1 At one time the whole world spoke a single language and used the same words.
2 As the people migrated eastward, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia* and settled there.1
3 They began to talk about construction projects. "Come," they said, "let's make great piles of burnt brick and collect natural asphalt to use as mortar.
4 Let's build a great city with a tower that reaches to the skies--a monument to our greatness! This will bring us together and keep us from scattering all over the world."
5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.
6 "Look!" he said. "If they can accomplish this when they have just begun to take advantage of their common language and political unity, just think of what they will do later. Nothing will be impossible for them!
7 Come, let's go down and give them different languages. Then they won't be able to understand each other."
8 In that way, the LORD scattered them all over the earth; and that ended the building of the city.
9 That is why the city was called Babel,* because it was there that the LORD confused the people by giving them many languages, thus scattering them across the earth.2
10 This is the history of Shem's family. When Shem was 100 years old, his son Arphaxad was born. This happened two years after the Flood.
11 After the birth of Arphaxad, Shem lived another 500 years and had other sons and daughters.
12 When Arphaxad was 35 years old, his son Shelah was born.*3
13 After the birth of Shelah, Arphaxad lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.*4
14 When Shelah was 30 years old, his son Eber was born.
15 After the birth of Eber, Shelah lived another 403 years and had other sons and daughters.
16 When Eber was 34 years old, his son Peleg was born.
17 After the birth of Peleg, Eber lived another 430 years and had other sons and daughters.
18 When Peleg was 30 years old, his son Reu was born.
19 After the birth of Reu, Peleg lived another 209 years and had other sons and daughters.
20 When Reu was 32 years old, his son Serug was born.
21 After the birth of Serug, Reu lived another 207 years and had other sons and daughters.
22 When Serug was 30 years old, his son Nahor was born.
23 After the birth of Nahor, Serug lived another 200 years and had other sons and daughters.
24 When Nahor was 29 years old, his son Terah was born.
25 After the birth of Terah, Nahor lived another 119 years and had other sons and daughters.
26 When Terah was 70 years old, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 This is the history of Terah's family. Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran had a son named Lot.
28 But while Haran was still young, he died in Ur of the Chaldeans, the place of his birth. He was survived by Terah, his father.
29 Meanwhile, Abram married Sarai, and his brother Nahor married Milcah, the daughter of their brother Haran. (Milcah had a sister named Iscah.)
30 Now Sarai was not able to have any children.
31 Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai, and his grandson Lot (his son Haran's child) and left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But they stopped instead at the village of Haran and settled there.
32 Terah lived for 205 years* and died while still at Haran.5
Read Genesis 12