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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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Several 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,' Genesis 7:4 ; 'an altar of earth,' Exodus 20:24 ; man 'returneth to his earth,' Psalm 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.' Deuteronomy 30:18,20 ; Deuteronomy 31:13,20 .

Another word, erets, has wider significations: sometimes the earth as a sphere: "God created the heaven and the earth," Genesis 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." Genesis 10:11,20,25 .

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." John 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.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Earth '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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