Eretz and the Kingdom of God

I have always been fascinated by the word “eretz” [אֶרֶץ]
We first find the word in Genesis 1:1 “When God began to create the heavens and the eretz”.
Traditionally we have always translated the word as “earth”, and we have a mental picture of the world hanging in space, like an apple on a string, being watched over by a distant God.

So eretz can refer to the whole planet under the dominion of God, and it can also refer to individual dominions governed by kings, princes and officials appointed by them.