Tag Archives: Babel

Where did all of the different people groups come from?

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

At the time of the dispersal at Babel, there were all types of skin tones, eye, mouth, nose, and ear shapes and sizes.  These genetic traits were specific to the families present.  After the dispersal, the families separated, carrying the same genetic traits and passing them on within their family.  In Asia, many of the people have the trait of black hair and an extra layer of fat in their eyelids.  Most likely, one family went to the Asian continent and spread out to form different countries (China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.) where all of these traits are still seen today.  Latin Americans and American Indians have similar skin tones, implying that they may all be direct descendants.  We see dark skinned people primarily living in hot regions, and light skinned people living in colder regions. 

As families trekked across the globe, the dark skinned people suffered in the colder areas because they did not get enough sun light, thus causing a vitamin D deficiency.  On the reversal, families that were light skinned suffered in hot areas because they got sun burns and skin cancers.  This is where survival of the fittest comes into play.  The fit ones—the dark in the sunny areas and the light in the not so sunny areas—were able to survive and continue reproducing, causing a great population density of their particular genetic traits.  To help better understand genetic isolation, see the following article: How can we understand genetics from dogs?

How many languages are there today?

Currently there are over 6,900 languages in the world.  Linguists have estimated that these have all derived from about 100 original language families, although others say that there were only a few original languages.  At the time of the dispersal at Babel, everybody’s language was suddenly changed, and they abandoned the area and spread across the world.  It is not known how God changed their language—the Bible is not clear on this except to say that God did it. 

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

At the time of the dispersal, Noah’s three sons—Shem, Ham, and Japeth—had fathered (and grandfathered) a total of 70 children, and each of these are believed to have been affected with different languages.  Some say only Noah’s 16 grandchildren were affected by the different languages, and the languages we have today are derived from those original 16.  It is interesting to see how languages are similar in how they are written and spoken, such as the commonalities found in English, French, Spanish, and Italian.  Another example are the middle-eastern languages which have similar characters and read from right to left, instead of the left to right direction that westerners are used to. 

When was the Tower of Babel?

“To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the Earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan.” (Gen 10:25).  During the days of Peleg, all of the people on the Earth began their dispersal across the world.  It was at this time that the civilizations of Babylon (2234 B.C.), Egypt (2188 B.C.), and Greece (2089 B.C.) were born.  The days of Peleg and the dispersion of the Earth’s population have been calculated to happen 100 years after the flood, 2242 B.C.  The following link shows a chart of Noah’s family and which people groups and nations they formed: http://www.answersingenesis.org/contents/379/Table%20of%20Nations.pdf

Where was the Tower of Babel located?

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

The Bible tells us that the post-flood people migrated to the “land of Shinar” (Gen 11:2).  It is believed that the Tower of Babel was built somewhere in the country of Iraq in a city formerly called Babylon (derived from the word “babel”).  It should be noted that the dispersion from Babel happened in 2242 B.C., and the Babylon civilization was born eight years later in 2234 B.C.

Why did God cause the people to scatter?

 

After the flood, God commanded the people to spread throughout the world.  However, they rebelled and chose to stay together in one community.  They built a city and a tower to the heavens, thus trying to make a name for themselves.  This was an act of rebellion against God, so God confused their languages, making it impossible for them to communicate with each other.  The people then left the area and spread across the globe, creating new civilizations, cultures, and languages.

Why are there so many flood legends?

Chart adapted from B.C. Nelson, The Deluge Story in Stone, Appendix 11, Flood Traditions, Figure 38, Augsburg, Minneapolis, 1931.
Chart adapted from B.C. Nelson, The Deluge Story in Stone, Appendix 11, Flood Traditions, Figure 38, Augsburg, Minneapolis, 1931.

When Noah and his family exited the ark and started life all over again, they were all very well informed about the flood and why it occurred.  They passed this information onto their children, and their children’s children, etc. and everyone was made aware of it.  About 100 years later, all of the post-flood people were living in the community surrounding the tower of Babel and they still knew about the flood.  After the great dispersal at Babel, the families separated and spread throughout the world, continuing with the flood and creation account but changing them up according to their own cultural and religious views.  Still, the flood legends we have today have many striking similarities.  The following website shows a chart revealing the similarities in flood legends and a narrative of some of the legends: http://www.nwcreation.net/noahlegends.html. This website shows many more flood narratives with references:http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.htmlThis final website offers additional information about flood legends and a lot of information about Noah’s Ark: http://worldwideflood.com/flood/legends/flood_legends.htm