Noah (Gen. 11): Scattered

The story of the Tower of Babel Bears witness to the unfulfilled promise of humanity. We can’t get together, so we can’t get it together. Separated by distance, separated by language, we can’t get it together.

The book of Genesis attributes this to God by means of a myth. The book of Ecclesiastes attributes this to God by means of an aphorism. God, says Koheleth has “extended human consciousness over the course of time, but in such a way that they cannot figure out the work of God from the beginning to the end.” (3:11) We can’t pool our collective wisdom. It too is scattered, like the builders of the tower. And even if we could somehow summon all of it up, what mind would be capacious enough to hold it?

Rejoice and do good, Koheleth concludes. That’s all you can do.

 

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