Genesis 11:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 11:2, NIV: "As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there."

Genesis 11:2, ESV: "And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there."

Genesis 11:2, KJV: "And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there."

Genesis 11:2, NASB: "And it came about, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there."

Genesis 11:2, NLT: "As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there."

Genesis 11:2, CSB: "As people migrated from the east, they found a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there."

What does Genesis 11:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous chapter described all the nations, tribes, and languages that came from Noah's three sons. Genesis 11 backs up the story to the era before the people groups were divided. Until this point, the families of Shem, Ham, and Japheth remained together as a single people group with a single culture. Verse 1 told us they all shared the same language.

Here, in verse 2, we're told that this growing extended family migrated away from the region where the ark settled to the land of Shinar. Shinar is the region where Babylon will be established. Thus, at this point in the history of the earth, all the peoples of the world were gathered together in one region.

While it sounds wonderful for mankind to be united in culture and language, human sin makes this a dangerous condition. As shown prior to the flood, mankind's natural habit is towards depravity (Genesis 6:5). The need to restrict man's cooperation with man, at least to some extent, is a major reason for God's actions in this passage (Genesis 11:7–8).