Noah & Babel

Week 3: Hebrew Bible - Assignments - Reading - Resources - Images

GENESIS: The Tower of Babel (Tyndale, 16th century)

Reading time: 3 minutes. Word count: 200 words.

So just as Tyndale writes "Sem" where you might expect "Shem", he tells us that the story of Babel (or "Babell") takes place, not in the land of Shinar, but in the land of Synear...

And all the world was of one tonge and one language. And as they came from the east they founde a playne in the lande of Synear and there they dwelled.

And they sayd one to a nother: come on let us make brycke ad burne it wyth fyre. So brycke was there stone and slyme was there morter And they sayd: Come on let vs buylde vs a cyte and a toure that the toppe may reach vnto heauen. And let vs make us a name for perauenture we shall be scatered abrode over all the erth.

And the LORde came downe to see the cyte and the toure which the childern of Ada had buylded. And the LORde sayd: See the people is one and haue one tonge amonge them all. And thys haue they begon to do and wyll not leaue of from all that they haue purposed to do. Come on let vs descende and myngell theire tonge even there that one vnderstonde not what a nother sayeth.

Thus ye LORde skatered them from thence vppon all the erth. And they left of to buylde the cyte. Wherfore the name of it is called Babell because that the LORDE there confounded the tonge of all the world. And because that the LORde from thence skatered them abrode vppon all the erth.

Questions. Make sure you can answer these questions about what you just read:

  • what did they use to build the tower?
  • how did God stop them from finishing the tower?
  • what finally happened to the people?

Source: William Tyndale's Pentateuch (1530-1534).

Modern Languages / Anthropology 3043: Folklore & Mythology. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
Page last updated: October 9, 2004 12:52 PM