God told men to fill the earth, but they decided to stop at Shinar because they were afraid of being scattered over the earth. And then they decided to build a temple to join earth with heaven and as a monument to themselves, not to God. How we still have not learned our lesson. As others have related, it is interesting that what is perceived as a monument to pierce the heavens, is from Gods perspective – barely perceptible.
I did some reading and Youtubing and it seems that the original Tower of Babel foundations are still to be seen today in the following Google Earth photo.
It is possible the original Tower of Babel was begun by Nimrod and later completed by Nebuchadnezzar II. Regardless of mans folly, God confounded their plans and completed his original plan of populating the Earth, and so as to prevent a future attempt to halt His intent, He confounded their languages. Smart! Had not men been so intent on uniting themselves in one city/state with one language, we might today all just be speaking various dialects of a single language. Many languages today still retain traits and obvious references to the time of Noah.
On an archaeological note: the Tower of Babel remnants are of brick and bitumen. Just like the Bible says. Huh!
Only in Jesus have men been united into a single culture – the indwelling of the Spirit in each one of us bonds us in a single language and culture of Love and obedience to God.
The chapter finishes with a few more genealogies, the length of men’s lives growing shorter and the stage being set for Abraham.