SPECIAL TOPIC: HEAVEN

The Hebrew term (BDB 1029, translated "heaven," "sky," "firmament," "air") can refer to several things (i.e., a series of domes or spheres of initial creation):

1. In Gen. 1:8-20 it refers to the atmosphere above the earth where clouds move and birds fly.

2. This dome (cf. Gen. 1:6,20; Isa. 40:22; 42:5) above the earth is where God sends the rain (i.e., "windows of heaven," cf. Ps. 78:23-29; Mal. 3:10 or "the water jars of heaven," cf. Job 38:37).

3. This dome is where the stars dwell and planets move.  It could refer to all the created cosmos (billions and billions of galaxies).

4. Above this dome is the abode of God (i.e., the third or seventh heaven). It is the highest heaven (e.g., Deut. 10:14; 1 Kgs. 8:27,30,32; Ps. 2:4; 148:4; Isa. 66:1).

5. The theological emphases

a. God is the creator of everything.

b. He controls creation (i.e., light and dark, rain and drought).

c. He creates and places the night lights (sun, moon, stars, planets, comets).

d. There are spheres or realms of reality:

1) earth

2) above the earth

3) invisible/angelic (cf. Col. 1:16)

4) God's presence and abode

e. they are all connected and controlled by His will

 

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