A Preliminary Note
Most Ancient Days -- Preface
Chapter 1 -- The Number of the Years: chronology from Adam to Saul
Chapter 2 -- The Age of Evil Imagining: the Confusion and Scatter at Babel
Chapter 3 -- The Generations of the Sons of Noah: the Tabel of Nations
Chapter 4 -- Cities of the Twin Rivers: Shinar from Babel to Sodom
Chapter 5 -- Profane Fables: Egyptian historiagraphy and the standard paradigm
Chapter 6 -- Kings of the Nile: Egypt from Babel to Sodom

Chapter 7 -- Stones of Sumer: Jemdet Nasr and "Early Dynastic"

Chapter 8 -- Sands of Egypt: Dyanasty XIIa & IIa

Chapters 9 & 10 (The Age of Base Metal: The Middle Bronze Age) -- Expanded and presented here.

Chapter 11 -- Joseph Over the House of Pharaoh: Egypt in the 18th century

Chapter 12 -- The Pharaoh Who Knew Not Joseph: The Old Kingdom to the Exodus

Chapter 13 -- Moses Prince of Egypt: Dynasty XIII and the "First Intermediate Period"

Chapter 14 -- Into the Hands of the Living God: the Ten Plagues of Egypt

Chapter 2 -- The Age of Evil Imagining: the Confusion and Scattering at Babel

Chapter 2

The Age of Evil Imagining:

the Confusion and Scattering at Babel

And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in His heart, 'I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.'

— Gen 9:20-21

History begins after the Flood. We have in the Bible the single accurate source of the events which transpired from Adam until Noah, but in terms of such corroborating sources as arche­ology or secular documents, it is only after the Flood that the voices of other witnesses can be heard. With a few obscure exceptions, no human artifact survived the Flood. No city, no structure, no writing, no stone tool or cave painting — in fact, no cave — nothing was preserved through that upheaval. The technical details which support this assertion may be found in The Pillars of Heaven. The necessary conclusion is that all the artifacts of archeology which are called paleo-, meso- or neo-lithic, were in fact produced by the descendants of Noah, at the same time that the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt were emerging.

Writing does not appear in the archeological record until some 400 years after the Flood, and the Confusion and scattering at Babel occurred just about midway through these centuries. In terms of secular testimony, the only direct voice to be heard for nearly half a millennium is that of archeology, with a dis­tant echo heard in the legends, myths and epics which were writ­ten down long afterwards. Thus, there are two lines of evi­dence. I have dealt with the distorted memory of legend in my book, The Serpent in Babel. In this chapter, we will exchange legend for testimony, looking at this immediate post-Flood age from a biblical perspective.

After the Flood, the human population grew for several generations, and then exploded. After wars, more boys are born than girls, evidently to maintain some sort of overall balance. We can take this as an ‛instinctive’ mechanism to ensure ideal population require­ments. Evidently when this instinct was designed, menopause was not a concern. By analogy, we may assume that given a depleted human population, more females would be born, since they are the limiting factor.

If this was so, the annual birthrate of girls, to women who remained fertile for a century and more, would easily overpopu­late an area in mere decades. For example, assuming that 2 girls were born to a couple every 3 years, and that these start­ed bearing children at age 16 or so, the population would increase more than 12-fold every 18 years. Starting only with the sur­vi­vors of the Flood, in just over 30 years more than 400 females would have been born, and in less than a hundred years, over a million would be alive. Obviously, the spread of human­ity, like that of the animal kinds, was a foregone conclusion.

Rather than the slow migration out of Africa of Evolving populations, humans diffused from the locus of Ararat, landing place of the Ark of Noah. The Bible tells us that the Ark settled in the mountains of Ararat (in Armenia); the precise mountain is well-attested to by enduring tradition. At the base of the mountain was once found the village of Arghuri, meaning "He planted a vine"; it is supposed to have been that very first settlement where Noah planted a vine and became inebriated.

There are stories about Noah and his mythic counterparts which seek to explain the terse account of his drunkenness. Some mythologists assume that the castration of Uranus by his son mirrors the crime of Ham (Cronus). If this is so, then the Bible elects to remain silent. For my part, I find this explanation unlikely, although given the evil and perversion of Ham and the pre-Flood world, it is not too far-fetched that such a crime should be a rite. It is surely through Ham that paganism was re-intro­duced into the post-Flood world, as we may deduce from the apostasy of his descendants Cush and Nimrod. Along these same lines, it has also been noted that, just as Shem was identified as Melchizedek by the ancient rabbis, Ham has been identified as the contemporary Bela, king of Sodom. We know what the most obvious sin of the Sodomites was, and if Ham was their king, we might gain some insight as to the perversions of the pre-Flood race. It was for such sins as this that both Sodom, and the entire world, were once destroyed, by fire and by Flood.

The district below the mountain of the Ark was called Thaminin — meaning "eight", after the eight survivors of the Flood. A city of the same name was also called Naxuana, claimed by the Armenians to be the most ancient place in the world. This city is modern Nakitchevan on the Araxes, 35 miles SE of Ararat; its name connotes "the place of descent or lodging", and it is claimed that Noah's tomb is located here. Nearby, the ancient town of Marand . . . is said to be called after the wife of Noah, who there died and was buried . . .” Moses Chorenensis, the 5th century ad historian of Armenia, relates how the sons of Noah lived in Seron, or "the Place of Dispersion".

Hardwicke Knight, New Zealand archeologist, stated that the Jebal Djudi — the Deluge Moun­tains, near the Tigris River — held the pass over which the migrating descendants of Noah must have crossed to come into the land where, according to recently un­earthed Mari tablets, cities were founded by Noah's descendants by the names given in Genesis 11:10-26. It is possible therefore that the sons of Noah carried with them a portion of the Ark and that this served them as a holy meeting place of the elders, and that they eventually abandoned it at Jebal Djudi”, thus explain­ing the Moslem tradition that this was the site of the landing. One venerable scholar of mythology concluded that a very large part of heathen mythology originated from the history of the deluge: and numerous were the rites of Paganism, which were instituted in commemoration of that awful event.” So it is expected that many cultures should claim for themselves the relics of the Flood patriarch.

Migration tends to follow rivers. The streams and under­ground rivers of the Ararat region form the headwaters of the mighty Euphrates, which watered the roots of the post-Flood civiliza­tion in the land of Shinar — so it is not surprising that the valleys and plains of Mesopotamia should have become the prime area of settlement. But Shinar need not have been the sole place of early settlement. A careful reading of Gen 11:1-9 tells us that the early descendants of Noah all spoke the same language, and moved into Mesopotamia, but we are not told that they all remained there until the confusion at the Tower.

It would be most unlikely if, during the more than two centuries between the landing of the Ark and the scattering at Babel, no band of hardy fellows went out to roam the distant mountains or follow the streams and coasts. Such pioneers would have left a few of the primal, virgin soil settlements which archeology sometimes uncovers. It is my con­sidered opinion, however, that such earliest "Stone Age" bands would be represented only to an insignificant degree in the archeologi­cal record.

Although Noah was alive for 350 years after the Flood, it seems that he was not a constant presence in Mesopotamia when the language of mankind was divided. In fact, after the crime of Ham, Noah is never heard from again — but we can be assured that he did not just retire to an old-folks home.

I have dealt with the mythology of this era in The Serpent in Babel, but with regard to the apparent disappearance of Noah, we might find a clue in the myths of the Persians and the Indians. The Flood patriarch was called Yima by the Persians, and is remembered as an idolater who was sawn in two. In contrast to this, the Indian counterpart was the Yama of the Rig Veda — a hero and repulser of an incestuous sister.

Now, while neither of these can be a literal reference to Noah, we might rational­ize these tales by supposing that after the upheaval at Babel, Noah emerged from his retreat — perhaps yet at the base of Ararat — and for one final time piloted some segment of his offspring to a new land. The newly-formed language group which we know as Indo-European is represented by the Persians and the Indians. If we take the myths of Yima/ Yama seriously, then Noah may have continued on with the Indians, further east than the Persians, into the land of the Dravidians, who would have emigrated immediate­ly after the Confusion. As to why the Persians were split off, we might imagine some rebellion, political or religious.

Be that as it may, if Noah found the morals of his descendants too disgusting, and if he hoped to establish a godly community to the east, then his hope was sorely disappointed, given that of all lands, India is the most openly pagan, to this very day. But it is reasonable to expect those whom Noah guided to remember him favorably, while those he left might have a harsher opinions of him. For whatever reason, his being sawn in two may symbolize his division of the Aryan people. However, the division of the Aryans seems to have occurred much later, in which case Noah is not relevant. But again, it may be that the division was early, after which the migrants were static for nearly a millennium.


In Dragons in the Earth I explore the diffusion and diversi­fication of the animal kingdom — specifically those on the Ark. But mankind also originated at Ararat. All the human variety (the phenotype) which shows itself to our eyes, was contained (in the genotype) by the eight indi­viduals on the Ark. There is nowhere in the modern human gene pool any trait which was not potential in the family of Noah.

To pretend that we can identify each modern ‛race’ with one of the sons of Noah over-extends the evidence — if for no other reason, then because it ignores the wives. For example, some have said that Ham was dark-skinned, because the Cushites, the Ethiopians, were descended from him. While it is certainly possible that Noah could have had three sons each of a different racial type, I think a far easier explanation is that Ham had a dark-skinned wife, whose type arose during the millennium and a half between the Fall and the Flood. Thus, no existing race is likely to have been the "original" race — all represent innova­tion, a reshuffling of potentials and character­istics. These became manifest and established as a response to environmental condi­tions and inbreeding — prior to which, racial extremes would have appeared only rarely.

The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth, and among the most evil, and surely the stupidest of such imaginings, are those of the racist. When racists seek to make a "religious" argument to support their evil imagining, we know with certainty that they are listening to their ignorant and corrupt hearts rather than to the word of God. And I have watched, amazed, the "Afro-centrists", who recite their creation myths of "the origi­nal man". Did we not meet on the field of battle a similar dogma, fulminated by Hitler? Have we not read of burnt churches, torched by similar racists, of the Klan? Every­where, evil imag­inings. And even if we give our differences more significance than they merit, those of us who know Jesus must be cor­rected, since (Gal 3:26-28) you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female — for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Before the Flood there was no rigorous cultural isolation or environmental selec­tors. Neither rickets nor skin cancer would eliminate either dark or light skin, and the genet­ic range would have been distributed in a statistically predict­able manner, with light and dark extremes, but with the majority clustered around the middle. Only after the events at Babel did linguistic and regional isolation, and environmental selectors, accelerate the appear­ance of the family traits which we take to be racial extremes. When the unity of mankind was shattered at Babel, inbreeding and environment conspired to accentuate physi­cal differences. In Idols of the Cave, my book dealing with the arguments of Evol­utionism, I discuss natural selection and ‛spe­ciation’, which tend to increase differences — this is how the so-called human races have come about.

Racial types are not the product of random mutations as Evolutionism teaches, but rather they are the outworking of the vast potential of the genetic code. As the population expanded, every characteris­tic of every "race" could have been mani­fested. But for all the movement toward differentiation, there is always a tendency toward a regression to the mean — that is, no matter how extreme we may become, statistically we move toward the average. In other words, mutants make poor mates, and generally represent a dead-end.

In terms of environment, it seems most reasonable to sup­pose that Adam's — or Noah's — skin-color was middle-brown, something like a native American. Not only is middle-brown a happy compromise, but more relevant is the fact that the moist pre-Flood world is most analogous to our tropical rain for­ests, where we find mid-brown to be the most common skin color. Light or dark skin is selected by the environment, because of its relationship to, for example, sunlight. Bright sun selects dark skin, which is a protection against skin cancer. Less sunlight selects lighter skin, which is more efficient at synthesizing vitamin D. Thicker skin is a protection against sunlight, and gives Asian coloration its particular hue.

Understand, in terms of actual differences, the dissimilar­ity between the most unlike human "races" is less than that between, for example, any two given breeds of dog. We look at the shape of a nose or the texture of hair or the apparent amount of melanin in the skin, and think this is somehow geneti­cally significant. But it is merely a matter of recessive genes. It is not a special gene that says have blue eyes. Rath­er, the relevant gene of dark-eyed people says put melanin in the retina, whereas that gene in blue-eyed people is simply silent on the matter. Skin color is controlled by more than just one gene, but to keep it simple, from AaBb parents, we can derive a full spectrum, of "black", dark and light brown, and "white" children.

In actuality, there is no race the norms of which are not found as the extremes of some other race. The darkest Caucasoid is the same color as the lightest Negroid. Many tribes of Aus­tralian Aborigines have blond children. Both Asian and Europe­an eyelids have lipose, but Asians have more. Most Asians have fairly short and broad noses, but some have not-so-short and not-so-broad noses; and while Caucasians tend to have long, narrow noses, some have not-so-long and not-so-narrow noses. These "not-so" noses represent the common ground between the "races".

The upshot of all this is that every race is a response to inbreeding and natural selection, which are not creative, but rather editorial processes: genes are selected from the vast menu of possibilities. The deep chests of natives of the Andes, the dark skin of equatorial races and the light skin of the northern European, the shape of a nose or an eye, the length or thickness of bones: all of these were part of the original gene pool of the eight individuals on the Ark of Noah. I will discuss the specifics of race later.

the tower

Mankind journeyed east from Ararat, and settled in Shinar, which is Mesopotamia (Gen 11:2). When the host of mankind settled upon the fields of Shinar, the first historian of that time was Shem, author of Gen 10:2 to 11:9. Here, along with the Table of Nations, Shem records two events of major historical importance. The first is the empire-building of Nimrod, which we will discuss in Chapter 4. But Shem also speaks of the Tower of Babel (11:4), that most primal of ziggurats.

The building of this astrological tower was undertaken prior to Nimrod's conquests. Perhaps even before the Confusion, towns constructed raised platforms for their shrines. After the attempt at Babel to build a mountain, the Sumerians did not repent, but continued to build such ‛hills’, as at Uruk, where the temple mount was 40 feet high. Eventually, ziggurats came once more to be built, peopled as they were with both male and female prostitutes.

Shem has given us very few details about the Tower, but I have used pagan sources to reconstruct many of the events asso­ciated with it. From the Bible, it is impossible to refine the date of the Confusion at Babel more precisely than within a few hundred years — within the lifetime of Peleg — so I have adopted the pagan dating. Specifical­ly, the Roman historian Vellius Paterculus (c. 18 bc-31 ad) quotes an even more ancient Roman historian, Aemilius Sura, telling us that, from the time when Rome van­quish­ed king Philip of Macedonia in 197 bc, until the beginning of the reign of Ninus [Nimrod] king of the Assyrians, who was the first to hold world power, lies an interval of 1995 years.” This tells us that Nimrod started his reign in 2192 bc, the date we take as the year of the Confusion.

The Jews have a number of legends of their own, touching on the Tower. It may be that various rabbis were distraught at the lack of information, and sought to correct the shortcoming by inventing details — or it may be that genuine history was remem­bered by secular records. Be that as it may, we are told that 600,000 men were recruited in the building of the Tower; the Talmud says the building of it took 42 years, and the less reli­able Creation Epic of Babylon states that it took two years.

According to Herodotus, the latter ziggurat of Babylon had 58 million bricks, eight mas­sive ‛steps’, with a height of 288 feet. He adds that it housed, in various forms, a total of 23,700 kilograms of pure gold. While this later temple was not that of Cush and Nimrod, yet it gives us some idea as to the extravagance of the pagans.

At Babel, God allowed men's rebellion to overflow from their hearts, and then He confounded their language, and scattered them abroad. This is literally all we are told. The name of the city means "Confusion," but this has been reinterpreted to read Babilla or Bab-ilu, "the Gate of God". No doubt this is the name the ungodly chose.

We may deduce that the purpose of the judgement was not to end paganism entirely, but rather to prevent a universal false-religion. No mere scat­tering, no mere cata­clysm, no mere miracle will ever be enough to redeem corrupt hearts. We are told exactly this in Lk 16:31, where, if Moses and the prophets were not enough, then neither would the rising of the dead be enough. Indeed, the coming to life of the dead was not enough to revive Jerusalem (Mt 27:52-53), and the resurrection of Jesus was not enough to convince the Pharisees. Even the pagans let us know that there was no univer­sal repentance and rival after the Babel fiasco: Hestiaeus says that after the cataclysm, Such of the priests as were saved [from death], took the sacred vessels of Jupiter Enyalius, and came to Shinar of Babylonia” — to set up yet another temple.

There is a world-wide memory of the confounding of tongues. Although the details have often been shaped by local custom, the outline is clear. For example, the Toltecs recall how their ancestors had escaped the Flood in a closed chest, and later sought to avoid a similar disaster by building a tower to heaven, only to have their language confounded and their people scattered throughout the world. Seven pairs of Toltecs passed over great expanses of land, crossed seas, camped in caves. They arrived at their new meso-American homeland "520 years after the Flood", or 296 years after the Babel cataclysm — that is, in 1898 bc.

Similar to this, the Indians of Lake Tahoe claim that once they were rich and powerful, but enemies caused a great wave to flood the world; the few survivors were enslaved and forced to build a high temple, so that the taskmasters could survive any future flood. It seems that the Toltecs counted themselves masters in this construc­tion, and the Tahoe Indians remembered themselves as slaves. Be that as it may, both groups note a detail which Josephus also records: one reason the Tower was erected was to offer a refuge in case of another flood — not of the Flood's magnitude, of course, but rather one of the many Ice Age floods which periodically devastated the lowlands.

The Gherko Karens, who live in Burma, relate that they became separated from the Red Karens in the thirteenth generation after Adam, when the people decided to build a pagoda up to heaven but were frustrated in that design by the wrath of God who came down, confound­ed their tongue, and caused one group to separated from the rest.” The 13th generation after Adam is exactly that of Nimrod. Although "Adam" is most probably not the name used by the Karens, the idea of his being the first man identi­fies him. Again, the Mikirs of Assam (the mountains north­east of the mouth of the Ganges) have a similar memory, in which the powerful sons of Ram, tired of the mastery of earth, tried to conquer heaven by building a tower up to it, only to have their speech confounded and to be scattered to the corners of the earth.

The natives of the Polynesian island of Tuamotu say that God sent a flood to punish mankind, saving only the pious Rata, whose descendants later constructed a temple which would allow them to see God face to face. Alas, God was frowning, and He destroyed the Tower and confused and scattered mankind.

When the language of man had been confused (Gen 11:8), men left off to build the city.” It is instructive to notice that the violent nature of the Babel cataclysm is not mentioned in Genesis, but it is emphasized by non-biblical sources (some of the details of which might even have the virtue of being true). Thus, the rabbinical Book of Jasher says: as to the tower which the sons of men built, the earth opened its mouth and swal­lowed up one third part thereof, and a fire also descended from the heaven and burned another third, and the third is left to this day . . .” Similar testimony is found in the Book of Jubilees: And the Lord sent a mighty wind against the tower and overthrew it upon the earth . . .” This is echoed in the pagan record of the Sibylline Oracles: The Sibyl also makes mention of this tower, and of the confusion of the languages, when she says thus: — 'the gods sent storms of wind and overthrew the tower, and gave every one his peculiar language . . .'

The celestial nature of the cataclysm at Babel is remem­bered even by the aborigines of Encounter Bay, South Austra­lia. They say that an ill-tempered old woman used to scat­ter fire from a big stick while people slept. At her death, the peoples assembled to celebrate with a cannibal banquet — and as each tribe ate the flesh, they began to speak different languages. As for the cannibalism, this is a folk-prac­tice of many races, and was a rite of the Canaanites, for example — so we should not be surprised that it was practiced by the pagans at Babel. But with regard to the catastrophe, a comet might be described as an angry old woman, and its tail as a "big stick which scatters fire" — especially at night, while people sleep. The Celtic image of a witch-on-a-broomstick is similarly derived. Again, when the Maidu Indians said that after the Confusion a sage appointed the times for their dances and fes­tivals”, it may be that the calendar was in need of reform, because Earth's rotation had been affected.

A final curiosity is that a particular sound — "yahoo" — seems associated in some myths with the physical upheaval which accompanied the confusion of tongues. For example, in a myth of the Snohmish Indians, the Creator began his work to the east, and gave each successive people their own language:

When he reached Puget Sound, he liked it so well that he decided to go no further. But he had many langua­ges left, so he scattered them all around Puget Sound and to the north.

. . .The sky was so low that the tall people bumped their heads against it. Some­times people would do what was forbidden by climbing up high in the trees and, learning their own words, enter the Sky World. Finally the wise men of all the different tribes had a meeting to see what they could do about lifting the sky. They agreed that the people should get together and try to push it up higher.

. . .'When the time comes for us to push, when we have everything ready, let someone shout "Ya-hoh." That means "Lift together!" in all our languages.' . . .They kept on shouting 'Ya-hoh' and pushing until the sky was in the place where it is now.

The story adds that the stars of the Big Dipper appeared at this time.

In this "Ya-hoh" tale we find the creation of languages, the attempt to invade the heavens (associat­ed with the large-scale coopera­tion of all mankind), and the memory of some dramatic change in the appearance of the sky (via the shifting of Earth's axis, which moved the position of the Big Dipper) which fits a cata­strophic version of the Tower of Babel event.

Again, in Indonesia oaths were sealed with the shooting of an arrow into the sky, with a shout of "ju-ju huwe". The arrows may commemorate the comets, the "fire which de­scended from heaven". Again, the Mexican god of war and tumult was Yao, or Yaotl.

What is the significance of this "yahoo"? I do not know. But it may be that this sound, remembered throughout the world and associated with the catastrophic motions of the heavens, was produced by some natural phenomenon, and reproduced as the onomatope (by onomatopoeia) "yahoo". Or it may be that "yahoo" represents a primal word or name, the meaning of which has been lost, and only a tragic association recalled. But what seems clear is that the word was once common not only to the same time, but to the same place: Babel at the time of the Confounding.


Aside from any physical upheaval, the primary effects of the judgment at Babel were upon language and migration. We might well wonder as to the mechanisms of the miracle which created so many languages where there had been only one. Of course, Adam in the day he was created underwent an analogous process, where a language was simply placed into his brain. We might think of a computer program, already written, and activated as soon as the computer is switched on: when Adam awoke, the ‛program’ was ready to run. The analogy breaks down when we recall that at Babel the program to be re-written was already running.

Whatever the method, it is beyond question but that God performed the miracle. And when we think about it, this miracle is comprehensible, and far simpler than, say, gravity, or time, or quarks, or some-such. The confounding of tongues boils down to a transformation of thought and conception, entailing a change in four aspects of language: pronunciation (tonality, phonemes, etc.), vocabulary, syntax (order and organization) and grammar. Is any of this beyond God's ability? Obviously not.

How many languages did God create? Unknowable. But Hebrew tradition maintains that humanity was divided into seventy nations, which may mean seventy languages. Such primal tongues would be root languages, from which, over the centuries and millennia, the various debased dialects evolved. For example, there is much speculation about the original Indo-European tongue — from which Sanskrit and Greek and Latin and Teutonic all sup­posedly derived. From Latin, in turn, we know the Romance lan­guages developed: Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Ruma­nian. From the Teutonic parent, we have Norwegian, Danish, German and so on — even English, for the most part. Like­wise, of the hundreds of American Indian tribes, it seems that fewer than 7 language stocks existed — perhaps as few as three; from these, all the purely American dialects grew.

But to conclude from such later examples that there was, say, a single Indo-European tongue, seems quite unwarranted — especially given a biblical paradigm. I think far more likely is that, as with the biological ‛kinds’, God created the languag­es with a ‛blue­print’, but with design features mixed and overlap­ping as it suited Him. Just as there are fish with lungs and mammals which lay eggs, so there are languages which have "anoma­lous" elements, which to the undiscerning scholar must seem to indicate a genetic relationship. Those features which identify "Indo-European" languages may not be diagnostic at all — any more than live-birth is diagnostic of mammals. In other words, Evol­utionism describes the reality of linguistics no more than of biology.

I have wondered about the families of Babel: did God sepa­rate husbands from their wives, and children from their parents? While we are not explicitly told the facts, we may readily deduce them. God honors legitimate marriage, and would not be the agent of its destruction. Tangential to this, we note that the Jews were enjoined against taking foreign wives (Ezra 10:10, Neh 13:27) — and while this no doubt means primarily "pagan" wives, the foreignness cannot be dismissed. Even the myth of the Maidu Indians states that each husband and wife talked the same language.” God judges mankind through its nations, and He bless­es mankind through its families. This principle should be suffi­cient to justify the unity of the family, even at Babel.

But since all of mankind was a single "family", where did the Confusion occur — at what level? It appears that Noah's descendants were confounded from the second to the fourth genera­tions (indeed, the Table of Nations only extends to the fourth generation, save for the "Hebrew" sons of Eber). The fifth generation — of Peleg, the patriarch in whose day the division occurred (Gen 10:25) — was affected only through its fathers.

My analysis of the Table of Nations suggests that of the three sons of Noah, Shem was not affected by the Confusion, and Ham and Japheth probably were. I say this, first, on logical grounds: the innocent are not judged by selective curses, but only by general judgement. The Confounding befell mankind as an assurance against the instituting of a universal false religion, and if some family was not involved in the gener­al apostasy, then it would not be subjected to such a specific curse.

As for the sons of Shem — Ashur, Aram and Arphaxad — all spoke closely related Semitic dialects (Assyrian, Aramaic and Chaldean, respectively). Semitic languages also include Akkadian, Amoritic and Arabic, as well as Hebrew. Given that the sons spoke languages which were essential­ly the same — in fact, dif­ferent most likely only because of the passage of time — then they would have spoken the language of their father Shem, who would have spoken the Adamic language of his father Noah. And so the language of Eden was "Semitic". This is not to say that Adam spoke Hebrew, any more than Caesar spoke Italian, or than I speak Anglo-Saxon.

And what was the character of the ‛Adamic’ tongue? Without getting mystical, it is pleasing to suppose that just as genetic perfection was lost at the Fall in Eden, so was linguistic per­fection lost in the Confusion at Babel. The language which was designed by God for a humanity perfect in intellect and intimacy, would itself have been perfect, in precision, and vibrance, and resonance, and nuance. Again — now getting mystical — I suggest that just as the body of the Resurrection is perfect (not only genetically, but in its domination by spir­it, like the pre-Fall body of Adam), so will the streets of New Jerusalem echo with the restored language of Eden.

There is an anomaly to be addressed, however. You will read in standard sources that "Canaanite" is "proto-Hebrew". Canaan was a son of Ham, and might be expected to speak a Hamitic rather than a Shemitic language. Confusion on this matter is based on a gravely erroneous conception of the Middle Bronze IIB (1561-1050/ ‼1800-1550) and Late Bronze (1050-720/ ‼1550-1200) cultures of Palestine. These archeological labels describe real entities, but are wrongly assigned to the Canaan­ites, rather than to the correct people, the Hebrews. Precise­ly everything which you will read about the "Canaanites" is incorrect, in that this label actually describes the post-Exodus and Kingdom periods dominated by Israel. What we know about the Canaanites has been polluted by a faulty understanding of chro­nology.

But even by my reconstruction, the Canaanites seem to have spoken a Semitic dialect from very early on — and the Amorites, descendants of Canaan, certainly did. Why did these sons of Ham not speak a Hamitic language? It is a partial fulfill­ment of the curse upon Ham by Noah, who said that Canaan would be a ser­vant (Gen 9:25). Part of this servitude, it emerges, was linguis­tic.

When Noah pronounced his curse on the offender's child, it was because Noah knew the corrupt nature of Ham, the boy's role model. It is not for nothing that the biblical proverbs stress so strongly the importance of raising children properly, and of providing guidance. Of course it was prophecy, calling up the judgement of 200 years hence in the shadows of Babel, but it was common sense too, which said that the line of Canaan would be the servant of servants. If Ham so little respected his father, how much less would Canaan respect Ham? Ham, by his bad character, cursed his line through the generations.

This is relevant, beyond its own inherent interest, in the fact that Canaan spoke a Semitic rather than a Hamitic language. We know that some of Canaan's sons spoke other languages, as in the case of Heth, parent of the true Hittites. But Canaan him­self apparently served in the tent of his peer Arphaxad (the Semite) — and so lost to some degree his own language, newly acquired at Babel. Thus, if "Canaan­ite" truly is older than Hebrew, it is because Arphaxad was older than Eber. Moreover, Canaan's son "Amore" (if this be the pa­triarch of the Amorites) dwelt in the tents of his peer Shelah, who was father of Eber and the Hebrews. And the Amorites seem always to have spoken Semitic — that is, "Shelachic" — in whose tent the Amorites served. Noah's curse, then, took into account the character of the parent, and referred to the consequence. It was not a curse so much as a statement of cause and effect, which manifested itself linguistically.

Now let's discuss race and language a bit more specifically. This will not be an exhaus­tive survey, of course, for practical reasons of space and relevance, but we will get an idea of the complexity and ambiguity of the concept of race.

/ European:

Alpine: brachycephalitic ("round-headed", viewed from top), moderate stature, brunette complexion.

Mediterranean: Iberian (related to Mauritanian and N African peoples); in the Caucasus, ancestors of modern Kartvelians or Georgians); Ligurarian, Pelasgian, Egypto-Hamitic; medium/ short stature, dark complexion, slender, dolichoce­phalic ("long-headed", from top), dark complexion.

Teutonic: Tall, long head, oval face, blue eyes, blond, narrow prominent nose.

In terms of language, we have looked the Japhetic or European tongues already. As for the Semitic tongues, these are the least diversified of all the great linguistic families, and are divided as follows:

Eastern: Akkadian, Assyrian, Chaldean;

Northern: Amoritic, Eastern Aramaic (Babylonian, Syraic, Modern Aramaic), Western Aramaic (Palestinian, Samaritan, Palmyrene, Nabataean);

Western: "Canaanitic", Phoenician (Punic), Hebrew;

Southern: Arabic (Northern and Southern), Ethiopic (Abyssinian — also "Hamitic").

"Hamitic" (also Caucasian): tall stature, dark-olive, bronze or black skin, wavy hair, oval face, "well-formed" features, aquiline nose.

­ —North African: Libyan (Numidian, Mauritanian, Gaetulian, etc), known only in inscriptions; Berber (Kabyle, Shilha, Zenaga, Tamashek);

­ —Berber: N Sahara,sometimes blond; Canary Island: Guanches, extinct since 1600's; Vestiges of their language suggest relationship with the Berbers. Physically, also, they bore resemblance to the Cro-Magnon type.

Sudan: Fulah, Turaregs, Tibbu; ancient Egyptians (Copts); Ethiopia (also Semitic): Gallas, Somalis.

Hamitic is a description more of language than of race, and this family is inflec­tional, agglutative, with an affinity to Semitic.


­ —Negroid: relatively tall stature, extreme dolichocephaly, convex forehead, progna­thous jaws, large teeth, flat broad nose, everted lips, "woolly" hair, very dark complexion; native to Africa between Congo and Sahara.

Bantu: equatorial and southern Africa. Language agglutative, most archaic form is Zulu and region around central Congo and the great lakes.

Bushmen: short, yellowish complexion, flat triangular face.

­ —Hottentot: southern Africa, excessively dolichocephalic, yellowish-brown complexion, high cheek bones and pointed chin = triangular face; language related to Bushman and Bantu; aggluta­tive, "remarkable" phonetic and grammati­cal character, clicks of Bushman, tones of Indo-Chinese.

Pygmy: Negroid features, very short stature, no native language.


Coarse straight black hair; scant beard; broad, flat face; short, broad nose; prominent cheek bones; epicanthic fold; short stature, almost always brachyce­phalic (round). Languages: Indo-Chinese, Ural-Altic, Japanese and allies.

Chinese: longer and higher cranium than other Mongolians, sometimes approaching dolicho­cephaly (long).

As for language, a discussion of the many Asian tongues is outside our focus. But, for example, Chinese is monosyllabic, compounding, isolating and tonal; no dialect has more than a 1000 syllables, and Pekingese has only 420.

brain damage

As a result of the implanting of a new language into the brain, memory was affected — damaged — and writing eventually became a requirement. I hope not to over-extend the evidence in support of this idea, by pointing once more to a myth of the Maidu Indians, who say that once when the people were having a burning, and everything was ready for the next day, suddenly in the night everybody began to speak in a different tongue . . .” A certain man was given the ability to understand all the new tongues, and he gathered the befuddled families together and showed them how to cook and to hunt, gave them laws, and appointed the times for their dances and festi­vals.” Like­wise, the Wa-Sania of Kenya ("British East Africa") recount that during a famine, everyone went mad, and started to babble and wander away.

Why did these people not already know such basic cultural skills? Why were they called "mad"? We may assume that in many cases, people had been made as children. Some portion of mankind was not just altered at Babel, but damaged. These unfortunates had low intelli­gence, which when combined with the scattering (when they were cast out from the land they knew), and with their loss of skills, and with their ignorance as to proper diet, resulted in the "primitive" and "malformed" races which we find in the archeological and fossil record. Thus we note the ‛primi­tive’ skills of certain "stone age" peoples, such as the Neander­thals with their simple tools and crude hunting techniques. Job calls the ancestors of the cave men "fools" (Job 30:8), and while this may indicate a moral state, it resulted in an intellectual state.

This simple assumption goes a long way to explain how new cultures, seemingly unrelated to those of Mesopotamia, just appear out of nowhere in the archeological record. This is, of course, fundamen­tally a metaphysical explanation, but that does not mean it is disreputa­ble. Understand, I am not here pre­sent­ing a rigorous argument on this point, because I have made the case already in Idols of the Cave, and will address it again in detail, in my treatment of the "Stone Age".


Just as the Exodus occurred in the days of Moses, fifth from Israel, so the Confu­sion occurred in the days of Peleg (Gen 10:25), fifth from Noah. But aside from sym­metry, for what substantive reason does the Table of Nations stop at Peleg? — when Gen 11:10-32 reprises part of the genealogy in the previous chapter, and continues Shem's line to Abram. Well, Shem is telling specifi­cally of the situation at Babel, and the genealogy stops with Peleg, because "in his days was the earth divided . . .

The word ‛divided’ has been much debated. It is a pun on Peleg's name, which means "split" or "divide". From this is derived ‛channel’ and ‛canal’, and some scholars have sup­posed that the event commemorated by this verse was the institut­ing of large-scale irrigation. This is not an unreason­able inter­pretation, given that a form of the word describes flowing, channeled waters or rivers (cf. Job 29:6, Ps 1:3, Is 32:2). The forming of political divisions has also been proposed. But it is context which must resolve controversy, and here the context is of the Tower.

Others, more imaginative, have found "continental drift" here. This, however, is to read too much into the passages, especially when we consider that something as literally earth­shaking as the noticeable movement of continents could not have tran­spired effectively unnoticed in the pagan sources with which we could correlate this verse. The events which formed the mid-oceanic ridges can hardly be contained in this brief verse. In any case, the geological evidence does not allow such an interpreta­tion. If we reject the uni­form­i­­­­tarian dogma that "drift" occurred over millions of years — which we certainly must do, when we contemplate the matter — we are left with a rapid catastrophe. Indeed, as I demon­strate in The Pil­lars of Heaven, it was during the Flood of Noah that such tecton­ic movements occurred.

A passive form of the word "divide" is used in Dan 2:41, where the fourth great kingdom will be divided, as iron and as clay — representing political forms separated by time. The old Roman Empire, of iron, had its common tongue of Latin; the modern European federation, occupying exactly the land of the old Empire, will be brittle, weakened by the multiplicity of lan­gua­ges — unbonded by a common tongue.

Now, just as the "earth" was destroyed by the Flood, the "earth" was divided in Peleg's day — "earth" in Hebrew is eres. We are reading not merely of the ground or planet, but of the land — the ground as it relates to people. In both cases, of Noah and of Peleg, the context is of the judgment of mankind, more than simply upon geology or politics. Again, Peleg's Gen 10:25 speaks of the earth being divided, and Babel's Gen 10:32-11:1 speaks of the nations divided on the earth after the Flood, the whole earth having been one (absolute unity) family, with one language and speech. These two sections, then, are different perspectives of the same event.

The division of the earth, by means of the Confusion and scattering at Babel, is the event which occurred in the days of Peleg. And since the division befell Peleg's genera­tion, he is the last patriarch to be mentioned in this context. Considering that Peleg was age 125 at the time, and himself a great-grand­father, we may understand that Peleg's ‛generation’ was in charge, and not mere hapless victims.

So we conclude our look at the events at Babel, occurring in an essentially illiter­ate age — ignoring any crypto-history, of writings which are unknown to scholar­ship. The only history we have is from the Bible, and the details contained here were trans­mitted orally, from father to son, and also pictograph­ically, by which the events of a story were repre­sented in a sort of cartoon. Only in the days of Shem does writing proper appear in the archeological record, and any "writing" which may have existed prior to this — even if truly developed — is simply unknown. In the next chapter we will look at the history which Shem wrote, in the so-called Table of Nations, by which every race and language may trace its origin, if its memory extends back that far.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jack
Very good report on the flood as explained in the bible. I am a retired engineer and always have questions when the modern day science does not fit the bible stories. I have heard of long lives lived by biblical people. I can not understand how Noah could live for 350 years after the flood. I do know that our calander or time keeping tools have changed. Prior to our 365 day calander, many cultures talked in lunar months. Most scholars indicate the stories in the old testiment started about 5000 BC.
Plato stated that Atlantis sunk about 10,000 BC. My point is, if you take all the dates in the bible that seem to be out of the science explanation window and divide them 12 to assume they were talking in lunar months and not calendar years it would make more sence.
Your report is great and I am not one to challenge it. What little I know about DNA indicates we all are brothers and sisters.
best regards

Jack H said...

Greetings W --

I go into excruciating detail regarding the mechanisms of the pre-Flood world in The Pillars of Heaven, and won't reproduce them here. Enough to say that the atmosphere was significantly different, allowing, say, for the giantism that is impossible under modern conditions.

Plato confused the Pillars of Hercules that we know as Gibraltar, with another, known but more obscure Gates of Hercules in the Aegean. Atlantis was the Minoan civilization -- support for which I have in my notes for The Days of Brass and Iron. The silly circular structure described is an attempt to deal with the caldera of the Minoan cultic island of Thera. The 10,000 years is off by an order of magnitude. Virtually everything that is said about Atlantis is crypto-history, and simply made-up.

The distinction between a month and a year is never to be confused. The language is clear, and to explain away a seeming impossibility by imputing a corruption to the record rather than to modernist suppositions is to disrespect the source material and elevate the biases of secularists beyond their merit.