Wednesday 31 October 2012
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Read Genesis 11:1-32 at Bible Gateway.
I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)
The Hebrew paragraph divisions inspired by the Holy Spirit are:
Gen 11:1-9 p The tower of Babel rebellion against God
Gen 11:10-11 s Shem the father of Arphaxad
Gen 11:12-13 s Arphaxad the father of Shelah
Gen 11:14-15 s Shelah the father of Eber
Gen 11:16-17 s Eber the father of Peleg
Gen 11:18-19 s Peleg the father of Reu
Gen 11:20-21 s Reu the father of Serug
Gen 11:22-23 s Serug the father of Nahor
Gen 11:24-25 s Nahor the father of Terah
Gen 11:26-32 p Terah the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran
This parashah forms its own chiastic structure:
Gen 11:1-32 p+sx8+p
1a) Gen 11:1-2, Whole earth had one language + they found a plain in Shinar + dwelt there:
— 1.1) Gen 11:1, The whole earth had one language and one speech;
— 1.2) Gen 11:2, As they journeyed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and dwelt there;
1b) Gen 11:3-4a, They began building a city + tower;
1c) Gen 11:4b, Lest they be scattered abroad over the face of all the earth;
1d) Gen 11:5, YHVH came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built;
central axis) Gen 11:6, “The people are one + one language/ this is their beginning/ all they propose to do they will do;”
2d) Gen 11:7, “Come, let Us go down + confuse their language/ that they may not understand one another;”
2c) Gen 11:8a, YHVH scattered them abroad from there over the face of the earth;
2b) Gen 11:8b, They ceased building the city;
2a) Gen 11:9-32, YHVH confused the language of the whole earth + seed of Shem in Terah came to Haran + dwelt there:
— 2.1) Gen 11:9 p, At Babel YHVH confused the language of all the earth;
— 2.2) Gen 11:10-32 sx8+p, Seed of Shem in Terah went out from Ur of the Chaldeans + they came to Haran + dwelt there.
The Tower of Babel rebellion is the 4th pivotal event in the history of mankind:
1st) Creation by God in His image according to His likeness;
2nd) Fall of man causes the entrance of sin and death into the perfect Creation;
3rd) Flood of Noah, God judges sin and wickedness but preserves the righteous;
4th) Tower of Babel rebellion, man rejects God and establishes gods of his own invention.
I have written extensively on the historical and theological significance of the Tower of Babel rebellion before.
Today I saw something different: the chiastic structure reveals the power of unity and communication with understanding.
The great majority of the problems and strife we have ever encountered in our marriage came about because of misunderstanding. We might have been speaking the same language outwardly, but we were not understanding one another. Likewise, our greatest accomplishments as a married couple, have come about because of unity and understanding. Husbands and wives, if you desire to accomplish the purpose of your union, make true understanding and unity your goal!
And what is the purpose of your union?
The Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth,
With whom you have dealt treacherously;
Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.
But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one? He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit,
And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.
For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts.
“Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” Mal 2:14-16
Divorce is the ultimate disunity. But He made them one, unified, because He seeks godly offspring. It is all about preserving the purity of the seed!