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Thread: Difference between "Heaven" and "Heavens" - moved from Bible Chat

  1. #1

    Arrow Difference between "Heaven" and "Heavens" - moved from Bible Chat

    [I'm taking these verses out of the ESV Bible.]


    1:1 In the beginning [of all things?], God created the heavens and the earth(1).

    1. Means "everything" when the two seperate words are combined? But seperately, each word has its own meaning, right?

    2. And if God created ex nihilo, and if verse 1 is not a summary of the creative events that are described in detail in later verses, but a verse describing the first event (creation of all matter and the matter of the unformed earth...in short, the universe), then "heavens' here should mean universe, no? That is, if "Heavens" has its own meaning when not combined with "earth" to mean "everything"...

    Some translations have it: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Heaven (singular), not plural. Is there any difference? And if there isn't any, then why do some translators choose to use both the singular and plural forms?


    1:6-8 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven(1). And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

    1. Is this expanse supposed to be the sky? Why is "Heaven" here singular, instead of plural, if they both mean the same thing? Besides, isn't God specifically calling this expanse (the sky?) "Heaven"?

    2. What was the primitive atmosphere of the earth? If the atmosphere mainly consisted of gases other than water vapors/clouds/mist, then how is that a seperation of waters (the sea and the mist above the sea)?


    1:9-10 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place(1), and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

    1. It's plural here, instead of singular. If Heavens really means the cosmos, then that doesn't make sense, because that would mean the waters above the heaven (assuming heaven means sky...so the clouds?) and also the waters below (the sea) were gathered into one place, causing dry land to appear?

    2. Also, when he says "gathered into one place", does that mean that there was one body of water, and also one body of land?


    1:14-15 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens(1) to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.

    1. It's plural here as well. This seems to make sense, if by "expanse of the heavens" he means the cosmos...because the lights are not in the sky, but in the universe...(is that what the author of genesis meant? Is that how he understood it?)


    1:20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens(1).

    Now this doesn't make sense...the birds flew across the expanse of the heavens? The birds flew in the universe? But if heaven and heavens mean the same thing in hebrew, how do you explain verses 6-8 (he specifically names the expanse that seperates the waters "Heaven").

  2. #2
    Old Earther Guest
    Ancient Hebrew Cosmology, like that of the ancient Babylonians, envisioned a flat, circular Earth with a dome (expanse, firmament, heaven(s), etc.) covering it. Outside of the dome, it was thought, was pure light. Holes in the dome allowed the light to peer through, ie. stars.

  3. #3
    Hi vbc - the Bible teaches us that there are 3 heavens.

    Genesis 1:
    Heaven # 1 - expanse - the sky where the birds fly
    Heaven # 2 - space - the place filled with suns, moons, planets and stars.


    2 Corinthians 12:2-4(KJV) "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth such an one caught up to the third heaven."
    Heaven # 3 - the spiritual heaven; where God resides

    God bless.
    Psalm 121:4
    "Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."
    (KJV)

  4. #4

    Re: Difference between "Heaven" and "Heavens" - moved from Bible Chat

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Earther View Post
    Ancient Hebrew Cosmology, like that of the ancient Babylonians, envisioned a flat, circular Earth with a dome (expanse, firmament, heaven(s), etc.) covering it. Outside of the dome, it was thought, was pure light. Holes in the dome allowed the light to peer through, i.e. stars.
    Perhaps, but the bible is inspired by God - hence always correct. "Paidforinfull" has it right. There are at least 3 heavens we know of. As far as a flat earth, the book of Job contradicts this idea. In Job 26:7 we read, "He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing." And in Job 26:10, "He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness." This fact, that the horizon is rounded, was how Columbus deduced the earth was round, not flat. All this is recorded in the book of Job, reportedly the oldest book in the bible.

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    Re: Difference between "Heaven" and "Heavens" - moved from Bible Chat

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Arranger View Post
    Perhaps, but the bible is inspired by God - hence always correct. "Paidforinfull" has it right. There are at least 3 heavens we know of. As far as a flat earth, the book of Job contradicts this idea. In Job 26:7 we read, "He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing." And in Job 26:10, "He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness." This fact, that the horizon is rounded, was how Columbus deduced the earth was round, not flat. All this is recorded in the book of Job, reportedly the oldest book in the bible.
    Be aware that you just pulled this thread from 2008 and the person you replied to is listed as a "guest" which means they are not a member of this board and have been banned. So, if no one continues in this discussion, that is why.
    Slug1--out

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