Genesis 11:5—How can God “come down” from heaven when He is already here (and everywhere)?

Problem: God is omnipresent, that is, everywhere at the same time (Ps. 139:7–10). But this text declares that God “came down” to see the city that men had built. But if He is already here, then how can He “come down” here?

Solution: God “came down” as a theophany, which is a special localized manifestation of the presence of God. These theophanies often appeared in the OT. Once God appeared to Abraham as a man (Gen. 18:2). God also came down to speak to Moses (Ex. 3), Joshua (Josh. 5:13–15), and Gideon (Jud. 6) in a similar manner.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.