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Thread: tower vs. ladder?

  1. #1
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    tower vs. ladder?

    Do you suppose that there is a corrolation, or rather, a contrast being made between the tower of Babel and Jacob's ladder?
    analyze. synthesize. repeat.

    *It is the next chapter of my life, whether I'm ready or not. My time here in these forums has come to its close. I bless you as I go!*

  2. #2
    The tower of Babel was man's effort to make a name for himself (attempting to take glory away from God), and to gather all people together in one location (opposing God's command to "fill the earth"). While it is commonly assumed that the people built the tower "to the heavens" for the purpose of reaching God's throne in heaven, or to avoid the consequences of another flood, neither of these is implied by the text. Rather, it seems they built it "to the heavens" simply because, by building a monstrously tall building, they would achieve fame and fortune.

    The ladder of Jacob, on the other hand, is a symbolic vision of Jesus Christ. [John 1.51] The divine messengers go out of and return to heaven because of the overarching plan on account of Christ and the (then far-off) salvation he would bring.

    Personally, I don't see a correlation (or contrast). Except that the tower of Babel was an attempt to give glory to man instead of God, whereas the "ladder" symbolizes an overarching concept of God sending his messengers to achieve his plan, which would ultimately glorify his name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    The tower of Babel was man's effort to make a name for himself (attempting to take glory away from God), and to gather all people together in one location (opposing God's command to "fill the earth"). While it is commonly assumed that the people built the tower "to the heavens" for the purpose of reaching God's throne in heaven, or to avoid the consequences of another flood, neither of these is implied by the text. Rather, it seems they built it "to the heavens" simply because, by building a monstrously tall building, they would achieve fame and fortune.
    The fame and reputation is explict in the text; avoiding another flood event is implied in the text from the fact that they covered the tower with water proofing material.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    avoiding another flood event is implied in the text from the fact that they covered the tower with water proofing material.
    What? The mortar? That's for keeping the bricks together; it's an adhesive in stone-building.

    The text doesn't say they "covered" the tower with it. It simply says they used it. There's nothing implying that it was build to protect against another flood.

    (Water-proofing a building just makes sense anyway, since the sky is known to rain.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    What? The mortar? That's for keeping the bricks together; it's an adhesive in stone-building.

    The text doesn't say they "covered" the tower with it. It simply says they used it. There's nothing implying that it was build to protect against another flood.

    (Water-proofing a building just makes sense anyway, since the sky is known to rain.)
    Do you know anything about the building trade?

  6. #6
    Some.

    Can you point out where Genesis 11 implies that "they covered the tower with water proofing material"? It refers to mortar (Hebrew: clay, mire), which is expected since it refers to them building the tower out of bricks. It doesn't refer to anything "covering" the tower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    Some.

    Can you point out where Genesis 11 implies that "they covered the tower with water proofing material"? It refers to mortar (Hebrew: clay, mire), which is expected since it refers to them building the tower out of bricks. It doesn't refer to anything "covering" the tower.
    Okay, I could be wrong. Here is how I looked at it. The text says, "they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar." One might ask why. Why did they use these building materials instead of others? From a practical point of view, the choice of building materials depends on availability, structural requirements, and architectural aesthetics. It could be that these people were simply using the materials at hand. Where they came from, they used stone and mortar. In their new location, they didn't find much stone and tar was more readily available. That could be.

    I need to do more research but perhaps tar mortar is stronger and can carry more weight than mud, or clay mortar. Perhaps they didn't have access to lime to make Portland cement. Perhaps through trial and error, and experimentation they found that tar mortar is better suited to making tall buildings. I wonder if the Egyptian pyramids used clay mortar or tar mortar? I do know that the Egyptians used tar to waterproof foundations just as modern builders do today.

    While the history of engineering might be interesting to me, I wonder why these particular details were important to the author of Genesis. Of all the things that could be mentioned about a thriving human community, why mention the building materials of the tower? Why is this important to the story?

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    Quote Originally Posted by astrongerthanhe View Post
    Do you suppose that there is a corrolation, or rather, a contrast being made between the tower of Babel and Jacob's ladder?
    I've never thought that myself. I believe the word cullam translated 'ladder' only appears once in the bible. Some scholars believe it means ladder. Others believe it means a stairway. While other scholars believe it means a ramp that goes up.


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    Mankind had tried to reach heaven on their own merits...that is what the Tower of Babel was all about...

    Babylon was a great city and society...they believed in God...there wasn't anyone in it that didn't. God confused their languages and shortened man's lifespan so the feat couldn't be repeated.

    Because Babylon was such a great society and "utopia" there were temples everywhere promoting and advertising the fact that Babylon was building a tower to Heaven. Jacob knew that this sort of thing was not right (because of Isaac's teaching)

    Jacob thought that God would go no where near the shrine to Babylon that he was sleeping in. He was wrong and admitted it when he had his dream. The huge stone step that he was resting his head on he set upright. (Jacob was a big big boy) so that it now was an unscalable pillar...kinda like a monolith. (there are several other of these monolith stones set up in Israel today)

    Even the pagodas of Japan and China were related of the tower in Babylon according to some scholars.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by BroRog View Post
    I need to do more research but perhaps tar mortar is stronger and can carry more weight than mud, or clay mortar.
    The Hebrew word used means "clay, mire". It doesn't mean "tar". In other words, the Hebrew says "they used clay for mortar" or "they used mire for mortar". The Hebrew word used has several uses, but "clay" or "mire" makes the most sense in context.

    Where they came from, they used stone and mortar. In their new location, they didn't find much stone and tar was more readily available.
    Where are you getting this from? Where does it say that "they used stone and mortar" in a previous location and that "tar was more readily available ... in their new location"? No information resembling this can be found anywhere in the text of Genesis 11; it sounds like you're reading way more into the text than can actually be drawn out of it.

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