Skip to main content

Genesis 10-11: The Tower of Babel

Image result for tower of babel
The Tower of Babel, God's-eye view.




Noah’s boys had a lot of children, and over the next couple of centuries they constructed all of civilization on the Fertile Crescent.  Among Noah’s grandchildren was Shem’s boy, named Nimrod, who, perhaps driven by the trauma of having such an unfortunate moniker, was driven enough to be the first king, setting up shop in Babel.

“We’re proud to be Babelonian,” said these people, who were caught up in a patriotic fervor.  They set out to build a tower that reached the heavens, somehow afraid that if they didn’t have such a tower, their unity would come apart.  God came down from the heavens to see what was going on.  “This unity is a problem,” God said.  “I need to do something about that.  United, they can accomplish anything, and I don’t want that.  Probably better that they don’t.”  So God invented new languages, splitting up the groups, rendering them unintelligible to one another.  The people couldn’t comprehend one another, so they appeared to just babble on and babble on, which is why this country came to be known as Babylon.

Oh, and the tower never got finished.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

43-Man Squamish: An Innovation in Athletics

For some people, one of the most tantalizing challenges is being told, explicitly or implicitly, that you can’t do something.  In 1965, MAD magazine writer Tom Koch laid down one such challenge.  He wrote an article laying out the rules of a sport he invented called 43-man squamish.  The article was illustrated by artist George Woodbridge, and judging by the mail MAD received from its readers, it was a huge hit.  Of course, Koch didn’t really intend the article to be a challenge.  His idea was to invent a sport that was complex, convoluted, absurd, and ultimately unplayable.  It featured the kind of text readers of MAD, not athletes, would expect.  It’s an uncommon sport that has instructions like, “The offensive team, upon receiving the Pritz, receives five Snivels in which to advance to the enemy goal.  If they do it on the ground, it’s a Woomik and counts as 17 points.  If they hit it across with their Frullips it’s a Dermish which only counts points.  Only the offensive Niblings a…

Kick the Football, Charlie Brown

For nearly the entire run of Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip, one running gag has been the football gag.  The gag is simple: Lucy Van Pelt kneels down on the grass, holding a football in place, and tells Charlie Brown to kick it.  Charlie Brown gets a good running start, ready to give it a good, solid kick, but at the last minute, Lucy pulls it away.  The final panel usually has a miserable Charlie Brown laying on the ground while Lucy looks over him, holding the football, telling him in one way or another that he obviously shouldn't have trusted her.
The gag first appeared on November 14, 1951, when the strip was just over a year old.  In the first occurrence, the football was not held by Lucy but by Violet Gray, another little girl in Charlie Brown’s neighborhood.  (Violet would later become a minor character in the strip, and Lucy would become a major one.Lucy wouldn’t appear in the strip until the following year.)  The first football gag is quite a bit different from w…