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Genesis 11:7 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Come, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Come on! let us go down, and there confuse their speech,—that they may not understand, each man the speech of his friend.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Give help, let us go down, and mingle there their pronunciation, so that a man doth not understand the pronunciation of his companion.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another's speech.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Goe to, let vs go downe, and there cofound their language, that they may not vnderstand one anothers speech.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Come, and having gone down let us there confound their tongue, that they may not understand each the voice of his neighbour.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Go to, 3051
{3051} Prime
יָהַב
yahab
{yaw-hab'}
A primitive root; to give (whether literally or figuratively); generally to put; imperatively (reflexively) come.
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
let us go down, 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
and there x8033
(8033) Complement
שָׁם
sham
{shawm}
A primitive particle (rather from the relative H0834); there (transfered to time) then; often thither, or thence.
confound 1101
{1101} Prime
בּלל
balal
{baw-lal'}
A primitive root; to overflow (specifically with oil); by implication to mix; also (denominative from H1098) to fodder.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
their language, 8193
{8193} Prime
שָׂפָה
saphah
{saw-faw'}
(The second form is in dual and plural); Probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490); the lip (as a natural boundary); by implication language; by analogy a margin (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.).
that 834
{0834} Prime
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
they may not x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
understand 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
one 376
{0376} Prime
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
another's 7453
{7453} Prime
רֵעַ
rea`
{ray'-ah}
From H7462; an associate (more or less close).
speech. 8193
{8193} Prime
שָׂפָה
saphah
{saw-faw'}
(The second form is in dual and plural); Probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490); the lip (as a natural boundary); by implication language; by analogy a margin (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Genesis 11:7

_ _ confound their language — literally, “their lip”; it was a failure in utterance, occasioning a difference in dialect which was intelligible only to those of the same tribe. Thus easily by God their purpose was defeated, and they were compelled to the dispersion they had combined to prevent. It is only from the Scriptures we learn the true origin of the different nations and languages of the world. By one miracle of tongues men were dispersed and gradually fell from true religion. By another, national barriers were broken down — that all men might be brought back to the family of God.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Genesis 11:5-9.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Genesis 11:7

Go to, let us go down and there confound their language — This was not spoken to the angels, as if God needed either their advice or their assistance, but God speaks it to himself, or the Father to the Son and Holy Ghost. That they may not understand one another's speech — Nor could they well join hands when their tongues were divided: so that this was a proper means, both to take them off from their building, for if they could not understand one another, they could not help one another; and to dispose them to scatter, for when they could not understand one another, they could not enjoy one another. Accordingly three things were done, Their language was confounded. God, who when he made man taught him to speak, now made those builders to forget their former language; and to speak a new one, which yet was the same to those of the same tribe or family, but not to others: those of one colony could converse together, but not with those of another. We all suffer hereby to this day: in all the inconveniences we sustain by the diversity of languages, and all the trouble we are at to learn the languages we have occasion for, we smart for the rebellion of our ancestors at Babel; nay, and those unhappy controversies, which are strifes of words, and arise from our misunderstanding of one another's languages, for ought I know, are owing to this confusion of tongues. The project of some to frame an universal character in order to an universal language, how desirable soever it may seem, yet I think is but a vain thing for it is to strive against a divine sentence, by which the languages of the nations will be divided while the world stands. We may here lament the loss of the universal use of the Hebrew tongue, which from henceforth was the vulgar language of the Hebrews only, and continued so till the captivity in Babylon, where, even among them, it was exchanged for the Syriac. As the confounding of tongues divided the children of men, and scattered them abroad, so the gift of tongues bestowed upon the Apostles, Acts 2:4-11, contributed greatly to the gathering together of the children of God, which were scattered abroad, and the uniting of them in Christ, that with one mind and mouth they might glorify God, Romans 15:6. (The imagination of a late writer, that God did not confound their tongues, but their religious worship, is grounded on criticisms concerning the meaning of the Hebrew word, which are absolutely false. Beside, would God confound their religious worship? Surely, He is a God of order, and not of confusion. Their building was stopped, they left off to build the city — This was the effect of the confusion of their tongue's; for it not only disabled them from helping one another, but probably struck a damp upon their spirits, since they saw the hand of the Lord gone out against them. The builders were scattered abroad from thence upon the face of the whole earth — They departed in companies after their families and after their tongues, Genesis 10:5, Genesis 10:20, Genesis 10:31, to the several countries and places allotted to them in the division that had been made, which they knew before, but would not go to take possession of, 'till now they were forced to it. Observe

The very thing which they feared came upon them; that dispersion which they thought to evade. That it was God's work; the Lord scattered them; God's hand is to be acknowledged in all scattering providences; if the family be scattered, relations scattered, churches scattered, it is the Lord's doing. That they left behind them a perpetual memorandum of their reproach in the name given to the place; it was called Babel, confusion. The children of men were now finally scattered, and never will come all together again 'till the great day. when the Son of Man shall sit upon the throne of his glory, and all nations shall be gathered before him, Matthew 25:31-32.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Genesis 11:7

Go to, (h) let us go down, and (i) there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

(h) He speaks as though he took counsel with his own wisdom and power: that is, with the Son and holy Spirit: signifying the greatness and certainty of the punishment.

(i) By this great plague of the confusion of tongues appears God's horrible judgment against man's pride and vain glory.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Go to:
The Hebrew word signifies, "Come," or, "make preparation," as for a journey or the execution of a purpose.

let:

Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me.

confound:

Job 5:12-13 He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform [their] enterprise. ... He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.
Job 12:20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.
Psalms 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Psalms 33:10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
Acts 2:4-11 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ... Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

may:

Genesis 10:5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.
Genesis 10:20 These [are] the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, [and] in their nations.
Genesis 10:32 These [are] the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
Genesis 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood [them]; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
Psalms 55:9 Destroy, O Lord, [and] divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.
Jeremiah 5:15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it [is] a mighty nation, it [is] an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.
1 Corinthians 14:2-11 For he that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth [him]; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. ... Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh [shall be] a barbarian unto me.
1 Corinthians 14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in [those that are] unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Gn 1:26; 3:22; 10:5, 20, 32; 11:5; 42:23. Dt 28:49. Jb 5:12; 12:20. Ps 2:4; 33:10; 55:9. Is 6:8. Jr 5:15. Ac 2:4. 1Co 14:2, 23.

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