Earth or World?

before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.

(Proverbs 8:26) ESV

Usually we use the word Earth to refer to planet Earth and the world world to refer to the habitable portion of it and the human society on it. There’s some nuance involved.

We find three contexts which give functionally specific meanings to similar looking phrases.

Foundation(s) of the Earth/World (context)

  1. the foundation of the world (Greek, singular)
    • first cause, conception
      • before God said let there be light,
      • the act of conception which begat God the Son.
  2. the foundation(s) of the earth (Hebrew)
    • gravitational singularity
      • the creative act of the 2nd day,
      • the inception of the core accretion model.
  3. the foundations of the world (Hebrew, plural)
    • the earth’s crust and mantle,
      • synonyms:
        • bottoms of the mountains
        • foundations of the hills
        • foundations of the mountains

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