PART XI: “Linguistic Confusion & Moral Constraints”
All this world was of a singular vocabulary, communicating in but a solitary linguistic idiom (jargon, lingo, locution, lingua franca). Soon, as humanity was roaming about, a plain known as Shinar was found. Many participating in humanity’s migratory shifts took up lodging at Shinar. Conspiring in a mass act of urban planning, Shinar’s inhabitants said: “Our community will burn bricks for construction work, using pitch from natural tar pits for mortar! Build us a city, with a sky-high stronghold, which will show our might to any and all, thus making us famous. This will obstruct any broad diffusion of our population.”
Coming down to assay both city and stronghold built by this human community, God said: “Look what humanity – as a joint community with a solitary vocabulary – can do, acting toward a common goal! Knowing all it can do, will humanity stop to ask what it should do?! I am afraid not. It is up to Us to go down and linguistically to confound humanity, thus frustrating any such hazardous human conspiracy.” (“Us” – a “royal” plural? An idiosyncratic formulation? Or is this plural form to imply a mythic Court which God was consulting?)
God did go down, disbanding that community, its city still not fully built, in favor of of global distribution of human-kind. Thus, that city was known as Babyl (as in “Babylonia) – for God did confound (“balal”) human communication (causing “babbling”) on its account, initiating global human distribution according to linguistic classification: to wit, Baltic, Slavic, Latinian, Indic, Romanic, Scandinavian, Turkic; Zulu, Susu, Tartar, Lithuanian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Panjabi, Polish, Hindustani, Dutch, Coptic, Bulgarian, Arabic, Urdu, Blackfoot, Finnish….
Shaym’s family annals follow: Following his 100th birthday, a son, Arpachshad, was born to Shaym. This was 24 months following Noah’s flood. Following Arpachshad’s birth, Shaym would mark an additional 500 birthdays. To Shaym was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
Arpachshad was 35 and a son, Shalach, was born to him. Following Shalach’s birth, Arpachshad would mark an additional 403 birthdays. To Arpachshad was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
Shalach was 30 and a son, Ibar, was born to him (Ibar: this orthographic variant by way of Saint Ibar, an Irish bishop, circa 450). Following Ibar’s birth, Shalach would mark an additional 403 birthdays (just as his Dad, Arpachshad had following his birth!). To Shalach was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
As a man of 34, a son, Pilag (on this form, cf. Job 38:25), was born to Ibar. Following Pilag’s birth, Ibar would mark an additional 430 birthdays. To Ibar was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
As a man of 30, a son, Riu, was born to Pilag. Following Riu’s birth, Pilag would mark an additional 209 birthdays. To Pilag was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
As a man of 32, a son, Sirug, was born to Riu. Following Sirug’s birth, Riu would mark an additional 207 birthdays (marking 239 in total, as did his Dad, Pilag). To Riu was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
As a man of 30, a son, Nahor, was born to Sirug. Following Nahor’s birth, Sirug would mark an additional 200 birthdays. To Sirug was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
As a man of 29, a son, Tarach, was born to Nahor. Following Tarach’s birth, Nahor would mark an additional 119 birthdays. To Nahor was born a brood of offspring, both boys and girls.
Sons born to Tarach, by that point a man of 70: Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Tarach’s family annals follow. A trio of sons, Abram, Nahor, and Haran, was born to Tarach; to Haran was born Lot. Tarach was still living at his son Haran’s passing, in his Chaldian city of origin: Ur. Abram and Nahor took marital consorts, Abram marrying Sarai, and Nahor marrying Milcah. Milcah’s (also Iscah’s) Dad was Haran. Sarai was unprolific, without child.
Tarach took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and Abaram’s marital consort Sarai out of that Chaldian city of Ur, moving toward Canaan, and taking up lodging in Haran. Tarach had a total of 205 birthdays, finally passing away in Haran.