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.”
12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread. As a result the Egyptians loathed the Israelites, 13 and they made the Israelites serve rigorously. 14 They made their lives bitter by hard service with mortar and bricks and by all kinds of service in the fields. Every kind of service the Israelites were required to give was rigorous. 15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,
Notes and References
"... The portrait of Babylon as making a name for themselves through an ascent to the heavens becomes an icon of humanity’s rebellion. Babylon is the first imperial rebel and sets the pattern for later empires who will follow in the same footsteps. In the book of Exodus, Egypt is set on analogy to Babylon through a sophisticated use of hyperlinks. (Compare Genesis 11:3-4; Exodus 1:10-11, 14) ..."
Mackie, Tim Noah to Abraham: Exploring Genesis 6-12 (p. 145) Bible Project, 2020