Genesis 11: The Unity of Unbelief

*These notes come from Bob Deffinbaugh’s study on Genesis 11 at
  • People desperately desire to be remembered
  • The account of Babel is important because it exposes the underlying cause for building monuments and gives us the cure, teaching us how to face the future with peace of heart
  • The tower was not the primary evil but rather a symptom

Condition Prior to the Confusion of Tongues

  • All spoke same language
    • foundation for unity
    • should have drawn people together for God but was perverted for disobedience

Intentions of Man

  • God commanded man to spread out and fill the land, not to congregate in cities
  • Arrogance, rebellion, and pride in making themselves a name are the root of men’s activities
  • These people could not perceive blessing and security coming from dispersion even though God commanded it
    • from fear they placed their hopes in themselves instead of God
  • Man’s intentions are curbed by divine intervention
  • Completion of the city would not threaten the rule of God, but rather the command to disperse and fill the earth
  • When man’s ingenuity is successfully employed to overcome the many barriers, man feels that no problem is beyond a human solution
  • if man succeeded in Babel, God knew the attitude of arrogant, self-confidence, and independence was inevitable
  • God prevented us from sin

Conditions After the Confusion of Tongues

  • That which man most feared came to pass, the irony being their desire would have destroyed them but deliverance was found in what they dreaded


  1. Man’s plans will never thwart God’s purposes
  2. Unity is not the highest good, but rather purity and obedience to God. True unity can only occur in Christ. No true unity with those who deny our God
  3. The communication gap created can only be bridged by Christ
  4. Superficial relationships and artificial activity will inevitably miss the meaning of life
  5. The word of God, and not the works of our hands, is the only thing worthy of our faith
  6. Much of what men does on this earth is a monument to his insecurity

*Link to study on the rest of the chapters in Genesis


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