What was the one language and one speech the whole earth was of, in Genesis 11:1 (KJV)?


Genesis 1:1 (KJV) states that God created (i.e. by modelling a role.[1]) the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:2 (KJV) describes that which was created and uses the imagery of a dark abyss. Light, which is called fourth after this, (Genesis 1:3, KJV) appears to have already been in existence.

Light and darkness worked side-by-side in the heaven and the earth which God created. (Genesis 1:1, KJV) And the spirit of God is said to have been moving (or brooding) upon the water.[2]

The English words “levy” (i.e. a tax imposed — and in our use, a tax imposed on oneself)[3] and “levee” (“an embankment built to prevent the overflow of a river”)[4] can be traced to the word “light”. Bear in mind that this is curiously (and I submit, not coincidentally) close to Levi, which is the priesthood.

Light, biblically-speaking, is life (metaphorically) and contentment, awareness and serenity. Darkness, biblically-speaking, is death (metaphorically) and discontentment, ignorance and misery. Also interesting and relevant are the Hebrew words:

  • lev/leb[5] = “heart” which I associate with love (and with Levi), and
  • hen[6] = “grace”

Taken together, and considering “the beginning” (Genesis 1), there was an abyss of discontented people, ignorant of the fact that the consequences of their ways was what brought about their misery. Nonetheless, God[7] loved those who cursed in discontentment and who walked in ignorance. This was the price (i.e. the levy) God paid. God was a “suffering servant” and because God did this for those who did not “deserve” it, God was — by definition — gracious. God’s actions created a levee that became “the heaven”.

God embodied light despite the darkness and this is the personification of grace. Grace was how God created the heaven and the earth in Genesis 1:1 (KJV). It was the “hen” (grace) that brooded over the water, nurturing heaven. (Genesis 1:2, KJV)

Answer = Grace

Grace was the unified language and speech referred to in Genesis 11:1 (KJV). Grace is unmerited favour. There is no confusion concerning what grace is and can be none over how it is to play out; there can only be agreement or disagreement with it. When law (rules) are introduced into a way of life (love) which is described as that which:”Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things,” (1 Corinthians 13:7, KJV) it is then and only then that questions would arise and confusion and confounding with it, as to where to draw the line.

Exactly what are the merits and conditions under which we are to be loving is what we’d begin to ask. To the admonition to “love your neighbour”, we ask, who is our neighbour? To a small subsection of people we ascribe the label “family”, though we’re all related. We live by terms and conditions, rules and regulations, whereas grace knows no merits nor conditions and thus no confusion.

Genesis 1:2 (KJV), in speaking of the completed earth (the way of life)[8], describes it as being without form (“not being specific”) and void (“not legally binding”). There was no rule of law. God was said to model the way, God wasn’t said to exact it from others or even ask others to follow. God simply embodied it and those who would, chose to follow.
Genesis 1:3 (KJV) denotes a change from “creating” to “making” and this is where (in this version of the story) we see the transition from grace to law. We can better see the transition in the story of Moses and the lead up to the commandments etc. But they’re telling the same story in different ways.

Grace was the language and speech the world spoke and law was what supplanted and thereafter confounded it.


  1. This is one definition of “create”.
  2. See Hebrew “rachaph” (moved) in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance which records “brooding” among uses. https://biblehub.com/hebrew/7363.htm Oxford Dictionaries defines “brooding” [verb, def 2] as “(of a bird) sit on (eggs) to hatch them.” https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/brood
  3. levy. Lexico. https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/levy
  4. levee. Lexico. https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/levee
  5. lev/leb (heart). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. https://biblehub.com/hebrew/3820.htm
  6. hen (grace). Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Grace. BibleStudyTools.com. https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/grace/
  7. God: Judges and magistrates
  8. the earth (“the way”). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) https://biblehub.com/hebrew/776.htm