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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Genesis 11

Verses 1-32

In this chapter we have the account of a human movement against dispersion. The movement was one of rebellion and was frustrated by divine interposition. The divine intention was the covering of the whole earth. The human action was in opposition to that, as men said, "Lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."

This rebellious purpose was frustrated by the confusion of tongues. Necessarily belief in this story demands belief in the possibility of God's direct intervention in the affairs of men by what we sometimes speak of as supernatural methods. Any argument which is valid against the story of the confusion of tongues at Babel is equally valid against the account of the gift of tongues at Pentecost.

In this chapter we find the history narrowed. The lines of development through Ham and Japheth are omitted and the generations of Shem are given. This marks the selection of that branch of the race from which a man is to be chosen, out of whose loins a new nation is to spring, from which the great Deliverer will come.

In the last section of the chapter we have an account of the movement toward the adoption of a simple faith as the one law of life. Terah moved from Ur of the Chaldees. It is not stated that this was in response to a faith. The fact, however, that it was in the direction of the divine intention would suggest that it was so. Carefully observe these words, however, "And Terah . . . went forth . . . to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there." It is the record of a start in a right direction which lacked persistence. Terah paused half way and dwelt at Haran until he died. The true man of faith is seen acting so far under the influence of his father; and bound by the earthly tie he abode with him in Haran.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 11". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.