The explanation to this problem is that the events recorded in Genesis 10-11 were not written chronologically. Genesis 10 is more of an overview, while Genesis 11 speaks of one event within Genesis 10. Some of the things recorded in chapter 10 occurred before the tower of Babel, while others occurred sometime later. The simple fact is, Bible writers did not always record information in a strictly chronological sequence (and they never claimed to do such). Genesis 2:5-25 does not pick up where chapter 1 left off; rather it provides more detailed information about some of the events mentioned in chapter one. Several of the events in Genesis 38 involving Judah and Tamar occurred while the things recorded in chapter 39 and following took place. Similar to a teacher who is telling her class a story and inserts information into it about something the main character did in the past or will do in the future, Moses jumps ahead of himself at times by inserting parenthetical material like that found in Genesis 10.
Aside from the languages mentioned in Genesis 10, there is another clue in the text that reveals the events recorded in chapter 11 occurred before the descendents of Noah began speaking different languages and spreading throughout the Earth. In 10:25, it mentions a man named Peleg (meaning division) who received such a name because in his days the earth was divided. This is a clear reference to the confusion of languages at the tower of Babel described in chapter 11. The Earth (i.e., people; cf. 11:1) divided when God confused the languages (11:7-8). Thus, the division in Pelegs day is linked contextually to the linguistic segregation at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).
When Genesis 10 and 11 are read with the understanding that not all events are recorded
chronologically, one clearly sees how the events revealed in these chapters are entwined tightly
with one anotherso tightly in fact that those who seek contradictions are doomed to fail.
Linguistically speaking, there was no pre-Babel confusion; only one language was in existence
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