Tower of Babel

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macd517 on July 10, 2010

The Tower of Babel (Hebrew: מגדל בבל‎ Migdal Bavel Arabic: برج بابل‎ Burj Babil), according to the Book of Genesis,[1] was an enormous tower built at the city of Babylon (Hebrew: Bavel, Akkadian: Babilu). According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, participated in the building. The people decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have "its top in the heavens."[2]

However, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship and praise of Yahweh, but was instead dedicated to the glory of man, to "make a name" for the builders: "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4). The Book of Genesis then relates how Yahweh, displeased with the builders' intent, came down and confused their languages and scattered the people throughout the earth (Genesis 11:5-8).

The Tower of Babel has often been associated with known structures, notably the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to Marduk by Nabopolassar (c. 610 BC). The Great Ziggurat of Babylon base was square (not round), 91m in height, but was finally demolished by Alexander the Great before his death in an attempt to rebuild it. A Sumerian story with some similar elements is preserved in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta.

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  • Uploaded on July 10, 2010
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    by macd517