Heaven

Heaven -

(1.) Definitions. The phrase "heaven and earth" is used to indicate the whole universe (Gen. 1:1; Jer. 23:24; Acts 17:24). According to the Jewish notion there were three heavens,

(a) The firmament, as "fowls of the heaven" (Gen. 2:19; 7:3, 23; Ps. 8:8, etc.), "the eagles of heaven" (Lam. 4:19), etc.

(b) The starry heavens (Deut. 17:3; Jer. 8:2; Matt. 24:29).

(c) "The heaven of heavens," or "the third heaven" (Deut. 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Ps. 115:16; 148:4; 2 Cor. 12:2).

(2.) Meaning of words in the original,

(a) The usual Hebrew word for "heavens" is shamayim, a plural form meaning "heights," "elevations" (Gen. 1:1; 2:1).

(b) The Hebrew word marom is also used (Ps. 68:18; 93:4; 102:19, etc.) as equivalent to shamayim, "high places," "heights."

(c) Hebrew: galgal, literally a "wheel," is rendered "heaven" in Ps. 77:18 (R.V., "whirlwind").

(d) Hebrew: shahak, rendered "sky" (Deut. 33:26; Job 37:18; Ps. 18:11), plural "clouds" (Job 35:5; 36:28; Ps. 68:34, marg. "heavens"), means probably the firmament.

(e) Hebrew: rakia is closely connected with (d), and is rendered "firmamentum" in the Vulgate, whence our "firmament" (Gen. 1:6; Deut. 33:26, etc.), regarded as a solid expanse.

 

Previous topic: Heathen

Next topic: Heave offering

Return to Bible Dictionary Main Index

Additional essential Bible study tools:

Young's Analytical
Concordance to the Bible

The New Strong's
Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

Zondervan Atlas of the Bible

Where to Find it in the Bible