555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

49. What Language Was Spoken at Babel?

The tower of Babel is always an interesting subject for discussion. Philologists are divided concerning the language spoken before the "Confusion of Tongues" at Babel. What little we know of it is learned at second-hand from the testimonies of classical authorities. The Babylonians called the locality of Babel "Barsip" (the Tower of Tongues). A French expedition to Mesopotamia found a clay cake or tablet, which showed that the language at some indefinitely remote period was written in the form of signs and hieroglyphics; but even this was probably long after the dispersion at Babel. What universal language was spoken by prehistoric man thousands of years ago will probably never be definitely known. It may have been Babylonian or Arabic in character, but this is mere conjecture. Supplementary to the Bible record, there are many traditions preserved concerning the Tower and its fate, and these mostly claim for it a Babylonian origin, holding that Babylonia was the cradle of the human race. The site of the tower, according to modern opinion, is identified as Birs Nimrud, a huge mound covering gigantic ruins and situated at Felujiah in Mesopotamia; but this identification is by no means certain.