As they stood in the courtyard opposite their fathers waiting for the appearance of the king, Peleg whispered to his brother, “Joktan, what is going on with you? Why won’t you talk to me? Tell me what you were doing with those guards last night? They didn’t have you tied up. You were sitting playing a game with them at the table. It didn’t look like you were their prisoner.”
Joktan stood silently refusing to answer his brother.
“Joktan! Talk to me! We risked our lives to rescue you!”
Joktan finally whipped around to face his older brother, “Well, it sounds like you have it figured out don’t you? I was working with them to get Pop to see the light. You weren’t supposed to rescue me. Pop was supposed to see the light and sell the hay to the king. Everything would have been fine, but no you had to play the hero and try to free me.”
“But supporting the tower is wrong! Joktan, Pop says that the Lord wants people to scatter around the whole earth, not stay in one place. King Nimrod wants to build this tower as a tribute to himself and as an affront to the Lord. He thinks that he is more powerful than the Lord. That’s prideful and wrong!”
“Says who? Pop? He’s just basing that on some old stories about Great Great Grampa Noah that were passed down. Those things aren’t true. They’re just stories that people tell. I don’t believe ‘em. I believe in the king. He’s the one with the power to help us or to hurt us. I am on his side and he’s gonna thank me for that before this is all over. You’ll see.”
“Joktan, I don’t believe what I am hearing you say. Are you rejecting everything you’ve been taught?”
“Yes, now be quiet, here comes the king. You’ll see how right I was to side with him. You’ll see.”
The king made his entrance onto a balcony overseeing the courtyard, horns blaring. The guards commanded everyone to be quiet under threat of death. The king began to speak.
“Citizens of the great kingdom of Babel, thank you for meeting with me here today. It has come to my attention that the farmers of the valley do not want to sell me their crops of hay. No, I am told that they prefer to make their hay a gift to their king. Isn’t that generous?”
There was confusion and commotion amongst the farmers at this announcement.
“And indeed, they even wish to offer their sons as laborers for this mighty work of their king.”
Now the commotion grew louder as the farmers protested at the top of their lungs.
“I wish to thank you for your generosity and to promise you that if you should change your minds about this gift, I will have to make an example of one of your sons, to encourage you to continue your generosity until we have completed this tower that will reach up to the heavens.
As you can see, the tower is going to be completed soon because of your help. It will demonstrate the greatness of your king and his kingdom and new gods that I choose for us to worship.”
The commotion raised by the farmers continued to grow even louder in protest to what they were hearing.
“I can see that there are those among you that are not in complete agreement with my wishes, and are perhaps clinging to those old superstitions about the God of Noah. I am greater than any God of Noah; I am Nimrod, the most powerful warrior of all time. I will now show you that I mean what I say. Guards, take the boy that was selected to serve as a sacrifice to my will.”
The guards grabbed Joktan and pulled him to the center of the courtyard. He was surrounded by guards with spears pointed at him. Now instead of being filled with confidence, Joktan was suddenly filled with fear as he stared at the guards and their weapons.
The king resumed his speech.
“This tower and this city are a tribute to me, your king. You all owe me everything you have because I am the king. This tower is a tribute to me and what I can do. I will show you what happens to the sons of those that choose their mythical god over their service to me. Guards, exebla ga zornin!”
Suddenly no one could understand the king’s words any longer. When the guards asked each other what the king said, they couldn’t understand each other either.
The same thing was happening all over town and up on the tower. The workers couldn’t understand the foremen or each other, and they began to go back down to the ground where everyone was shouting at the tops of their lungs. Slowly small groups of those that could understand each other began to form and move off in one direction or another.
The same thing happened in the courtyard. The king continued to shout at the top of his lungs but with so many other people doing the same he could not be heard. The sons and the fathers broke free from the confused guards.
Eber and Adah found Peleg. They were relieved they could still understand each other in their normal language. Together they looked until they found Joktan and sadly found that they could no longer understand him or he them. After a number of fruitless attempts to talk with him, Joktan grew angry and ran away.
When Eber and Peleg got home, they discovered that they same thing had happened there. Families were scattered all over the land as they tried to find groups of people they could communicate with. They found Joktan with a group of people that understood him and he eventually migrated away from Babel with them, never to see his family again.
God was faithful and saved those who trusted in him. The others were scattered around the world as He had originally commanded. When you believe and obey, God is faithful, just you wait and see.
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