When the Bible speaks of the heavens, we must keep context in mind, because the Bible refers to three different heavens!
The first heaven is the atmosphere around the Earth. This can be seen in Genesis 1:9 which says, “Then God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so.”
This can also be seen in Psalm 103:11, which says, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;…”
The second heaven is the cosmos where the planets, moon and stars hang. This can be seen in Genesis 1:14-17, which says, “Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth,…” Here the Bible is explaining how God created the sun, moon and stars to provide light.
The third heaven is the place where God’s throne is located. This can be seen in Acts 7:55-56, which says, “But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
This can also be seen in Revelation 20:1, which says, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.”
There are many, many more verses that refer to one of these three heavens in the Bible. There are over 500 uses of the word “heaven” and more than 160 uses of the word “heavens” in the Bible. I encourage you to do your own Bible study on the topic. You can find resources to help with your study on our bible study page.