My Bible History, OT 09 – The Tower of Babel

The Tower of BabelNoe had three sons – Sem, Cham, and Japhet. They helped him take care of his vineyard.

Once, when the time came to gather the grapes, Noe drank too much wine, because he did not know its strength. Becoming very drunk, he lay exposed in his tent.

Cham saw him. Instead of covering his father, he went laughing to tell his brothers. Sem and Japhet, filled with filial love went to where Noe slept, and walking backwards, covered their father.

When Noe awoke and learned what had taken place, he cursed Cham’s descendants through Chanaan, Cham’s son. But he blessed Sem and Japhet.

Noe lived for about nine hundred and fifty years. After his death many of his descendants forgot God. They became proud and ungrateful. They were so numerous that many families had to move to distant lands. However, before separating. they resolved in their pride to build a city and tower that would reach heaven.

Their pride was quickly punished. God confounded their speech; that is, He made them talk in different languages. Before that time, they had only one language. Now they could not understand each other. They therefore gave up their plan of the tower, which they had already started. This is why the tower is called Babel, because of the confusion of tongues. The builders scattered all over the earth.

The descendants of Sem, from whom the Israelites sprang, spread over the greater part of Asia. Those of Cham settled in Africa, while those of Japhet passed over to Europe.

In their wanderings the foolish work-men of Babel carried with them a remembrance of the Flood and of the existence of a Supreme Being. This is why even among uncivilized tribes we find these beliefs. however distorted by ignorance and superstition.

Babel, a monument of pride, destroyed the unity of language. Unbelief or heresy, the result of pride, destroys the unity of faith.

– from My Bible History in Pictures, by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D., 1934; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael J O’Doherty of Manila, Philippines