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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Genesis 11:1-4

The close of the foregoing chapter tells us that by the sons of Noah, or among the sons of Noah, the nations were divided in the earth after the flood, that is, were distinguished into several tribes or colonies; and, the places having grown too strait for them, it was either appointed by Noah, or agreed upon among his sons, which way each several tribe or colony should steer its course, beginning with the countries that were next them, and designing to proceed further and further, and to... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Genesis 11:4

And they said, go to, let us build us a city and a tower ,.... Some Jewish writers F18 In Pirke Eliezer, c. 24. say, these are the words of Nimrod to his people; but it is a question whether he was now born, or if he was, must be too young to be at the head of such a body of people; but they are spoken to one another, or by the principal men among them to the common people, advising and encouraging to such an undertaking. It is generally thought what led them to it was to secure them... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Genesis 11:4

Let us build us a city and a tower - On this subject there have been various conjectures. Mr. Hutchinson supposed that the design of the builders was to erect a temple to the host of heaven - the sun, moon, planets, etc.; and, to support this interpretation, he says בשמים וראשו verosho bashshamayim should be translated, not, whose top may reach unto heaven, for there is nothing for may reach in the Hebrew, but its head or summit to the heavens, i.e. to the heavenly bodies: and, to make... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Genesis 11:4

Verse 4 4.Whose top may reach unto heaven. This is an hyperbolical form of speech, in which they boastingly extol the loftiness of the structure they are attempting to raise. And to the same point belongs what they immediately subjoin, Let us make us a name; for they intimate, that the work would be such as should not only be looked upon by the beholders as a kind of miracle, but should be celebrated everywhere to the utmost limits of the world. This is the perpetual infatuation of the world;... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 11:1-9

Order brought forth. We are now to trace the rise of the kingdom of God among the nations. Already in the case of Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord, that is, by permission of Divine providence, the antagonism between the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world has been symbolized. Now we find the concentration of the world's rebellion and ungodliness in the false city, type of the worldly power throughout the Scriptures. It is on the plain of Shinar to which the early... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 11:4

And they said . Being impelled by their success in making bricks for their dwellings (Lange), though the resolution to be mentioned may have been the cause of their brick-making (Bush). Go to, let us build us a city. Cf. Genesis 4:17 , which represents Cain as the first city builder. And a tower. Not as a distinct erection, but as forming a part, as it were the Acre-polls, of the city (Bochart). Whose top may reach unto heaven . Literally, and his head in the heavens, a... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 11:4

The tower-builders of Babel. I. THE IMPIETY OF THEIR DESIGN . 1. Ambition . They were desirous of achieving fame, or "a name" for themselves. Whether in this there was a covert sneer at the exaltation promised to the Shemites, or simply a display of that lust of glory which natively resides within the fallen heart, it was essentially a guilty purpose by which they were impelled. In only one direction is ambition perfectly legitimate, viz; in the direction of moral and spiritual... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 11:4

The tower of Babel. I. A MONUMENT OF MAN 'S— 1. Sinful ambition. 2. Laborious ingenuity. 3. Demonstrated feebleness. 4. Stupendous folly. II. A MEMORIAL OF GOD 'S— 1. Overruling providence. 2. Resistless power. 3. Retributive justice. 4. Beneficent purpose.— W . read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Genesis 11:4

God's city or man's city. "And they said, Go to, lot us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." In the world after the Flood we trace the, outlines of the gospel dispensation. To Noah was revealed "good will toward men; the acceptance of sacrifice; faith as the condition and channel of blessing; and work, to spread the knowledge of, and trust in his name, i.e. what he is... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Genesis 11:1-9

- The Confusion of Tongues1. נסע nāsa‛ “pluck out, break up, journey.” מקדם mı̂qedem “eastward, or on the east side” as in Genesis 2:14; Genesis 13:11; Isaiah 9:11 (12).6. החלם hachı̂lām “their beginning”, for החלם hăchı̂lām, the regular form of this infinitive with a suffix. יזמוּ yāzmû as if from יזם yāzam = זמם zāmam.7. נבלה nābelâh usually said to be for נבלה nābolâh from בלל bālal; but evidently designed by the punctuator to be the third singular feminine perfect of נבל nābal... read more

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