The Tower of Babel was a tower built during the construction of the city of Babel, or which would later become the influential city of Babylon. The purpose of the Tower was for the people constructing Babel, to be able to give honor to themselves in order to keep themselves from scattering across the earth, planning for the tower to reach the skies. Though Noah and his family had been told to spread out, the people had stayed close for several years. Late in Noah's long life, his great grandson Nimrod was a leader in building several cities in the area between the Euphrates and Tigris river. In Hebrew, the names of Babel and Babylon (Greek spelling) are spelled the same, so it is to be assumed that the site for the tower was near the location of city that later went by that name.
The endeavor was in violation of God's command given to Noah and his family to fill the earth. As a result, He judged the descendants of Noah, still speaking his original language, by confusing the languages between the different family groups to make cooperation impossible. Nearby Ur would be the home of some of the descendants of Shem, probably including his son Arphaxad (spelling suggest Ur-phaxad). It was there that Abram (later named Abraham) would be born.