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TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Chapter 11

Translation and Transliteration of 

1Everyone on earth had the same language and the same words.

vai-HEE khol ha-A-retz sa-FAH e-KHAT ud-va-REEM a-kha-DEEM

אוַֽיְהִ֥י כׇל־הָאָ֖רֶץ שָׂפָ֣ה אֶחָ֑ת וּדְבָרִ֖ים אֲחָדִֽים׃

 11:1   Everyone on earth had the same language

The Hebrew word for ‘language,’ safa (שפה), also appears in Sefer Tzefanya (3:9) when the prophet describes a safa b’rurah (שפה ברורה), ‘purity of speech,’ that will be shared by all the nations of the world in the end of days: “For then I will make the peoples pure of speech, so that they all invoke Hashem by name and serve Him with one accord.” Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra comments that the pure language that Tzefanya promises is the Hebrew language. In future times, the world will begin to learn Hebrew, the language of Creation. This promise has begun to come true in our age. Not only has the Hebrew language been revitalized over the past century as the spoken language in the Jewish homeland, but in more recent years, thousands of non-Jews have also begun to study Hebrew as a way to connect with their Creator and gain a deeper understanding of the Bible.

2And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.

vai-HI b'-no-se-AM mi-KE-dem va-yim-TZU vik-AH b'-E-rets shin-Ar va-ye-SHE-vu SHAM

בוַֽיְהִ֖י בְּנׇסְעָ֣ם מִקֶּ֑דֶם וַֽיִּמְצְא֥וּ בִקְעָ֛ה בְּאֶ֥רֶץ שִׁנְעָ֖ר וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ שָֽׁם׃

3They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them hard.”—Brick served them as stone, and bitumen served them as mortar.

va-yo-M'-RU ish el-re-E-hu ha-VAH nil-b'-NAH l'-ve-NEEM v'-nish-r'-FAH li-s'-RE-fah va-t'-HEE la-HEM ha-l'-ve-NAH l'-a-VEN v'-ha-KHE-mar ha-YAH la-HEM la-KHO-mer

גוַיֹּאמְר֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵ֗הוּ הָ֚בָה נִלְבְּנָ֣ה לְבֵנִ֔ים וְנִשְׂרְפָ֖ה לִשְׂרֵפָ֑ה וַתְּהִ֨י לָהֶ֤ם הַלְּבֵנָה֙ לְאָ֔בֶן וְהַ֣חֵמָ֔ר הָיָ֥ה לָהֶ֖ם לַחֹֽמֶר׃

4And they said, “Come, let us build us a city, and a tower with its top in the sky, to make a name for ourselves; else we shall be scattered all over the world.”

va-YO-mer-u ha-VA ni-v'-NEH LA-nu EER u-mig-DAL v'-RO-sho va-sha-MA-yim v'-na-a-SEH LA-nu SHEM pen-NA-futz al p'-NAY kol-ha-A-retz

דוַיֹּאמְר֞וּ הָ֣בָה ׀ נִבְנֶה־לָּ֣נוּ עִ֗יר וּמִגְדָּל֙ וְרֹאשׁ֣וֹ בַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְנַֽעֲשֶׂה־לָּ֖נוּ שֵׁ֑ם פֶּן־נָפ֖וּץ עַל־פְּנֵ֥י כׇל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

5Hashem came down to look at the city and tower that man had built,

va-YAY-red a-do-NAI lir-OT et-ha-IR v'-et-ha-mig-DAL a-SHER ba-NU b'-NAY ha-a-DAM

הוַיֵּ֣רֶד יְהֹוָ֔ה לִרְאֹ֥ת אֶת־הָעִ֖יר וְאֶת־הַמִּגְדָּ֑ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר בָּנ֖וּ בְּנֵ֥י הָאָדָֽם׃

6and Hashem said, “If, as one people with one language for all, this is how they have begun to act, then nothing that they may propose to do will be out of their reach.

va-YO-mer a-do-NAI, HAYN am e-KHAD v'-sa-FAH a-KHAT l'-ku-LAM v'-ZEH ha-KHI-lam la-a-SOT, v'-a-TAH lo yi-BA-tser may-HEM kol a-SHER ya-z'-MU la-a-SOT.

ווַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָ֗ה הֵ֣ן עַ֤ם אֶחָד֙ וְשָׂפָ֤ה אַחַת֙ לְכֻלָּ֔ם וְזֶ֖ה הַחִלָּ֣ם לַעֲשׂ֑וֹת וְעַתָּה֙ לֹֽא־יִבָּצֵ֣ר מֵהֶ֔ם כֹּ֛ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָזְמ֖וּ לַֽעֲשֽׂוֹת׃

7Let us, then, go down and confound their speech there, so that they shall not understand one another's speech.”

ha-VAH ne-RE-da v'-na-VE-la SHAM s'-fa-TAM a-SHER lo yish-m'-U eesh s'-FAT re-E-hu

זהָ֚בָה נֵֽרְדָ֔ה וְנָבְלָ֥ה שָׁ֖ם שְׂפָתָ֑ם אֲשֶׁר֙ לֹ֣א יִשְׁמְע֔וּ אִ֖ישׁ שְׂפַ֥ת רֵעֵֽהוּ׃

8Thus Hashem scattered them from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city

vai-YA-fetz a-do-NAI o-TAM mi-SHAM al-PE-nei kol ha-A-retz va-YA-kh'-DU l'-v'-NOT ha-IR

חוַיָּ֨פֶץ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֹתָ֛ם מִשָּׁ֖ם עַל־פְּנֵ֣י כׇל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וַֽיַּחְדְּל֖וּ לִבְנֹ֥ת הָעִֽיר׃

9That is why it was called Babel, because there Hashem confounded the speech of the whole earth; and from there Hashem scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

al-KEN ka-RA sh'-MAH ba-VEL, KEE-sham ba-LAL a-do-NAI s'-FAT kol-ha-A-retz, u-mi-SHAM he-fi-TZAM a-do-NAI al-pe-NAY kol-ha-A-retz. (Selah)

טעַל־כֵּ֞ן קָרָ֤א שְׁמָהּ֙ בָּבֶ֔ל כִּי־שָׁ֛ם בָּלַ֥ל יְהֹוָ֖ה שְׂפַ֣ת כׇּל־הָאָ֑רֶץ וּמִשָּׁם֙ הֱפִיצָ֣ם יְהֹוָ֔ה עַל־פְּנֵ֖י כׇּל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

10This is the line of Shem. Shem was 100 years old when he begot Arpachshad, two years after the Flood.

AY-leh to-LE-doth SHEM, SHEM ben m'-AT sha-NAH, vai-YO-led et-ar-pakh-SHAD, sh'-na-TA-yim a-KHAR ha-ma-BUL.

יאֵ֚לֶּה תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת שֵׁ֔ם שֵׁ֚ם בֶּן־מְאַ֣ת שָׁנָ֔ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־אַרְפַּכְשָׁ֑ד שְׁנָתַ֖יִם אַחַ֥ר הַמַּבּֽוּל׃

11After the birth of Arpachshad, Shem lived 500 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHEE-SHEM a-kha-RAY ho-LEE-do et ar-pakh-SHAD, kha-MAYSH may-OT sha-NAH, va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOHT.

יאוַֽיְחִי־שֵׁ֗ם אַֽחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־אַרְפַּכְשָׁ֔ד חֲמֵ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

12When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he begot Shelach.

v'-ar-pakh-SHAD kha-YI kha-MESH u-sh'-LO-shim sha-NAH va-YO-led et sha-LAKH

יבוְאַרְפַּכְשַׁ֣ד חַ֔י חָמֵ֥שׁ וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־שָֽׁלַח׃

13After the birth of Shelach, Arpachshad lived 403 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHI ar-pakh-SHAD a-kha-RAY ho-LEE-do et she-LAKH, sha-LOSH sha-NEEM v'-ar-BAT me-OT sha-NAH, va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOT.

יגוַֽיְחִ֣י אַרְפַּכְשַׁ֗ד אַֽחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־שֶׁ֔לַח שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֔ים וְאַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

14When Shelach had lived 30 years, he begot Ever.

v'-SHEL-akh KHA-y sh'-LO-shim sha-NAH va-YO-led et-E-ver

ידוְשֶׁ֥לַח חַ֖י שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־עֵֽבֶר׃

15After the birth of Ever, Shelach lived 403 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHEE-SHEL-akh a-kha-RAY ho-LEE-do et AY-ver sha-LOSH sha-NEEM v'-ar-BAT me-OT sha-NAH va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOT.

טווַֽיְחִי־שֶׁ֗לַח אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־עֵ֔בֶר שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֔ים וְאַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

16When Ever had lived 34 years, he begot Peleg

vai-KHI a-YVER ar-BA u-sh'-LO-sheem sha-NAH, va-YO-led et PA-leg

טזוַֽיְחִי־עֵ֕בֶר אַרְבַּ֥ע וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־פָּֽלֶג׃

17After the birth of Peleg, Ever lived 430 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHEE a-KHA-ray ho-LEE-do et PE-leg, sh'-lo-SHEEM sha-NAH v'-ar-BAT may-OT sha-NAH, va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOHT. (s)

יזוַֽיְחִי־עֵ֗בֶר אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־פֶּ֔לֶג שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֔ה וְאַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

18When Peleg had lived 30 years, he begot Re'u.

vai-KHEE p'-LEG sh'-LO-sheem sha-NAH va-YO-led et-re-U

יחוַֽיְחִי־פֶ֖לֶג שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־רְעֽוּ׃

19After the birth of Re'u, Peleg lived 209 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHEE p'-LEG a-kha-RAY ho-LEE-do et-re-U, tay-SHA sha-NEEM u-ma-ta-YEEM sha-NAH, va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOT.

יטוַֽיְחִי־פֶ֗לֶג אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־רְע֔וּ תֵּ֥שַׁע שָׁנִ֖ים וּמָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

20When Re'u had lived 32 years, he begot Serug.

vai-KHI r'-U sh'-TA-yim u-sh'-LO-shim sha-NAH va-YO-led et s'-RUG

כוַיְחִ֣י רְע֔וּ שְׁתַּ֥יִם וּשְׁלֹשִׁ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־שְׂרֽוּג׃

21After the birth of Serug, Re'u lived 207 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHEE ray-U a-kha-RAY ho-LEE-do et se-ROOG, SHE-va sha-NEEM u-ma-ta-YEEM sha-NAH, va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOHT.

כאוַיְחִ֣י רְע֗וּ אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־שְׂר֔וּג שֶׁ֥בַע שָׁנִ֖ים וּמָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

22When Serug had lived 30 years, he begot Nachor.

vai-KHEE se-ROOG sh'-LO-sheem sha-NAH va-YO-led et-NA-khor

כבוַיְחִ֥י שְׂר֖וּג שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־נָחֽוֹר׃

23After the birth of Nachor, Serug lived 200 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHEE sa-ROOG a-kha-RAY ho-LEE-do et na-KHOR ma-ta-YIM sha-NAH va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOHT.

כגוַיְחִ֣י שְׂר֗וּג אַחֲרֵ֛י הוֹלִיד֥וֹ אֶת־נָח֖וֹר מָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

24When Nachor had lived 29 years, he begot Terach.

vai-KHI na-KHOR, tay-SHA va-e-s'-REEM sha-NAH, va-YO-led et-ta-RAKH

כדוַיְחִ֣י נָח֔וֹר תֵּ֥שַׁע וְעֶשְׂרִ֖ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֖וֹלֶד אֶת־תָּֽרַח׃

25After the birth of Terach, Nachor lived 119 years and begot sons and daughters.

vai-KHI na-KHOR a-kha-RAY ho-LEE-do et TE-rakh, t'-sha-a e-s'-RAY sha-NAH u-m'-AT sha-NAH, va-YO-led ba-NEEM u-va-NOHT.

כהוַיְחִ֣י נָח֗וֹר אַחֲרֵי֙ הוֹלִיד֣וֹ אֶת־תֶּ֔רַח תְּשַֽׁע־עֶשְׂרֵ֥ה שָׁנָ֖ה וּמְאַ֣ת שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֥וֹלֶד בָּנִ֖ים וּבָנֽוֹת׃

26When Terach had lived 70 years, he begot Avram, Nahor, and Haran.

vai-KHI-te-RAKH shiv-EEM sha-NAH, va-YO-led et a-v'RAM, et-NA-khor, v'-et-ha-RAN

כווַֽיְחִי־תֶ֖רַח שִׁבְעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיּ֙וֹלֶד֙ אֶת־אַבְרָ֔ם אֶת־נָח֖וֹר וְאֶת־הָרָֽן׃

27Now this is the line of Terach: Terach begot Avram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begot Lot.

v'-AY-leh to-LE-d'-TAY-rakh, TE-rakh ho-LEED et av-RAHM, et-NA-khor v'-et-ha-RAN, v'-ha-RAN ho-LEED et-LOT

כזוְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ תּוֹלְדֹ֣ת תֶּ֔רַח תֶּ֚רַח הוֹלִ֣יד אֶת־אַבְרָ֔ם אֶת־נָח֖וֹר וְאֶת־הָרָ֑ן וְהָרָ֖ן הוֹלִ֥יד אֶת־לֽוֹט׃

28Haran died in the lifetime of his father Terach, in his native land, Ur of the Chaldeans.

vai-YAMOT ha-RAN al-PE-nei TE-rakh a-VEE-v, b'-E-retz mo-LAD-to b'-UUR kash-DEEM

כחוַיָּ֣מׇת הָרָ֔ן עַל־פְּנֵ֖י תֶּ֣רַח אָבִ֑יו בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מוֹלַדְתּ֖וֹ בְּא֥וּר כַּשְׂדִּֽים׃

29Avram and Nahor took to themselves wives, the name of Avram's wife being Sarai and that of Nahor's wife Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah.

vai-YI-kakh av-RAM v'-na-KHOR la-HEM na-SHEEM, SHEM ay-SHET av-RAM sa-RAI, v'-SHEM ay-SHET na-KHOR, mil-KAH bat ha-RAN, a-vee-mil-KAH, va-a-vee yis-KAH

כטוַיִּקַּ֨ח אַבְרָ֧ם וְנָח֛וֹר לָהֶ֖ם נָשִׁ֑ים שֵׁ֤ם אֵֽשֶׁת־אַבְרָם֙ שָׂרָ֔י וְשֵׁ֤ם אֵֽשֶׁת־נָחוֹר֙ מִלְכָּ֔ה בַּת־הָרָ֥ן אֲבִֽי־מִלְכָּ֖ה וַֽאֲבִ֥י יִסְכָּֽה׃

30Now Sarai was barren, she had no child.

va-TE-hee sa-RAI a-ka-RAH, AYN LAH va-LAD

לוַתְּהִ֥י שָׂרַ֖י עֲקָרָ֑ה אֵ֥ין לָ֖הּ וָלָֽד׃

31Terach took his son Avram, his grandson Lot the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Avram, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans for the land of Canaan; but when they had come as far as Haran, they settled there.

vai-YA-kakh TE-rakh et a-v'RAM b'-NO v'-et LOT ben ha-RAN ben b'-NO v'-ET sa-RAI ka-LA-to e-SHET a-v'RAM b'-NO vai-YETZ-u i-TAM me-UR kash-DEEM la-LE-khet ar-TZA k'-NA-an vai-ya-VO-u ad-kha-RAN vai-YESH-vu SHAM

לאוַיִּקַּ֨ח תֶּ֜רַח אֶת־אַבְרָ֣ם בְּנ֗וֹ וְאֶת־ל֤וֹט בֶּן־הָרָן֙ בֶּן־בְּנ֔וֹ וְאֵת֙ שָׂרַ֣י כַּלָּת֔וֹ אֵ֖שֶׁת אַבְרָ֣ם בְּנ֑וֹ וַיֵּצְא֨וּ אִתָּ֜ם מֵא֣וּר כַּשְׂדִּ֗ים לָלֶ֙כֶת֙ אַ֣רְצָה כְּנַ֔עַן וַיָּבֹ֥אוּ עַד־חָרָ֖ן וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ שָֽׁם׃

32The days of Terach came to 205 years; and Terach died in Haran.

vai-Y'-hee y'-MAY t'-RAKH, kha-MAYSH sha-NEEM u-ma-TA-yim sha-NAH, vai-YA-mot t'-RAKH b'-kha-RAHN.

לבוַיִּהְי֣וּ יְמֵי־תֶ֔רַח חָמֵ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים וּמָאתַ֣יִם שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּ֥מׇת תֶּ֖רַח בְּחָרָֽן׃