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) Heb. galgal, literally a “wheel,” is rendered “heaven” in “Ps. 77:18 (R.V., “whirlwind”).” “(d) Heb. 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) Heb. 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.” “(3.) Metaphorical meaning of term. Isa. 14:13, 14; “doors of “heaven” (Ps. 78:23); heaven “shut” (1 Kings 8:35); “opened” (Ezek. 1:1). (See 1 Chr. 21:16.) “(4.) Spiritual meaning. The place of the everlasting blessedness of the righteous; the abode of departed spirits. “(a) Christ calls it his “Father’s house” (John 14:2). “(b) It is called “paradise” (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 12:4; Rev. 2:7). “(c) “The heavenly Jerusalem” (Gal. 4: 26; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 3:12). “(d) The “kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 25:1; James 2:5). “(e) The “eternal kingdom” (2 Pet. 1:11). “(f) The “eternal inheritance” (1 Pet. 1:4; Heb. 9:15). “(g) The “better country” (Heb. 11:14, 16). “(h) The blessed are said to “sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and “Jacob,” and to be “in Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22; Matt. 8:11);” “to “reign with Christ” (2 Tim. 2:12); and to enjoy “rest” (Heb.” “4:10, 11).” “In heaven the blessedness of the righteous consists in the “possession of “life everlasting,” “an eternal weight of glory” “(2 Cor. 4:17), an exemption from all sufferings for ever, a” “deliverance from all evils (2 Cor. 5:1, 2) and from the society” “of the wicked (2 Tim. 4:18), bliss without termination, the” “fulness of joy for ever (Luke 20:36; 2 Cor. 4:16, 18; 1 Pet.” 1:4; 5:10; 1 John 3:2). The believer’s heaven is not only a “state of everlasting blessedness, but also a “place”, a place” prepared for them (John 14:2).

Leave a comment