Thinking of Home: What is Heaven? 5

The Bible describes heaven as a physical reality created by God.  The usual Hebrew word for “heavens” is shamayim, a plural form meaning “heights,” “elevations” (Gen. 1:1; 2:1). The word “heaven” may refer to one of three primary meanings.

It may mean the physical universe. The phrase “heaven and earth” is used to indicate the whole universe ((Gen. 1:1; Jer. 23:24; Acts 17:24).

Secondly, it may refer to the planetary heavens. That is to say the domain of the sun, moon and the stars. (Deuteronomy 17:1-3; Psalm 8:1-4; Jeremiah 8:1-2; Matthew 24:29-31).

Finally, it refers to the divine heaven: the domain of God, angels and the redeemed Old Testament and New Testament saints.

Deuteronomy 10:12-14. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. (Deuteronomy 10:12-14, ESV)