Paul Arveson (arveson@oasys.dt.navy.mil)
Fri, 5 Sep 1997 09:45:41 -0500

Don Page wrote:

> On the question of what the word "earth" means in Gen. 6:17, is there
>any parallel with Luke 2:1, where Emperor Augustus sent out a decree that
>the world" be registered or taxed? Of course, the latter presumably had a
>painful human effect, even if both death and taxes are inevitable.

The word 'all' (Gk. panta) is often used in a hyperbolic sense in
Scripture, to mean 'all of a certain category of things'. For example:

"Then, as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's
act of righteousness leads to acquital and life for all men." (Rom. 5:18

"For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon
all." (Rom. 11:32 RSV).

I believe this is a fine and appropriate usage of the word. It is what
makes Scripture beautiful and elegant, not laden down with qualifications
like some kind of technical textbook. The context of Scripture can help to
inform us
as to how precisely the word is meant.

Paul Arveson, Code 724, Signatures Directorate, NSWC
arveson@oasys.dt.navy.mil bridges@his.com
(301) 227-3831 (301) 227-4511 (FAX)