English Standard Version
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
King James Bible
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
American Standard Version
And they said, Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven: and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands.
English Revised Version
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Webster's Bible Translation
And they said, come, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach to heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we should be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Genesis 11:4 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
As men multiplied they moved from the land of Ararat "eastward," or more strictly to the south-east, and settled in a plain. בּקעה does not denote a valley between mountain ranges, but a broad plain, πεδίον μέγα, as Herodotus calls the neighbourhood of Babylon. There they resolved to build an immense tower; and for this purpose they made bricks and burned them thoroughly (לשׂרפה "to burning" serves to intensify the verb like the inf. absol.), so that they became stone; whereas in the East ordinary buildings are constructed of bricks of clay, simply dried in the sun. For mortar they used asphalt, in which the neighbourhood of Babylon abounds. From this material, which may still be seen in the ruins of Babylon, they intended to build a city and a tower, whose top should be in heaven, i.e., reach to the sky, to make to themselves a name, that they might not be scattered over the whole earth. שׁם לו עשׂה denotes, here and everywhere else, to establish a name, or reputation, to set up a memorial (Isaiah 63:12, Isaiah 63:14; Jeremiah 32:20, etc.). The real motive therefore was the desire for renown, and the object was to establish a noted central point, which might serve to maintain their unity. The one was just as ungodly as the other. For, according to the divine purpose, men were to fill the earth, i.e., to spread over the whole earth, not indeed to separate, but to maintain their inward unity notwithstanding their dispersion. But the fact that they were afraid of dispersion is a proof that the inward spiritual bond of unity and fellowship, not only "the oneness of their God and their worship," but also the unity of brotherly love, was already broken by sin. Consequently the undertaking, dictated by pride, to preserve and consolidate by outward means the unity which was inwardly lost, could not be successful, but could only bring down the judgment of dispersion.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.
So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.
Where are we going up? Our brothers have made our hearts melt, saying, "The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven. And besides, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there."'
And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you.
"Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven,
2 Samuel 8:13
And David made a name for himself when he returned from striking down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight;
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.