VII. And it came to pass after these things, that the people of the land turned not from their evil thoughts: and they came together again unto their princes and said: The people shall not be overcome for ever: and now let us come together and build us a city and a tower which shall never be removed.
2. And when they had begun to build, God saw the city and the tower which the children of men
3. Therefore, lo, I will divide their speech, and scatter them over all countries, that they may not know every man his brother, neither every man understand the speech of his neighbour. And I will deliver them to the rocks, and they shall build themselves tabernacles of stubble and straw, and shall dig themselves caves and shall live therein like beasts of the field, and thus shall they continue before my face for ever, that they may never devise such things. And I will esteem them as a drop of water, and liken them unto spittle: 1 and unto some of them their end shall come by water, and other of them shall be dried up with thirst. 4. And before all of them will I choose my servant Abram, and I will bring him out from their land, and lead him into the land which mine eye hath looked upon from the beginning when all the dwellers upon earth sinned before my face, and I brought on them the water of the flood: and then I destroyed not that land, but preserved it. Therefore the fountains of my wrath did not break forth therein, neither did the water of my destruction come down upon it. For there will I make my servant Abram to dwell, and I will make my covenant with him, and bless his seed, and will be called his God for ever.
5. Howbeit when the people that dwelt in the land had begun to build the tower, God divided their speech, and changed their likeness. 2 And
they knew not every man his brother, neither did each understand the speech of his neighbour. So it came to pass that when the builders commanded their helpers to bring bricks they brought water, and if they asked for water, the others brought them straw. And so their counsel was broken and the), ceased building the city: and God scattered them thence over the face of all the earth. Therefore was the name of that place called Confusion, because there God confounded their speech, and scattered them thence over the face of all the earth.
95:1 VII. 3. I will liken them unto spittle (also XII. 4). The source is Isa. 40:15; but this clause is not in our present Hebrew text. It occurs, however, in the LXX; it is also in 4 Esdras 6:56, Apoc. Bar. 82:5, both of which books are believed to have been written in Hebrew. We need not, therefore, count its occurrence in Philo as implying dependence on the LXX. Compare the combinations of phrases from Isaiah in XXVI. 13.
95:2 5. changed their likeness. J adds "into that of p. 96 monkeys," probably from the Book of Jashar (see Migne, Dict. des Apocryphes II. s. v. Yaschar). The Greek Apocalypse of Baruch describes the builders of the Tower as changed into bestial forms. The story of the workmen misunderstanding each other is in Bereshith Rabbah, Jashar, etc.