Sermon title: Scientific Evidence Confirms the Tower of Babel
Genesis 10:1,32; 11:1-10
Immanuel Baptist Church – Sunday, October 3, 2021
After the Flood of Noah’s day,
the human family got off to a fresh start.
All of today’s races and nations and language-groups
sprang from the family of Noah and his 3 sons.
And the Bible is very specific,
recording in detail just how that happened.
It’s important to know this for 2 reasons:
First, these facts can strengthen our faith.
Second, these facts can help skeptics
overcome their skepticism
and come to faith in Christ.
I know that to be true, because, it was true in my case.
Back when I was a young atheist,
these facts helped me become a believer.
What facts are these?
Well, the Bible spells out
where the white Europeans came from,
where the black Africans came from
where the Orientals came from.
But the information is found in portions of the Bible
that readers often skip over,
leaving those sections unread,
while they skip ahead
to the Bible stories
most people are familiar with.
People tend to skip over the long lists of who begat whom,
moving on instead to the interesting stories.
Besides, the long lists of who begat whom,
with all their Hebrew names, are difficult to read,
even for those who have good reading skills.
But, buried within those lists of begats we find the origin
of today’s races, nations & language-groups.
The easiest to spot are those in the Middle East.
The line from Abraham to his son Isaac
and Isaac’s son Jacob produced the Jewish people.
Jacob’s name was changed to Israel,
and his 12 sons fathered the 12 Tribes of Israel—
the ancestors of today’s Jews.
But Isaac had a brother, Abraham’s other son Ishmael,
and Jacob had a brother, Isaac’s other son Esau.
And the Genesis account describes in great detail
how the lands surrounding Israel
were populated with the Arab nations
who also descended from Abraham.
If you surf the web, you will find Muslim Arab web sites
that share that information from Genesis, because it
tells where their cities and nations came from.
In fact, news headlines were made in recent months
when these nations descended from Abraham
made peace treaties with each other.
When President Trump’s advisor
& son-in-law Jared Kushner negotiated peace deals
between Israel and several Arab states,
those peace treaties were called
“The Abraham Accords.”
The treaties are between nations that the Genesis account
says are descended from Abrahamthrough his sons
Isaac, the Jews—and Ishmael, the Arabs.
Recognizing that, a news reporter spoke of
the Abraham Accords bringing
“the descendants of Abraham's sons together
in a cyberage.”
And an article in the United Arab Emirates newspaper
The Kahleej Times says, and I quote,
“Whether you think the Abraham Accords were
politically, militarily, or strategically motivated,
there is one thing no one can ignore - Abraham's children
have taken the lead, and the expanding family tree
now has a life of its own.”
So, these modern nations in the Middle East
recognize the Bible genealogy
as accurately identifying their ancestors.
The list of begats in the 10th Chapter of Genesis actually
explains the origins of all the nations of the world
because it names the offspring and descendants
of Noah’s 3 sons.
1 This is the account of Noah’s sons
Shem, Ham, and Japheth,
who also had sons after the flood.
2 The sons of Japheth:
Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal,
Meshech, and Tiras.
3 The sons of Gomer:
Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.
4 And the sons of Javan:
Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittites,
and the Rodanites.
5 From these, the maritime peoples
separated into their territories,
according to their languages,
by clans within their nations.
The ancient people who lived closer to those times
could identify all those nations,
but much of that information has been lost today.
We do know, however,
that these offspring of Noah’s son Japheth
populated the nations of Europe,
which are referred to here as “maritime”
because the people of the Middle East
had contact with them by boat
over the Mediterranean Sea.
Some of the descendants of Noah’s son Japheth
also moved into Central Asia,
North from the Promised Land.
Genesis goes on to name
the sons of Noah’s son Ham as
Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
Mizraim was the old name of Egypt,
so this tells us where the Egyptians came from.
And Canaan was the forefather of the Canaanites,
the people who inhabited the Promised Land
before God gave that land to Israel.
We know exactly where
the descendants of Ham’s son Canaan lived,
because the Genesis account names cities
that are still inhabited today.
One of those cities is Sidon, a major city of Lebanon,
about 25 miles from Beirut.
And another is Gaza, which is often in the news today,
because of the ongoing conflict between Israel
and the Palestinians who live in Gaza today.
The Genesis account says this about the land
where the offspring of Canaan settled—it says,
the borders of Canaan extended
from Sidon toward Gerar
as far as Gaza,
and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah,
Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
So, the still-existing cities of Sidon and Gaza are named,
as well as Sodom and Gomorrah
which were wiped out by fire from heaven
some time after this account was written.
I won’t name all the descendants of Noah’s son Ham,
but another notable one was Ham’s grandson Nimrod
who established the cities of Babylon and Nineveh—
territory familiar to veterans who served in Iraq.
That same 10th Chapter of Genesis goes on to list
the forefathers of the Oriental nations, China & Japan,
as well as the Middle Eastern and African nations.
I could go on and on with more details—
which grandsons and great-grandsons of Noah
fathered the Chinese, and how we know,
and which ones fathered various other nations,
but that’s more detail than most of us need to know.
If you are interested in such details,
just Google “the Table of Nations”
or “the Bible and the origin of races,”
and you’ll find plenty of information.
Then, after listing the offspring of Noah’s son Shem,
that Chapter of Genesis concludes by saying,
31 These are the sons of Shem,
according to their clans, languages,
lands, and nations.
32 All these are
the clans of Noah’s sons, according to
their generations and nations.
From these the nations of the earth
spread out after the flood.
But, why did they spread out into separate nations.
The previous Chapter tells us that, after the Flood,
God blessed Noah and his sons
and said to them,
“Be fruitful and multiply
and fill the earth.”
But that’s not why they spread out into separate nations.
They were not trying to obey God.
As the offspring of Noah increased in numbers,
they forgot about God
and had no interest in obeying God’s command.
So, the Eleventh Chapter of Genesis tells us,
1 Now all the earth used
the same language and the same words.
2 And it came about, as they journeyed
east, that they found a plain
in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3 Then they said to one another,
“Come, let’s make bricks and fire them
And they used brick for stone, and
they used tar for mortar.
4 And they said,
“Come, let’s build ourselves a city,
and a tower whose top will reach
into heaven, and let’s make
a name for ourselves;
otherwise we will be scattered abroad
over the face of all the earth.”
So, they were determined to do the opposite from
what God commanded—
to stay in one place, rather than fill the earth.
They were determined to live in one large city
with a very tall tower that they began to build.
But the Lord was not about to put up with that.
The account continues,
5 Now the LORD came down to see
and the tower which the men had built.
6 And the LORD said,
“Behold, they are one people,
and they all have the same language.
And this is what they have started
and now nothing which they plan to do
will be impossible for them.
7 Come, let Us go down
and there confuse their language,
so that they will not understand
one another’s speech.”
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad
from there over the face
of all the earth;
and they stopped building the city.
9 Therefore it was named Babel,
because there the LORD confused
the language of all the earth;
and from there the LORD scattered them
abroad over the face of all the earth.
So, that’s the Bible’s explanation
for where the different nationalities came from
and where their original languages came from.
God gave each extended family a different language,
so they were suddenly unable to communicate
those from another family.
The construction workers
building the city and the tower
couldn’t understand each other, and quit working.
Work on the Tower of Babel came to a sudden stop.
And the different families abandoned the city
and headed off in different directions.
to settle in different places.
Those languages God gave them at Babel
were what scientists call the “proto-languages”
the original languages
that all of today’s languages came from.
The science of linguistics studies languages
and how they changed over the centuries,
as one nation conquered another,
and as people overran each other.
Linguists trace back the languages to their origins.
That can be complicated, as in England, for example.
At one time the Celts inhabited England
and had their own language.
Then the Roman Empire took control,
and the Latin language mixed with the Celtic words.
Centuries later the Germanic Anglo-Saxons invaded,
and their Germanic language re-shaped English speech.
Then, at the Battle of Hastings in the year 1066,
the Duke of Normandy led French invaders
who ruled England for a hundred years
and their French words
again changed the English language.
Similar things happened all over the world,
modifying the original languages
that God gave to Noah’s offspring at Babel.
But, the science of linguistics
has been able to trace back the languages of today
to those original “proto-languages.”
And they found those original “proto-languages”
to be totally distinct.
They did not derive from each other,
and have no common root.
They appear to have sprung up separately,
each one uniquely different,
not related to each other.
And that leaves scientists in a quandry.
It presents them with a mystery they are unable to solve.
That’s because the scientists know
that all mankind sprang from a common root.
Through the study of human DNA,
scientists have determined that everyone living
sprang from an individual woman
who they call “the Mitochondrial Eve”—
because mitochondrial DNA in everyone
shows one common source.
So, you would expect that all of the world’s languages
would also have a common source—
the mother tongue spoken by that woman.
But, instead, linguistic science has found
that all the known languages derive
from several different and distinct mother tongues,
unrelated to each other.
Each of these language groups started out separately.
Scientists don’t know how that could have happened.
But the Bible offers the only reasonable explanation
for that discovery: namely,
that the Tower of Babel story is true—
that all mankind spoke one common language,
until God gave them new languages,
sending each new language group off
in a different direction, scattering them
into separate nations.
This is the only way to explain that mankind
all started from one family
but suddenly spoke different languages.
Chinese and Europeans and Africans
all share the same DNA from the same source,
but they have languages
that began from totally different sources.
No explanation for that makes sense,
other than the Bible’s explanation found in Genesis.
Atheistic scientists laugh at the Bible,
but their own discoveries point to the truth
of the Bible’s account of the Tower of Babel.
It strengthens our faith to know this.
And these are the types of facts
that we can share with others.
When we speak about the Gospel of Christ
with people who grew up thinking
that the Bible was a book of fairytales
that religious people took purely on blind faith,
we can point to facts like these
to help the know that our faith is based on reality.
Our Lord Jesus is “the Way and the Truth and the Life.”
He is the Way that we follow,
and he is the One who gives us Life.
But he is also the Truth.
And the dictionary definition of Truth is
that which conforms to reality, based on facts.
Introducing skeptical people
to the facts of Bible history
can be a first step in leading them to Christ.