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Showing posts with the label Babylon

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The ancient Greeks were the ones who first came up with the concept of the Seven Wonders of the World.  These Wonders translated from the Greek word θεάματα, meaning sights .  To call them Wonders sounds more impressive than calling them sights .  (Sometimes something is actually gained in translation.)  Since it was a Greek list, it’s no wonder that everything on it is either in Greece proper or somewhere in the Greek world at the time.  Since the list dates from about the 3rd century BCE, that was a pretty big world; it included what’s now Egypt, Persia, and even part of Afghanistan.  Of the Seven Wonders, five have been recorded as destroyed by some kind of disaster, either natural or manmade.  The only one that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza, and even it has been worn down some by time. That accounts for six Wonders.  There’s one more on the list that doesn’t currently exist, nor does it have a date of destruction: the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  The Hanging Garde

Genesis 10-11: The 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 a