Did Noah and his sons participate in the tower of Babel?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Reading through Genesis right now and it struck me that if Genesis 10:25 (naming Peleg because "in his days the earth was divided") refers to the Tower of Babel judgment, then Noah would have been about 700 years old and Shem was about 200 years old when Babel happened. Genesis 11 seems to assume that all men were still living together at this point when they built this tower. Now Gen 11:2 does say "as people migrated east", it doesn't say as "ALL people migrated east". So perhaps this is primarily a story focusing on the people of Shinar (who likely were a majority of the population back then). So perhaps Noah and at least Shem did not live there, but remained near Mount Ararat, and did not participate in the incident. But apparently enough people were involved to invoke a universal judgment from God in the scattering of all their languages (Gen 11:6).

So is it too much to speculate that Noah and his sons participated in the tower of Babel? Did the household of Noah (or Shem) fall so quickly?
 
Last edited:

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Maybe. A lot depends on whether there are gaps in genealogies and how one counts years.

The crux hinges on how long Ham lived after the Flood and whether he was alive during the time of Nimrod. That then depends on whether construction began (how long?) during Nimrod's time.

A completely different angle is whether Babel even refers to the Babylon area. It might not, as Babylon probably didn't exist and whether "Bab-el" could be vocalized as "gate of the god(s)." If that is the case, then who knows?

Andrew R. George, “The Tower of Babel: Archaeology, History, and Cuneiform Texts,” Archiv für Orientforschung 51 (2005/2006): 75–95
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
This would also mean (assuming a tight reading of the genealogy in Gen 11) that Babel happened about 100 years after the Flood.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Patrick @Puritan Sailor,

Sorry we lost you to the West Coast, but God moves His people around as He wills! With regard to your question re "Did Noah and his sons participate in the tower of Babel?", I'll briefly quote from Homer C. Hoeksema (Herman Hoeksema's son) in his, Unfolding Covenant History: An Exposition of the Old Testament: Volume 2, From the Flood to Isaac (ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0916206703). I give the ISBN as it's often found cheaper online than at Amazon or RFPA, the publisher.

Hoeksema (HCH) is a most unusual and gifted expositor and historian, in my view, as he has pondered, and prayed over the early OT history and has insights I have not found in others (I'll attach a book review I did of his Vol 1 of this series to give a taste of his style). Quite remarkable is his anointing by the Spirit of God in his writing – a most refreshing phenomenon. I do not agree with everything the PRCA holds to, but I find their theologians generally of the first water.

HCH thinks of Nimrod as an extremely unique person, as was his city, Babel, and kingdom. At the end of chapter 5, "Nimrod, the Mighty Rebel", he writes concerning his reputation as a mighty hunter, "He engaged in this hunting to protect human life against wild animals. These animals had come out of the ark, and they must have developed rapidly and lived in the vicinity of man, often constituting a real peril to human life and property. Nimrod was the first of the great king-hunters, who killed and overcame these wild animals. He removed one of the chief barriers to the development of the race and thus gained for himself power and fame. Perhaps it was even through daring exploits that he gained his great kingdom and his glorious crown. As a man of great strength and daring, he began to employ his power for the benefit of humanity by hunting and exterminating these wild animals that were a danger to property and life. So men began to follow him, and to admire him as a great benefactor of society and civilization."

"....We may certainly take for granted that Nimrod was a man of the world, from the spiritual, ethical point of view a godless man. He did not belong to the seed of the woman. On the contrary, he was a genuine Cushite, a spiritual son of Ham. He did not at all intend to serve Jehovah. In fact, we may depend upon it that if Nimrod were allowed to succeed fully, there soon would be no place left for for the seed of the woman in the world. The covenant line would be extinguished before the fullness of time would ever come." pp 94, 95

From chapter 6, "Babel's Attempt at World Power Frustrated":

"As we have seen, Nimrod aimed at world power. In the organic and natural course of the development of the race, there was no room for such world power. The race would multiply into families and clans and tribes, and it would be separated and spread over the whole earth. Also the power and authority among mankind would naturally be divided....Nimrod rebelled against the ordinance of God concerning the development of the race after the flood and became a rebel among mankind.... Surely the true children of God must even then have been grieved at Nimrod's rebellion and at his plans."pp 66, 68

"We may then assert that the heart of Babel's wicked opposition against God was directed against the Lord's ordinance that man should disperse in order that he may replenish and fill the earth....In doing so we must remember that it was the original ordinance of the Creator that man should develop organically. Though the race is made of one blood, and though there is a tie that naturally binds the entire race together, yet there is a vast variety of physical and mental characteristics, of powers and talents, inherent in the human race, and therefore also a variation of attainment and development among mankind....For that reason the Lord blesses man in the beginning and commands that he shall multiply and replenish the earth." p 71

"The essential and unifying factor of this attempted world empire is the principle and power of sin. It is evident that it was not the people of God but the wicked who conceived of this grand dream of concentrating and remaining united in one body. Nimrod's kingdom is not just the product of genius, but is also the outgrowth of the principle of sin and rebellion. More significantly, the record of Genesis 11 tells us plainly that the entire purpose of Babel is worldly, carnal, opposed to the Most High....But you understand, if the consolidation of these citizens of Babel is conceived in sin and with a sinful purpose, the resulting kingdom will also be a sinful kingdom: a great organization, concentration, and federation of wickedness, a rising in rebellion of the sinful race with concerted effort and power against God and His people. It will be a premature realization of the kingdom of the Antichrist. God's people, we may be assured, had no part in Babel. Aged Noah must have been grieved at this turn of events. God's people in general cannot have approved of the movement. They would instead be the objects of persecution, for the world cannot tolerate opposition to its counsels. They who do not work along with the world's grandiose dream, who oppose it, who condemn it in the name of God when his ordinances are violated, are viewed as stiff-headed conservatives, as backward, nonconforming misfits. They are hated and put out of the way. They certainly would be barred from sheltering under the wings of the world power of Babel. Thus it will also be in the end times: they who do not bear the mark of the beast will be allowed no room in the world. Surely this principle of the antithesis was evident at Babel, the original typical representation of the kingdom of Antichrist." pp 74, 75, 76
_____

[End Hoeksema]

In Volume 1 of his series HCH there also shows the persecution of the line of Seth and Enoch by the line of Cain and Lamech, till at the time of the flood the godly line were almost entirely killed (Enoch translated) or had defected to the ungodly camp.

Chapter 7 of Vol 2 is titled, "The Genealogy/Chronology of Shem's Generations", and the subsections:
The Data 81
The Reliability of the Genealogy/Chronology 83
The significance of the Genealogy/Chronology 85
Table – Chronology: Shem to Abram 96

So far there are 6 Volumes in this series, Prof David J. Engelsma taking over at HCH's being called home to the Lord, writing Vols 5 and 6, and working on 7 (DJE is 82 now, I believe, and he says he's in good shape and going strong). Maybe there shall be 8, possibly 9 all together. Reading these books was an exciting adventure.
 

Attachments

  • Review of Unfolding Covenant History, Vol. 1.pdf
    131.3 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Patrick @Puritan Sailor,

I don't see anything in HCH's work indicating a date for Babel, but Ussher in his Annals of the World puts it at 1762 (the Flood at 1656), saying "The Tower of Babel happened five years after the birth of Peleg, according to Georgius Syncellus' translation of the Book of Sothis {*Manetho, Book of Sothis 1. 1. 1:239}" p 22. I could check my other chronology books (I collect them), but I think you're right saying "about a 100 years after the Flood". And yes, Shem would be about 200 years old in the days of Babel and the tower according to this reckoning, as he was 100 2 years after the Flood (Gen 11:10). I trust HCH's view of the line of Noah-Shem reproving rather than joining the Babel builders as it opposed God's command to Adam and to Noah.

He also makes a convincing case that it was under Nimrod's authority and leadership that Babel was organized (Gen 10:9, 10), "He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." This was proleptic, as Nimrod was not mentioned in Genesis 11.
 

BuddyOfDavidClarkson

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Patrick @Puritan Sailor,

Sorry we lost you to the West Coast, but God moves His people around as He wills! With regard to your question re "Did Noah and his sons participate in the tower of Babel?", I'll briefly quote from Homer C. Hoeksema (Herman Hoeksema's son) in his, Unfolding Covenant History: An Exposition of the Old Testament: Volume 2, From the Flood to Isaac (ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0916206703). I give the ISBN as it's often found cheaper online than at Amazon or RFPA, the publisher.

Hoeksema (HCH) is a most unusual and gifted expositor and historian, in my view, as he has pondered, and prayed over the early OT history and has insights I have not found in others (I'll attach a book review I did of his Vol 1 of this series to give a taste of his style). Quite remarkable is his anointing by the Spirit of God in his writing – a most refreshing phenomenon. I do not agree with everything the PRCA holds to, but I find their theologians generally of the first water.

HCH thinks of Nimrod as an extremely unique person, as was his city, Babel, and kingdom. At the end of chapter 5, "Nimrod, the Mighty Rebel", he writes concerning his reputation as a mighty hunter, "He engaged in this hunting to protect human life against wild animals. These animals had come out of the ark, and they must have developed rapidly and lived in the vicinity of man, often constituting a real peril to human life and property. Nimrod was the first of the great king-hunters, who killed and overcame these wild animals. He removed one of the chief barriers to the development of the race and thus gained for himself power and fame. Perhaps it was even through daring exploits that he gained his great kingdom and his glorious crown. As a man of great strength and daring, he began to employ his power for the benefit of humanity by hunting and exterminating these wild animals that were a danger to property and life. So men began to follow him, and to admire him as a great benefactor of society and civilization."

"....We may certainly take for granted that Nimrod was a man of the world, from the spiritual, ethical point of view a godless man. He did not belong to the seed of the woman. On the contrary, he was a genuine Cushite, a spiritual son of Ham. He did not at all intend to serve Jehovah. In fact, we may depend upon it that if Nimrod were allowed to succeed fully, there soon would be no place left for for the seed of the woman in the world. The covenant line would be extinguished before the fullness of time would ever come." pp 94, 95

From chapter 6, "Babel's Attempt at World Power Frustrated":

"As we have seen, Nimrod aimed at world power. In the organic and natural course of the development of the race, there was no room for such world power. The race would multiply into families and clans and tribes, and it would be separated and spread over the whole earth. Also the power and authority among mankind would naturally be divided....Nimrod rebelled against the ordinance of God concerning the development of the race after the flood and became a rebel among mankind.... Surely the true children of God must even then have been grieved at Nimrod's rebellion and at his plans."pp 66, 68

"We may then assert that the heart of Babel's wicked opposition against God was directed against the Lord's ordinance that man should disperse in order that he may replenish and fill the earth....In doing so we must remember that it was the original ordinance of the Creator that man should develop organically. Though the race is made of one blood, and though there is a tie that naturally binds the entire race together, yet there is a vast variety of physical and mental characteristics, of powers and talents, inherent in the human race, and therefore also a variation of attainment and development among mankind....For that reason the Lord blesses man in the beginning and commands that he shall multiply and replenish the earth." p 71

"The essential and unifying factor of this attempted world empire is the principle and power of sin. It is evident that it was not the people of God but the wicked who conceived of this grand dream of concentrating and remaining united in one body. Nimrod's kingdom is not just the product of genius, but is also the outgrowth of the principle of sin and rebellion. More significantly, the record of Genesis 11 tells us plainly that the entire purpose of Babel is worldly, carnal, opposed to the Most High....But you understand, if the consolidation of these citizens of Babel is conceived in sin and with a sinful purpose, the resulting kingdom will also be a sinful kingdom: a great organization, concentration, and federation of wickedness, a rising in rebellion of the sinful race with concerted effort and power against God and His people. It will be a premature realization of the kingdom of the Antichrist. God's people, we may be assured, had no part in Babel. Aged Noah must have been grieved at this turn of events. God's people in general cannot have approved of the movement. They would instead be the objects of persecution, for the world cannot tolerate opposition to its counsels. They who do not work along with the world's grandiose dream, who oppose it, who condemn it in the name of God when his ordinances are violated, are viewed as stiff-headed conservatives, as backward, nonconforming misfits. They are hated and put out of the way. They certainly would be barred from sheltering under the wings of the world power of Babel. Thus it will also be in the end times: they who do not bear the mark of the beast will be allowed no room in the world. Surely this principle of the antithesis was evident at Babel, the original typical representation of the kingdom of Antichrist." pp 74, 75, 76
_____

[End Hoeksema]

In Volume 1 of his series HCH there also shows the persecution of the line of Seth and Enoch by the line of Cain and Lamech, till at the time of the flood the godly line were almost entirely killed (Enoch translated) or had defected to the ungodly camp.

Chapter 7 of Vol 2 is titled, "The Genealogy/Chronology of Shem's Generations", and the subsections:
The Data 81
The Reliability of the Genealogy/Chronology 83
The significance of the Genealogy/Chronology 85
Table – Chronology: Shem to Abram 96

So far there are 6 Volumes in this series, Prof David J. Engelsma taking over at HCH's being called home to the Lord, writing Vols 5 and 6, and working on 7 (DJE is 82 now, I believe, and he says he's in good shape and going strong). Maybe there shall be 8, possibly 9 all together. Reading these books was an exciting adventure.

Thanks for throwing attention on Homer C. Hoeksema's books. I found the 4-volume set on Amazon Kindle and purchased all volumes for $60. I LOVE believing commentaries on Genesis 1-11 and will look forward to reading this!
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Actually, that's quite possible, Ben @SolaScriptura – seeing as Nimrod was Noah's great-grandson, and Cush a grandson, Ham a son, likely none of them friends of the godly line. I hadn't thought of that part of Patrick's question!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top