When humans began to populate the earth, they all spoke the same language and shared a common speech. Under the rule of Nimrod, they undertook the construction of the city of Babylon and a great tower (known as the Tower of Babel, derived from the name Babylon, meaning confusion). They built a city intending to elevate human fame and authority against God, with the goal of constructing a tower reaching to the heavens, to dethrone God (see Genesis 10: 8-10; 11: 4).

Nimrod was called a mighty hunter before the Lord because of his rebellion and his propensity to fight and impose his sovereignty. He instructed the people to gather to build a tower and make a name for themselves (Shêm meaning authority, power, position) as a public act of human rebellion against God. This happened before God scattered them across the world. They also devised a plan to stay in one place by forming a human government independent of God.

Meanwhile, God had blessed men after the flood, instructing them to multiply and fill the earth. Despite their rebellion, unity was a strong motivation and the determining factor contributing to the realization of their dream. Here, a fundamental principle of unity can be noted:

When people are united, nothing can prevent them from achieving their dream or accomplishing their mission” (see Genesis 11: 6).

To thwart their plan, God diversified their languages to prevent them from understanding each other. God simply introduced confusion into their language, and the construction stopped. Here we can draw a parallel with the day of Pentecost. When the Holy Spirit descended, the first thing given to the transformed believers was new languages (the restoration of a divine language), as a means of raising a united generation connected to God once again. Following the dispersion of nations due to wickedness at Babel, God decided to choose one person through whom His sovereign plan of salvation would be fulfilled.

This man was Abraham (Abram). Abram was a descendant of Noah through Shem, ten generations after Noah. Specifically, Noah was ten generations after Adam, and Abram was ten generations after the flood. The number 10 refers to a change; it is the number related to testimonies, the law, responsibility, and complete order.

Ten is also the number referring to judgment, marking the change of series and season. The Hebrew word for ten is Eser, meaning to accumulate, to enlarge. God’s call on Abram marked a change, a growth in God’s work to choose a people from whom redemption would come. Terah, Abram’s father, began the journey by leaving Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan, but when he arrived at Haran, he decided to stay there and died (see Genesis 11: 31-32).

Terah had three children: Abraham, Nahor, and Haran. Haran died in Chaldea, leaving behind Lot, Milcah, and Iscah (see Genesis 11: 29). Iscah means one who looks forward. Many have identified Iscah as Sarai (Abram’s wife, whose name means princess), but this theory does not hold because Abram and Sarai were only ten years apart in age.

Thus, Abram’s younger brother could not be mature enough to have his own child when Abram was ten years old. Sarai was rather Abraham’s sister, the daughter of Terah. In Jewish tradition, it is said that Abram’s mother was Juna, and Terah married another woman after her death, named Lahazib (Sarai’s mother). Thus, Sarai was Abram’s half-sister (see Genesis 17: 17; 20: 12). Terah died at the age of 205. He married at the age of 60 and had his first child (Abram) 70 years later (when he was 130 years old). At his death, Abram was 75 years old (see Genesis 11: 26, 32; 12: 4).

Based on the theory that Sarai was Abram’s niece (the daughter of his brother Haran), Abram would not be Terah’s eldest son, but rather Haran. Abram would have been mentioned first only in relation to his preeminence and divine calling. According to this theory, Sarai (princess) would be another name for Iscah, sister of Lot and Milcah.

After the death of Terah (Abram’s father, whose name means delay), God instructed Abram to continue the journey that God had planned for him. Very often, God will separate us from what delays us in fulfilling our destiny so that His plans can be fully realized in our lives…

This text is an excerpt from the book “THE PENTATEUCH: Through the Eyes of Grace” written by Dr. Rhema Divin NGOY.

We invite you to read the following article “Abraham’s Hospitality and Intercession for Lot.

Human Rebellion. Human Rebellion.

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