A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools. — Thucydides

Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans




The Tower of Babel

After the flood Noah had many children and grandchildren, so that the earth was full of people again. So long a time had passed that nobody thought that God would ever punish the earth for any wickedness, and the people turned to their sins and for all we know the world was about as wicked as it was before the flood.

God had promised that he would not send another flood but that did not mean that he would not punish people for their evil deeds. He did it in those days and he does it in these days, in one way or in another. We may be sure that when any one does wrong or breaks God's law he is sure to find some punishment waiting for him.

Everybody spoke the same language at that time, and everybody understood what every one else was saying. In these days there are a great many different languages spoken, but at that time there was but one speech. A great body of these people journeyed from the east, and came to a plain in the land of Shinar, and dwelt there.

Then they said one to another: "Let us make brick and burn them thoroughly." So they began to make brick until they made a great many and piled them up in heaps.

"Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven," they said. And they took the brick they had burned and began to build the tower. What they intended to do with this tower, or why they wished to build it at all, we do not know. At any rate it was not pleasing to God, and He came down to see the city and the tower which the people were building in the plains of Shinar.

A great many people were working on it. Some were carrying the brick, some were bringing the mortar, and others were laying the brick in order. The tower was getting higher and higher, and the workmen were boasting that before long the top of the tower would reach the heavens. And they were all speaking the same language, and they understood one another's speech.

The tower may have been nearly finished, or just begun, or even half done we do not know, when God came down to see it, but we imagine He saw them building a round tower with steps on the outside so that when it was completed the people could walk up to the top, and perhaps worship the idols that had already taken the place in their hearts of the true God. God was angry with the people for doing this, and said: "Let us go down, and confuse their language that they may not understand one another's speech."

All at once the people began to talk different languages. One man would say something but the man next to him would not understand a word of it. No one knew what the other one was saying, and when they all talked at once there was so much confusion that the people were astonished and did not know what had happened to them. Even to this day we often speak of a babel of voices, which means that when many persons are talking at one time in the same place, no one person can be understood.

The people stopped building their tower as God intended they should, and they even left off building their city, for what was the use of people living together unless they understood what one person was saying to another?

Those who had spoken the same language went to themselves and moved away from the others, so that before long all the people who had come to dwell in the plain of Shinar were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth. In this way did God separate the people, and give them different languages to speak, and made them dwell in different parts of the earth.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

The Garden of Eden
The First Great Crime
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham Moves into Canaan
Sodom and Gomorrah
The Trial of Abraham's Faith
Searching for a Wife for Isaac
Isaac and Rebekah
Esau Sells his Birthright
Jacob Serves for Rachel
Jacob Returns to Canaan
Joseph is Sold into Egypt
Pharaoh's Dream
Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn
Jacob Moves into Egypt
The Early Life of Moses
Egyptians Smitten with Plagues
Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea
The Lord Provides for Israel
Plan to Build the Tabernacle
The Golden Calf
Wanderings of the Israelites
Spying Out the Land of Canaan
Punishing the Israelites
Balaam is Made to Prophesy
Border of the Promised Land
Last Days of Moses
Rahab Saves the Spies
The Destruction of Jericho
The Capture of Ai
Joshua Conquers Canaan
Gideon is Given a Sign
Gideon Overcomes Midianites
The Punishment of Abimelech
Jephthah's Daughter
The Young Samson
Samson and the Philistines
The Death of Samson
Naomi and Ruth
Ruth and Boaz
The Young Samuel
Philistines Capture the Ark
Philistines Return the Ark
Saul in Anointed King
Jonathan and the Philistines
The Disobedience of Saul
Samuel Anoints David
David and Goliath
Saul is Jealous of David
David and Jonathan
The Madness of Saul
David Spares the Life of Saul
The Last Days of King Saul
David Becomes King
The Rebellion of Absalom
The Death of Absalom
Solomon Becomes King
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon Builds the Temple
Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
Revolt of the Ten Tribes
The Wickedness of Jeroboam
Elijah Begins His Ministry
Elijah Destroys the Prophets
Elisha is Made a Prophet
Death of Ahab
Sickness of Ahaziah
Last Days of Elijah
Miracles of Elisha
Naaman is Cured of Leprosy
Flight of the Syrians
Jehu is Appointed King
The Story of Joash
Last days of Elisha
Destruction of Sennacherib
Judah Led into Captivity
Destruction of Jerusalem
Daniel Interprets the Dream
The Fiery Furnace
Madness of Nebuchadnezzer
Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel in the Lion's Den
Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Jonah Warns Nineveh
Esther Becomes Queen
The Vengeance of Haman
Esther Saves Her People
The Return from Captivity
Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem