The Tower of Babel
1Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 5And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. 6And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.” 8So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused1 the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.
10These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11And Shem lived after he fathered Arpachshad 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
12When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he fathered Shelah. 13And Arpachshad lived after he fathered Shelah 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
14When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber. 15And Shelah lived after he fathered Eber 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
16When Eber had lived 34 years, he fathered Peleg. 17And Eber lived after he fathered Peleg 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
18When Peleg had lived 30 years, he fathered Reu. 19And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
20When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug. 21And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
22When Serug had lived 30 years, he fathered Nahor. 23And Serug lived after he fathered Nahor 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
24When Nahor had lived 29 years, he fathered Terah. 25And Nahor lived after he fathered Terah 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
26When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
- 1 11:9 Babel sounds like the Hebrew for confused
The Call of Abram
1Now the Lord said1 to Abram, “Go from your country2 and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”3
4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, 6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak4 of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. 16And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.
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Abram and Lot Separate
1So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
2Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. 5And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, 7and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.
8Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen.1 9Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 10And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. 12Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
14The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. 16I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks2 of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
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Abram Rescues Lot
1In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 2these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 4Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. 7Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar.
8Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim 9with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. 11So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12They also took Lot, the son of Abram's brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.
13Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks1 of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.
Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
17After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). 18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor2 of heaven and earth;
20and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand3 to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”
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God's Covenant with Abram
1After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” 2But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue1 childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son2 shall be your heir.” 5And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
7And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” 8But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” 9He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
12As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give3 this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.”
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Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.