The distance around the Equator is about nine times the distance across the United States. The expanse of the Equator is 24,902 miles with the Earth filling about 196,940,000 square miles. About 54,225,000 square miles, or three tenths of the earths surface is land. About 5,100,00 square miles of this land is in Antarctica, which is too cold to be settled. Man has attempted to settle every habitable portion of land possible. The Bible reveals when man settled the Earth and why.
Moses records in the book of Genesis the beginning of our world. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). In six days the creation was completed and man placed in the Garden of Eden. After sin subdued man and God drove him from the garden, evil men began to multiply until "all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died" (Genesis 7:22). Jehovah destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground because of the wickedness of men's thoughts (Genesis 6-8). "Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive" (Genesis 7:23).
Following the Flood, eight people were alive on the earth. From these eight people came all the nations. At this time the whole earth had one language and one speech. "And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, 'Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.' And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.' And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.' So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth" (Genesis 11:2-9).
The Bible answers two questions for mankind: why do men speak in different
languages and where did all the nations come from. The confusion of language
is an act of God. It is not known what language Noah and his family spoke but
at the time of the tower of Babel, all men spoke the same language. (See what
can be done when all men speak the same language?) Jehovah confused the language
of mankind and created a natural division of people to their own language. It
was then the world began to be populated as every distinct language migrated
to different parts of the globe. This dispersion would take generations to accomplish
but history has shown that men have inhabited the continents, islands, mountains,
valleys and the farthest reaches of the earth.
By Kent Heaton
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