At the time of Peleg, was earth divided by geological or human factors?

Author: BibleAsk Team


“To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan” (Genesis 10:25 also 1 Chronicles 1:19).

Geologists believe that, in the past, the continents formed as a single land mass called Pangaea. And the “continental drift” theory (plate tectonics) introduced the idea that this land mass broke off into continents which slowly drifted apart forming our world today. And some Bible commentators teach that Genesis 10:25 points to this Phenomenon.

But a careful study of the contextual evidence in Genesis chapters 10-11 proves that the division was a human division. At the Tower of Babel, the Lord judged the wicked people of the world who build a tower to “make a name” for themselves in rebellion against heaven (Genesis 11:4). And He confused their languages so they could no longer understand one another. “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).

And the Bible affirms the human division and separation of, “everyone according to his own language, according to their families, into their nations” (Genesis 10:5) and “in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood” (Genesis 10:32). And since the confusion of tongues happened around the time of Peleg’s birth, we can easily understand why he got his name Peleg, “division.” “In his days was the earth divided.” Today, there are thousands of languages that can be traced back to the varied linguistic roots of the time of Babel.

As for the theory of Pangaea, it is possible that the Lord created on single mass of land at the Creation (Genesis 1:9-10). But this land mass was divided by the natural geological effects of Noah’s flood. The catastrophic flood could easily create a global tectonic shifts and divisions in the surface of the earth thus causing the splitting of the land mass for “all the fountains of the great deep were broken up” (Genesis 7:11).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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