The story of the Tower of Babel is explained in Genesis 11:1-9 in just a few verses. The descendants of Noah were living in the area of Mesopotamia in Babylon. They settled in a land named Shinar. The population was growing and they all spoke one language.
The people decided to build a tall, proud symbol of how great they had made their nation. The Babylonians wanted a tower that would “reach to the heavens” so that they could be like God and that they would not need Him. They began to construct a great ziggurat.
God did not like the pride and arrogance in the hearts of the people. God caused the people to suddenly speak different languages so that they could not communicate and work together to build the tower. This caused the people to scatter across the land. The tower was named, The Tower of Babel because the word “babel” means confusion.
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building.
6 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.
7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.
9 That is why it was called Babel – because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there, the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.