There is an obscure passage in Genesis that is generally overlooked, but holds what I believe to be great insight into our early world after the flood. Genesis 10:25 states “Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided”. I believe this passage describes a time when God supernaturally separated the continents one from another. The Bible says that Peleg (which means divide) was born 100 years after the flood and lived for 239 years. The time frame for the continental split would therefore have been 100 years after the flood until 339 years after the flood. The division is said to have taken place during his lifetime, but doesn’t say how long it took.
God knew before people did – how about that!
The significance of this passage is truly amazing if we stop to examine the implications. Before the age of the sail, there were people and animals on almost every continent. How did they get there? Both creationists and evolutionists agree that there was originally one super continent called Pangea. In the 1800s, evolutionists stated the theory that Pangea split apart 95 million years ago. The Bible, written long before the 1800s, said that the earth was divided. When Columbus sailed to North America in 1492, he found people and animals. Evolutionists didn’t come up with the idea of Pangea until over 300 years later. So, the Bible described an event before its discovery!
The fact that the continents split is not disputed by Bible believing Christians or the evolutionary world. When it took place is in dispute. I have heard three versions of the continental split. The first is the evolutionary view, stating that the split took place 95 million years ago. The second is common in Christendom, which states that the split took place during the Flood. The third is the literal interpretation stated in Genesis 10:25, that it split between 100-339 years after the flood.
The evolution position
If the evolutionary view is correct, it raises some interesting questions. How did people get here (North America, Australia, Japan, Samoa, the Caribbean, Hawaii, etc) if they evolved after the split? People did not evolve until 2 million years ago (I have heard several estimates, none later than that). No one suggests that we all evolved separately and simultaneously since that idea would be extreme even to an evolutionist. They didn’t sail to those places. The explanation I had always been taught was that they walked to those places. How did they walk if oceans and seas surround the continents? People supposedly crossed the Bering Straight land bridge 15,000 years ago. The water there is a minimum of 50 feet deep. They say the ice age caused the ocean levels to drop since the water was frozen and on top of the continents, thus exposing dry land for people and animals to walk across. Sounds logical enough until you examine the details more closely (something we don’t often do). Doing the math yielded some interesting results. A 50 foot drop in the oceans would fill 1117 Lake Michigans! That would equal 1,318,248 cubic miles of water. The volume would increase by 8.7% when it is frozen resulting in 1,432,935 cubic miles of ice. That much ice would cover all dry land on earth with 130 feet of ice! Since the ice age was a northern hemisphere phenomenon, there would be about 200 feet of ice covering our world here in Wisconsin. I find that hard to believe. What natural phenomenon would cause that much ice to cover everything? The July sun would never allow it.
Then, how would these people cross that area since it was covered with 200 feet of ice? Evolutionists say that area remained unglaciated! Warm Pacific winds kept that area dry, even though it was cold enough to create such a calamity? It seems like these explanations are invented to make these unlikely scenarios feasible. Why would ancient man go to such a barren place when the entire northern hemisphere was supposedly like the Arctic Circle? Where would they find food?
Lions and tigers and bears – oh my!
If the following animals did not evolve until after the continental split 95 million years ago, then how do they explain their presence in the New World: the American Lion, the American Rhinoceros, the American Cheetah, the Mastodon, the American Zebra, Camelops and the Cuban Ground Sloth? As with man, they supposedly walked across the frozen desolate Bering Straight with no food in sight! This to me seems very unfeasible. As I mentioned before, either these animals evolved simultaneously in two different places or we are missing something. By the way, remember I mentioned earlier that the ocean levels would have had to drop 50 feet minimum to create a land bridge to Russia? Well, the ocean would have had to have dropped 500 feet to create a land bridge from Florida to Cuba. A 500 foot drop would have created not 200 feet of ice on North America, but 2000! Sloths do not swim! There must be another explanation for all of this. Before I get to that I will discuss the next possibility.
Pangea split during the Flood?
The second explanation is that the splitting of the earth occurred during the flood. If this is true then the Christian just inherited all of the same problems associated with the evolutionary Pangea split. How did Koala bears get from Turkey to Australia? How did the people get here? The common interpretation is that Genesis 10:25 is it is actually referring to the people of the earth when it says “the earth was divided”. I looked up the word ‘earth’ in the Hebrew Old Testament. It occurs 738 times. It can refer to people. Just to be curious, I read every verse that uses that word. The word is overwhelmingly used to describe the planet. Not one of the other occurrences in Genesis (86 other times) refers to people. In fact, the overwhelming majority of occurrences in the entire Old Testament refer to our world, not the people. You see, the discussion of Peleg occurs before and after the Tower of Babel. The Bible does not explicitly state when the Tower of Babel took place. So, the easy explanation is when God says the earth was divided, He must have been making reference to when the people were scattered. I find it interesting to note that in the description of the Tower of Babel, it says the people were scattered, which is a different word than ‘Peleg’ which means divided.
If we take the Bible at face value, then the people were scattered and the earth was divided. I believe it means what it says. We all spoke one language and had access to each other because of the single land mass. But because of our sin, God separated us by language and geography. This action limits the effects of sin, and allows one group to rise against another if one gets too wicked. This division of the continents saved this world from Hitler and Japan in 1945.
What the Bible says
After the flood, God confused the languages. People and animals walked to every part of the earth. Then God split the land. This explains why people and animals and American Lions and Cuban ground sloths are found everywhere. And this explanation came before we knew of the continental split. This is just like Job 26:7 which state that God suspends the earth over nothing! The ancients did not have spaceships, but Job knew the earth floated through space. Before you concern yourself with the earthquakes that would have resulted from such a split of the earth, review Joshua 10:13. This is the real day the earth stood still. Since we are moving at over 1000 miles an hour at the equator, God must have supernaturally dampened the effects when He suddenly stopped the earth from rotating. He must have done a similar work when He split the earth in Peleg’s time.