To be honest, this word study is taking me a lot longer than I expected! If I waited until I finished looking up all the verses and came up with an organized way of answering all my research questions, I wouldn’t write anything for a couple more weeks.
So here’s a bit about what I’ve found so far.
I was a little surprised to find that the word “heaven” appears 691 times in the King James Version (and 692 in the ESV); I knew this would be a big study, but I didn’t expect so many verses. For this part of the word study I’m primarily using the KJV, so I can use the Strong’s concordance.
As I began researching, I expected to find several words translated as heaven that don’t mean “the place where God dwells,” but mean something like “air” or “atmostphere,” and I was correct.
The following Hebrew words are translated as “heaven” in the KJV
- galgal (translated as “wheel” [8x], “heaven” [1x], “rolling thing” [1x], “whirlwind” [1x]),
- shachaq (translated as “cloud” [11x], “sky” [7x], “heaven” [2x], small dust” [1x])
- shamayim (translated as “heaven” [398x], “air” [21x])
The Aramaic word shamayin is used in Ezra and Daniel and is translated as “heaven” 38x.
The following Greek words are used throughout the New Testament:
- basileia (translated as “kingdom of God” [71x], “kingdom of heaven” [32x], “kingdom” [20x], “Thy/Thine kingdom” [6x], “His kingdom” [6x], “the kingdom” [5x], “My kingdom” [4x])
- epouranios (translated as “heavenly” [16x], “celestial” [2x], “in heaven” [1x], “high” [1x])
- mesouranema (translated as “midst of heaven” [3x])
- ouranothen (translated as “from heaven” [2x])
- ouranos (translated as “heaven” [268x], “air” [10x], “sky” [5x])
So, now I’m looking through the 398 occurrences of the word heaven in the OT and the 268 occurrences in the NT. Actually, I’ve only made it through Job so far . . .
I promise a more interesting post later!
This year, I decided to follow the reading plan in my English Standard Version Study Bible. I love that translation and I have profited so much from the book introductions, charts, cross references, and notes; however, I really don’t like marking up study Bibles and I tend to mark a lot as I read. Note: I don’t think that marking up your Bible is a sign of spirituality or anything, but it helps me remember what I’m reading, and it was part of my justification for buying a Bible with extra room for writing. Here’s a sample page from my KJV/ERV.
When I found the ESV Journaling Bible for a really great deal in December, I bought one, asked my mom to ship it to me (because the company doesn’t ship to Guam), and it arrived last week. I love it! The Bible is the perfect size and shape, though it is a little smaller than I envisioned it. Here it is compared to the Study Bible, for a little perspective. (Sorry for the terrible pictures.)
I can read the text easily; the paper is slightly yellowed for easier reading and the font is a nice size for a smaller Bible. I especially like the lined, wide margins, which make taking notes very easy. I only wish the spacing between the lines of text were a little bigger, but I think this spacing is standard for all Bibles. My KJV/ERV had normal spacing and I was able to underline pretty easily, but sometimes the pen marked out the word. I plan on using pens with thinner tips when writing in the ESV.
I look forward to learning more about God as I read His Word in this beautiful Bible.