According to some, there are about thirty thousand people on earth at this time. They are all still together. Together they head east. It is the direction in which Cain went (Gen 4:1616Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.; cf. Gen 3:23-2423therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.24So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.). It is the direction that speaks here of leaving God. In the east, they find a plain, which speaks here of complacency. Abraham later seeks the mountains (Gen 12:88Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.), which speaks of wanting to be close to God.
The plain is in the land Shinar. There lies the origin of Babel (Gen 10:8-108Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth.9He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.”10The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.) and idolatry (Zec 5:5-115Then the angel who was speaking with me went out and said to me, “Lift up now your eyes and see what this is going forth.”6I said, “What is it?” And he said, “This is the ephah going forth.” Again he said, “This is their appearance in all the land7(and behold, a lead cover was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting inside the ephah.”8Then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening.9Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming out with the wind in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens.10I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “Where are they taking the ephah?”11Then he said to me, “To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal.”). Here people want to make a joint effort: they want to build a city with a tower that serves as a bridge to reach the sky. There seems to be interest in God.
It is remarkable that the first builders of cities, both in the old world (Gen 4:1717Cain had relations with his wife and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.) and here in the new world, are not men of the best character or the best name. Tents are the homes of those who fear God, while the first cities are built by those who rebel against Him and apostatize from Him. We see that also here. The people want to build this city with the tower to their own honor and name. They want to make a name for themselves on earth. They also build with self-made stones. This is in opposition to God’s actions. God does everything in honor of His own Name (Isa 63:12,1412Who caused His glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses,
Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name,
14As the cattle which go down into the valley,
The Spirit of the LORD gave them rest.
So You led Your people,
To make for Yourself a glorious name.; Jer 32:2020who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, [and] even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day.).
The material they use, bricks, is made of clay from the earth and is therefore fragile and vulnerable. It suits man in his earthly, fragile existence (Job 33:66“Behold, I belong to God like you;
I too have been formed out of the clay.
). Because man is not aware of this, he dares to build such a structure. God builds His city with very different materials: precious stones (Isa 54:11-1211“O afflicted one, storm-tossed, [and] not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.
12“Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies,
And your gates of crystal,
And your entire wall of precious stones.
; Rev 21:18-2118The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.19The foundation stones of the city wall were adorned with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation stone was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;20the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.). He builds his spiritual house with living stones (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.).
What is happening here is the contemporary Christianity to the core. The nominal Christians want to be included, they want their opinion to be taken into account in political issues and decision-making. And do they not have great names in their history to boast of, theologians of name? But having a big name on earth does not automatically mean that that name is also written down in the heaven. In the construction of the city and the tower of Babel it is in any case a pursuit of unity and power. This is what we see in the ecumenical movement, the unity struggle of the churches led by the roman-catholic church, the spiritual Babylon, become reality.