How was the earth divided at the time of Peleg?

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The word Peleg first appeared in Genesis 10:25 “And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” A

The word Peleg means “division.” Peleg was the first-born son of Eber and one of the ancestors of Abraham. Although the text speaks literally of a splitting up of the “earth,” the word signifies its people, as Genesis 9:19 and Genesis 11:1 point.

And the chronological sequence of events in the Bible confirms this understanding. Following Genesis 10:25 is the story of the tower of Babel in Genesis 11. The wickedness of the people became great as the inhabitants of the earth centralized. And the people rebelled against God in building the tower of Babel to “make a name” for themselves (Genesis 11:4). They wanted to defy the Creator after the flood and build a tower that will protect them against the judgements of God.

So, the Lord disrupted their work by confusing their languages that they will not understand one another. When their schemes failed, they dispersed into all the earth. This resulted in dividing the earth. “That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:9).

Since the confusion of tongues that took place about the time of Peleg’s birth, we can see how he received the name Peleg, “division.” And even today, the different languages that exist in our world serve as walls and barriers of division between the nations and cultures.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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