Read Genesis 10
Focus on verse 25
In most cultures names are more than just a label to identify one person from the next. Names have meaning, which are often related either to the character of the person, or some event that occurred on or near the persons birth.
In today’s reading a man named Eber names his son Peleg, which means “division” apparently because of an event that caused the earth to be divided near the time of his birth.
To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. (v. 25)
How many times I have read this passage… and totally missed this. What exactly does the earth being divided mean? Is this a reference to the division of languages at the tower of Babel? Or is this a reference to the earth geographically being divided into continents? That would be more than a little cataclysmic! One would think there might be a little more written about it than just a guy named Eber naming his son “division” because, well, you know, there was this MASSIVE earthquake and the continents shifted apart separating some of our relatives by a thousand miles of ocean so we never saw them again, until 1492 AD or so.
Personally (and admittedly without doing much serious research on it) I am inclined to lean toward the idea that this is in reference to the context of the Babel event where the people were divided by the confusion of languages, and that the geographical division either was created that way from the beginning, or perhaps came about as an aftermath of the flood in some way. Either way, God did it, and since no one was there to video record it, or even see it, we really don’t “know”. Perhaps this is one of those things where its okay to leave it a little open ended… one of those mysteries of God…giving us something to ask Him about when we see Him in eternity. Who knows it may take a long time for Him to tell us the story – but hey, it is not like we wont have eternity to hear it, and I rather doubt it will be boring if God is telling the story.