Genesis 1:6-8, in the King James Version, reads, “And God called the firmament Heaven….” The word “heaven” was translated from the Hebrew word shamayim, which can also be translated “sky” or “air,” depending on the context.
The context in which Genesis 1:8 is presented is the seven days of creation, when Elohim created a sanctuary to sustain human life. Notice that on the first day, Elohim created light. The life-sustaining component that Elohim created on the second day is the topic of this message and is in question, so we’ll address this in a few moments. On the third day Elohim created food, the fourth day, time, the fifth day, water. On the the sixth day, He created the animals and created man. And on the seventh day He rested.
Now let’s get back to what Elohim created on the second day. In order to translate the word shamayim correctly we must select the word from the list of available definitions above that best fits the context of the creation of a sanctuary suited to sustain human life. Of course, that component is not heaven as one cannot breath in space. Rather, the component is air, as air is vital for sustaining human life through the process of breathing.
Thus, the word shamayim in Genesis 1:8 is correctly translated, air, which is how it is translated in this version.
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