Saturday, April 11, 2009

Genesis 1:1 - In The Beginning, Part Five

The Hebrew word, “shamayim”, here in Genesis 1:1, translated as heaven in the King James version, is more correctly translated as heavens. Specifically, shamayim is one of those words that encompasses a plural meaning but it is used as a singular noun, in the same way as Elohim.

It comes from a root word which means to be lofty; the sky. The plurality alludes to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve. Basically, if the word, shamayim, is used, it means everything seen when you look up, the sky and outer space.

If are talking about just the sky or the expanse between the earth and outer space, then the word "rawkeeah" would be used. Rawkeeah is translated as firmament in the some bible translations.

In Psalm 19:1, both words are used. “
The heavens "SHAMAYIM" declare the glory of God; and the firmament "RAWKEEAH" showeth his handiwork.

Isaiah 45:12 gives us look into what God wants us to think when shamayim is used.
I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens"SHAMAYIM", and all their host have I commanded.

As we get further into the creation story, it is important to understand the difference between shamayim and the word rawkeeah. This is especially true when we get to Genesis 1:6.

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