Can Anyone Tell Me What Heaven is Really Like?

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You don't have to read far into the Bible before you meet the word 'heaven'. The first chapter has seven separate references to 'heaven'.  But where is it and what is it?  The first reference appears to add to the confusion as it literally reads "God created 'both heavens' and the earth".  Both heavens? Two heavens? How many heavens are there? Well, the romantic may say he is in the 'seventh heaven' but the Bible makes reference to three.  Modern commentators sometimes say that the Hebrews believed in a heaven and earth of three concentric spheres but that is because modern commentators think that ancient people were too unsophisticated to speak in pictures.  Their comments tell us more about modern arrogance than ancient naiveté.  We might as well conclude that the 21st Century man who says ‘the sun rises at 5.30’ thinks that the earth is flat and that the sun is doing the moving.

The Hebrew word for heaven means something that is "above" and is a relative term.  (The Greek word for 'heaven' has the same kind of etymology.) Consequently there is a 'heaven' above the earth where the sparrows fly, and there is a 'heaven' above that where the stars shine. (Gen 1:16, 20)  And above (or beyond) that a third!  The imagery is of a place beyond man's reach.  Modern scientific technology may have taken man through the sparrows' heaven and into the starry heavens (or to the moon, as a start) but the third heaven still remains above, beyond his reach. 

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