The dividing of the earth

Old Testament: Gen 10.21–32

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 9–11 on January 4, In the year of our Lord Christ 2021

By Don Ruhl 

Some people believe that the Bible reveals the generation when the continents were broken up on the earth. As Moses wrote of the descendants of Shem, he noted: 

And children were born also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder. The sons of Shem were…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…These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations. 

– Genesis 10.21–31 

However, as you read and study the Bible, you always have to keep in mind the context, for it often reveals the meaning of words and such. Moses continued to write: 

These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.

– Genesis 10.32 

The purpose of Genesis 10 is to reveal the origin of nations. Genesis 11 also explains more of what happened during the days of Peleg, that up to his generation, all the people of earth spoke one language. However, they did not follow God’s instruction to spread out over the earth. Therefore, He created different languages among them, thus dividing them up and they then spread throughout the earth. 

Therefore, Moses did not tell us during which generation the continents formed, but he told us that during Peleg’s generation, earth, the people of earth, divided. 


  • What is generally considered the universal language of today? 
  • Do you speak a second language? 

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