Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
Bad translation and not the same words used in the genesis account. Here's the KJV translation of that passage and the NASB:

KJV 6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs.

NASB 6 "For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
That fierce and impetuous people
Who march throughout the earth
To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.

The word translated earth/land in Habakkuk is dealing exclusively in the context of Israel and their promised land given all the promises about the land and being scattered. Thus, context makes it more clear it is talking about the land/earth of Israel.

Here's the hebrew word that the NIV translates "whole"

OT:4800 merchab (mer-khawb'); from OT:7337; enlargement, either literally (an open space, usually in a good sense), or figuratively (liberty):

It's not even used in the book of Genesis.

Here's the word translated "earth" or "land".

OT:776 'erets (eh'-rets); from an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land):

It can mean both at large (i.e. the whole earth) or a piece of land. And it is used throughout genesis. How can we know which one it is? Context. The word is often used to speak of the promised land. It is used in Exodus, Genesis, the law and the prophets, etc.

Habakkuk is speaking specifically of Israel being raided and scattered from their entire promised land just as God promised He would do in their law.




This is a much, much better example than Habakkuk. But it seems to me the viewpoint is actually from Nebechadnezzer and not from the Lord God's viewpoint. He was giving his testimony of how God had humbled him.

The context is the king describing his position first, in order to exalt God later.

4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
2 I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.



In my view, this is the absolute best example you gave. And I agree, it is hyperbole. I think context tells us that.

How does the context in Gen 6 suggest it is hyperbole? Where can we see that?

Part of the prolblem is that when something is written from man's viewpoint, we know that man's viewpoint is limited. But when scripture speaks for God from His viewpoint, don't you think we should take note of that as being intrinsically different from when scripture speaks from man's viewpoint?
In post #49 I provided some examples from Ramm, showing that the Scriptures regularly use seemingly all-encompassing statements in a more narrow way. That's just the way language works. Here, I'll quote it again, though this has to do with his argument for a Local Flood:

From "The Christian View of Science and Scripture" by Bernard Ramm, 1954:

"Although many Christians still believe in the universal flood, most of the recent conservative scholarship of the church defends a local flood. Those who defend a local flood believe that the time of the flood was some time prior to 4000 B.C. The waters were supplied by the rains from above and the ocean waters beneath. Some sort of geological phenomenon is indicated by the expression "and the fountains of the deep were broken." This caused the ocean waters to creep up the Mesopotamian valley. The waters carried the ark up to the Ararat range. The Hebrew text does not mean that the ark was deposited on the 17,000 foot summit of the peak, but that the ark rested somewhere on the Ararat range."

This is a particularly good section from Ramm:

"Much of the weight of evidence for the local flood consists in showing the imponderable difficulties of a universal flood. Before we critically examine the universal flood interpretation two things must be said:
(i) It is not a question as to what God can or cannot do. Those who believe in a local flood believe in the omnipotence and power of God as much as any other Christian does. The question is not: "What can God do?" but, "What did God do?" (ii) The problem is one of interpretation, not inspiration. Those who believe in the local flood believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible; otherwise they would believe in no flood. It is improper to affirm that only those who believe in a universal flood really believe in the inspiration of Scripture and the omnipotence of God. It is also improper to imply that those who believe in a local flood do not believe in the omnipotence of God and believe in the peccability of Scripture.
(a) First of all, in criticism of the universal flood interpretation, this theory cannot demonstrate three of its most necessary propositions.
(i) It cannot demonstrate that totality of language necessitates a universal flood. Fifteen minutes with a Bible concordance will reveal many instances in which universality of language is used but only a partial quantity is meant. All does not mean every last one in all of its usages. Psa. 22:17 reads: "I may tell all my bones," and hardly means that every single bone of the skeleton stood out prominently. John 4:39 cannot mean that Jesus completely recited the woman's biography. Matt. 3:5 cannot mean that every single individual from Judea and Jordan came to John the Baptist. There are cases where all means all, and every means every, but the context tells us where this is intended. Thus, special reference may be made to Paul's statement in Romans about the universality of sin, yet even that all excludes Jesus Christ. The universality of the flood simply means the universality of the experience of the man who reported it..."

Ramm continues:

"When God tells the Israelites He will put the fear of them upon the people under the whole heaven, it refers to all the peoples known to the Israelites (Deut. 2:25). When Gen. 41:57 states that all countries came to Egypt to buy grain, it can only mean all peoples known to the Egyptians. Ahab certainly did not look for Elijah in every country of the earth even though the text says he looked for Elijah so thoroughly that he skipped no nation or kingdom (1 Kings 18:10). From the vantage point of the observer of the flood all mountains were covered, and all flesh died. We must concur that:

'The language of the sacred historian by no means necessarily implies that the flood overspread the whole earth. Universal terms are frequently used in a partial and restricted sense in Scripture.' 90

"The ark had a draught of about 15 cubits (Gen. 7:20) and so the writer inferred that the water rose that high above the mountains because the ark did not ground on any of them. The highest mountain in the region was Ararat at about 17,000 feet; the Himalayan range rises to 29,000 feet. Do those who defend a universal flood wish to assert that the waters mounted to a depth of six miles?...

"(iii) There is no known geological data to support those who defend a universal flood...
(b) The problems in connection with a universal flood are enormous. We can but summarize here the lengthy refutations found in commentaries and Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. One point must be clearly understood before we commence these criticisms: the flood is recorded as a natural-supernatural occurrence. It does not appear as a pure and stupendous miracle. The natural and the supernatural work side by side and hand in hand. If one wishes to retain a universal flood, it must be understood that a series of stupendous miracles is required. Further, one cannot beg off with pious statements that God can do anything. We concur enthusiastically with Smith when he wrote:

'That the Omnipotent could effect such a work [a universal flood], none can doubt; but we are not at liberty thus to invent miracles, and the narrative in the Book of Genesis plainly assigns two natural causes for the production of the diluvial waters.'

"(I) There is the problem of the amount of water required by the universal flood... To cover the highest mountains would require eight times more water than we now have. It would have involved a great creation of water to have covered the entire globe, but no such creative act is hinted at in the Scriptures."