Tongues, Confusion of

Genesis 11:5‑9  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The special purpose of this act of God was to distribute mankind. They had said, “Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” God nullified their design by so confounding their language that they could not understand one another’s speech. They left off building the city, and were scattered abroad (Gen. 11:5-95And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. 8So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:5‑9)). The gift of tongues at Pentecost in no way rescinded this, though by the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit those from a distance of various languages heard, each in his own tongue, the same gospel. The apostles had never spoken those languages before. The learned have devoted much labor in the endeavor to discover the links that exist in all known languages; but it would require divine power to remove in any practical sense the divergencies.