Interpretation of heaven(s)

I have been wondering as to what the Israelites understanding of heaven was, did they think it was in the clouds (sky) or did they think it was beyond the sky, maybe a parallel world?

How did their ideas differ from ours in regards to what heaven might be like?

Literally and metaphorically both.

I have seen this many times here and elsewhere but the Isralite didnt really believed in the afterlife.Not sure if its true or not as i havent looked it up myself but just throwing it here

Aye, they were honest in that they had no idea of what afterlife entailed. But their God ruled from heaven. Beyond sky.

The abode of God was above the firmament, that hard dome that separated the waters above from the waters below. The universe was essentially three-layers, with heaven above the earth and the underworld below the earth.

Their ideas about heaven were not like ours. At best, the afterlife was only a shadowy existence.

My impression also. In Jesus’ time, the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife either, except perhaps as that same shadowy Sheol we call go to. The Pharisees in contrast believed in resurrection and life after death.

2 Likes

True, I was thinking more of Old Testament times. The three-layer universe model persisted in New Testament times.

Yes, I was just moving it up a bit, but think that is what the post refers to primarily. And agree that there was not much thought given of afterlife. I think Ecclesiastes reflects the thought that we live and we die, and return to the dust. To some extent, that was a healthy belief, as it made our current lives and behavior more meaningful, as well as made our children’s lives and future generations more important as they represent what lives on after us.

I never had the impression that God ever intended to explain any details of heaven, hell, or the afterlife any more than He intended to explain how He created the universe. Tell us that He did create the universe? Yes. Tell us that there is an afterlife? Yes. Tell us that there are two possible eternal destinies for us in the afterlife? Yes. But not the details of what these are like.

Now why wouldn’t He explain such things? It would seem that having us know such things is, at the very least, not of great importance. He left us a way to discover for ourselves a great deal about how the universe came to be as it was. Perhaps that serves a useful purpose in learning things helpful in life. But there doesn’t seem to be anything comparable for discovering anything about the afterlife. Could it be that dwelling about this doesn’t serve any useful purpose for us? And I wonder if that by itself isn’t a rather important clue. Considering why would that be the case, fires my imagination anyway.

Revelation about heaven has unfolded over time.

Hmm, well that is certaintly different than what i imagined it could be.

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.