Questions to Consider
1. Read through the names and places listed in chapters 10 and 11. Do you recognize any of them from other parts of the Bible? What roles did they play in biblical history?
2. Often, when we approach “list passages” of Scripture (such as genealogies, censuses, inventories, etc.) we do so in a very ego-centric way: “How does this help me?” “How does this apply to my life?” “This is boring to me.” Could it be that God had a purpose for including these things in Scripture that have nothing to do with your personal life or mine? Why did God put the genealogies of Genesis 10-11 in the Bible? Examine these genealogies in light of 2 Timothy 3:16-17. How are they profitable, how do they equip, etc.?
3. Matthew 1 traces the genealogy of Christ back to Abraham. Can you pick up where Matthew leaves off and follow Christ’s family tree from Abraham (Abram) back to Noah? (Hint: start at 11:26 and work backward)
4. Why don’t the genealogies of Genesis 10-11 list any women? (Hint: think about Israel’s societal structure, the twelve tribes of Israel, inheritance, land allotment, etc.)
5. Compare 10:5,20,31 with 11:1,6. What do these verses say about the language(s) of the peoples? Is this an example of Scripture contradicting itself or of non-linear chronology in Scripture? Briefly review Lesson 2, question 1 (link above). Are we seeing something similar in chapters 10-11 to what we saw in chapters 1-2 (the “two” Creation accounts)?
6. Read 11:2,4 with 10:8-10. Who led the people to settle in Shinar? According to God’s command in Genesis 9:1, were they supposed to settle down or spread out? (11:4) What happened as a result of God confusing their languages? (11:8-9)
7. Besides rebelling against God’s command to spread out and fill the earth, what sin were the people committing by building the tower? (11:4) What does the Bible say about those who act in pride or attempt to take God’s glory for themselves? Why is it so important to glorify God in everything we do?
8. In your job, at your church, on social media, among your friends and family, etc., do you try to “make a name for yourself” (11:4) by the way you act and speak? Do you hunger to be the center of attention, crave adulation, constantly try to impress people? How might pride and love of self be the foundation for these actions and attitudes? Is there anything you need to repent of and ask God’s forgiveness for? Nimrod’s people would have brought glory to God by obeying His command to spread out and fill the earth instead of building the tower. What are some practical ways you can glorify God by obeying Him instead of glorifying yourself?
If you’d like to read up more on biblical genealogies and their importance, here are a couple of good resources:
Why were genealogies so important to Israel? at Got Questions
Why the Genealogies? at Grace to You
Suggested Memory Verse
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. And from there the Lord dispersed them over the face of all the earth.