Why does Genesis 10:5 say "they had their own language", when 11:1 says they all shared one language?

Genesis 10:2 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

Genesis 11:1

ESV - 1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.

Clarify Share Report Asked November 08 2013 Mini Vivian Brackin

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Open uri20131030 22623 f4m8o3 Jeffrey Kranz Believer, blogger, founder of the Overview Bible Project
Genesis 10 and Genesis 11 are parallel passages—they explain some of the same time period from different perspectives. Genesis 10 is a genealogy of all nations, while Genesis 11 drills down to Abraham. 

So Genesis 10 mentions different languages among the sons of Japheth, and then tells us how those languages came to be.

This might not be the order in which we'd record that information nowadays; that's why it's helpful to remember that Genesis is primarily about how the nation of Israel began. The author of Genesis gives us the big picture of where all nations came from, then uses the tower of Babel to transition into the story of Israel's patriarchs.

November 08 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Beach Jae Park
I believe that Gen 10 explained overview of the whole nations and languages according to descendants of Noah's 3 Sons and Gen 11 focused on specific events [Tower of Babel]. And both explained the same thing about language in different perspective. 
According to Gen 10:25: "To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan." 

During the time of Peleg, [division], the earth was divided. We can assume that confusion of languages happened at the time of Peleg [division] and nations were divided according to their languages in the sovereignty of God.

December 12 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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