In Genesis 1 why is it called “heavens” and not just one “heaven”? Are there different heavens?

The passage in Genesis 1:1 is not referring to heaven in the sense of the dwelling place of God or the resting place of immortal souls.  The hebrew word here is shamayim and it is more clearly defined as “firmament” which means ‘the vault or arch of the sky’. It refers to what we can see in the sky i.e. the dwelling place of the sun, the stars, the moon, the blue sky, etc.  It’s for this reason that we often imagine heaven as a place that we go to up in the clouds, which is cute for cartoons but biblically unfounded when referring to life after death.

All that to say, the verse is not talking about multiple heavens, it is referring to the separation between the earth and what’s above the earth, i.e. everything.

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3 Responses to “In Genesis 1 why is it called “heavens” and not just one “heaven”? Are there different heavens?”

  1. glen Says:

    talking about multiple heavens,

  2. Dave Says:

    “…resting place of immortal souls…”

    Where in the Bible is there reference to heaven being the resting place for immortal souls? I can’t seem to find it…

    • MetroBibleBlog Says:

      Hebrew Scripture does not talk about the eternal rest of our souls. The concept of disembodied souls is a worldview from ancient Greek religions. Christians believe that there is no disconnecting of soul and body. Christians believe in Resurrection of body AND soul together. Scripture does refer to those who have gone to sleep (i.e. died), but this is in the context of full body and soul resurrection. Those who have died will rise again at the end of the age, at which time some will go to eternal life, and some to eternal death. The details of what that all looks like have been up for debate for centuries. But the details are far less important than what we do know… full body and soul resurrection and eternal life with God.

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