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. And they said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the sky, and let us make a name for ourselves, so that we will not be dispersed over the surface of all the earth.” Then Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower which the human race built. And Yahweh said, “There is now one people and they all have one language. This is what they have begun to do, and now all that they plan to do will be possible for them. Come, let us go down and let us mix there their language, that they will not understand one another’s language.” Then Yahweh dispersed them from there over the surface of all the earth, and they stopped building the city. Therefore, he named it Babel, for there Yahweh mixed the language of all the earth, and from there Yahweh dispersed them over the surface of all the earth.

translated by Theodore Hiebert