Bible

 

 

7. Genesis 10:31. “These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations”. This passage precedes the chapter where it is written about the Tower of Babel where God confused the language of the whole world. The question is this: why does the author speak about tongues? Did they have already a different tongue or was the confusing of tongues only for a nation?

 

 

 

The answer is neither the former you suggested nor the latter, for in the story of the building of the Tower of Babel it is said that “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech” (Genesis 11:1). Thus, before God confused the language of all mankind, all men spoke the same language.

How then can we explain the fact that the verse 31 of chapter 10 – but keep in mind that the same thing is said about the sons of Japheth at verse 5, and about the sons of Ham at verse 20 – says that “these are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations”? We explain it in this way. These verses written before the story of the confusion of the language worked by God, although they are written before, refer to circumstances that came into being after God confused the language of the whole world.

You will say: ‘Do you mean then that the Scripture does not tell the events in chronological order?’ Yes, that’s what I mean. Not always the Scripture tells events in chronological order. I will confirm what I have just said by mentioning another biblical example, that of Cain. Now, after God cursed Cain and he went out from the Lord’s presence, “Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch” (Genesis 4:17). Where did he find that woman since before that event nowhere the Scripture speaks about other women besides Eve? Well, we find the answer in the next chapter, when the Scripture says that Adam “begat sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4). Therefore the woman whom Cain married was one of the daughters of Adam, that is, one of the sisters of Cain. However, note that the Scripture speaks about the daughters of Adam after Cain married one of them, even though the birth of those women was prior to the marriage of Cain with one of them.

 

 

 

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