Genesis 11:4

Hebrew Bible

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. 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people had started building.

LXX Genesis 11:4


3 And one person said to the next, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them with fire.” And the brick became stone for them, and the clay for them was bitumen. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower whose top shall be as far as the sky, and let us make a name for ourselves before we are scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built.

 Notes and References

"... In the Hebrew this is all motivated by a clause, i.e. the building of a city and a tower and the reputation thereby attained is intended to avoid a dispersal of the peoples throughout the earth; the city and tower, but primarily the latter, are to be a rallying point for keeping the people together. LXX Gen has quite a different point of view. The translator realized that people inevitably scatter and has substituted ... The people want to make a name for themselves before they are scattered on the face of all the earth. In the tradition this infinitive is given a named subject ... the variant simply makes explicit what is already implicit ..."

Wevers, John William Notes on the Greek Text of Genesis (p. 149) Scholars Press, 1993

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.