Genesis 11:4

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And they said, Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (ASV)

Pro

The Hebrews believed that Heaven was a physical place, above the Firmament sky-dome (more on this in the Jude 1:14 article), which could be reached by a tall tower. --Robert Stevens 12:14, 9 Nov 2005 (CST)

Con

The claim of errancy is based on the speculation that the Hebrews believed that the earth was flat. 1 Enoch is proposed as support for this claim. 1 Enoch is not accepted as inspired and appears to be no more than the work of a science fiction writer of the time who was inspired by the Scriptures as much science fiction has been.

Glenn Miller (Good question--is Genesis merely a rip-off of other ANE lit?) writes:

"Many of the individual episodes in Gen 1–11 may be seen to have a distinctly polemical thrust in their own right, particularly against the religious ideas associated most closely with Mesopotamia. For example, Gen 11:1–9, the tower of Babel story, is a satire on the claims of Babylon to be the center of civilization and its temple tower the gate of heaven (EE 6:50–80): Babel does not mean gate of God, but “confusion” and “folly.” Far from its temple’s top reaching up to heaven, it is so low that God has to descend from heaven just to see it! (11:4–9).

So, we are dealing with a case of divine irony.

--FreezBee 11:57, 8 Nov 2006 (CST)

Neutral

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