Bible Catastrophes - The Tower of Babel
- Monday, July 26, 2004
The first age had ended with water, the ancients said, and the second age ended with wind. People called those the age of water and the age of wind. With impaired memory, ancient peoples fearfully watched the skies for signs of a coming night, the end of an age. Many old structures like the Stonehenge in England were for the purpose of studying the stars. Today, many scientists and amateur astronomers have that same fear. They watch the skies for a comet or wayward asteroid. Occasionally they announce a sighting and everybody becomes excited. Will the new comet come close enough to cause damage?
During the scattering from Babel, some people migrated to Egypt. Earlier explorers may have been there already. At this time the rulers wanted something safer than the Babel tower that was intended to survive water but did not survive wind. So they built pyramids that would survive both, as well as quaking earth and fire from heaven. Entrances were high, to be above water. The "great gallery" and two chambers were higher yet. The enormously thick walls could protect from hurricanes, meteorites, and other violence. If one ceiling gave way, four others helped to absorb a shock. Two narrow channels slanting upward provided air circulation. They also provided a view of two standard points in the sky so occupants could observe whether the compass directions had changed—and if the weather had cleared. Beside the Great Pyramid at Giza, a Sphinx sat to guard against danger. It originally had the face of Horus, an early name for their planet-god Jupiter.
In spite of all that precaution, apparently something still went wrong in the pyramids. It could have been electrical discharges from violent cosmic storms, what the ancients called heavenly thunderbolts. The tall pyramids would attract like lightning rods. After the Old Kingdom of Egypt, later pharaohs stopped trying to build refuge shelters.
In many ways this theory of pyramid building fits the features of the pyramids and makes more Biblical sense than other proposals often printed in books. The structures did survive two big floods in Egypt, and they survived Earth convulsions, showing twisting effects from them. They have lasted better than any other structures in history.
But neither the pyramids nor the tower of Babel were as safe as being in the care of God—the true God who is in charge of Earth and skies.
Ideas for Student Follow-Up
- In family devotions or with siblings, read aloud the Bible account of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).
- Can you list any other catastrophes in the Bible?
- Does the Bible mention any upheavals in the future of the Earth? Talk to your parents or pastor about this. (See Revelation 16:18 and 21:1.)
Ruth Beechick is a curriculum specialist who has written many Bible courses and several books and articles on ancient history. An easy-to-read book on the times of Babel is Adam and His Kin. A higher-level book is Genesis: Finding Our Roots She has also written how-to books for homeschooling parents.
This article was originally published in the Jul/Aug '04 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, please visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com.
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