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The Tale of Babel

The Tale of Babel Parable of Divine Judgment or Human Cultural Diversification ?':- by Robert Gnuse, New Orleans Gen 11,1-9 often is seen as a condemnation of human pride in their defiance of God by building a tower to "storm" the heavens and by refusing to obey the command to disperse over the whole world. With a tower that "reaches" the heavens, the builders seek some form of "immortality" (by being in the divine realm) or "immortal farne" (by building a great monument to be remembered by future generations). When God "confuses" their language, the building project ceases and people disperse. 1his interpretation was first articulated by Josephus (Ant 1,113-114). Modem commentators often have seen the story as part of a sequence of narratives that speak of human sin, divine punishment, and ultimately divine forgiveness. (The divine forgive­ ness here would be the call of Abram as a patriarch in Gen 11-12.) 1 Some believe this symbolic tale may provide bitter comment on rulers in Babyion who "defied" God with their great building projects and the oppres­ sion created by their empires. The motif of a tower in the heavens reflects building projects designed to glorify the empire. The allusion to "one tongue" http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biblische Zeitschrift Brill

The Tale of Babel

Biblische Zeitschrift , Volume 54 (2): 16 – Nov 21, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0006-2014
eISSN
2589-0468
DOI
10.1163/25890468-054-02-90000006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Parable of Divine Judgment or Human Cultural Diversification ?':- by Robert Gnuse, New Orleans Gen 11,1-9 often is seen as a condemnation of human pride in their defiance of God by building a tower to "storm" the heavens and by refusing to obey the command to disperse over the whole world. With a tower that "reaches" the heavens, the builders seek some form of "immortality" (by being in the divine realm) or "immortal farne" (by building a great monument to be remembered by future generations). When God "confuses" their language, the building project ceases and people disperse. 1his interpretation was first articulated by Josephus (Ant 1,113-114). Modem commentators often have seen the story as part of a sequence of narratives that speak of human sin, divine punishment, and ultimately divine forgiveness. (The divine forgive­ ness here would be the call of Abram as a patriarch in Gen 11-12.) 1 Some believe this symbolic tale may provide bitter comment on rulers in Babyion who "defied" God with their great building projects and the oppres­ sion created by their empires. The motif of a tower in the heavens reflects building projects designed to glorify the empire. The allusion to "one tongue"

Journal

Biblische ZeitschriftBrill

Published: Nov 21, 2010

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