The Hebrew word translated as "earth" is ארץ (erets, Strong's #776). While this word can mean the whole "earth," it is usually used in the context of a "land" or a "region" and for this reason; in my Mechanical Translation I translate this word as "land." The King James Version of the Bible will translate this Hebrew word as; land (1543 times), earth (712), country (140), ground (98), world (4), way (3), common (1), field (1) and nations (1).
This word is derived from the parent root רץ (rats, Strong's #7518) meaning a "fragment," as in a piece of broken pottery, which was commonly used to write messages. In the image below is such a fragment, which is a receipt for a 3 shekel donation to the "House of Yahweh."
A "land," such as the "land of Israel," had defined borders, and all of the "lands" are pieced together, much like a shattered piece of pottery that has been glued back together. It is interesting to note that the English word "earth" appears to be closely related to the Hebrew word erets.