All the earth had one language and the same words. When they traveled toward the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar, and they settled there. They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and let us fire them.” The bricks were stones for them, and asphalt was mortar for them.
Last summer I visited the elderly Amish bishop of the church district where my parents were members when I was a child. I took the bishop to visit a few relatives of his in the Holmes County, Ohio, community.
Commentaries tend to fluctuate between arid, compendious technical analyses and vivid but tendentious tours de force; few of them help readers understand the connection between the biblical texts in question and the theological heritage they inspired.