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Offline Reader Questions

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Are 'Seven Heavens' Mentioned in the Bible?
« on: July 29, 2012, 09:13:18 PM »
Alsallam Aleikoum,
 
May Allah reward you immensely for all your efforts in your wonderful website. Ameen.  May I ask you for a clarification about the concept of heaven in the Holy Bible and especially the concept of "Seven Heavens", is it mentioned in the Bible? Honestly, I am not sure I have been doing a research and found out that the Bible speaks only of "three heavens" I can't just rely on the information I found on the web so I needed a reliable answer so that I can mention with confidence in my paper.
 
Kind Regards,
(PhD Student)

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Are 'Seven Heavens' Mentioned in the Bible?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 09:14:43 PM »
Salamun Alaikum,

To my knowledge, the concept of 'seven heavens' as separate distinct heavens is found in rabbinical literature such as the Talmud as opposed to the Old Testament (OT) per se. The New Testament (NT) also does not expound such a concept as seven distinct heavens either.  The names of the heavens Vilon, Rakia, Shchakim, Zbul, Maon, Makhon, Araboth can be found in the Tractate of Hagigah (Festival Offering) in the order of Seder Mo'ed, Chapter II (Regulations concerning public lectures which are and which are not allowed)

"R. Jehudah said: There are two firmaments, as it is written [Deut. x. 14]: "Behold, to the Lord thy God belong the heavens and the heavens of the heavens." Resh Lakish said, they are seven, viz.: Vilon, Rakia, Shchakim, Zbul, Maon, Makhon, Araboth" [1]

Apart from Vilon, I understand that all other names do appear in the OT in some form or another. However, the concept that they are 'separate heavens' different from each other is not ratified to my knowledge. Please see reference [2] below where the sources of the concept and what it entails are discussed in more detail.

I hope that helps, God willing.

Regards,
Joseph.


[1] JEWISH VIRTUAL LIBRARY
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Talmud/hagiga2.html

[2] JEWISH GNOSTICISM, MERKABAH MYSTICISM AND TALMUDIC TRADITION
http://www.scribd.com/doc/51915665/Gershom-Scholem-Jewish-Gnosticism-Merkabah-Mysticism-And-Talmudic-Tradition
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