Genesis Bible Study 6: The Beginning of Language and Race

Reading: Genesis 10-11

Principal Question: Will Noah’s family do any better than Adam’s family did?

Main Point: God will persist until his purpose is accomplished.


The story of Babel describes the beginning of ethnic diversity. Adam’s family divided into 2 groups, Cain’s and Seth’s. Cain’s group overwhelmed Seth’s group so that God rescued Noah from the chaos and violence by means of a flood. Noah’s family produced three main groups, but they remained together for some time. The story of Babel is the story of Cain’s city all over again, but this time communication broke down, and the city could not be built. While in Genesis 3, the snake succeeded in dividing the man and the woman from God and from each other for an evil purpose, in Genesis 11, God divided the races by language for his holy purpose, so that the earth could be filled with a diversity of languages and peoples.


  1. Compare the City of Babel with the City of Cain.
  • Do you think the rulers of Babel used slaves to build their tower?
  • If not, do you know of any significant ancient civilization that did not use slaves?
  • What do you think is God’s opinion of slavery?
  • If you don’t believe God approves of slavery, how would God evaluate the civilizations of Rome, Greece, Egypt, and China, with all their glorious history and art?
  • How would God evaluate the Inca and Mayan civilizations of the pre-Columbian Americas?
  • Do you ever feel like a slave?
  • If so, do you think slavery is really gone from the world?
  1. Today all the languages and peoples of the world are mixing together.
  • How does that make you feel? Excited? Uncomfortable? What else?
  • Do you believe that God is bringing all the peoples of the world together now, or is the mixing of people just an accident?
  • If God is bringing peoples together, what might be God’s purpose?
  1. Is our world today like the cities of Cain and Babel in any significant ways you can think of?

Scriptures Referenced

Genesis 10:1 - 11:32