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Does the tower of Babel represent anything ?

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In Genesis 11, the children of men built a city and a tower. I see that they had brick for stone. I remembered that the Bible calls believers 'lively stones', and Jesus is 'the stone that the builders rejected'. Does the same symbolism apply to the city and tower of Babel? Are the bricks for stones really referring to people by way of parable language or is this story simply an historical recitation only?
 
Loyal
"Babel" (also Babylon) means confusion:

"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." I Cor 14:33

To let them (us) know that He was not pleased with man's own efforts in his own way to reach heaven:

"And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." Gen 11:6-7

Today "Babel" is all around us in too many of the churches who are building their own way to God rather than seeking His Way. The result for them has been or will be very similar to the result in Genesis chapter 11.
 
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In Genesis 11, the children of men built a city and a tower. I see that they had brick for stone. I remembered that the Bible calls believers 'lively stones', and Jesus is 'the stone that the builders rejected'. Does the same symbolism apply to the city and tower of Babel? Are the bricks for stones really referring to people by way of parable language or is this story simply an historical recitation only?
I am convinced the building of the tower represents Humanism, the oldest organized religion of the Flesh (man). The materials used represent man's works intended to avoid God with great desperation. It's interesting that ISIL recently destroyed the archaeological site of it. By parallel, God let the Philistines chasten Israel in similar ways. Almost every substantial memorial by man has been removed from the planet through the ages.
 
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Hi @pajaro

Good question. Let's study with bible study tools.

Genesis 11
The Tower of Babel
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

RSB Study Bible

11:4 tower . . . in the heavens. This description suggests a monumental effort motivated by pride (cf. Is. 2:15–17). Human beings—this time in a titanic attempt at corporate self-assertion—again sacrilegiously challenge God (3:6 note).

make a name for ourselves. Since “name” connotes fame and progeny, these city builders were attempting to find significance and immortality in their own achievements. But only God gives an everlasting name (12:2) to those who magnify His name (4:26; 12:8; Is. 63:12,14).

lest we be dispersed. Like Cain in their isolation from God, these proud sinners feared dislocation, and perhaps one another as well (4:14). Also like Cain, they found their solution in an abiding city rivaling God—a strategy that involved disobeying God’s command to “fill the earth” (9:1).

11:5 the Lord came down to see. Divine investigation prior to judgment is frequently depicted in Genesis (3:11–13; 4:9, 10; 18:21). Rather than conflict with the doctrine of divine omniscience (cf. 6:6 note), this anthropomorphic description of God’s activity serves to emphasize that divine judgment is always according to truth. The Mesopotamian ziggurat towers were built as descending stairways for the gods. But God comes down in judgment on this tower of human pride.

11:8 dispersed. Ironically, instead of attaining significance and immortality they achieved alienation and dispersal. Expulsion was the earlier fate of Adam and Eve (3:23) and of Cain (4:12). This judgment was also an act of grace; in isolation the peoples were more likely to turn to God (12:3; Acts 17:26, 27).
 
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Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
I see the city and tower of Babel as being a parable picture of the church age congregations. The people were of one language meaning they were together in Christ. They moved eastward, meaning towards Christ. They found a plain in Shinar (means country of two rivers) meaning they had the gospel with salvation and non-salvation sides of the word of God. They were into making disciples (bricks for stone). They were into building a city and a tower that reached the heavens (the Bible says the name of the Lord is a high tower, and Jerusalem is a city, above and below). They were trying to find salvation so they would not be scattered. The Lord checked in on the finished product as is expected in how the church age congregations have been building. The people were scattered, as happens to congregations (when they rejected Stephen, the martyr, for example, a parable picture of later tribulation events). The Bible talks about believers being scattered in several instances. The left off building the city, as God appears to tell true believers to flee the local congregations as the tribulation period comes on. Apparently, the case of Babel is no different from the case of the congregations of the church age.
 
Loyal
Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

The Lord God is calling his saints to come out from the man made Church. God's building is not physical but spiritual which is us.

Psa 127:1 A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

We are building this spiritual building as each member does it's part. The only material that will last is what the Lord God gives us as Wisdom, which is more precious than gold or silver.

1Co 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.
1Co 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—
 
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In Genesis 11, the children of men built a city and a tower. I see that they had brick for stone. I remembered that the Bible calls believers 'lively stones', and Jesus is 'the stone that the builders rejected'. Does the same symbolism apply to the city and tower of Babel? Are the bricks for stones really referring to people by way of parable language or is this story simply an historical recitation only?
No, there is no typology of the spiritual building of the church of Jesus Christ, in the Tower of Babel.

Rather, the tower represents all false religions . . . which God harshly restrains under His Judgement. All such false religions, thus judged by God, produce nothing but fruits of confusion and represent nothing but the vanity of human "works" that attempt to build a reach to God apart from simple faith, in God.

IOW's the Tower of Babel represents sinful men attempting to rise to God's lofty abode, through their own works. Human works produce no good spiritual fruits, but only confusion/divisions amongst men, and judgment from God.
 
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Here are several New Testament prophecies on the falling away from sound doctrine. Many in the churches would say that it is the church which is to fall away from sound doctrine. Or, they would try to avoid these prophecies on the falling away from sound doctrine. They might claim end time prophecy on the falling away is not part of the "essentials."

But the present day religious organizations fit the metaphor in Revelation 17 - "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great ***** that sitteth upon many waters..........And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

And if the tower of Babel is metaphoric for apostasy in religions, then the present day religious organization fits there too. The elect of God, the Body of Christ, the saints, the wheat in the parables of the sower in Matthew 13 are the ones not included in Mystery Babylon of revelation 17 or the tower of Babel.

II Thessalonians 2: 3 says "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"

"Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
19. It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
20. And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
21. It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." Luke 13: 18-21

In Luke 13: 18-21 the kingdom of God is predicted to become leavened, and the word till, or until, means that this process of leavening the kingdom of God goes on for some time until "the whole was leavened."

I Timothy 4: 1-2 says "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; .Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with ahot iron;"

II Timothy 4: 3-4 says "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; .And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall beturned unto fables."

Matthew 24: 4-5: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."

Matthew 24: 5 defines the false prophets, who teach a Christ but it is another Jesus and another Gospel (II Corinthians 11: 4). The spirit of anti-Christ is that spirit which preaches that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh, that is, the spirit of anti-Christ denies that Jesus Christ is the Messiah (I John 2:18, I John 4: 3).

"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Matthew 24: 11-13

Then, II Peter 2: 1-3 says about the false prophets "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord thatbought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.2. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.3. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not,and their damnation slumbereth not."

The second beast of Revelation 13: 11-18 represents the many false prophets of Matthew 24: 11, and this section is in metaphoric language. The text of Revelation 13: 12-18 describes the work of the false prophets, who in verse 12 are said to cause people to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. This beast is found in Revelation 13: 3 - one head of the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. The identity of the first beast is relealed in part in Daniel 7: 4-7, and the Little Horn which is the head of the beast in Revelation 13: 3.

In none of these texts does New Testament prophecy on the falling away from sound doctrine say that it is the church which falls away. However, Luke 13: 18-21 identifies that which is to be leavened as the kingdom of God. Christ says in Luke 17: 21 that the kingdom of God is within you, and in John 18: 36 he says "... My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: "

The kingdom of God is to be leavened over a period of time, which corresponds to the falling away predicted in II Thessalonians 2: 3. The word ekklesia, which is consistently translated as church in the King James and in most recent Bibles, is not in the texts about the falling away, or about the false prophets who cause it.

And in the parables of the sower and of the sowing of seed in Matthew 13: 3-43 the ekklesia or church is not mentioned. In Verse 24 Christ says "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field." But in verse 26 tares were found in the field. Then in verse 38, when Christ is explaining the parables of sowing seed and reaping some tares among the wheat to his disciples he says "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." The word ekklesia or church is not found in these parables of the sowing of seeds. Yet the parables of the tares sprouting up among the wheat describes in metaphoric language the leavening of the kingdom of God in Luke 13: 18-21, the falling away of II Thessalonians 2: 3, and the two prophecies on departing from the faith and no longer enduring sound doctrine in I and II Timothy.

Ekklesia as a meeting, gathering, assembly or congregation is not a proper noun, meaning it is not unique like the elect of God, the Body of Christ, or the saints. The meeting does not fall away from sound doctrine. Because you would have to ask "Which meeting," and "Which meeting of what?" Christ uses kingdom of God in Luke 13: 18-21 to identify what is to be leavened and in Matthew 13: 24 he mentions the kingdom of heaven and that which is to bring forth both wheat and tares.
 
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