Genesis 11:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 11:6, NIV: "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."

Genesis 11:6, ESV: "And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them."

Genesis 11:6, KJV: "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."

Genesis 11:6, NASB: "The LORD said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them."

Genesis 11:6, NLT: "'Look!' he said. 'The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!"

Genesis 11:6, CSB: "The LORD said, "If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them."

What does Genesis 11:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After seeing the city and the tower that the united people of the earth had built, God does not dismiss their efforts as weak and futile. Instead, He acknowledges that by working together, humanity would can accomplish whatever they set out to do. This, of course, leads to an immediate question: why is that a problem? Why would God stand opposed to such unified productivity?

The answer is in mankind's capacity to turn gifts into curses (Genesis 3:17–19), and abilities into abuses. The flood had not changed the nature of sinful human beings. God's observation in Genesis 6:5 still applies to the hearts of humans left to themselves: "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

A powerfully united humanity, inclined to do evil, could accomplish great wickedness. No matter how perverse, outrageous, or ridiculous something might seem, mankind can and will attempt it, given the opportunity. The following verse reveals that God has no plans to give humanity that kind of opening.