Heaven. There are four Hebrew words thus rendered in the Old Testament which we may briefly notice.
1. Râkı̂˒a, Authorized Version, firmament. [Firmament.] 2. Shâmayim. This is the word used in the expression “the heaven and the earth,” or “the upper and lower regions.” Gen. 1:1. 3. Mârôm, used for heaven in Ps. 18:16; Isa. 24:18; Jer. 25:30. Properly speaking it means a mountain, as in Ps. 102: 19; Ezek. 17:23. 4. Shechâkı̂m, “expanses,” with reference to the extent of heaven. Deut. 33:26; Job 35:5. St. Paul’s expression “third heaven,” 2 Cor. 12:2, has led to much conjecture. Grotius said that the Jews divided the heaven into three parts, viz.,
1. The air or atmosphere, where clouds gather; 2. The firmament, in which the sun, moon, and stars are fixed; 3. The upper heaven, the abode of God and his angels, the invisible realm of holiness and happiness, the home of the children of God.