1 The whole earth had a common language and a common vocabulary. 2 When the people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” (They had brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves. Otherwise we will be scattered across the face of the entire earth.”
8 Therefore you must wait patiently for me,” says the Lord, “for the day when I attack and take plunder. I have decided to gather nations together and assemble kingdoms, so I can pour out my fury on them—all my raging anger. For the whole earth will be consumed by my fiery anger. 9 Know for sure that I will then restore to the nations a pure speech.32 All of them will invoke the Lord’s name when they pray and will worship him in unison. 10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, those who pray to me, my dispersed people, will bring me tribute.
Notes and References
"... Zephaniah 3:8-10 combines multiple themes. The violent face divine justice, not to destroy them, but to purify them, so that they can be reconciled to Yahweh (see Joel 3 and Nahum 1). This theme is combined with the restoration of Jerusalem, which is viewed as an “anti-Babylon.” By alluding to Genesis 11:1-9 and the story of the tower of Babel, Zephaniah 3:9-10 portrays the restoration of Zion as the undoing of the human dispersion. Rather than the tower of Babylon, Jerusalem operates as the center of a new humanity unified in worship of Yahweh with a purified language ..."
Nogalski, James Zephaniah's Use of Genesis 1–11 (pp. 351-372) Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, Vol. 2, Iss. 3, 2013
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