THE TOWER OF BABEL (Anti-Pentecost)

THE TOWER OF BABEL (Anti-Pentecost)

Meteora Spire in the SkyScriptural Pericope

(Genesis 11:1-9) Now the whole earth was one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar (Shennar), and dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them with fire”. They had brick for stone and asphalt for mortar. They also said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower, whose top will reach to heaven; and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth”. But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the sons of men built. Then the Lord said, “Indeed, the people are one race and one language, and they have begun to do what they said. Now they will not fail to accomplish what they have undertaken. Come let Us go down there and confuse their language, so they may not understand one another’s speech”. So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city and the tower. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the languages of all the earth; and from there the Lord God scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.


The key theme running through this particular pericope, is the effort of humanity to insure their survival without the help of or dependence on God, and thus displaying a complete lack of trust in God. The narrative that proceeds after this pericope is the calling of Abraham and his response of faith, which is in stark contrast to the events of Babel, whereby the builders should have completely dedicated all their efforts and lives, by entrusting all to God. In this way the builders of Babel would have realised that their true dwelling place was not a tower that rises up to the heavens, but is Heaven!

The Harmony of Language

The first observation that can be made is the harmony amongst all of humanity by virtue of speaking the same language. This particular characteristic marked out humanity’s inheritance and common origin from Noah, since it was he and his family that survived the cataclysm of the Great Flood, and who repopulated the earth. Naturally this inheritance of a common language was one of the beneficial results that the Flood bestowed upon humanity, where previously humans were divided and sought to do evil to one another.

Thus they were now united and strengthened in a common fellowship, as sustained and expressed through their common speech. Of course, the form of this common language is unknown to us today, since we are so far divorced from the time, space and mindset of those events of Babel, that it is hard for us to discern. According to Judaeo-Christian perspectives, there are three chief thoughts on the substance of this common language that united humanity. The first thought maintains that it was an actual human language that is now forgotten and lost, but forms the foundation of all human languages, thus accounting for the similarities (like common words) between differing languages.[1]

The second thought, which is not a commonly expressed thought and one which I do not believe, maintains that this mutual language was Hebrew. This thought is based on additional parallel material to the Bible which asserts that Eber (Heber) was the only one who did not accord divine rights to Nimrod the Great, nor take part in the construction of Babel. Within Scripture, the absence of any mention of Eber within Babel’s construction is in keeping with this thought. Naturally the thought stems from the fact that Abraham is a descendant of Eber, and that the name of Abraham’s descendants, prior to the bestowal of the Law on Horeb (Sinai), were called “Hebrews”, (that is “of Eber”)[2]. The problem with this thought is trying to affirm it because it assumes Abraham spoke Hebrew, when in actual fact he was born and raised in Ur of Chaldea (southern Iraq) where the language was Akkadian, and he later moved to Haran in south-eastern Turkey, where another Semitic language was spoken there.[3]

The third thought believes that this common language, was not a language in the human sense, but was the language of grace and prayer (and we do not mean the gibberish of the modern phenomenon of “speaking in tongues”). That is, the mode by which humanity communicated with God, was also the means by which they communicated amongst themselves. Various Church Fathers compare this notion with the communication that Adam and Eve had with the natural world (Creation/the environment). Their expulsion from the Garden of Eden not only signalled their break with God, but a break in their communion with Creation, whereby they ceased speaking the same language of Creation and began to live in opposition to it. Thus laying the foundation of humanity’s ongoing abuse of the environment.

Whatever thought one may subscribe to, this common language which gave strength and unity to humanity was put into the employ of doing evil. The irony being, that the builders dwelt in a land that was blessed by God in many ways, in that the broad, fertile rolling plains of Shennar, watered by the Euphrates and Tigris, provided for all the possible needs that its residents could require in order to survive and even live comfortably. This land of plenty in southern Iraq, regretfully became the place which was to cause grief to God and lament over humanity’s course. That course refocused humanity’s attention away from their divine calling towards union with God, to move instead towards focusing all their efforts solely upon their earthly existence and concerns of the world, as if that was the foundation and life-force of their spirit.

Yet folly was joined with pride, in that it was not sufficient for the builders to merely ignore and spurn God, but to even brag about what they sought to do; because they wanted to make a “name” for themselves, to join themselves to “eternal glory” through the construction of a great work, a very high tower, as a testimony to following generations showcasing their “genius”, “inventiveness” and “industriousness”. In light of this thought, citing the motives of the Tower Builders, the narrative reveals to us a particular trait (or flaw) about human character which we all could easily fall into; and that is the belief that our own generation is somehow wiser or better than our predecessors, supposedly since we have “learnt” from their errors and thus “strive” to do better.

The study of history is often built on this premise, as we critique the actions of our forebears, claiming that one action was better than another; but as one anonymous ascetic noted, it is easy to make such value-added judgements in hindsight, after the events have taken place and no possible action can be taken to correct them. Yet, at the same time, each human generation also perceives itself as far more sensible, hardworking and knowledgeable than the succeeding generation, and so through “achieving” or “producing” “great works” they seek to influence the thoughts and actions of their successors by setting a benchmark by which they shall be remembered by and even be glorified for. Naturally there are positives that stem from each human generation by which people of differing eras and places admire, but on the whole, humanity seems to fall prey to the arrogant delusion that their own generation inevitably knows better.

In effect, the pericope is reminding us to be wary of our purpose and motives when constructing our own “High Towers”, as every generation is accustomed to doing. For we see the tower builders are seeking fame and praise, to raise themselves to an almost “immortal” status by their own “innovation” and ingenuity, because they know fully well that death shall overtake them and that they will be forgotten if they leave no signs of their presence. To psychologists this could be cited as an inferiority complex as well as the fear of death. According to Scripture, this is inherent in all peoples, across eras, geography and culture, because it is a result of the broken communion between God/Creation and humanity. The latter labouring under the pains of nostalgia to return to union with God and Creation, and thus this pain giving rise to the spiritual/philosophical quest for meaning and purpose. Scripture would define this search and desire of nostalgia as the journey of faith and the return to our divine origins in God.

Nevertheless the Tower Builders applied the very logic that the Creator bestowed upon them, to process the materials necessary for their construction, that of bricks made from mud and straw, joined together and strengthened by bitumen (since Shennar does not have rock). Yet for all the creativity of humanity’s industriousness, ingenuity and labour, it is ironic that such effort was ploughed into such an illogical undertaking, for it illustrates the ability of humankind to build an impressive building of immense height, but at the same time we also have the ability, if not madness, to throw ourselves off such an edifice to our own tragic demise. Only humans are capable of such extremes between creation and destruction, and in Babel’s case (spiritually speaking), that is what humanity did, by following once again Adam and Eve’s example of turning away from the source of life, refusing to trust in God and apostatising.

This is not to say that the construction of a city and a tower was evil in itself, but the motive was not to build and dedicate  these works to the service or glory of God; but for personal vainglory, steeped in sheer audacity in the belief that the tower’s summit will reach the heavens, and thus fulfil their desire for eternal fame by this bright and great testimony to future generations. In this we can discern the beginnings of idolatry and apostasy. For the pride of self-worship is the foundation and beginning point by which humankind creates its own gods and idols, in order to bless or sanction their own actions or errant behaviour.

It is often said that religions have caused many wars, but the truth is far more deeper than this simplistic notion, in that people use religion to justify themselves, irrespective of what that faith actually teaches[4]. In the 20th century when religion was overshadowed by atheistic ideologies, wars and oppressions of greater destructiveness and inhumanity afflicted every corner of the earth. The point is, that the pride, arrogance, and egoism of humans will always look for an excuse or pretext to give legitimacy to a sinful crime. It is as some philosophers and Christian Fathers would state as “man creating God in their image” (anthropocentrism), that is, man is the measure of all things. This of course is as opposed to humanity dwelling and being created in the image of God (theocentrism).

In the first case, there is a need to fill a void of human existence, meaning or purpose (ontology) by which man must create his own beliefs, which is opposed to the theocentric view of seeking out the truth of revelation and abiding by it. With respects to Babel, we should observe that in insuring against any new cataclysms, making a name for oneself, or seeking an eternal epithet to one’s “fame”; the builders’ self-worship also blinded them to environmental and engineering considerations which could invalidate their effort.

Firstly, if God allowed a repeat of the Great Flood in all its magnitude, even the deepest and strongest of foundations reinforced by retaining walls would not withstand such a deluge and thus be washed away. The task being made easier by the alluvial nature of the ground in Shennar. However, if the Tower was to be built against the danger of another disaster being sent by God upon humanity, what guarantee is there to assert that it will be a flood? If the Lord deemed it necessary could He not send down fire, heat, drought, plagues, locusts and so forth? In which case what good would a city or a great tower serve, because they certainly cannot stop these disasters or protect people from them, which insurance companies aptly name “acts of God”?

Then let us consider further, whether a building can remain standing against the brute force of nature without being worn down, damaged or destroyed. How long can a building remain standing? If anything, topographical features like mountains, last longer than buildings, because they were formed, maintained or destroyed by natural forces. Whereas, a building is an artificial creation, constructed in a location where it would not naturally occur. Thus its survival and maintenance is dependent on continual human intervention through repairs and renovations to sustain its “static existence” within a natural world of ever-changing dynamism, with life constantly adapting to different rhythms or patterns of existence. Even stone, with its solidly steadfast characteristics is worn away by nature to provide shelter for animals and nutrients to the soil to sustain plant life.

On the Descent of God

In verse 5, the text refers to God descending from Heaven to see what was transpiring amongst humanity, and the plans which they sought to put into action. This may seem somewhat strange to the reader, since if God is all-powerful, ever-present and all-seeing, then He would not need to descend from Heaven to perceive what humanity was doing. On this point St John Chrysostom cites that this action of descent is to indicate to the reader, the very personal nature of God who chose to come “in person” to not judge humanity, without examining (in person) the facts and turn of events that took place upon the plains of Shinar.

This descent was not the action of some simple witness or bystander observing a series of events, but that of a loving parent who seeks to pedagogically correct errant and self-destructive behaviour, even arbitrate or chastise if necessary so as to avoid disaster or a greater evil. Of course the very action of descent is indicative of the self-effacing and humble love of God who condescends to the level of creation and not remain within His natural realm of divinity and sanctity, (to use a colloquialism of tradesmen: “He was not one to avoid getting his hands dirty in doing work and taking action, in order that a job got done.”).

Consequently, the key lessons drawn from this verse, is that we should always be alert in discerning all things around us and their respective intent or purpose, and that before we deal with other peoples and their actions we should not make any rash judgements but examine those actions/intent before making our conclusions.[5] Yet this point also indicates to us that God can, and will, come at any time to examine our actions and intentions, and thus can pass judgement or impose corrective measures upon us at any time that He pleases or deems appropriate, hence the need for vigilance in examining ourselves and our actions or thoughts. However it also indicates the patient forbearance of God, who awaits for humanity to desist from their misguided effort, since He would only act in response at the point when those efforts became physically manifest, in this case the progress of Babel’s construction.

The inference drawn from this, as shown by God’s patience with humanity prior to the Great Flood, is that God is tolerant and allows us to progress along the paths we choose (even if misguided), in order to allow the opportunity for self-introspection, self-correction and repentance before He takes corrective action. In the case of the Tower Builders, God had allowed time for them to take stock of their effort, examine their purpose and repent, before He would adjudicate on this matter that impacted upon the health and survival of humanity as a whole. Alas, as we the readers know now, through hindsight, by looking back at those events which took place in the depths of human pre-history, and mentioned only in passing by Scripture, the builders were blinded to their plight, and did not take the opportunity afforded them by God’s patience.

Of course this is not to say that God acts according to some sort of notion we believe to perceive as “divine retribution” or “wrath” as it is poetically referred to in the Old Testament; but it is because God is able to perceive the full picture of where our free-will can take us, and seeks to afford us every opportunity to utilise it effectively for our own benefit. For God can see what is the best outcome according to the circumstances we are in (environmental) or we create for ourselves (through personal choice). If what we perceive as suffering allowed by God, or chastisement sent from God and viewed by us as His wrath, it is ultimately concerned with assisting us to attain the realisation of our full potentiality, to unlock the charismatic gifts within us and give full meaning and purpose to our own existence, it is thus to help us attain true happiness, joy and fulfillment.[6]

A final note on the descent of God, is that no matter how great, imposing or high this Tower of Babel must have been, reaching up into the heavens, it was still not high enough to reach God who still needed to descend upon the builders to examine them at close quarters, thus illustrating the madness, if not the pointlessness of the whole Babel project. The builders though, still believed that they were capable of reaching God through their own abilities, without divine help, and through the restricted prism of their own ingenuity.

The inference here is twofold; Firstly, the very tools that the builders employed, was not that of spiritual work or struggle, but physical and material things to approach that which is spirit, God. This is not to say that physical or material matter cannot assist their task, but it is not the chief means, for to seek things that are of spirit, one must approach in spirit through the works of faith, like charitable works, prayer, fasting and so forth. This of course is part of the process that is called purification (katharsis), which can be defined as the purging of our being of the obstacles that hinder us from transcending our own finiteness to enter into the spirit of a mystery beyond our reach. For as St Gregory Palamas cites: “Let us put aside the blindness of mind of those who can conceive of nothing higher than what is known through the senses[7]…True beauty, essentially, can only be contemplated only with a purified mind”.

The second inference, on the other hand highlights to us, that no matter how high the Tower was built it would never reach God. This of course, is indicative of all human efforts, whether blessed by God or going against God, for no matter how well-meaning or evil our intentions are, there remains a chasm between God who is the Creator and humanity who are God’s creation. Our beings (ontology) thus differ, for God is Almighty, Immortal and unconstrained by any boundaries or limitations, whereas humanity is the exact opposite, subject to many variables, environmental factors, mortality and constraints. Therefore, it is only God who can bridge and cross over the chasm that separates us, and in this particular narrative, He does exactly that, hence invalidating the need for the Tower’s construction. Why bother building a tower to God, which in actual fact cannot reach Him, when He is more than willing to come down and participate at the level of our existence, becoming integral to our lives, provided we seek Him out, and allow to enter into our lives?

Disharmony Created by the Discordance of Languages

In much the same vein as the response to the Great Flood to correct a great evil, so too the response God takes with confusing the language of humanity to prevent the full realisation of Babel’s goals which would be detrimental to humanity as a whole, and for each person individually. The difference between the two events is that the Flood was a destructive, but purifying approach to set the multitudes free from a life of sin. Whereas, the formation of new languages, as a result of confusing the one common human language, is a creative, if not an “artistic” response by God to a great evil. In this manner, God was able to maintain His fidelity to His promise to never send down another cataclysm to expunge the earth of humanity, which was the very impetus for the execution of the “Tower Project” by Babel’s builders (that is, the fear of another deadly cataclysm). In spite of their lack of trust, God still did not wipe them out, but instead reminded them and refocused their attention upon their relationship with Him, and how they should conduct themselves towards each other.

As lamentable as the breaking of human unity and solidarity was, the reality would not have endured after the completion of Babel, for that communion was not grounded on a solid platform, for without God who created each and every person what was uniting them? If one dares to say, their common humanity, then consider who is the one that gave them that humanity? Then consider, if each individual has free-will and logical reason, which is an integral characteristic of humans, what would be the common reference point by which they all could turn to in order to avoid conflict between the differing applications of that free-will and reason? What reference point unites them and serves as a common ground by which they can come to comprehend each other?

Babel united humanity out of fear, suspicion and lack of trust in God, but it also drew out of them the negativities of pride and self-will, for they wanted to “make a name for themselves” and a memorial to their vainglorious “fame”. Would not these negative characteristics be expressed by each individual towards their fellow man after Babel’s completion? If these characteristics were manifested towards God, who is the source of all good and life, and is the common foundation and reference point for humanity; then it would be natural to conclude that one would trust their fellow neighbour even less than God, since they are neither a divine being nor the Creator and source of all life, but share the same mortality.

In observing the remainder of Scripture, or if we turn to history, we see that in spite of God’s therapeutic and creative approach in responding to Babel’s folly, humans to this day still manifest towards one another deep suspicions, inflict great torment upon each other and apply free-will for the purpose of self-service at the expense of other peoples’ well-being. Needless to say, historical witness tends to verify that it is easier to unify people according to more debased instincts such as greed, lust for power or fame for example, rather than for more elevated or dignified purposes. Yet, it is the latter’s positive influence within human history that not only gives every generation hope and inspiration against the backdrop of hardship or survival, but mark out the most memorable points of human life throughout time, to which we call “golden ages”, whereby culture, learning, art, music and philanthropy flower.

Of course these moments of time do not last forever, but their impacts remain within the human psyche, and the relics of that era which are left behind for us to admire and contemplate. It could be said that those creative energies unleashed when humanity does unite, in any given society or place, we are in some sense close to God, because we seek a higher purpose and meaning in life, while mimicking the Creator through productively applying our talents. The results may not always be what God would like us to attain or is beneficial to our well-being, but it is a part of the gift of free-will to work along the continuum of a learning curve; so that we may appreciate what we have and what stability we can find in a world that is in a state of constant change.

The philosopher, Heracleitus the Obscure of Ephesos, once noted that in the world that we live in, is that the only thing which is permanent is change because life is a dynamic continuum. Death brought a temporary end, only to help sustain a new life and thus remain within the cyclical continuum of change. In his view, the only thing which was stable that existed within this dynamism, was the Divine that had created and sustains the order we live in. He contended that through this permanent change we come to appreciate and seek out that which was stable yet dynamic, in order to grow, experience and find fulfillment. The Judaeo-Christian witness of salvation history would agree with this view, but using slightly different terminology.

However, in noting humanity’s propensity to rebel and afflict pain amongst one another, only to be interrupted with “golden ages”; we should also note, there has been a parallel propensity to go contrary to God, either through turning away from God, persecute and prevent others from seeking God, or to use God and faith as an excuse to persecute and oppress others.

Nevertheless, in returning to our theme of God confusing the one common human language, we see an inherent beauty taking shape in the formation of diverse languages and cultures, that enriched humanity with numerous differing perspectives and approaches to life. Each language and its subsequent culture had (and has) its own characteristic identity, its own unique charm as well as its particular strengths and charisms. None are greater or lesser to another, none could claim superiority over other languages and cultures, for they developed and grew within their own respective context serving the specific needs of its adherents, whether it was a tribe, a community or a nation.

Yet at the same time, this equality was ensured by God, for neither culture or language was made complete or perfect, hence necessitating the need for cultural/linguistic exchange, and thus allowing channels by which humanity can unite while appreciating the diversity that exists amongst themselves. The English language is an excellent testimony to this fact, in that it is known to have the largest vocabulary on earth, by virtue of the widespread adoption of foreign loanwords into English, as a consequence of the extensive cultural-linguistic exchanges between Anglo-Saxons and other peoples.

Of course the immediate consequences of the confusing of languages at Babel, caused people to congregate with those who were of similar speech and custom, while breaking up the “unity” of the “human community”. The difficulty in achieving pan-human understanding and communication completely destroyed the ridiculous project of Babel that as a result, became a tiresome and unfeasible burden. Yet it also highlighted to the human psyche the need and importance to overcome differences and to seek unity, for with the passage of time, wars, genocides and slavery would indicate the dangers that difference and misunderstanding could bring. History attests quite vividly as how people can employ differences to justify inhuman acts against other people.

From the narrative’s perspective, these inherent problems would have manifested themselves irrespective of the confusion. God’s response was merely to underline and make visible to humanity what was already there, by creating a barrier that would force people to see their limitations, and if willing seek to overcome them in order to come to an understanding and appreciation of the “other”. If one could then come to this appreciative understanding of the “other” who is different from themselves, then the path towards being receptive to God and His wisdom could be opened and appreciated. Consider the teaching of the Epistle of John which notes that how can one love God who we have not seen, while hate our neighbour who we have seen? The contradiction is quite clear, for we are not open to receive and appreciate our neighbour or see within them their qualities, nor recognise that like ourselves, are a creation of God who bears His image; then how can we receive or appreciate God Himself, if we cannot even fulfill this preparatory step?

Hence, we see God placing a process by which we can first cultivate genuine pan-human unity, so that solidarity will not be based on an evil intent or going contrary to humanity’s source of life, God. Solidarity would not be built upon distrust, suspicion or pride for these very things would undo all work and effort towards that unity. Nor would false unity develop if this process of love for one’s neighbour occurs and is grounded in free but honest fidelity to God’s will, because the result will cause destruction and dispersal, just as the people of Babel were dispersed across the earth.

In reviewing these points, we are brought once again to the same thought, simply that God by virtue of being God and Creator, transcends all barriers, differences and human conceptions, for He remains the authentic unifying factor for humanity, for we all have our common origins from His Divine being. This brings us to the theme of how this unity shall be expressed and manifested. The answer lies within a promise, a word, a covenant, as expressed by the term “Logos” which encapsulates all these, but what is this Logos? This Logos of God, none other than the Anointed One (Messiah/Christ), who was expected by the Jews as the “Son of Man”, “Son of David”, “Son of the Living God”, the “Emmanuel”, who would bring all peoples together in true solidarity, and physically unite them to God (through His very being, the union of Divine and human natures).

It would be the Messiah who would restore pan-human unity and overcome the barriers manifested at Babel, bringing people to speak the language (word) of God, the language of grace and not confusion. The babble of confusion was overcome with the restoration of this language of grace on the day of Pentecost, whereby the Good News was preached before the multitudes in Jerusalem who had gathered from many nations and cultures, to mark the bestowal of the Mosaic Law. There were non-Jews present also, and thus signifying that the message of the Good News (Evangelion-Gospel) was for all peoples, and not confined to the Jews. Thus the means to build and cultivate genuine, but steadfast unity amongst all peoples was to be grounded in God through the living the Gospel.

Epilogue – Final Thoughts

The “Babel insurance project” could simply be summed up in total as an affront to God, and as an insult to the Holy Gifts (Charisms) that He bestowed to humanity, which were applied in unholy conduct. It thus became the symbol of pan-human unity which came at the cost of harmony with God and deprived of His blessing. Yet that unity, if allowed to blossom forth, was built on the anxiety of pride and egoism, which bear within them the seeds of self-destruction. It is a sobering thought when one considers that Babel represents human order based on arrogance and lust for power, and is symbolically referred to as “Babylon”, and this symbolic Babylon is destroyed in the final triumph of God in the concluding narrative of the Book of Revelations.

Dedicated to Fr Jordan Krikelis whose quiet but tireless ministry amongst needy families, prison inmates and the reestablishment of parish life at the church of St John the Forerunner has been one of true Christian witness to all of us. May God continue to give you strength Father in serving the many Orthodox and Non-Orthodox who depend upon you. -V.M.

[1] The common words according to this line of thought would believe that common words and even phrases are a residue or a legacy of that lost and forgotten common human language.

[2] After entrance into the Holy Land the Hebrews are called Israelites, and then after the division of Israel, the northern tribes are called Israelites, while the southern tribes are called Judeans since they formed the Kingdom of Judea. After the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions and destructions, only the southerners remained and were subsequently carried off into captivity in Babylon. After their return from the Babylon the people were known as Judeans, thus giving us the word Jews.

[3] Although Hebrew is a Semitic language like Akkadian, Aramaic, Assyrian or Arabic, it is not clear when it developed or where. The Church Fathers knew, and is now affirmed by modern scholarship, is that when the Israelites entered Canaan, they spoke it, and later wrote in it. As to whether Eber or Abraham spoke it, the Church Fathers were unsure. Yet they were certain that it was spoken in the time they entered and settled Canaan after their exodus from Egypt, since they had come with their oral lore, as well as (according to Holy Tradition) their written Scriptures containing the ordinances of God’s Law which Moses documented. From the scholastic point of view, it is believed that Hebrew probably had its beginnings as a Semitic dialect that developed into a language, and according to existing evidence from Ras Shamrah (the ancient city of Ugarit) on the coast of northern Syria, there are alphabetic inscriptions that are dated to 1400 BC, but scholars believe was spoken since 2000 BC. It is worth noting that Ras Shamrah, is along the routes that can be taken to journey from Haran to southern Canaan where Abraham settled. This opinion would tie in with the theory that the “Hebrews” were part of a wave of Semitic invaders that conquered and settled in Egypt, known to history as the “Hyksos”. The reason for the Hyksos settling along the Nile, seems to correspond with Scripture’s citation that there was a great famine brought about by drought, as indicated when Jacob sends his sons to go to Egypt to buy grain. Thus the question needs to be asked as to when exactly Abraham lived and departed from his homeland, leaving behind various kinsmen all along his journey to the Promised Land. By doing this we could then establish a link between him and the Hebrew language. This then raises the question as to whether Abraham’s forefathers up to Eber spoke Hebrew. However the other theory regarding the Semitic spoken by the Hyksos, who were overthrown and enslaved by the newly independent Egyptians, began developing their dialect into a specific language that is known as Hebrew.

[4] I can recall to memory a speech given by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew where he expressed a thought which has remained ingrained within my memory, and that thought was that: “To wage war in the name of religion and faith, is a war against religion and faith”. Strong but true words!

[5] For as it is written: “Judge not, lest you be judged, because with that measure that you apply to others, it shall be applied to you”.

[6] This is the same sort of point raised within Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, while the Epistle of James in the New Testament comments on this thought as the work of our own formation of perfection leading towards sanctification which inevitably means salvation.

[7] This is what the Tower Builders sought to do.

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