SPECIAL TOPIC: LAND, COUNTRY, EARTH (erets)

Like all Hebrew roots, context is crucial in determining their intended meaning of the original author.  The limited number of Hebrew roots (i.e., an ancient Semitic language) causes each of them to function with different meanings and connotations. This root (BDB 75, KB 90) can mean

1. the whole planet (although the ancients did not realize its size and shape. Usually it is used of the "known world")

a. Genesis 1-2; 6-9; 10:32; 11:1,4,8,9; 14:19; 18:18,25; 22:18, etc.

b. Exodus 9:29; 19:5

c. Psalm 8:1,9; 24:1; 47:2,7; Jer. 25:26,29,30

d. Proverbs 8:31

e. Isaiah 2:19,21; 6:3; 11:4,9,12; 12:5

2. earth in contrast to heaven

a. Genesis 1:2

b. Exodus 20:4

c. Deuteronomy 5:8; 30:19

d. Isaiah 37:16

3. metaphor for the human inhabitants of the planet

a. Genesis 6:11; 11:1

b. 1 Kings 2:2; 10:24

c. Job 37:12

d. Psalm 33:8; 66:4

4. country or territory

a. Genesis 10:10,11; 11:28,31

b. esp. Israel (a gift from YHWH, He owns it)

5. soil, cf. Joshua 7:21

6. underworld (KB 91)

a. Exodus 15:12

b. Psalm 22:29; 71:20; Jer. 17:13; Jonah 2:6

7. new world

a. Isaiah 9:1-7; 65:17; 66:22

b. see NT, Rom. 8:19-22; Gal. 6:15; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1,5

Remember, context, context, context is crucial. Often cognate roots can help, but not always.

 

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