We are told that in the beginning of the world all the people lived in one place. By and by, that part of the earth became very crowded, and many families began to move from place to place, looking for new homes. All the people moved into a country between two great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Here they found that the soil could be made into bricks, and that the bricks could be heated and made hard. So it was easy to build houses to live in.
Then they wanted to build a great city and rule all the people around them. The people said to one another: "Let us build a great tower, the top of which will reach to the sky. And let us give a name to our city, that we may be kept together and not scattered1 over the earth."
So they began to build their great tower with bricks, which they piled up one story above another. But God did not wish all the people on the earth to live close together. God knew that if they all lived together, those that were wicked would lead away from God those that were good, and all the world would become evil again, as it had been before the flood. So while they were building the great tower, God caused their speech to change.
At that time all men were speaking the same language. But now they could not understand one another. The people that belonged to one family could not understand those of another family -- just as, at the present time, the English cannot talk to the French until they have learned the French language.
So the people scattered to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, and the earth became covered with many people, living in many lands and speaking many languages. Thus the tower stayed forever unfinished, and the city which they had built was named Babel, which means confusion, because it was there that God changed the language of all the earth. The city was afterward known as Babylon, and the tower as the Tower of Babel.