After that issue with Noah and his curse upon Canaan (Ham’s son), his sons began in true fashion to ‘bear fruit and multiply’.
And so it was that all men were of one speech and they wandered till they found a plane in the land of Shinar (this is a biblical geographical location of uncertain boundaries in Mesopotamia- probably in today’s Iraq- and shouldn’t be mistaken for China).
Soon enough, the men began saying to one another;
”let us make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar”, much like our bricks and cement today.
We should assume then that food and clothing have been satisfied before they began to yearn naturally for ‘shelter’, and a conducive one at that, enough to withstand the vagaries of the elements.
I did touch upon the fact in the last instalment that one of Cush’s sons, Nimrod became a mighty hunter, but you should also know that his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Achad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar.
I would love to then quickly slip in here, that according to the Bible, people of colour (offsprings of Cush) didn’t start up as slaves, but even as Kings as exemplified by Nimrod.
It is thus under his leadership that men decided to MAKE A NAME for themselves by attempting to build a city, which will contain a tower ‘whose top may reach unto heaven’, something reminiscent of the pyramids we see in diverse places of the world built by the civilizations of yore, from Africa (in ancient Egypt), to South America.
This area touches on man’s fascination with ‘the heavens’ and his desire not just to continue to stare in awe and admiration, but also to see it, feel it, touch it and most probably LIVE there (christianity and some other religions even talk about spending eternity/afterlife in heaven as reward for doing good on earth). In our days, what was seen as ‘HEAVEN’ has become fully explored with ‘human’ landings made on the moon, while robots scurry the surfaces of other planetary bodies streaming lots of information back to the earth, from what is now described as ‘SPACE’.
So, as it is in our day, the people of those days wanted to explore the heavens by building a tower with it’s pinnacle reaching into the heavens, but before they could actualize their set out objective,
”…YAHWEH came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built.
And HE said, ‘Behold, the people are one, and they all have one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
A pointer to the fact that when men are united, they will find next to nothing, unachieveable. It is therefore not surprising to find few people achieve so much when they are united, while a disunited mob can only be set to bring about destruction, even when they portend to build or achieve lofty objectives.
We are left to conjecture what would have happened had Nimrod and his people succeeded for we are now told that The ALMIGHTY then says,
”…let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
And so it was that men by reason of the Confusion thus created by the lack of understanding of the other man’s language, became scattered ‘…abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off from building the city’, which was then called Babel ”..because YAHWEH did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did HE scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth”.
You will find this pattern through out history of inventions or objects made by man which may appear to be in direct challenge of the SUPREME BEING, going to ruination, sometimes not necessarily because they directly oppose the existence of such POWER, but rather the rhetoric behind it, seem to pose a challenge or mock the existence of a Supreme Being, or Higher Power (which man is yet to fully comprehend).
For instance, we know what became of The TITANIC, which was meant to be ‘UNSINKABLE’ in 1912, or the Space Shuttle ‘CHALLENGER’ on January 28, 1986. You can come up with other examples of your own, but what I’m trying to say here is, that history points to the fact that man’s way meets a dead end, each time he appears to challenge (what the Igbo man will call) his ‘chi’!
It is what the people in Babel attempted to do, they wanted not just to see beyond the skies above them, but went about it in such a manner that suggested they had sinister aims in building a tower ‘…whose top may reach unto heaven’ and in so doing make for themselves ‘…A NAME, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth’. They got exactly the opposite as Biblical accounts reveal.
‘Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he falls’.*
1. Genesis chapter 11 verses 1 – 9
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* I Corinthians chapter 10 verse 12