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“Heaven” (name for God)

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From the Encyclopaedia Judaica 7:682

The Earliest occurrences (except for Dan. 4:23 : “It is Heaven that rules”) of the substitution of the word “Heaven” (God’s abode) for “God” (Himself) are found in the Apocrypha : “In the site of Heaven” (I Macc. 3:18), “Let us cry to Heaven” ( I Macc. 4:10) “They were singing hymns and glorifying Heaven” (I Macc. 4:24), “All the people … adored and praised Heaven” (I Macc. 4:55), With the help of Heaven” (I Macc. 12:15) and “From these [sons]” II Macc. 7:11)


In Christian Gospels this usage is especially common in the Judaeo-Christian Gospel of Matthew, where e.g. “the Kingdom of Heaven” corresponds to the “Kingdom of God” in parallel passages of Mark and Luke (Matt. 3:22 = Mark 1:15 ; Matt. 5:3 = Luke 6:20 ; etal.) but also in Luke 15:18,21 : “I have sinned against Heaven.” This usage still persist in such expressions as “Heaven help us”.

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