Heaven: Word Studies

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

  1. galgal  (translated as “wheel” [8x], “heaven” [1x], “rolling thing” [1x], “whirlwind” [1x]),
  2. shachaq (translated as “cloud” [11x], “sky” [7x], “heaven” [2x], small dust” [1x])
  3. 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:
  1. 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])
  2. epouranios (translated as “heavenly” [16x], “celestial” [2x], “in heaven” [1x], “high” [1x])
  3. mesouranema (translated as “midst of heaven” [3x])
  4. ouranothen (translated as “from heaven” [2x])
  5. 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!