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He Went West

October 30th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

In studying the book of Genesis preparing for my men’s group I analyzed and considered the story of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). Two things I didn’t know about the story: that it is linked to the story of Nimrod and the establishment of Babylon and the earthly (and wicked) city (vs. Jerusalem as the righteous City of God). The other thing I didn’t know is that it is significant that Babylon is in the east and Jerusalem in the west. Not significant geographically but symbolically because Genesis sets the east as the place that is removed from God and his “good.” When Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden they went into the east. When Cain was banished he went into the east. And when Nimrod goes out to build his kingdom he goes to the east. So the east represents humans trying to create a “good” for themselves apart from God. And it always leads to misery, wickedness, and failure. It is also significant that God calls hie people back to good. When Abram obeyed the call, he went west (Gen. 12:1-6).

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