Rashi in parshas Noach 10 11, seen here quotes the Medrash Rabba: From that land: Since Asshur saw his sons obeying Nimrod and rebelling against the Omnipresent by building the tower, he departed from their midst. — [from Gen. Rabbah 37:4]

It seems quite apparent from from the repeated use of the word 'sham', there, in chapter 11 vs. 7-9 that the creation of new languages took place only in Babylonia.

So shouldn't the Assyrians have continued speaking Lashon Hakodesh being that they weren't in Babylonia when Hashem mixed up the languages?

1 Answer 1


Rav Hrsch explains that the language changing would have occurred as people spread out in any event. It was the miracle of all the languages suddenly erupting into existence rather than over a period of time that was the miracle of the dispersion. Thus, it affected everyone in the world, with the migdal Bavel as the center of the change (expanding out from there). See how Rav Hirsch explains that the connotation of words changed and that caused the meanings to change. This would have occurred even if the sound of the words had not changed. Also see how Rav Hirsch explains the effect of the invention of the word "to have" had on human morality.

  • You mean where he says "So the disunion did not arise out of a number of languages but the other way around"? So then theoretically once Ashur removed himself from the group setting and went off to his own land, the Assyrian language would've started developing even before Hashem's interaction with the people in Bavel? Good. +1
    – user6591
    Oct 21, 2015 at 17:14
  • @user6591 Exactly Oct 22, 2015 at 0:11

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