The Birth of Babylon
By Mark Hutzler, Escatologist
It was only by working through the scriptural record in the creation of the Full Bible Timeline that I discovered the life of Peleg. Here, history tells us the Tower of Babel was constructed. This would mean the existence of a kingdom of some description. A center of civilization that was cohesive and had central leadership and vision. If only there was some kind of historical proof to back up the scriptural account.
Ah... wait, there is.
The section I have emphasized below is recorded not just in this book but in hundred of volumes over the centuries.
Evidences for God and His Creations: Nature, the Flood, and the Bible: A Summary Apologetics Book Assembling a Puzzle
By Dr. T. J. Tofflemire
"Skeptics often criticize the Bible because its chronology disagrees with the standard chronology of ancient Egypt. However, this argument assumes that the Egyptian, rather than Hebrew chronology, is correct. One might just as easily argue that the Egyptian chronology is wrong, because it disagrees with the Hebrew. In fact, there is no original "Egyptian chronology." Egyptian historical accounts record the lengths of the reigns of kings and dynasties, but do not tell when these kings and dynasties ruled in relation to each other. The Standard Egyptian Chronology was developed in the early 20th century, based on the assumption that no two Egyptian dynasties ruled simultaneously, (which is demonstrably false), and a series of inferences and calculations based on the so-called Sothic cycle, (an assumption without any substantive evidence to support it). In contrast to this questionable Egyptian chronology invented in the 20th century and based on false assumptions and hypothetical calendars, the Biblical chronology records not only the birth and death of many of the patriarchs, but also reports their lives in relation to each other, and, in some cases, gives the month, day, and year when important events occurred. As a result, some creationist archaeologists (and secular Middle Eastern historians like Velikovsky) argue that the standard Egyptian chronology is erroneous, and in need of revision. They reject the two assumptions above, and have proposed a revised Egyptian chronology, consistent with the Hebrew chronology and with the archaeological evidence."
Pierce, L. wrote in Creation 22(1):46-49 (Web32)
"The year was 331BC. After Alexander the Great had defeated Darius at Gaugmela near Arbela, he journeyed to Babylon. Here he received 1903 years of astronomical observations from the Chaldeans, which they claimed dated back to the founding of Babylon. If this was so, then that would place the founding of Babylon in 2234BC, or about thirteen years after the birth of Peleg.
This was recorded in the sixth book of De Caelo (About the heavens) by Simplicius, a Latin writer in the 6th century AD. Porphyry (an anti-Christian Greek philosopher, c. 234-305 AD) also deduced the same number.),
"The Byzantine chronicler Constantinus Manasses (d. 1187) wrote that the Egyptian state lasted 1663 years. If correct, then counting backward from the time that Cambyses, king of Persia, conquered Egypt in 526 BC, gives us the year of 2188 BC for the founding of Egypt, about 60 years after the birth of Peleg. About this time Mizraim, the son of Ham, led his colony into Egypt. Hence the Hebrew word for Egypt is Mizraim (or sometimes 'the land of Ham' e.g. Psalm 105:23,27)." "According to the 4th Century bishop and historian Eusebius of Caesarea, Egialeus, king of the Greek city of Sicyon, west of Corinth in Peloponnesus, began his reign in 2089 BC, 1313 years before the first Olympiad in 776 BC. If Eusebius is correct, then this king started to reign about 160 years after the birth of Peleg. Note that Babylon, Egypt, and Greece each spoke a different language. These ancient historians have unwittingly confirmed the extreme accuracy of the biblical genealogies as found in the Hebrew scriptures." "An interesting piece of information comes from Manetho, who recorded the history of Egypt in the third century BC. He wrote that the Tower of Babel occurred five years after the birth of Peleg. Manetho, The Book of Sothis, Harvard Press, Cambridge, MA, p. 239 (Loeb Classical Library 350). Manetho was the victim of many Egyptian fairy tales in constructing his chronology of Egypt. The Egyptians would place the Flood and Peleg's birth much earlier than the Bible, but still they linked the Babel incident with Peleg's birth." Pierce's work above is not well accepted by conventional historians. The minority view may be correct, however.
Here is some interesting information that does not entirely come from the Bible. Before we begin please keep in mind that no one knows how big the structure was. Not in the least. We have drawings and paintings of artist's impressions, but this is not to be taken as gospel. These are just artist impressions. If we were to take these illustrations literally then it is easy to assume that tens of thousands were needed to construct such massive structures. The tower may have been much smaller than these illustrations indicate. So we have to be careful how much our assumptions lead us into believing or disbelieving the scriptures.
It is only my belief - that Peleg was named in the same manner of Methuselah. Methuselah was prophetically named meaning - when he dies, judgment. So his birth and naming held a prophetic message for his generation. Likewise, Peleg, named by either Eber or Shem (both of whom were powerfully prophetic men), was a prophetic name in that in his day the earth will be divided. Personally I hold to the view, along with many ancient scholars, Gill, Fouts, Sarfati and Bebe to only name a few, that the event took place on or near the end of Peleg's life. Just like the flood took place at the death of Methuselah.
When you use the Spetuagint (LXX) you begin adding 100 years to each of the generations post-flood and that moves the whole timeline along which affects all points between this event and the reign of King David. So then you need to compress time, the life of Joseph, the Exodus event, the Judges and so forth. It becomes quite a mess. This method has never sat well with me personally, as if indeed there were additionally 100's of years to add to these generations, why not just write that in? Do I believe in the inspired writings of scripture or do I believe that they are altered verses by the whim of man? If they are altered then that throws into question all of the scripture in my opinion and the authenticity of its authorship. Not something I can bring myself to do. So I take the scripture for what is says and I see if the evidence will support it as is - before I begin changing the scriptures to support some rationale that I have come to believe. I will not twist facts to fit the gospel, I will review the information and see if what I believe are facts - are indeed facts. It may be that I am misunderstanding some things and making them facts. After a complete examination, I feel that time after time the Bible turns out to be right - just the way it is. But that's just me.
The Bible Timeline illustrates the time between the Flood and the period of time for the commencement of the Babylonian Kingdom. It would seem that the founding was in 2234 BC. This would be the year 1766 AM - after the fall. 101 years between the flood and his birth. Now the question is when did the tower construction begin? How long were they working on it prior to his death? When did the event of confusion take place?
Peleg lived for 239 years and died in the year 1996 AM. So we have a total of 340 years from the flood to the death of Peleg. We can imagine the birth rate under the circumstances of the post-flood world; geographically, and biologically, but I have no problem believing in large families. I just can't rationalize a family group with two kids and calling it quits there. So large families.
At what point in Peleg’s life do the events occur? Answering this question is important because it will help us understand the timeframe of post-Flood climatic changes and human migration. A number of present-day Christians who hold to a literal reading of Genesis consider that the reference to Peleg is linked to his birth, combined with acceptance of the MT. This suggests the Babel incident occurred as early as 101 years after the Noahic Flood, although with some flexibility of several decades (figure 1).
The very earliest dates are, however, implausible because other verses in Genesis 10 (26–32) inform the reader that the demographic scattering occurred in the time of Joktan’s extended family, and this problem was recognized by both Augustine of Hippo and Bishop Ussher.
Early commentaries, for instance the Seder Olam Rabbah, place the events at a later stage in Peleg’s life, namely at his death. But both early approaches require at least several hundred years from the Flood to the Babel event, and this length of time is supported by the Book of Jubilees. This evidence constrains the time of the Babel scattering to several centuries post-Flood.
PELEG: Genesis 10:25 records the birth of Peleg (meaning division) ‘for in his days was the earth divided’. Some suggest the continents of the earth were divided at this time. It is very unlikely, that such a process would have had to occur within a very confined time period. The resultant geological violence would be overwhelmingly catastrophic—like another Noahic Flood all over again.
The traditional interpretation, which seems more reasonable, relates this verse to the division of people/nations at the Tower of Babel event in Genesis 11. (Just like the English ‘earth’ can have a variety of meanings, the Hebrew ‘erets’ can also mean nation(s)—thus erets Yisrael, the land (nation, people) of Israel.) According to the biblical chronology as deduced by Archbishop Ussher, the Flood occurred in 2349–2348 BC. Our time line, and the King James Bible shows a date of 1656 from Adam’s fall which is equal to the year 2344. So the good Archbishop was not too far off. Peleg was born 101 years after the flood. Do ancient writers shed any light on when this happened? The answer is a resounding yes.
The year was 331 BC. After Alexander the Great had defeated Darius at Gaugmela near Arbela, he journeyed to Babylon. Here he received 1903 years of astronomical observations from the Chaldeans, which they claimed dated back to the founding of Babylon. If this was so, then that would place the founding of Babylon in 2234 BC, or about nine years after the birth of Peleg. This was recorded in the sixth book of De Caelo (‘About the heavens’) by Simplicius, a Latin writer in the 6th century AD. Porphyry (an anti-Christian Greek philosopher, c. 234–305 AD) also deduced the same number.
Mark Hutzler, Eschatologist