The history of Babel ("confusion") strikingly parallels that of the professing Church.
(1) Unity Genesis 11:1 --the Apostolic Church Acts 4:32,33
(2) Ambition Genesis 11:4 using worldly, not spiritual means Genesis 11:3 ending in a man-made unity--the papacy;
(3) the confusion of tongues Genesis 11:7 --Protestantism, with its innumerable sects.
(See Scofield "Isaiah 13:1") .
generations of Shem
Genesis 11. and 12. mark an important turning point in the divine dealing. Heretofore the history has been that of the whole Adamic race. There has been neither Jew nor Gentile; all have been one in "the first man Adam." Henceforth, in the Scripture record, humanity must be thought of as a vast stream from which God, in the call of Abram and the creation of the nation of Israel, has but drawn off a slender rill, through which He may at last purify the great river itself. Israel was called to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10-12 to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God Deuteronomy 33:26-29 to receive and preserve the divine revelations ; Romans 3:1,2; Deuteronomy 4:5-8 and to produce the messiah ; Genesis 3:15; 21:12; 28:10,14; 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:16,17; Isaiah 4:3,4; Matthew 1:1.
The reader of scripture should hold firmly in mind:
(1) that from Gen 12. to Matthew 12:45 the Scriptures have primarily in view Israel, the little rill, not the great Gentile river; though again and again the universality of the ultimate divine intent breaks into view (e.g. ; Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 2:2,4; 5:26; 9:1,2; 11:10-1242:1-6; 49:6,12; Isaiah 52:15; 54:3; 55:5; 60:3,5,11-16; 61:6,9 ; 62:2; 66:12,18,19; Jeremiah 16:19; Joel 3:9,10; Malachi 1:11 Ro 9. 10. 11. Galatians 3:8-14.
(2) that the human race, henceforth called Gentile in distinction from Israel, goes on under the Adamic and Noahic covenants; and that for the race (outside Israel) the dispensations of Conscience and of Human government continue. The moral history of the great Gentile world is told in Romans 1:21-32 and its moral accountability in Romans 2:1-16. Conscience never acquits: it either "accuses" or "excuses." Where the law is known to the Gentiles it is to them, as to Israel, "a ministration of death," a "curse" ; Romans 3:19,20; 7:9,10; 2 Corinthians 3:7; Galatians 3:10. A wholly new responsibility arises when either Jew or Gentile knows the Gospel ; John 3:18,19,36; 15:22-24 ; 16:9; 1 John 5:9-12.