Earth - Concise Bible DictionarySeveral Hebrew words are translated 'earth,' but they are not employed to distinguish the earth as a sphere from the surface of the earth, or ground; nor to discriminate between the general surface of the earth, and any portion of it as 'land,' or the soil of the earth. Thus adamah generally refers to the earth as ground or soil: the rain falleth on 'the earth,' Gen 7:4; 'an altar of earth,' Exo 20:24; man 'returneth to his earth,' Psa 146:4; but it often refers to the 'land ' of Israel: 'prolong your days upon the land;' 'dwell in the land;' 'live in the land;' 'the land which I sware unto their fathers.' Deu 30:18; Deu 30:20; Deu 31:13; Deu 31:20.
Another word, erets, has wider significations: sometimes the earth as a sphere: "God created the heaven and the earth," Gen 1:1; He "hangeth the earth upon nothing," Job 26:7: but in other places it is restricted to districts: "out of that land went forth Asshur;" "after their tongues in their countries;" "in his days was the earth divided." Gen 10:11; Gen 10:20; Gen 10:25.
In the N.T. the word γῆ is employed for all the above various significations. It is used symbolically as a characteristic of man according to his natural estate. "He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth." Joh 3:31.
From the above examples it will be seen that in some instances where the A.V. has 'earth,' the 'land' only, or the land of Canaan, may be intended; the context must be studied in each case.
Consult other dictionaries:
Concise Bible Dictionary
Convenient, thought-provoking and reliable, the Concise Bible Dictionary provides an excellent companion to the essential daily study of God’s Word.
In 1899 George Morrish published the Morrish Bible Dictionary, which he compiled with help from his daughter Hannah.