in the Bible; it is always, "the city and its tower" (אֶת-הָעִיר וְאֶת-הַמִּגְדָּל) or just "the city"(הָעִיר). Originally the city receives the name "Babel", from the word from ancient Hebrew, "balal", meaning to jumble. Various English translations use different vocabulary sometimes with different meanings; usually this causes no important difference to the story: one speech/vocabulary/same words, plain/valley, asphalt/bitumen/slime, children/men, confound/confuse; and sometimes the difference...