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Tower of Babel: symbol of unfinished business!

25 April 2013, 13:05

In our day, impressive towering structures are going up everywhere. Just last year, the tallest building in the European Union was inaugurated. That building is The Shard in London standing no less than 309.6m high!

Let’s go to where it all started! Gen 10: 8-9: ‘Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord.’ Then verses 10-11: ‘And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen between Nineveh and Calah’

Nimrod certainly did not lack ambition. We see that his establishment would lay the foundation for what would be the first rebellion against God. At the time the whole earth had ‘one language and one speech.’ As they were expanding they found a plain in the land of Shinar. The land of Shinar is in the region of ancient Babylon in Mesopotamia, part of modern Iraq.

In Genesis 9:1 we read: ‘So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’ I would think that if anyone who starts a venture wants to expand. However, we see a new strategy put forward in Gen 11:4: ‘And they said: Come let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad the face of the whole earth.’

In other words, the leadership felt that there was somehow in the commandment – remember God is not the business of suggesting - to fill the earth did not resonate with them. Also, one could understand the need to build a tower but why did it have to be so high? Exactly what were they trying to achieve? Nimrod’s ultimate plan was to unite the world. Is there perhaps a modern day phrase that conveys this objective? How about the phrase: ‘New World Order’?

At this stage we will switch terminology and refer to the tower as a ziggurat. What is a ziggurat? The Free Online Dictionary defines it as: ‘a temple tower of the ancient Assyrians and Babylonians, having a form of a terraced pyramid of successively receding stories.’ In other broad base at the bottom but becoming increasingly smaller the higher you go.  Let’s explore ziggurats further. ‘Ziggurat designs ranged from simple bases upon which a temple sat, to marvels of mathematics and construction which spanned several stories and were topped with a temple. The Mesopotamians believed that these pyramid temples connected heaven and earth. In fact, the ziggurat at Babylon was known as ‘Etemenankia’ which means ‘House of the platform between heaven and earth’

This reveals that the purpose of the ziggurat’s height was not a practical one, say to as a lookout post to spot approaching enemies. Was this an attempt to reach another dimension? The plan was thwarted when the languages were ‘confused’ and as the result the ziggurat was not completed. Nimrod and his imposter ‘grand architect’ failed with that attempt and he will fail again.

Scholars estimate the construction of Nimrod’s ziggurat to have been around 2350 BC. Did this rebellion end there or do we find in our day a rekindling of those initiatives of ancient times?. Pres George Bush (sr) made the following speech on 11 Sep 1990: ‘Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective – a new world order –can emerge: a new era – freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace.’ Eleven years later to the day, 11 Sep 2001, his son also President George Bush (jr) was in charge of a nation who suffered an attack of unprecedented proportions and indeed the ‘troubled times’ his father spoke about were intensified exponentially.

In reality the goal of world unification has not died. There is a dogged persistence and determination to make this a reality. Is it then not interesting that the European Union (Revived Roman Empire) Parliament Building at Brussels, Belgium was designed in the form of an unfinished Tower of Babel? Also a stylized Tower of Babel has been used to advertise the European Union’s goal of human unification under the slogan: ‘Many tongues, one voice.’ The EU Parliament was completed in Dec 1999.

It’s almost like someone is trying to settle a score.

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