And to Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name was Joktan.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Genesis 10:23. Meshech is the reading of all the MSS., and is supported by the Septuagint here and in Genesis 10:23. It seems preferable to "Mash," which admits of no very probable explanation. Just as Hamites and Semites were intermingled in Arabia (Genesis 10:7, note; Genesis 10:29, note), so Semites and Japhethites may have been intermingled in Cappadocia - the country of the Meshech or Moschi (Genesis 10:2 note); and this Aramaean ad-mixture may have been the origin of the notion, so prevalent among the Greeks, that the Cappadocians were Syrians. The earth was divided in their languages and habitation; of which see Genesis 11:7. 1 Chronicles 1:8, then of Shem, whose posterity are mentioned last, because from him, in the line of Heber, sprang Abraham, the ancestor of the Jewish nation, of whom the Messiah was to come, for whose sake this genealogy is given, 1 Chronicles 1:17. The whole is the same with the account in And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name was Joktan.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. the earth was divided] i.e. there was a great dispersion of the population of the earth. Peleg means “Separation” or “Division.”Genesis 10; but our author has omitted not only the introductory and concluding remarks (Genesis 10:1, Genesis 10:21, Genesis 10:32), but also the historical notices of the founding of a kingdom in Babel by Nimrod, and the distribution of the Japhetites and Shemites in their dwelling-places (Genesis 10:5, Genesis 10:9-12, Genesis 10:18-20, and Genesis 10:30 and Genesis 10:31). The remaining divergences are partly orthographic, - such as תּבּת, 1 Chronicles 1:5, for תּוּבל, Genesis 10:2, and רעמא, 1 Chronicles 1:9, for רעמה, Genesis 10:7; and partly arising from errors of transcription, - as, for example, דּיפת, 1 Chronicles 1:6, for ריפת, Genesis 10:3, and conversely, רודנים, 1 Chronicles 1:7, for דּדנים, Genesis 10:4, where it cannot with certainty be determined which form is the original and correct one; and finally, are partly due to a different pronunciation or form of the same name, - as תּרשׁישׁה, 1 Chronicles 1:7, for תּרשׁישׁ, Genesis 10:4, the aa of motion having been gradually fused into one word with the name, לוּדּיּים, 1 Chronicles 1:11, for לוּדים, Genesis 10:13, just as in Amos 9:7 we have כּוּשׁיּים for כּוּשׁים; in 1 Chronicles 1:22, עיבל for עובל, Genesis 10:28, where the lxx have also Εὐάλ, and משׁך, 1 Chronicles 1:17, for משׁ, Genesis 10:23, which last has not yet been satisfactorily explained, since משׁך is used in Psalm 120:5 with קדר of an Arabian tribe. Finally, there is wanting in 1 Chronicles 1:17 ארם וּבני before עוּץ, Genesis 10:23, because, as in the case of Noah's sons, 1 Chronicles 1:4, where their relationship is not mentioned, so also in reference to the peoples descended from Shem, the relationship subsisting between the names Uz, Hul, etc., and Aram, is supposed to be already known from Genesis. Other suppositions as to the omission of the words ארם וּבני are improbable. That this register of seventy-one persons and tribes, descended from Shem, Ham, and Japhet, has been taken from Genesis 10, is placed beyond doubt, by the fact that not only the names of our register exactly correspond with the table in Genesis 10, with the exception of the few variations above mentioned, but also the plan and form of both registers is quite the same. In 1 Chronicles 1:5-9 the sections of the register are connected, as in Genesis 10:2-7, by וּבני; from 1 Chronicles 1:10 onwards by ילד, as in Genesis 10:8; in 1 Chronicles 1:17, again, by בּני, as in Genesis 10:22; and in 1 Chronicles 1:18 by ילד, and 1 Chronicles 1:19 by ילּד, as in Genesis 10:24 and Genesis 10:25. The historical and geographical explanation of the names has been given in the commentary to Genesis 10. According to Bertheau, the peoples descended from the sons of Noah amount to seventy, and fourteen of these are enumerated as descendants of Japhet, thirty of Ham, and twenty-six of Shem. These numbers he arrives at by omitting Nimrod, or not enumerating him among the sons of Ham; while, on the contrary, he takes Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, and Joktan, all of which are the names of persons, for names of people, in contradiction to Genesis, according to which the five names indicate persons, viz., the tribal ancestors of the Terahites and Joktanites, peoples descended from Eber by Peleg and Joktan.
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