Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Tower of Babel Youth Bible Study

Brief: God confused people’s language because of their pride, but will lift the curse in Heaven.
(Printable Student Sheet available for Patreon supporters or with a purchase of Created.)
Needed: nothing
Scripture: Genesis 11:1-9, Proverbs 16:18; Acts 2:1-12

Where did we get all the different languages?

Where did we get all the different races of people?

Genesis 11:1: Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.

How many languages were there? (One.)

How did everyone have the same language? We have thousands of different languages today.

Everyone was descended from Adam and Eve and, then, everyone was descended from Noah. It makes sense that everyone spoke the same language. It was the language that Adam and Eve originally used.

Genesis 11:2-4: As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

Why did the people want to build a city and a tower?

They wanted to make a name for themselves. They wanted to be famous. They wanted other people who would live after them to think how great they were for building this awesome city. They were prideful.

Genesis 11:5-7: But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

What did God do to stop the people from building their city?

He made it so that people started speaking different languages from one another.

Genesis 11:8-9: So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babe]—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

When the people started speaking other languages, what happened?

They stopped building the city because they couldn't communicate with each other. They couldn't work together.

"Babel" is Hebrew for "confusion."

Then, they were scattered. Since they couldn't talk to each other, they all moved away from each other. This is how we got the different languages and races. All of a sudden, some people started speaking what would become Chinese, others started speaking what would become Hebrew, others started speaking what would become Greek, others started speaking in early African languages, some people started speaking in proto-Native American languages.

The people who could understand each other moved off together, away from everyone else that they couldn't understand. Eventually, everyone who spoke a certain language ended up in China. Everyone who spoke another language ended up in North and South America. Everyone moved to where they now live.

Because the environments and the climates where all of these different groups of people moved were different, and because they intermarried so much with each other, the various groups began to take on very distinguishing features.

People who moved to China began to look Chinese because of their environment and because of the constant intermarriage between them. People who spoke African languages and moved to Africa began to look African. The environment and the climate were much hotter, and the sunlight was much more direct,  so, over the years and through intermarrying within that one group of people, they began to look darker than everyone else.

So, again, why did God do this to the people who were building the city? (Because of their pride.)

Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Changing their language was a curse that God put on the people because of their pride. God has also, on occasion, taken away this curse.

Acts 2:1-12: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

God allowed people who spoke different languages to understand each other. This is a widespread manifestation of the gift of tongues.

Why do you think God allowed the people to hear the Christians in different languages?

God wanted it to be a sign of the truth of Christianity.

We have to remember that God wants people to work together, but not if they’re going to do it simply to lift themselves up in pride. He wants people to work together under His direction and for His glory.


This miracle in Acts shows us what God will do for us one day. In Heaven and on the New Earth, everyone will be able to understand each other again.

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This lesson is included in my book, Created: Youth Bible Studies on Genesis 1-11 and the Book of Job.
Created: Youth Bible Studies on Genesis 1-11 and the Book of Job: Perfect for Youth Sunday School Lessons by [Wilson, Rev. Stephen R.]
Kindle $3.99, Print $6.99

Find more youth lessons on my Free Youth Ministry Helps page!



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