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Religion Pop Quiz: Why did God punish those at the Tower of Babel?

If you said "God punished them for being arrogant" or anything like that ...


I was reading some other people's blogs and they mentioned something about the Tower of Babel. I realized that I hadn't read those scriptures recently so I busted them out to refresh my memory and was very surprised by what I found.

The real reason is: God was SCARED of Humans.

According to Wikipedia's entry on the Tower of Babel, the idea that the punishment at Babel was for an act of hubris was first put forth by a 1st century Romano-Jewish historian. If you read the actual scripture you see that God was worried that Humans would become too powerful if they were allowed to all work together. I've included the scriptures below to show you (emphasis is mine):

Genesis 11:1-9 (New International Version)

The Tower of Babel

1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel-because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Does that read "How dare those humans attempt to build a tower to heaven?! I will teach them a thing or two..." or does that read like "Uh... these humans can do the impossible if they are able to work together... I better nip this in the bud."

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