Tower of Babel - Wikipedia
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Of these hypothetical sources, proponents suggest that this narrative comes from the J or Yahwist source.
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The etiological nature of the narrative is considered typical of J. In addition, the intentional word play regarding the city of Babel, and the noise of the people's "babbling" is found in the Hebrew words as easily as in English, and is considered typical of the Yahwist source. Comparative mythology and Mythical origins of language Sumerian and Assyrian parallel[ edit ] There is a Sumerian myth similar to that of the Tower of Babel, called Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta where Enmerkar of Uruk is building a massive ziggurat in Eridu and demands a tribute of precious materials from Aratta for its construction, at one point reciting an incantation imploring the god Enki to restore or in Kramer's translation, to disrupt the linguistic unity of the inhabited regions — named as ShuburHamaziSumer, Uri-ki Akkadand the Martu land, "the whole universe, the well-guarded people — may they all address Enlil together in a single language.
He wrote that he was told when the light of the sun first appeared upon the land, giants appeared and set off in search of the sun. Not finding it, they built a tower to reach the sky. An angered Lord of the Heavens called upon the inhabitants of the sky, who destroyed the tower and scattered its inhabitants.
The story was not related to either a flood or the confusion of languages, although Frazer connects its construction and the scattering of the giants with the Tower of Babel. However, their languages were confounded and they went to separate parts of the earth. He identified Livingston's account with a tale found in Lozi mythologywherein the wicked men build a tower of masts to pursue the Creator-God, Nyambe, who has fled to Heaven on a spider-web, but the men perish when the masts collapse.
He further relates similar tales of the Ashanti that substitute a pile of porridge pestles for the masts. Frazer moreover cites such legends found among the Kongo peopleas well as in Tanzaniawhere the men stack poles or trees in a failed attempt to reach the moon. The traditions of the Karen people of Myanmarwhich Frazer considered to show clear 'Abrahamic' influence, also relate that their ancestors migrated there following the abandonment of a great pagoda in the land of the Karenni 30 generations from Adam, when the languages were confused and the Karen separated from the Karenni.
He notes yet another version current in the Admiralty Islandswhere mankind's languages are confused following a failed attempt to build houses reaching to heaven. Historical context[ edit ] Hanging Gardens of Babylon 19th centurydepicts the Tower of Babel in the background. Some biblical scholars see the Book of Genesis as mythological and not as a historical account of events.
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The Bible does not specifically mention that Nimrod ordered the building of the tower, but many other sources have associated its construction with Nimrod. The people whose languages are confounded were simply scattered from there over the face of the Earth and stopped building their city.
However, in other sources, such as the Book of Jubilees chapter 10 v. In the Midrashit said that the top of the tower was burnt, the bottom was swallowed, and the middle was left standing to erode over time. According to modern scholars, such as Stephen L. Harristhe biblical story of the Tower of Babel was likely influenced by Etemenanki during the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews.
Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words. Since that time earthquakes and lightning had dispersed its sun-dried clay; the bricks of the casing had split, and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps.
The already decayed Great Ziggurat of Babylon was finally destroyed by Alexander the Great in an attempt to rebuild it. He managed to move the tiles of the tower to another location, but his death stopped the reconstruction.
Isaac Asimov speculated that the authors of Genesis And they began to build, and in the fourth week they made brick with fire, and the bricks served them for stone, and the clay with which they cemented them together was asphalt which comes out of the sea, and out of the fountains of water in the land of Shinar.
And they built it: Twelve men are arrested for refusing to bring bricks, including AbrahamLotNahorand several sons of Joktan.
However, Joktan finally saves the twelve from the wrath of the other two princes. He wrote that it was Nimrod who had the tower built and that Nimrod was a tyrant who tried to turn the people away from God.
In this account, God confused the people rather than destroying them because annihilation with a Flood hadn't taught them to be godly. Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand.
He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyrannyseeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumenthat it might not be liable to admit water.
When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners [in the Flood]; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. Cumque levasset oculos, vidit camelos venientes.
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Qui exaudivit eum et dedit conceptum Rebeccae. Perrexitque, ut consuleret Dominum. Postea frater eius egrediens plantam Esau tenebat manu, et idcirco appellatum est nomen eius Iacob. Quam ob causam vocatum est nomen eius Edom id est Rufus.
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Iuravit et vendidit primogenita. Timuerat enim confiteri quod sibi esset sociata coniugio, reputans ne forte interficerent eum propter illius pulchritudinem.
Praecepitque omni populo dicens: Ob haec invidentes ei Philisthim 15 omnes puteos, quos foderant servi patris illius in diebus Abraham, obstruxerunt implentes humo, 16 in tantum ut ipse Abimelech diceret ad Isaac: Appellavitque eos eisdem nominibus, quibus ante pater vocaverat. Quam ob rem nomen putei vocavit Esec id est Iurgiumquia iurgati sunt cum eo. Sit iuramentum inter nos et te, et ineamus tecum foedus, 29 ut non facias nobis quidquam mali, sicut et nos non attigimus te et nihil fecimus tibi nisi bonum et cum pace dimisimus te.
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