Genesis 11:2 Index
"And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there."

" . . . as they journeyed . . . "

  • As indicated by the verb "journeyed," literally, "to pull out," like the pegs of a tent, men lived a nomadic life for a time after the Flood. The mountainous region of Ararat was not well adapted to agricultural pursuits. Furthermore, those who forsook God resented the silent witness of the holy lives of those who were loyal to Him. Accordingly, there occurred a separation of the evil from among the good, with those who defied God leaving the mountains (PP 118). (1BC 283)

" . . . from the east . . . "

  • The KJV translation "from the east," for miqqedem, is misleading. The same Hebrew expression is translated "eastward" in (Genesis 2:8) and "east" in (Genesis 13:11). To reach the land of Shinar, Babylonia, from the mountains of Ararat, the direction of travel would of necessity be southeasterly, not "from the east" in a westerly direction. (1BC 283)

" . . . they found a plain . . . "

  • That is, a wide, open land. In antiquity the southern Mesopotamian lowland, often called "Shinar" in the Bible (Genesis 10:10), was a well-watered, fertile region. The oldest known civilization, that of the Sumerians, thrived here. The spade of the archeologist reveals this land to have been densely populated in earliest historical times. This fact agrees with Genesis as to the locality in which a permanent settlement was first attempted. Excavations have shown, furthermore, that the earliest population of Lower Mesopotamia possessed a high culture. The Sumerians invented the art of writing on clay tablets, built well-constructed houses, and were masters in the production of jewelry, tools, and household utensils. (1BC 283-284)