All cultures through language in all ages develop shorthand expressions for big ideas. Today we might talk of human rights, freedom, capitalism, democracy, individualism, globalism, post-colonialism, post-modernism, market economy, and natural laws, just to name a few. Each term has meaning but the meanings flow beyond a single dictionary definition. They are more symbolic, metaphors for a rich and complex history of ideas. The ancient world was no less complex. For them, their idea landscape consisted of gods, temples, seas and mountains. Humans are always grasping at complex realities. The Bible, formed over thousands of years, uses this latter imagery and not ours.
Understanding these terms helps you read the language landscape of the Bible. They don’t necessarily tell you what the story is. But they are the elements and ingredients from which the story is built.