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ב״ה
“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.


 

The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called

Genesis

~ 11 ~

Parashah Noach (Continued)
(Noach, Gen. 6:9-32)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

G. Dispersion of the Human Family (11:1-9)

1. Commonness of Mankind (11:1-2)

[vii] The whole earth had one language and a common form of speech. As people migrated eastward,[2a] they found a plain in the land of Shin'ar,[2b] and settled there.

2. Plan to Build a City (11:3-4)

They said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.”[3] So they used brick instead of stone, and tar instead of mortar. They said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city, with a tower whose top reaches to the heavens[4], and let’s make a name for ourselves and not be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth.”

3. Attitude Displeases God (11:5-7)

hwhy [YeHoVaH] came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men were building. hwhy [YeHoVaH] said, “If they have begun to do this as one people speaking the same language, then nothing they decide to do will be beyond them. Come, let’s go down[7] and confuse their language, so they will not understand one another’s speech.”

4. Language Confused (11:8-9) [Babel, ca 2400 BCE]

 So hwhy [YeHoVaH] scattered them from there over the face of the whole earth,[8] and they stopped building the city. That is why it is called BavelBabel, confusion (by mixing), because there hwhy [YeHoVaH] confused the language of the whole world, and from there hwhy [YeHoVaH] scattered them abroad on the face of the whole earth.

H. Descendants from Shem to Avram (11:10-32)

1. Shem (11:10a)

10 This is the record of the descendants of Shem:

2. Arphaxad (11:10b-11) [1659 AC]

Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of ArpakhshadArphaxad. 11 And after he had become the father of Arpakhshad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

3. Shelah (11:12-13) [1694 AC]

12 When Arpakhshad was 35 years old he became the father of ShelachShelah. 13 And after he had become the father of Shelach, Arpakhshad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

4. Eber (11:14-15) [1724 AC]

14 When Shelach was 30 years old he became the father of 'EverEber. 15 After he had become the father of 'Ever, Shelach lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

5. Peleg (11:16-17) [1758 AC]

16 When 'Ever was 34 years old he became the father of Peleg. 17 After he had become the father of Peleg, 'Ever lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

6. Reu (11:18-19) [1799 AC]

18 When Peleg was 30 years old he became the father of Reu. 19 After he had become the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

7. Serug (11:20-21) [1820 AC]

20 When Reu was 32 years old he became the father of Serug. 21 After he had become the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

8. Nahor (11:22-23) [1850 AC]

22 When Serug was 30 years old he became the father of Nahor. 23 After he had become the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

9. Terah (11:24-25) [1970 AC]

24 When Nahor was 29 years old he became the father of Terah. 25 After he had become the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 and had other sons and daughters.

10. Avram, Nahor, and Haran (11:26-32) [1949-2009 AC]

26 When Terah was 70 years old he became the father of AvramAbram, “exalted father”, Nahor“snorting”, and Haran“mountaineer”.

a. Terah (11:27a)

27 Now this is the history of the generations of Terah.[27] Terah became the father of Avram, Nahor,  and Haran.

b. Lot Born; Haran Dies (11:27b-28) [Ur of the Chaldeans]

Haran became the father of Lot. 28 During his father Terah’s lifetime, Haran died in his native land, in Ur-KasdimUr of the Chaldeans[28].

c. Avram and Nahor Take Wives (11:29-30)

[Maftir] 29 Avram and Nahor married wives. Avram’s wife was named Sarai“she who strives,” “contentious”, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, who was also the father of Iscah.[29] 30 Sarai was barren. She had no child.

d. Terah Moves Family to Haran (11:31-32) [Ur to Haran]

31 Terah took Avram his son, Lot the son of Haran, his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Avram’s wife. They went from Ur-Kasdim, to go into the land of Kena'an. They came to Haran[31] and lived there. 32 The days of Terah were two hundred five years. Terah died in Haran.

The brakah (blessing) to recite after reading the Parashah is here.

The brakah to recite before reading the Haftarah is here.

The Haftarah for this Portion is Isaiah 54:1-55:5

The brakah to recite before reading from the Apostolic Writings is here.

The reading from the Gospels is Luke 17:20-27

The Blessing of the Messiah to recite after reading from the Gospels is here.

Chapter 12

____________

 1. I believe that this one language for all of humanity was the language that HaShem taught to Adam and Havah. Because HaShem is eternal (timeless) and humans were created to be eternal (timeless) then the language should also be a timeless language with no tenses (past, present, future). One of the outstanding characteristics of the Hebrew language is that is has no tenses, as we think of them. Whether the action being spoken of occurs in the past, present, or future is determined by the context, not by the verb tense. I therefore believe that Hebrew is the original language of humanity, and that it will be the language of both the Kingdom Period and the eternal Olam Habah (the world to come). [RETURN]

 2a. LXX reads “from the east”. [RETURN]

 2b. Shinar, the fertile valley watered by the Euphrates and Tigris was chosen as the center of their union and the seat of their power. (JF&B) This is the region of what is now northern Iraq, referred to as “the fertile crescent.” [RETURN]

 3. brick—There being no stone in that quarter, brick is, and was, the only material used for building, as appears in the mass of ruins which at the Birs Nimroud may have been the very town formed by those ancient rebels. Some of these are sun-dried, others burnt in the kiln and of different colors.
tar—bitumen, a mineral pitch, which, when hardened, forms a strong cement, commonly used in Assyria to this day, and forming the mortar found on the burnt brick remains of antiquity. (JF&B) [RETURN]

 4. Literally: “a tower; at its top, the heavens.” The city of Bavel (Babel) was built by Nimrod, and he was king there. It was there that the pagan religion known as “the Babylon Mystery Religion” or “Mystery Babylon” was developed. This religion was developed around the worship of Nimrod and is the ancestor of all pagan religions (including the many pagan aspects of “Christianity” — don’t get upset, just read the article). One significant element of this religion is that is the source of the occult practice of astrology. The tower was very likely a combination temple and observatory from which to study the stars for the express purpose of divination. Notice how the goal of humanity to ascend to the heavens is part and parcel of the sin of Lucifer:

“How did you come to fall from the heavens, Morning Star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations? You thought to yourself, ‘I will scale the heavens, I will raise my throne above God’s stars. I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. I will rise past the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Isaiah 14:12-14) [RETURN]

 7. If hwhy [YeHoVaH] is an absolute Unity, to Whom is He speaking, and Who is the “Us” to Whom He suggests, “Let Us go down…”? [RETURN]

 8. At the end of the Flood, HaShem commanded Noah to “… be fruitful, multiply, swarm on the earth and multiply on it” (Gen 8:17; 9:7). Instead, apparent virtually all of Noach’s descendants had decided to settle on or near the “plain in the land of Shin'ar” (Gen. 1-2) [RETURN]

27. The Tanakh tells us that Terah was not only an idol worshipper (Josh 24:2), he also had a very successrul business making and selling idols, and the remains of his fine home have been identified by modern archaeology. According to a fanciful Midrash in B'resheet Rabah 38, Terah needed to leave his store, and he appointed Abraham to sell the idols in his stead. However, Abraham discouraged potential customers from buying the idols, explaining to them the futility of worshipping statues that were only fashioned that very day. Not satisfied with this, Abraham took an ax and destroyed all but one of his father’s idols. He took the ax and placed it in the hand of the largest idol, the only one that remained intact. When Terah returned and saw what had happened, he accused Abraham. But Abraham explained that the largest idol had broken all the others in a fight over an offering that a woman had brought to the store. Terah exclaimed that such a thing was impossible. He then realized that his son had tricked him into admitting that his idols were powerless. The Midrash recounts that Terah was a “stargazer” (astrologer, using the Zodiac for devination as part of the religion of Nimrod, note 4.) [RETURN]

28. Ur, Hebrew אור, 'Uwr, flame; “Its name probably derived from its being devoted to the rites of fire-worship. Terah and his family were equally infected with that idolatry as the rest of the inhabitants (Joshua 24:15)” (JF&B). [RETURN]

29. Iscah, Hebrew יכה, Yickah, “one who looks forth,” daughter of Haran, niece of Abraham, sister of Lot and Milcah. Named only here. [RETURN]

31. Haran was two days’ journey south-southeast from Ur, on the direct road to the ford of the Euphrates at Rakka, the nearest and most convenient route to what is now Israel. [RETURN]

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Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!