Bible Commentaries
Genesis 11

Scofield's Reference NotesScofield's Notes

Verse 1

one language

The history of Babel ("confusion") strikingly parallels that of the professing Church.

(1) Unity Genesis 11:1 --the Apostolic Church Acts 4:32; Acts 4:33

(2) Ambition Genesis 11:4 using worldly, not spiritual means Genesis 11:3 ending in a man-made unity--the papacy;

(3) the confusion of tongues Genesis 11:7 --Protestantism, with its innumerable sects.

(See Scofield "Genesis 11:7- :") .

Verse 9


i.e. confusion. (See Scofield " :-") See Scofield " :-".

Verse 10

generations of Shem

Genesis 11:0; Genesis 12:0 mark an important turning point in the divine dealing. Heretofore the history has been that of the whole Adamic race. There has been neither Jew nor Gentile; all have been one in "the first man Adam." Henceforth, in the Scripture record, humanity must be thought of as a vast stream from which God, in the call of Abram and the creation of the nation of Israel, has but drawn off a slender rill, through which He may at last purify the great river itself. Israel was called to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Deuteronomy 6:4); (Isaiah 43:10-12) to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God (Deuteronomy 33:26-29) to receive and preserve the divine revelations; (Romans 3:1); (Romans 3:2); (Deuteronomy 4:5-8) and to produce the messiah; (Genesis 3:15); (Genesis 21:12); (Genesis 28:10); (Genesis 28:14); (Genesis 49:10); (2 Samuel 7:16); (2 Samuel 7:17); (Isaiah 4:3); (Isaiah 4:4); (Matthew 1:1).

The reader of scripture should hold firmly in mind:

(1) that from Genesis 12:0 to (Matthew 12:45) the Scriptures have primarily in view Israel, the little rill, not the great Gentile river; though again and again the universality of the ultimate divine intent breaks into view (for example; (Genesis 12:3); (Isaiah 2:2); (Isaiah 2:4); (Isaiah 5:26); (Isaiah 9:1-2); (Isaiah 11:10-12); (Isaiah 42:1-6); (Isaiah 49:6); (Isaiah 49:12); (Isaiah 52:15); (Isaiah 54:3); (Isaiah 55:5); (Isaiah 60:3); (Isaiah 60:5); (Isaiah 60:11-16); (Isaiah 61:6); (Isaiah 61:9); (Isaiah 62:2); (Isaiah 66:12); (Isaiah 66:18); (Isaiah 66:19); (Jeremiah 16:19); (Joel 3:9); (Joel 3:10); (Malachi 1:11); (Romans 9-11); (Galatians 3:8-14).

(2) that the human race, henceforth called Gentile in distinction from Israel, goes on under the Adamic and Noahic covenants; and that for the race (outside Israel) the dispensations of Conscience and of Human government continue. The moral history of the great Gentile world is told in (Romans 1:21-32) and its moral accountability in (Romans 2:1-16). Conscience never acquits: it either "accuses" or "excuses." Where the law is known to the Gentiles it is to them, as to Israel, "a ministration of death," a "curse"; (Romans 3:19); (Romans 3:20); (Romans 7:9-10); (2 Corinthians 3:7); (Galatians 3:10). A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel; (John 3:18); (John 3:19); (John 3:36); (John 15:22-24); (John 16:9); (1 John 5:9-12).

Verse 31

Terah The name means delay.

Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Genesis 11". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.