Peleg was a descendant of Noah. Peleg is one of just two characters mentioned in the genealogy of Genesis 9–10 to be described in any detail. (The other is Nimrod.)
Peleg’s claim to fame was that the earth was divided during his lifetime. Many have puzzled over the significance of this phrase. Some have suggested it refers to a massive shift of the earth’s tectonic plates, resulting in the position of the continents as they are today. More likely, however, the answer lies in the very next chapter.
Genesis 11 tells the story of the tower of Babel. The people of the earth, sharing a common tongue, decided to build a city that featured an impressive tower. The very words they spoke betrayed their arrogance.
Observing the scene, God concluded that if human beings united in their prideful pursuits, their sin would reach unthinkable levels. So God scattered the people, causing them to speak different languages and forcing them to spread far and wide.
Whether Peleg was present at the tower of Babel, somehow involved in its construction, is not known. He simply seems to be a reference point that the writer of Genesis used to anchor the story of Babel that follows the genealogy recorded in chapters 9–10.
Peleg is mentioned in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus. As one of the Messiah’s earliest ancestors, he provided an important link from Adam to Jesus—that is, from the first Adam to the second Adam ( Luke 3:35).