ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia

heaven

  1. Spiritual meaning: The place of the everlasting blessedness of the righteous; the abode of departed spirits.

    In heaven the blessedness of the righteous consists in the possession of “life everlasting,” “an eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17), an exemption from all sufferings for ever, a deliverance from all evils (2 Corinthians 5:1, 2) and from the society of the wicked (2 Tim. 4:18), bliss without termination, the “fulness of joy” for ever (Luke 20:36; 2 Corinthians 4:16, 18; 1 Peter 1:4; 5:10; 1 John 3:2).

    The believer’s heaven is not only a state of everlasting blessedness, but also a “place”, a place “prepared” for them (John 14:2).

    1. Christ calls it his “Father’s house” (John 14:2).

    2. It is called “paradise” (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Rev. 2:7).

    3. “The heavenly Jerusalem” (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 12:22; Rev. 3:12).

    4. The “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 25:1; James 2:5).

    5. The “eternal kingdom” (2 Peter 1:11).

    6. The “eternal inheritance” (1 Peter 1:4; Hebrews 9:15).

    7. The “better country” (Hebrews 11:14, 16).

    8. The blessed are said to “sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” and to be “in Abraham’s bosom” (Luke 16:22; Matthew 8:11); to “reign with Christ” (2 Tim. 2:12); and to enjoy “rest” (Hebrews 4:10, 11).

    Who was the first human to get to Heaven? It was likely Abel, the godly murdered son of Adam and Eve. A later righteous pre-Flood descendant of Adam named Enoch was apparently taken directly to Heaven, without dying.

    The son of Jared, and father of Methuselah (Genesis 5:21; Luke 3:37). His father was one hundred and sixty-two years old when he was born. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch “walked with God three hundred years” (Genesis 5:22-24), when he was translated without tasting death. His whole life on Earth was three hundred and sixty-five years. He was the “seventh from Adam” (Jude 1:14), as distinguished from the son of Cain, the third from Adam. He is spoken of in the catalogue of Old Testament worthies in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11:5). When he was translated, only Adam, so far as recorded, had as yet died a natural death, and Noah was not yet born. Mention is made of Enoch’s prophesying only in Jude 1:14 (Matthew G. Easton).

  2. The phrase “heaven and Earth” is used to indicate the whole universe (Genesis 1:1; Jeremiah 23:24; Acts 17:24). According to the Jewish notion, there were three heavens:

    1. The firmament, as “fowls of the heaven” (Genesis 2:19; 7:3, 23; Psalms 8:8, etc.), “the eagles of heaven” (Lam. 4:19), etc.

    2. The starry heavens (Deuteronomy 17:3; Jeremiah 8:2; Matthew 24:29).

    3. “The heaven of heavens,” or “the third heaven” (Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalms 115:16; 148:4; 2 Corinthians 12:2).

  3. Meaning of words in the original:

    1. The usual Hebrew word for “heavens” is shamayim, a plural form meaning “heights,” “elevations” (Genesis 1:1; 2:1).

    2. The Hebrew word marom is also used (Psalms 68:18; 93:4; 102:19, etc.) as equivalent to shamayim, “high places,” “heights.”

    3. Hebrew: galgal, literally a “wheel,” is rendered “heaven” in Psalms 77:18 (Revised King James Version, “whirlwind”).

    4. Hebrew: shahak, rendered “sky” (Deuteronomy 33:26; Job 37:18; Psalms 18:11), plural “clouds” (Job 35:5; 36:28; Psalms 68:34, marginal note “heavens”), means probably the firmament.

    5. Hebrew: rakia is closely connected with d. and is rendered “firmamentum” in the Vulgate, whence our “firmament” (Genesis 1:6; Deuteronomy 33:26, etc.), regarded as a solid expanse.

  4. Metaphorical meaning: Isaiah 14:13-14; “doors of heaven” (Psalms 78:23); heaven “shut” (1 Kings 8:35); “opened” (Ezek. 1:1). (See 1 Chronicles 21:16.)

ALSO SEE:

  • stars
  • astronomy
  • firmament
  • paradise
  • eternal life
  • everlasting
  • Kingdom of God
  • glory
  • Hell
  • eternal death
  • Are you going to Heaven?
    Are you going to Heaven? Are you SURE you know the answer this extremely important question? Or have you made some common wrong assumptions? Find out now!
  • Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
  • How good is good enough? Answer
  • Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer
  • Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions? Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
  • Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is? Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
  • Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line! Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on-line, full-length motion picture.