The first time that the word language shows up in Scripture is Genesis 10, where we are told that the sons and grandsons of Noah “were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations” (v. 5). Then in Genesis 11 we encounter this verse, “Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words” (v. 1). This is a striking statement, as it seems that we were just told a few verses earlier that the descendants of Noah were divided up according to their different languages. How can it be that now everyone speaks the same language?
In Hebrew there are two words for language. One word is lashon, which literally means ‘tongue.’ The other word is saphah, which literally means ‘lip.’ If you think about these two parts of the body and their respective roles in…
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