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Can 'erets refer to the entire earth or just the entire land mass (or part thereof?)

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  • Can 'erets refer to the entire earth or just the entire land mass (or part thereof?)

    I heard an argument awhile back (I don't know if it was from JPH or not) that erets doesn't mean the entire planet earth but just a land mass. Can any of you all weigh in on your opinions of this?

    Here's a lexicon definition:

    http://www.studylight.org/lex/heb/hwview.cgi?n=776
    -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
    Sir James Jeans

    -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
    Sir Isaac Newton

  • #2
    Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
    I heard an argument awhile back (I don't know if it was from JPH or not) that erets doesn't mean the entire planet earth but just a land mass. Can any of you all weigh in on your opinions of this?
    The semantic range of אֶרֶץ (ʾereṣ) includes both options mentioned above, and more, with the meaning determined by context. Here is the entry in HALOT:
    אֶרֶץ
    (about 2400 times), Sam.M59 ʾāreṣ: Sec. αρσ (Brönno 125): MHb., Ug. arṣ, also earth-god (UT p. 544), Ph. Mo. DISO 25; Akk. erṣetu, OAkk. arṣatu; Arm. (→ BArm.) אַרְקָא and אַרְעָא; OSArb. ʾrḍ, Arb. ʾarḍ, Tigr. (Wb. 360a) ʾard (d !): הָאָרֶץ, (BL 263m, Pal. hāreṣ Beer-M. §22, 3a), ‏אָרֶץ‎, locv. ‏אַרְצָה‎ and ‏אָרְצָה‎, (also in cs.; BL 527n, 528t :: Beer-M. §22, 3c) Ug. arṣh: ‏צֶךָ‎/‏אַרְצְךָ‎, ‏ת‎(‏וֹ‎)‏אֲרָצֹ‎, ‏אַרְצוֹת‎, ‏אַרְצֹתָם‎; fem., GK §122k; Rost Fschr. Procksch 130ff: —1. ground, earth, ‏בְּתוֹךְ הָאָרֶץ in the ground 2C 324 (Rudolph, Sept. ‏הָעִיר); ‏אַרְצָה‎ on the ground (humi) with ‏הִשְׁתַּחֲוָה Gn 182 and oft., with ‏נָפַל 4414, with ‏קָדַד Ex 348, with שִׁחֵת Gn 389, 1913b; חִלֵּל לָאָ׳ down to the ground Ps 747 8940; especially clay (Kelso §2) Ju 637–40, בַּעֲלִיל לָאָ׳ (→ Kelso §93f) Ps 127; —2. piece of ground Gn 2315 Ex 2310; —3. territory, country: אֶ׳ מִצְרַיִם and ‏אֶ׳ כְּנַעַן‎ Gn 4713; ‏אֶ׳ יְהוּדָה Am 712, ‏אֶ׳ יִשְׂרָאֵל 1S 1319, ‏אֶ׳ הָאֱמֹרִי 210, ‏אֶ׳ פְּלִשְׁתִּים Zeph 25; אֶ׳ חַיִּים Ps 2713 1169, my (Y.’s) land Jr 27 1618 etc.; plural regions, districts 1C 132 (אַרְצוֹת יִשְׂרָ׳, → Delekat VT 14:20); countries: ‏אַרְצוֹת הַגּוֹיִם Is 3718 עַמֵּי הָאֲרָצוֹת (Seeligmann 8729) Ezr 91, גּוֹיֵי הָאֲ׳ 2C 3213, ‏אֱלֹהֵי הָאֲ׳ 2K 1835, ‏מַלְכֵי הָאֲ׳ Ezr 97, מַמְלְכוֹת הָאֲ׳ earthly kingdoms 2C 128; —4. the whole of the the land, the earth: אֶ׳ = הַיַּבָּשָׁה Gn 1:10, the whole earth Am 88f (Maag 127) בָּאָ׳ on earth Pr 1131 (Sept. μόλις, → Gemser 56, 112); הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָ׳ the whole world Gn 21.4a, older אֶ׳ וְשָׁמַיִם Gn 24b Ps 14813 † (Hartmann SchwThU 30:221ff); בֵּין הָאָ׳ וּבֵין־הַשָּׁ׳ = in the air (only MHb. JArm. and NHb. use אָוֵיר < ἀήρ, Syr. ʾāʾar, Mnd. ʾayar (MdD 14a) Zech 59; —5. תַּחְתִּיּוֹת אֶ׳ depths of the earth Is 4423 Ps 13915 תַּ׳ הָאָ׳ 6310, אֶ׳ תַּחְתִּיּוֹת Ezk 2620 3218.24 and אֶ׳ תַּחְתִּית 3114.16.18, > אֶ׳ underworld (|| ‏שְׁאוֹל, שַׁחַת) Ex 1512 Jr 1713 (rd. וְסוּרֶיךָ, → כתב 6 :: Rudolph) Jon 27 Ps 2230 (rd. יְשֵׁנֵי) 7120 Sir 519, → Gunkel Schöpfung 181; Akk. Schrader Keilins. 636; Tallqvist Totenwelt 8ff; AHw. 245; Ug. Driver myths 135b; —2S 234 rd. מַאֲרִץ (‏ארץ‎); Ps 127 cj. חָרֻץ (Driver Glosses 14778 :: Kelso §94) 163 → Comm.; Jb 3413 and 3712 אַרְצָה rd. ‏אַרְצֹה‎; 3713 rd. מַלֵּא רְצוֹנוֹ; Is 114 and (?) Qoh 58 (→ יתרוֹן) rd. עָרִץ.
    Last edited by John Reece; 01-29-2014, 03:01 PM.

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    • #3
      Very illuminating, especially when thinking of the Flood. Thank you Reese.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
        I heard an argument awhile back (I don't know if it was from JPH or not) that erets doesn't mean the entire planet earth but just a land mass. Can any of you all weigh in on your opinions of this?

        Here's a lexicon definition:

        http://www.studylight.org/lex/heb/hwview.cgi?n=776
        Genesis 1:9-10 says:
        And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one place, and let the dry land appear," and it was so. And God called the dry land earth


        So "earth" seems to be that what is insoluble in water.

        If you accept water as to be symbol of time, then you can see earth as the hard core of time, the concrete reality that only exists in the here and now.

        Hebrew "arets" can be seen as derived from "ruts"= run, so earth as "I do run" -- Faster than the eye-- even faster than light.


        Genesis 8:7,
        And he sent forth the raven, and it went out, back and forth until the waters dried up off the earth. i.e. all the days until the end of time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by John Reece View Post
          The semantic range of אֶרֶץ (ʾereṣ) includes both options mentioned above, and more, with the meaning determined by context. Here is the entry in HALOT:
          אֶרֶץ
          (about 2400 times), Sam.M59 ʾāreṣ: Sec. αρσ (Brönno 125): MHb., Ug. arṣ, also earth-god (UT p. 544), Ph. Mo. DISO 25; Akk. erṣetu, OAkk. arṣatu; Arm. (→ BArm.) אַרְקָא and אַרְעָא; OSArb. ʾrḍ, Arb. ʾarḍ, Tigr. (Wb. 360a) ʾard (d !): הָאָרֶץ, (BL 263m, Pal. hāreṣ Beer-M. §22, 3a), ‏אָרֶץ‎, locv. ‏אַרְצָה‎ and ‏אָרְצָה‎, (also in cs.; BL 527n, 528t :: Beer-M. §22, 3c) Ug. arṣh: ‏צֶךָ‎/‏אַרְצְךָ‎, ‏ת‎(‏וֹ‎)‏אֲרָצֹ‎, ‏אַרְצוֹת‎, ‏אַרְצֹתָם‎; fem., GK §122k; Rost Fschr. Procksch 130ff: —1. ground, earth, ‏בְּתוֹךְ הָאָרֶץ in the ground 2C 324 (Rudolph, Sept. ‏הָעִיר); ‏אַרְצָה‎ on the ground (humi) with ‏הִשְׁתַּחֲוָה Gn 182 and oft., with ‏נָפַל 4414, with ‏קָדַד Ex 348, with שִׁחֵת Gn 389, 1913b; חִלֵּל לָאָ׳ down to the ground Ps 747 8940; especially clay (Kelso §2) Ju 637–40, בַּעֲלִיל לָאָ׳ (→ Kelso §93f) Ps 127; —2. piece of ground Gn 2315 Ex 2310; —3. territory, country: אֶ׳ מִצְרַיִם and ‏אֶ׳ כְּנַעַן‎ Gn 4713; ‏אֶ׳ יְהוּדָה Am 712, ‏אֶ׳ יִשְׂרָאֵל 1S 1319, ‏אֶ׳ הָאֱמֹרִי 210, ‏אֶ׳ פְּלִשְׁתִּים Zeph 25; אֶ׳ חַיִּים Ps 2713 1169, my (Y.’s) land Jr 27 1618 etc.; plural regions, districts 1C 132 (אַרְצוֹת יִשְׂרָ׳, → Delekat VT 14:20); countries: ‏אַרְצוֹת הַגּוֹיִם Is 3718 עַמֵּי הָאֲרָצוֹת (Seeligmann 8729) Ezr 91, גּוֹיֵי הָאֲ׳ 2C 3213, ‏אֱלֹהֵי הָאֲ׳ 2K 1835, ‏מַלְכֵי הָאֲ׳ Ezr 97, מַמְלְכוֹת הָאֲ׳ earthly kingdoms 2C 128; —4. the whole of the the land, the earth: אֶ׳ = הַיַּבָּשָׁה Gn 110, the whole earth Am 88f (Maag 127) בָּאָ׳ on earth Pr 1131 (Sept. μόλις, → Gemser 56, 112); הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָ׳ the whole world Gn 21.4a, older אֶ׳ וְשָׁמַיִם Gn 24b Ps 14813 † (Hartmann SchwThU 30:221ff); בֵּין הָאָ׳ וּבֵין־הַשָּׁ׳ = in the air (only MHb. JArm. and NHb. use אָוֵיר < ἀήρ, Syr. ʾāʾar, Mnd. ʾayar (MdD 14a) Zech 59; —5. תַּחְתִּיּוֹת אֶ׳ depths of the earth Is 4423 Ps 13915 תַּ׳ הָאָ׳ 6310, אֶ׳ תַּחְתִּיּוֹת Ezk 2620 3218.24 and אֶ׳ תַּחְתִּית 3114.16.18, > אֶ׳ underworld (|| ‏שְׁאוֹל, שַׁחַת) Ex 1512 Jr 1713 (rd. וְסוּרֶיךָ, → כתב 6 :: Rudolph) Jon 27 Ps 2230 (rd. יְשֵׁנֵי) 7120 Sir 519, → Gunkel Schöpfung 181; Akk. Schrader Keilins. 636; Tallqvist Totenwelt 8ff; AHw. 245; Ug. Driver myths 135b; —2S 234 rd. מַאֲרִץ (‏ארץ‎); Ps 127 cj. חָרֻץ (Driver Glosses 14778 :: Kelso §94) 163 → Comm.; Jb 3413 and 3712 אַרְצָה rd. ‏אַרְצֹה‎; 3713 rd. מַלֵּא רְצוֹנוֹ; Is 114 and (?) Qoh 58 (→ יתרוֹן) rd. עָרִץ.
          I know that is the Lexicon entry but do we have any concrete examples of the word meaning whole earth?
          -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
          Sir James Jeans

          -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
          Sir Isaac Newton

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
            I know that is the Lexicon entry but do we have any concrete examples of the word meaning whole earth?
            Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

            29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

            Unless you think that mankind only has dominion over a small portion of our planet, I think this is concrete enough of an example.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
              Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

              29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

              Unless you think that mankind only has dominion over a small portion of our planet, I think this is concrete enough of an example.
              Yeah I think erets means land there (as in the entire geosphere) but not the cosmological earth.
              -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
              Sir James Jeans

              -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
              Sir Isaac Newton

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                Yeah I think erets means land there (as in the entire geosphere) but not the cosmological earth.

                So mankind was only given dominion over what then?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                  I know that is the Lexicon entry but do we have any concrete examples of the word meaning whole earth?
                  An example is given in the definition you cited: ― 4 .... Genesis 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                    So mankind was only given dominion over what then?


                    Rashi:
                    http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_...showrashi=true
                    and subdue it: The“vav” [in וְכִבְשֻׁהָ is missing, [allowing the word to be read וְכִבְשָׁה, the masculine singular imperative] to teach you that the male subdues the female that she should not be a gadabout (Gen. Rabbah 8:12), and it is also meant to teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post

                      So mankind was only given dominion over what then?
                      The land part of the earth, the fish of the sea and the birds of the air
                      -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                      Sir James Jeans

                      -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                      Sir Isaac Newton

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John Reece View Post
                        An example is given in the definition you cited: ― 4 .... Genesis 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
                        I mean earth in the cosmological sense (i.e. including the seas and perhaps the atmosphere)
                        -The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
                        Sir James Jeans

                        -This most beautiful system (The Universe) could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.All variety of created objects which represent order and Life in the Universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the Lord God.
                        Sir Isaac Newton

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Quantum Weirdness View Post
                          I mean earth in the cosmological sense (i.e. including the seas and perhaps the atmosphere)

                          "Arets" in Greek is rendered as γῆ , "gè".

                          Genesis 1:1,
                          ἐν ἀρχῇ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν


                          "gè" is subject of "gematria"(Geometry).

                          This might be understandable once you accept water as symbol of time and earth as the hard core of time, only present in the indivisible moment (smallest unit of time) of the here and now, and the letters (consonants) as forming the hard core of the word.

                          Greek doesn't distinguish between "arets" (earth) and "adamah" (ground).
                          Genesis 2:6, And a mist ascended from the earth and watered the entire surface of the ground.
                          LXX: πηγὴ δὲ ἀνέβαινεν ἐκ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐπότιζεν πᾶν τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς

                          Now interesting: "shamayim" (heaven) has same gematria as "zachar unekevah" (male and female), viz. 390.

                          Genesis 1:27-28 "(...) male and female He created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it (...)"

                          Rashi:
                          and subdue it: The“vav” [in וְכִבְשֻׁהָ is missing, [allowing the word to be read וְכִבְשָׁה, the masculine singular imperative] to teach you that the male subdues the female that she should not be a gadabout (Gen. Rabbah 8:12), and it is also meant to teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).
                          Male = "zachar" from "zachar"= to remember, recollect, recall, bear in mind, bring to mind, mention, allude to, commit to memory, memorize.

                          The verb the fourth commandment commences with: "zachor et yom hashabbat l'kadsho" Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it.

                          i.e. Remember Hashem (your God) being hidden in the initial letters of "yom hashishi vay'chulu hashamayim" forming the entrance of Sabbath.

                          You all the time were running after gadabouts instead.

                          "gè" also in the parable of the sower:

                          Mark 4:8, καὶ ἄλλα ἔπεσεν εἰς τὴν γῆν τὴν καλήν, καὶ ἐδίδου καρπὸν ἀναβαίνοντα καὶ αὐξανόμενα, καὶ ἔφερεν ἓν τριάκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν.
                          v.20 καὶ ἐκεῖνοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν καλὴν σπαρέντες, οἵτινες ἀκούουσιν τὸν λόγον καὶ παραδέχονται καὶ καρποφοροῦσιν ἓν τριάκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑξήκοντα καὶ ἓν ἑκατόν.

                          παραδέχομαι = accept, receive, welcome, acknowledge, recognize. Hebrew "kibbeil", root of "kabbalah"

                          ἓν ἑκατόν = hundredfold. Hebrew "meah sh'arim", after Genesis 26:12. Gematria 666, like of "yom shishi", a sixth day without entrance to the Sabbath = Kingdom of God.

                          100 being the value of the letter "quf", the needle's eye (through which a camel can go more easy than a rich man can enter the Kingdom of God, camel being a letter too, the third letter, coinciding the third commandment that precedes the fourth.)
                          Last edited by Geert van den Bos; 01-30-2014, 04:55 AM.

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                          • #14
                            One question: during the account of the Flood in the Greek Septuagint, is the Greek word for land/earth/etc just as ambiguous as the erets in Hebrew? Or, at least, could it have meaning besides whole earth? Thanks in advance.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Just Some Dude View Post
                              One question: during the account of the Flood in the Greek Septuagint, is the Greek word for land/earth/etc just as ambiguous as the erets in Hebrew? Or, at least, could it have meaning besides whole earth? Thanks in advance.
                              Yes, indeed.

                              The LXX rendering of אֶרֶץ (ʾereṣ) is γῆ (). Here is the entry in the LEH Lexicon of the Septuagint (LXX):

                              γῆ
                              Gn 1:1,2,10-11(bis) earth Gn 1:1; land Gn 12:1; dust 2 Sm 1:2 ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν τὴν ἁγίαν in the Holy land Zech 2:16; πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν the whole earth, everybody Jdt 10:19; γῆ Ισραηλ (for MT ארץ ישׁראל) Israel 1 Sm 13:19
                              *Dt 33:28 γῆς corr.? πηγής source for MT עין, cpr. Gn 16:7; 24:13; Jb 38:16; *DnLXX 9:2 τῇ γῇ = יהוה?, πρόσταγμα τῇ γῇ ordinance for the world? corr. πρόσταγμα πιπι (πιπι palaeographic rendition of יהוה, where π = ‏ה, ῐ= ‏ו‎/‏י‎) for MT ‏דבר יהוה word of the Lord, cpr. λόγος κυρίου DnTh 9:2;
                              *Is 41:24 ἐκ γῆς out of the earth -מארץ for MT מאפע nothing;
                              *Is 63:11 ἐκ τῆς γῆς out of the land for MT ים/מ out of the sea (sea understood as the North?);
                              *Jer 9:20 εἰς τὴν γῆν ὑμῶν into your land -באדמותינו for MT בארמנותינו into our palaces;
                              *Hos 8:1 ὡς γῆ as dust -‏כעפר‎ for MT ‏ך שׁפר‎(‏אל־חכ) trumpet (to) your (lips);
                              *Hos 13:15 τὴν γῆν αὐτοῦ his land -ארצו for MT אוצר treasure;
                              *Zph 2:14 τῆς γῆς land -גּיא or ‏גּי‎ valley for MT גוֹי people
                              Cf. WALTERS 1973, 186-188; —>NIDNTT; TWNT

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