Sky stands in the A.V. as the rendering only of שִׁחִק. shachak (De 33:26; 2Sa 22:12; Ps 18:11; Ps 77:17; Isa 45:8; Jer 51:9), the thick black clouds (as elsewhere rendered) spread over the whole firmament; and thrice (Mt 16:2-3; Heb 11:12) of οὐρανός, the visible expanse of air (elsewhere "heaven"). In Scripture phraseology the heavens (שָׁמִיַ ם), as the opposite of the earth (Ge 1:8,10), constitute with it the world (1:1; 2:1; De 30:19; Ps 1:4), for which idea the Heb. had no other proper expression. According to the Mosaic cosmogony, the sky seems to have been regarded as physical, being a space between the upper and lower waters, or rather as a fixed expanse (רָקַיעִ, "firmament") which separates these (Ge 1:6,8; Ps 104:3; Ps 148:4). Through this oceanic heaven were poured upon the earth rains, dews, snow, and hail (Job 38:2) by means of openings, which were under the divine control, and which are sometimes called windows (אִרבּוֹת, Ge 7:11; Ge 8:2; 2Ki 7:2,19) or doors (דּלָתִיַ ם, Ps 78:23). In the sky hung the sun, moon, and stars as lights for the inhabitants of the earth (Ge 1:14 sq.), and above it sat Jehovah as on a throne (Ps 10:3; comp. 29:3; Eze 1:26). These, however, were rather poetical than literal representations (comp. Ex 24:10; Da 12:3; Job 37:18; Eze 1:22; Re 4:6), for there are not wanting evidences of a truer conception of the cosmical universe (Job 26:7; Job 36:7). SEE EARTH.

Definition of sky

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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