Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth…
This brings before us a hint of the unknown resources of God, in the matter of punishing those who disobey His will. Who could have thought of this method of scattering the builders of the city? God does not send a fire upon the builders; no terrible plague poisons the air; yet in an instant each workman is at a loss to understand the other, and each considers all the rest as but raving maniacs! Imagine the bewildering and painful scene! Men who have been working by each other's side days and weeks are instantly conscious of inability to understand one another's speech! New sounds, new accents, new words, but not a ray of intelligence in all! "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of the living God." God has innumerable ways of showing His displeasure at human folly and human crime. A man may be pursuing a course of prosperity in which he is ignoring all that is moral and Divine, and men may be regarding him as the very model of success; yet, in an instant, Almighty God may blow upon his brain, and the man may sit down in a defeat which can never be reversed. God is not confined to one method of punishment. He touches a man's bones, and they melt; He breathes upon a man's brain, and henceforth he is not able to think. He comes in at night time and shakes the foundations of man's most trusted towers, and in the morning there is nought but a heap of ruins. He disorganizes men's memories, and in an instant they confuse all the recollections of their lifetime. He touches man's tongue, and the fluent speaker becomes a stammerer. He breaks the staff in twain, and he who was thus relying upon it is thrown down in utter helplessness. We know but little of what God means when He says "Heaven"; that word gives us but a dim hint of the infinite light and blessedness and triumph which are in reserve for the good. We have but a poor conception of what God means when He says "Hell"; that word is but a flickering spark compared with the infinite distress, and endless ruin and torment, which must befall every man who defies his Maker.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.