现在整个大地都采用一种语言，只包括为数不多的单词。在一次从东方往西方迁徙的过程中，人们发现了苏美尔地区，并在那里定居下来。接着他们奔走相告说：“来，让我们制造砖块，并把它们烧好。”于是，他们用砖块代替石头，用沥青代替灰泥（建造房屋）。然后，他们又说：“来，让我们建造一座带有高塔的城市，这个塔将高达云宵，也将让我们声名远扬，同时，有了这个城市，我们就可以聚居在这里，再也不会分散在广阔的大地上了。”于是上帝决定下来看看人们建造的城市和高塔，看了以后，他说：“他们只是一个种族，使用一种的语言，如果他们一开始就能建造城市和高塔，那以后就没有什么难得倒他们了。来，让我们下去，在他们的语言里制造些混淆，让他们相互之间不能听懂。”这样，上帝把人们分散到世界各地，于是他们不得不停止建造那座城市。（创世纪，11:1-8） Now the whole earth used only one language, with few words. On the occasion of a migration from the east, men discovered a plain in the land of Shinar, and settled there. Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks, burning them well." So they used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city with a tower whose top shall reach the heavens (thus making a name for ourselves), so that we may not be scattered all over the earth." Then the Lord came down to look at the city and tower which human beings had built. The Lord said, "They are just one people and they all have the same language. If this is what they can do as a beginning, then nothing that they resolve to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there make such a babble of their language that they will not understand one another’s speech." Thus the Lord dispersed them from there all over the earth, so that they had to stop building the city. (Book of Genesis, 11:1-8).