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Genesis 11:6-7

Context
11:6 And the Lord said, “If as one people all sharing a common language 1  they have begun to do this, then 2  nothing they plan to do will be beyond them. 3  11:7 Come, let’s go down and confuse 4  their language so they won’t be able to understand each other.” 5 

1 tn Heb “and one lip to all of them.”

2 tn Heb “and now.” The foundational clause beginning with הֵן (hen) expresses the condition, and the second clause the result. It could be rendered “If this…then now.”

3 tn Heb “all that they purpose to do will not be withheld from them.”

4 tn The cohortatives mirror the cohortatives of the people. They build to ascend the heavens; God comes down to destroy their language. God speaks here to his angelic assembly. See the notes on the word “make” in 1:26 and “know” in 3:5, as well as Jub. 10:22-23, where an angel recounts this incident and says “And the Lord our God said to us…. And the Lord went down and we went down with him. And we saw the city and the tower which the sons of men built.” On the chiastic structure of the story, see G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:235.

5 tn Heb “they will not hear, a man the lip of his neighbor.”



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