1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 6 and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." 20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds 7 fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens."
ESV - 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
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The word "heavens" is based on the Hebrew word shamayim, which in its original language is closer to "heights", "elevation", "air", "sky", "celestial body" etc. In other words, what is above and beyond us, on earth. It is a word that has meaning only in relation to something else. In this case, the heavens have meaning only when you understand it is above and beyond the earth. We know heaven is a place that God resides, that is beyond earth. The people in ancient times did not have a scientific framework to work with. So the closest word approximation is to say that heaven is somewhere above and beyond us. Beyond the first heaven - the atmosphere or sky. So the Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:7-8 Beyond the second heaven - the celestial body or galaxy. And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, 6 and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth. Genesis 1:14-15 To the third heaven - where God resides. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven - whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows Paul - 2 Corinthians 12:2 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King Jesus - Matthew 5:34 It is important to understand that the separation of "heavens" may be more of a human concept to explain the differences of what is above and beyond us, rather than actually three physical layers of heaven.
Heaven is Gods throne; but he desires to live or make a home in people, so he provided a way through Jesus. Immanuel..means God with us. Heaven and earth is made one (harmonized) in Christ. Later both will be renovated and God and man will live together..the new Jerusalem which is US WHO BELIEVE, the city that Abraham was seeking is US WHO BELIEVE, THE BRIDE, THE WIFE OF THE LAMB is us who believe..! The bible says we shall be with him forever, not just a place called heaven!
Of course there is more than one heaven but if the questions is is there more than one dwelling place for the saints of God passed on to it where we shall dwell with Jesus for all eternity, well that is indeed a very good question. I believe that wherever we dwell with Jesus (on Earth or in a heavenly realm aside from it) will be "the" heaven in question.
you pose a very real question lots of people have had after reading the first chapter of Genesis. As it is written in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth I personally believe this refers to the atmosphere and clouds sky and galaxies and such Heaven as it refers to where God lives, Jesus is and we are striving for always has been always will be. Hope that helps :)
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