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Dictionaries :: Heaven

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Easton's Bible Dictionary


(1.) Definitions. The phrase "heaven and earth" is used to indicate the whole universe (Gen 1:1; Jer 23:24; Act 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; Psa 8:8, etc.), "the eagles of heaven" (Lam 4:19), etc.

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

(c) "The heaven of heavens," or "the third heaven" (Deu 10:14; 1Ki 8:27; Psa 115:16; 148:4; 2Cr 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 (Psa 68:18; 93:4; 102:19, etc.) as equivalent to shamayim, "high places," "heights."

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

(d) Heb. shahak, rendered "sky" (Deu 33:26; Job 37:18; Psa 18:11), plural "clouds" (Job 35:5; 36:28; Psa 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; Deu 33:26, etc.), regarded as a solid expanse.

(3.) Metaphorical meaning of term. Isa 14:13, 14; "doors of heaven" (Psa 78:23); heaven "shut" (1Ki 8:35); "opened" (Eze 1:1). (See 1Ch 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" (Jhn 14:2).

(b) It is called "paradise" (Luk 23:43; 2Cr 12:4; Rev 2:7).

(c) "The heavenly Jerusalem" (Gal 4:26; Hbr 12:22; Rev 3:12).

(d) The "kingdom of heaven" (Mat 25:1; Jam 2:5).

(e) The "eternal kingdom" (2Pe 1:11).

(f) The "eternal inheritance" (1Pe 1:4; Hbr 9:15).

(g) The "better country" (Hbr 11:14,16).

(h) The blessed are said to "sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," and to be "in Abraham's bosom" (Luk 16:22; Mat 8:11); to "reign with Christ" (2Ti 2:12); and to enjoy "rest" (Hbr 4:10,11).

In heaven the blessedness of the righteous consists in the possession of "life everlasting," "an eternal weight of glory" (2Cr 4:17), an exemption from all sufferings for ever, a deliverance from all evils (2Cr 5:1,2) and from the society of the wicked (2Ti 4:18), bliss without termination, the "fulness of joy" for ever (Luk 20:36; 2Cr 4:16,18; 1Pe 1:4; 5:10; 1Jo 3:2). The believer's heaven is not only a state of everlasting blessedness, but also a "place", a place "prepared" for them (Jhn 14:2).

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia




Torrey's New Topical Textbook

Heaven: Created by God

Gen 1:1; Rev 10:6

Heaven: Everlasting

Psa 89:29; 2Cr 5:1

Heaven: Immeasurable

Jer 31:37

Heaven: High

Psa 103:11; Isa 57:15

Heaven: Holy

Deu 26:15; Psa 20:6; Isa 57:15

Heaven: God's Dwelling-Place

1Ki 8:30; Mat 6:9

Heaven: God's Throne

Isa 66:1; Act 7:49

Heaven: God

Is the Lord of

Dan 5:23; Mat 11:25

Reigns in

Psa 11:4; 135:6; Dan 4:35


1Ki 8:27; Jer 23:24

Answers his people from

1Ch 21:26; 2Ch 7:14; Neh 9:27; Psa 20:6

Sends his judgments from

Gen 19:24; 1Sa 2:10; Dan 4:13,14; Rom 1:18

Heaven: Christ

As Mediator, entered into

Act 3:21; Hbr 6:20; 9:12,24

Is all-powerful in

Mat 28:18; 1Pe 3:22

Heaven: Angels Are In

Mat 18:10; 24:36

Heaven: Names of Saints Are Written

Luk 10:20; Hbr 12:23

Heaven: Saints Rewarded In

Mat 5:12; 1Pe 1:4

Heaven: Repentance Occasions Joy In

Luk 15:7

Heaven: Lay up Treasure In

Mat 6:20; Luk 12:33

Heaven: Flesh and Blood Cannot Inherit

1Cr 15:50

Heaven: Happiness Of, Described

Rev 7:16,17

Heaven: Is Called

A garner

Mat 3:12

The kingdom of Christ and of God

Eph 5:5

The Father's house

Jhn 14:2

A heavenly country

Hbr 11:16

A rest

Hbr 4:9


2Cr 12:2,4

Heaven: The Wicked Excluded From

Gal 5:21; Eph 5:5; Rev 22:15

Heaven: Enoch and Elijah Were Translated Into

Gen 5:24; Hbr 11:5; 2Ki 2:11

Smith's Bible Dictionary


There are four Hebrew words thus rendered in the Old Testament which we may briefly notice.

(1.) Raki'a, Authorized Version, firmament. SEE [FIRMAMENT].

(2.) Shamayim. This is the word used in the expression "the heaven and the earth," or "the upper and lower regions." (Genesis 1:1).

(3.) Marom, used for heaven in Psalm 18:16; Isaiah 24:18; Jeremiah 25:30. Properly speaking it means a mountain as in Psalm 102:19; Ezekiel 17:23.

(4.) Shechakim, "expanses," with reference to the extent of heaven (Deuteronomy 33:26; Job 35:5). St. Paul's expression "third heaven," (2 Corinthians 12:2) had led to much conjecture. Grotius said that the Jews divided the heaven into three parts, viz.,

(a.) The air or atmosphere, where clouds gather;

(b.) The firmament, in which the sun, moon and stars are fixed;

(5c.) The upper heaven, the abode of God and his angels, the invisible realm of holiness and happiness the home of the children of God.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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