I’ve been really looking forward to sharing this book with you. It was next on my list to purchase when I found out New Leaf was making it possible for more bloggers to get review copies. I asked for mine the same day!
If you’ve ever had questions about how the tower of Babel fits into world history, this is the book for you. It answered everything I’d ever wondered (disappointingly, sometimes the answer is “we don’t know”) plus covered a lot more issues I’d never thought of.
Apparently, so many people wonder how to pronounce the word “babel” the book spends a whole chapter talking about it! Mr. Hodge did a great job tying this into the changes in language which began at Babel.
Others wonder whether the tower was ever finished or not. The book discusses not only this but whether it was round (like some European paintings) or square like a ziggurat. It takes the time to cover the purpose of the tower and how high it would have been.
But, don’t worry about the book just dealing with trivial details, most of it is spent talking about more important things. Mr. Hodge isn’t afraid to tackle slightly controversial topics, like whether Nimrod led the rebellion at Babel or if the continents didn’t split until the time of Peleg. This is an area where the book really shines. Mr. Hodge is fair and detailed on why and what each side believes. He isn’t afraid to share what he believes, but you know he would still like you if you disagree with him (which I do on one issue: the timing of Job).
The largest section breaks down the descendents of Noah mentioned in Genesis 10 one by one. It gets rather dull slogging through unfamiliar names and I wish there was a reverse index so we could look up our most likely relatives, but it’s worth it. There are general “they headed this way” maps for each one, which helps a little.
Dry as the genealogy/migration section is, it makes some important things clear:
- Interesting mixes of blood lines happened everywhere. (Just wait til you find out whom Japan is named for!) Which means, the idea of anyone being a “blue blood” is absurd. We’re all hybrids, just like good old Americans. 😀
- All people are valuable. The way the book draws out God’s care for and knowledge of every group is delightful and encouraging. This is not a Euro-centric book!
- We may not know exactly where far-flung groups fit in, but the Bible makes a lot of sense of our ancestry. Not only does it describe where we split, but you can start from the other end…
Many people groups carried memories of their early founders, and the more you study them the more you find the names at the beginning match what the Bible states. The better a people’s memory, the easier it is to see where they fit in to Genesis 10. Plus, like Noah’s Flood, many people around the world remember Babel. Awesome stuff!
I especially enjoyed Mr. Hodge’s explanation of common elements of early beliefs and false religions. I won’t spoil it for you, but he addresses ancestor worship, legendary heroes, demigods, and other interesting phenomena. All of this in a God-centered, Jesus honoring format safe to leave around the house.
I highly recommend this book as a family resource for showing how our history ties in with the Bible. I also plan to go through the people group sections looking for all the likely ancestors for my own family’s tree.
PS One aspect of this book is making me take some extra time going over my own manuscript. When you write over a period of time, redundancies are unavoidable. That’s part of the job of editing. None of the errors were major, but there were about 4 or 5 places I got the impression no one took the time to really polish the manuscript. It doesn’t interfere much with the content, but I hope they can do an update (with newly uncovered answers?) to correct them.
Find out what other people are saying about the Tower of Babel on New Leaf’s Blog
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the Tower of Babel from New Leaf Publishers in exchange for sharing my honest opinion of the book.