There are four Hebrew words thus rendered in the Old Testament which we may briefly notice.
- Raki’a, Authorized Version, firmament. [Firmament]
- Shamayim . This is the word used in the expression “the heaven and the earth,” or “the upper and lower regions.” (Genesis 1:1)
- Marom, used for heaven in (Psalms 18:16; Isaiah 24:18; Jeremiah 25:30). Properly speaking it means a mountain as in (Psalms 102:19; Ezekiel 17:23)
- Shechakim, “expanses,” with reference to the extent of heaven. (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.,
- The air or atmosphere, where clouds gather;
- The firmament, in which the sun, moon and stars are fixed;
- The upper heaven, the abode of God and his angels, the invisible realm of holiness and happiness the home of the children of God.