The story of the Tower of Babel is a cyrptic account in Genesis 11:1-9 of a time when everyone on earth spoke the same language. As people migrated east, they settled in the land of Shinar, the general region of ancient Mesopotamia.
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Note: Ancient Mesopotamia, widely considered to be one of the cradles of human civilization, was situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq plus Kuwait, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish-Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders.
There in Shinar, the people agreed to build a city and a tower “tall enough to reach heaven” to make a name for themselves. Angered by their hubris, God confounded their speech so that they could no longer understand each other and scattered them around the world. The people stopped building the city, which they called Babel or, in Greek, Babylon.
According to the Book of Genesis, King Nimrod was the original founder of Babel and the great-grandson of Noah.
The remains of Babylon are in present-day Hillah, Iraq, about 53 miles south of Baghdad, comprising a large tell of broken mud-brick buildings and debris, as well as a number of mounds covering an area of about 1.24 mi × 0.62 mi.
A recently-aired documentary on the Smithsonian channel gives compelling evidence that the Tower of Babel may be real (h/t FOTM‘s stlonginus).
The evidence is comprised of:
- The discovery of a vast structure beneath the remains of Babylon.
- A privately-owned stone tablet, dating back to the 6th century B.C., which was discovered in Babylon about 100 years ago. The tablet’s significance recently was uncovered by Dr. Andrew George, Professor of Babylonian at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Inscribed into the tablet are the bas-reliefs of an ancient Mesopotamian stepped tower and the figure of King Nebuchadnezzar II (604–561 BC), as well as the text, “The secret totemic tower of the city of Babylon,” and an account identical to that in Genesis of how the tower was constructed.
By the way, why does the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France, look so much like the painting of the Tower of Babel by the 16th century painter Pieter Breugel the Elder?
Republished with permission Fellowship of the Minds