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Good Morning. 

So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:8-9)

The word Babel is said to mean, “confusion” because it was here that the one language was divided into many languages and, hence, the confusion. No more were they able to communicate in a way that all mankind might be one. That prompts this observation: before the events of Genesis 11, mankind spoke one language — what was it?

Many rabbinical works argue that the language first spoken by mankind was Hebrew, in fact, they make this claim because the Creator spoke in Hebrew. They believe that God spoke the Universe into existence using the Hebrew language, consequently, this would have been the language spoken by Adam. That God first revealed the written Word in Hebrew is further evidence that this was the original tongue, according to this view.

But Genesis 11 and the building of Babel changed all that. Since that time, those who have called upon the Almighty have done so in many languages. When the Lord’s disciples who were assembled in Jerusalem were filled with the Spirit of God, the crowd’s response to this acknowledges quite interesting in light of this topic.

“And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? (Acts 2:5-8)

The text goes on to record that, in every language under heaven, these devout men were hearing the “wonderful works of God.” Even though God confused the languages of men because of their rebellion, each and every language still has the potential to declare the wonderful works of God. I would contend that no tongue is superior to another as long as what is being expressed through language is born of a pure heart that longs to acclaim our Creator. He hears all and acknowledges all that call upon Him.

However, there is coming a day when these multiple languages will converge and become one. Through the prophet Zephaniah, God said:

“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.” (Zephaniah 3:9).

Though the Bible doesn’t say what language that will be, perhaps it will be the one spoken by man before the confusion that occurred in Genesis 11. Might want to start practicing your Hebrew.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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