And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.” Genesis 11:3
Arriving at the plain in the land of Shinar the descendants of righteous Noah were desiring to reach unto heaven and build a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4) just as their spirital father, Satan, had attempted to do (Isaiah 14:12-14).
“Go to”, not exactly what God commanded Noah and his sons to do, but certainly that was the intent when God commanded them to “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Genesis 9:1. Now the rebellious have decided that they to would not “go”, but stay. There intentions are not to glorify God, but rather glorify themselves.
Using the foundational elements that God has given mankind (labor, property and ingenuity), mankind now perverts the objective of glorifying God, because mankind is rebellious. Using great skill (ingenuity), the earthen materials available (property) and a singular effort of all involved (labor), the rebels made a tower to reach up to the heavens.
NOTE: Complexity is the result of human activity. Economics is the study of human activity. To understand the Babylonian civilization I will use secular archelogical finds as a means to describe the culture.
It was man centered. As we have already seen, the leader Nimrod and his cohorts were anti-God and desireous to emulate their spirtial head, Satan, by creating a name for themselves. Going beyond that, as man often does when in bondage to sin, they establish Nimrod as a “god-man”.
George Rawlinson’s The Seven Great Monarchies Vol I establishes Nimrod as the prototype of Bel-Nipru, “the god of the chase”, or the “great hunter” both of which are fitting with the biblical description of Nimrd, “a mighty hunter before the Lord” Genesis 10:9. As God dispersed the rebels “So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth” they carried and developed their adulterous ways into the various lands they occupied.
From this beginning, spiritual wickedness would spread throughout the world and is still spreading today. “And the beginning of his kingdom was BAble, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.” Genesis 10:10-12 shows how far the kingdom would stretch.
Archelogist identify Asshur as Assyria. Nineveh is easily recognized by Bible students as Nineveh. The history of both Assyria and Nineveh is well documented in the scriptures. They were rebellious, absolutely wicked and violent.
Simultaneously, the Babylonian kingdom and its cultural descendants was remarkAble in its developement. Rawlison, Great Monarchies Vol III, writes, “Babylon was apparently the genius which exogiated an alphabet; worked out the simpler problems of arithmetic, invented implents for measurein the lapse of time, conceived the idea of raising enormous stuctures with the poorest of all materials, clay;…attained to the high perffection in textile fabrics….It was from the east, not from Egypt, that Greece derived her architecture, her scultre, her science, her philosophy, her mathematical knjowledge, in a word, her intellectual life. And Babylon was the source to which the entire stream of eastern civilization may be traced.” Quoted from David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, Bible Time and Ancient Kingdoms.
Using ingenuity (mechanical science, mathematics, architecture, soil science and physics) the Babylonians and their progeny built zaggurats. First as a means of glorifying man (Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord) and subsequently a whole host of false gods and goddess. Babylonia was the fountainhead, or mother, of all idolatress worship. But they were also masters of science, discovery and innovation. The amount of information demonstrating their advance state is staggering. I would highly recommend to the reader who is interested to read either of the two books cited above. Both give an excellent picture of early, post-flood life and culture.
Refinement of action to the specialization of labor produces sophisticated products and a social order based upon what the individual contributes to society. This is the principle of the division of labor. Using property, ingenuity and labor, the Babylonians succeeded in the advancement of human civilization; abundant supply through voluntary cooperation amongst those who specialized in a specific task.
What they did not do, was follow the God who created them with the ability to accomplish what they did. The rejected God’s authority and forwarded a kingdom of rebels.