Bible Commentaries
Genesis 11

Bullinger's Companion Bible NotesBullinger's Companion Notes

Verse 1

earth = people of the earth. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject). App-6 ; "earth" put for inhabitants.

language. Hebrew "lip". Figure of speech Metonymy (of cause); lip put for language. The chapter begins with man's attempt to unify mankind, and ends with God's new provision to unify all in blessing with Abraham's seed.

Verse 2

from the east = eastward.

Shinar = Babylonia.

Verse 3

said. Sin with their tongues punished in the same manner (Genesis 11:7 ).

burn, &c. Hebrew brick bricks, and burn a burning. Figure of speech Polyptoton , emphasizing their determination. Burning in fire, not waiting for sun. See note on "brick-kiln", 2 Samuel 12:3 .

slime = bitumen. So tenacious to-day that detachment almost impossible. Compare the slime of Babel with the jewels of Zion (Revelation 21:19 ).

Verse 4

may reach. No Ellipsis here. Hebrew "and its top with the heavens", i.e. with the Zodiac depicted on it, as in ancient temples of Denderah and Esneh in Egypt.

a name. Manifesting independence of God. Nimrod being the rebel leader. See Genesis 10:8-10 , and Compare Genesis 12:2 .

Verse 5

came down. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia ( App-6 ).

Verse 7

Go to, let Us go down. This is always in judgment (Compare Genesis 18:21 .Exodus 3:8; Exodus 3:8 ). Here in contrast with Genesis 11:4 , to man's "Go to, let us go up". Figure of speech Anthropopatheia, App-6 . See Genesis 11:5 .

Verse 8

scattered. Septuagint same word as in Acts 8:1 (Isaiah 8:9 ). This was to preserve the revelation contained in the Zodiac and the constellations.

Verse 9

Babel. Hebrew = confusion. Compare Job 5:12 , another application of the Hebrew word.

scatter. Septuagint same word as in Acts 8:1 . Result of which was the conversion of the Ethiopian (Acts 8:26 ) of HAM. Saul (Acts 9:0 ) of SHEM. Cornelius (Acts 10:0 ) of JAPHETH. Tongues confounded in judgment (Genesis 11:9 ). Given in grace (Acts 2:4 ). United in glory (Revelation 7:9 ).

Verse 11

Shem. A return to the main purpose of the Book. See note on Genesis 5:32 .

Verse 12

Salah. Luke 3:36 says Cainan, but this was probably a gloss from Septuagint, and crept into the text. No second Cainan in Hebrew text here or elsewhere. Compare 1 Chronicles 1:18 .

Verse 16

Eber. See above, Genesis 10:24 . Peleg born (Genesis 10:25 ) Genesis 10:14 years before Genesis 11:9 .

Verse 17

Peleg. See above, Genesis 10:25 (Luke 3:36 , Phalec).

Verse 20

Serug born (Luke 3:35 . Saruch).

Verse 24

Terah. Name probably = traveller.

Verse 27

Generations of Terah. The centre of the eleven. See page 1 and App-29 . Abram the youngest comes first (born 1996). Compare Shem (Genesis 10:21 ), Jacob (Genesis 25:23 ; Genesis 27:15 ), Ephraim (Genesis 48:20 ).

Verse 28

before his father. The first death so recorded. Ur = the Uru or "city" of the cuneiform texts. Now = Mugheir on W. bank of Euphrates.

Verse 29

Iscah. See App-29 .

Verse 31

Terah took. Terah being 200 and Abram 70. Compare Genesis 15:7 . Joshua 24:3 .Nehemiah 9:7 . Acts 7:2-4 .Hebrews 11:8 .

daughter in law = daughter by another wife. See App-29 .

they. Others beside those named. Compare Genesis 24:10 , Genesis 24:15 ; Genesis 29:10 .

Ur = a city of great pretensions. Recent excavations show luxury and attainments. Abraham no nomad. See note on Genesis 11:28 .

Haran. Not the Haran of Genesis 11:26 above; but Charran (Acts 7:2 , Acts 7:4 ), the frontier town of Babylonian Empire, devoted to the worship of the Moon-god.

dwelt. Till he died (Genesis 11:32 ).

Verse 32

died in Haran (Charran). With this Acts 7:4 agrees. Not seeing this, the Massorites wrongly marked Genesis 11:32 with an inverted Nun () as being a dislocation of the Text.

Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 11". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.