Genesis 10 Series, Part 11, Verse 21

  • | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 27:53
  • Passages covered: Genesis 10:21, Genesis 10:25-32, Genesis 11:7.

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Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #11 of Genesis, chapter 10 and I will read Genesis 10:21:

Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.

Then I will read Genesis 10:25-32:

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. And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, And Hadoram, and Uzal, and Diklah, And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east. These are the sons of Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

We have been discussing the fact that God divided the earth in the days of Peleg. We saw early in the next chapter, in Genesis 11, verse 1 that the Lord began to discuss the confounding of language at the tower of Babel. Most theologians relate the language of the earth being divided in the days of Peleg to the confounding of language in Genesis, chapter 11. They say that when God confounded the language the people went off to form their own nations, but they do not apply it to the division of the continent and the idea of the “continental drift” and the breaking apart of the one large land mass into the continents we have today.

Interestingly, some scientists or secular archeologists to believe that the earth was one large land mass that had broken apart and drifted to form our current continents over the course of time. Of course, their error is that they believe this happened over a period of 150 million years. Their idea is more accurate than many church theologians, but they apply an erroneous time frame to the process, just as scientists err in their ideas about the beginning of the universe because of their belief in evolution, and so forth. They have developed images that show that the continents were once one large continent and then separated; they have the right idea, but the wrong timeframe.

God gives us the correct answer. The Bible teaches us that creation was just over 13,000 years ago, but scientists say that is not possible and they give various reasons for this, but God’s people recognize that it is possible because God simply created the universe with the appearance of age, just as He created Adam with the appearance of age. Adam was created as a fully grown adult and not as a baby. God is able to do these things and confound the wisdom of the world.

Likewise, the world thinks that the continents drifting apart in a very limited time frame is not accurate, but that is how we must understand it. In the days of Peleg (perhaps, in 3114BC, as indicated by the secular evidence of the Mayan calendar), the division of the continents took place. Even if you used the entire 239-year span of Peleg’s lifetime as the time when the continents drifted apart, the world would say that it was not enough time. God performed a miraculous work as He caused the land mass to separate and divide and move away from one another in record-setting time. We are not sure how long it took. Did it take one day? Did it take a week, a month or a year? We are not sure when the continents settled to relative distances to what we see today. Today the continents continue to drift apart by relatively small measurement. However, in that day God caused it to happen and it was a miracle, just as the confounding of the language at the tower of Babel. That, too, was a miracle. It was supernatural activity by God to confound the language of the peoples of the earth. At that time, the Chinese language may have come into existence and the Samarian language, plus Aramaic and Hebrew and, perhaps, Greek. The earliest record of ancient Greek that I could find reference to goes back to about 1450BC, so it may have developed at the time of the tower of Babel into what would become the Greek language.

You know, it is very curious that the secular scientists and the “wisdom of the world” tells us that the world is billions of years old and mankind has been on the earth for millions of years, as the early ancestors of man evolved from lower life forms called “cave men.” Supposedly, they lived on the earth for millions of years and man is still evolving and, yet, it is interesting that when we find archeological records of writing, it only goes back about 5,000 years. You can find no earlier record of writing and 5,000 years leads us back to the time of the days of Peleg, who was born in 3153BC.

You can “Google” the subject of “ancient writing,” like the writings of the Samarians or the earliest writings of the Chinese. They may say it is as long ago as 6,000 years, but the record of the writing only goes back about 5,000 years. All the ancient writings go back to the days of Peleg or the days of Eber, the calendar reference patriarch that lived right before Peleg; upon the death of Eber in 3153 Peleg was born, so the history of writing is about 5,000 to 5,200 years old. The secular world prefers to think that mankind has been around for millions of years, so one would think that mankind could have evolved enough in intelligence to the point of developing written language 50,000 or 100,000 years ago, or even 200,000 years ago. How could there be people living on the earth for hundreds of thousands of years with equivalent intelligence to ours (according to the secularists) and, yet, there was no written communication that goes back beyond about 5,000 years? The written record of language goes back only about 5,000+ years and it agrees perfectly with what we read in the Bible about a world that suddenly had its language confused at the tower of Babel and then later went through the division of the continents.

Maybe people have not thought through this, but the Bible says there was one language and one speech and everyone understood one another. Let us say that this language was the Noahian language. I just made that up, but let us say that everyone spoke that language and no matter where you went, everyone spoke that language. Everyone spoke and thought in that language, but then came the tower of Babel and God confounded the language and people could not understand one another. That is what it says in Genesis 11:7:

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

The people came together to build the tower. Let us say that they all spoke Noahian and God confounded their speech. God separated their speech by families. So, the family of Shem spoke Hebrew and the family of Ham began to speak ancient Egyptian and another family line spoke Chinese and another family spoke Samarian, and so forth. So, there they were at the tower of Babel and the leader of the effort to build the tower spoke to the people, but he was now talking Chinese. Prior to that, he was speaking Noahian, but now he is speaking Chinese and they did not understand Chinese. In addition to confounding their language, God miraculously changed their understanding. For example, all their lifetime they had thought in one language. They reasoned in that language and their memories were in that language. God not only changed their speech, but He changed what they could understand. Now they could not understand Noahian. How do we know that? Obviously, if they still understood the original language, but they now spoke another language, they could still communicate. They could say, “I do not understand Chinese, so speak Noahian.” However, they could not do that because God even changed their memories. They still had the same family memories and they could recall their get-togethers and the dinner they had the previous night, and so forth, but their memories were now in a new language that God had just given them. It was an incredible miracle. It was a tremendous supernatural event.

I am speaking English and most people listening to EBible are listening to our English broadcast, but in our present day over 5,000 years later after the tower of Babel we still must translate our English Bible studies into many languages and we are continuing to do that. However, just imagine what it would be like in your neighborhood if God confounded the language on your block. One day you woke up and everyone in your household spoke French, but the family in the next house spoke Japanese and in the next house they spoke Chinese, and so forth. There would be enormous confusion in the neighborhood because we had previously spoken the same language. When we would think about our childhood or other memories, we would remember these things in another language. It is just an incredible miracle that God could do this. We should not limit God and His ability and power to do incredible, supernatural things, including bringing about the division of the continent into the seven continents we have today and doing it in a relatively short period. The Lord could have done this in a few days or weeks. We do not know because God does not tell us, but it was a major and worldwide event that impacted the entire earth and every human being, but God simply summed it up by saying that the earth was divided in the days of Peleg and He says no more.

If it were man recording something incredible, man would go into detail and highlight some of the families and the experiences of what happened to their city or town when the continents began to move, and so forth. Man would lay it all out as the cataclysmic event it had to have been and we would draw tremendous attention to it because it was a big thing, but God, for His own purposes, did not draw it out and go into detail. God did give more detail about the flood, but it was still minor compared to what men would do if they were writing the Bible. And, yet, for His own purposes, God simply makes a little notation: “for in his days was the earth divided.” God does not have to prove anything to the creature made in His image; He does not need to show all His might and power. After all, the very existence of the world and universe demonstrate it. The heavens declare the glory of God and they testify to the almighty power of God. What greater demonstration of power and might could God give than to say, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth”? He spoke and created the vast universe, of which we cannot find the end. He brought it from “nothing” and He stretched out the heavens as a tent. Today, we find that the universe is still expanding, over 13,000 years after creation. It is still stretching outward and becoming bigger since the moment God spoke and stretched it out. The enormity of God’s Person and power is so great and the examples of His ability are all around us. He does not need to “prove anything.” He is not like man in that regard. God is humble. Humility was a trait of the Lord Jesus Christ and He is God. Even though He is almighty and all-powerful, He does not boast as men do, although God is worthy of glory in these things and everything He does is good and glorious.

Again, He simply told us that the world was “divided.” The tower of Babel happened first, as the language was confounded in the days of Eber and that is why the language “Hebrew” comes from his name and that is why Moses was called a “Hebrew.” When the lineage of Moses was followed back in time, it went back to Eber in whose days the language that God later confounded began to be spoken and that language would take upon itself the name of the patriarch that was alive at that time (Eber). From the days of Eber, his line would speak the language that closely identified with his name (Hebrew).

This all gets a little involved, but we can understand that these things are accurate. Again, theologians think that the division of tongues was in view when the earth was divided in the days of Peleg, but they are not really explaining anything. For instance, if the continents were not divided, then how did all the people get to the continents we have them now and why do they all speak different languages? There is no answer for that until we bring it all back to one main geographical center with one large continent and one language. Then we see the confusion of tongues would lead to a separation, perhaps over a couple of decades, as people migrated to a different part of the continent; and then later the continents were divided.