New International Version
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.
King James Bible
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said, Behold, the people is one, and have all one language; and this have they begun to do. And now will they be hindered in nothing that they meditate doing.
World English Bible
Yahweh said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do.
Young's Literal Translation
and Jehovah saith, 'Lo, the people is one, and one pronunciation is to them all, and this it hath dreamed of doing; and now, nothing is restrained from them of that which they have purposed to do.
Genesis 11:6 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The people is one, etc. - From this, as before observed, we may infer, that as the people had the same language, so they had a unity of design and sentiment. It is very likely that the original language was composed of monosyllables, that each had a distinct ideal meaning, and only one meaning; as different acceptations of the same word would undoubtedly arise, either from compounding terms, or, when there were but few words in a language, using them by a different mode of pronunciation to express a variety of things. Where this simple monosyllabic language prevailed (and it must have prevailed in the first ages of the world) men would necessarily have simple ideas, and a corresponding simplicity of manners. The Chinese language is exactly such as this; and the Hebrew, if stripped of its vowel points, and its prefixes, suffixes, and postfixes separated from their combinations, so that they might stand by themselves, it would nearly answer to this character even in its present state. In order therefore to remove this unity of sentiment and design, which I suppose to be the necessary consequence of such a language, God confounded their language - caused them to articulate the same word differently, to affix different ideas to the same term, and perhaps, by transposing syllables and interchanging letters, form new terms and compounds, so that the mind of the speaker was apprehended by the hearer in a contrary sense to what was intended. This idea is not iii expressed by an ancient French poet, Du Bartas; and not badly, though rather quaintly, metaphrased by our countryman, Mr. Sylvester.
Some speak between the teeth, some in the nose, Some in the throat their words do ill dispose -
"Bring me," quoth one, "a trowel, quickly, quick!"
One brings him up a hammer. "Hew this brick,"
Another bids; and then they cleave a tree;
"Make fast this rope," and then they let it flee.
One calls for planks, another mortar lacks;
They bear the first a stone, the last an axe.
One would have spikes, and him a spade they give;
Another asks a saw, and gets a sieve.
Thus crossly crost, they prate and point in vain:
What one hath made another mars again
These masons then, seeing the storm arrived
Of God's just wrath, all weak and heart-deprived,
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
FROM THE PREFACE TO THE "HOLY CITY." UPON a certain First-day, I being together with my brethren in our prison-chamber, they expected that, according to our custom, something should be spoken out of the word for our mutual edification; but at that time I felt myself--it being my turn to speak--so empty, spiritless, and barren, that I thought I should not have been able to speak among them so much as five words of truth, with life and evidence: but at last it so fell out that providentially I cast …
John Bunyan—The Riches of Bunyan
The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
"I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up.
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