How many times is firmament mentioned in the Bible? (What does the Bible say about the firmament?)

My friends and I decided to help our children learn more about the Bible by teaching them one bible story every week. Since the creation story is one of the most intriguing stories in the Bible, we thought it would be an excellent place to begin our bible study with the kids. A few verses into the first chapter of the Bible, the children had already started asking questions, with the main one being what firmament is since they were unfamiliar with the word. As a minister of God, I was challenged by the kids’ thirst for knowledge, and to ensure I gave them comprehensive information, I delved into research. One of the questions most of them asked was; how many times is firmament mentioned in the Bible?

The word firmament is mentioned 15 times in King James Version, 21st Century King James Version (KJ21), and New King James Version. The word only appears in the Old Testament in all versions. It is important to note that the word firmament is only seen in the King James translation and other older bible translations and is not found in newer translations, such as the Good News Translation (GNT) and New International Version (NIV).

I invite you to join me in this article to learn more about the firmament. Keep reading to find out what it was in the Bible and much more.

What was the firmament in the Bible?

According to the Bible, firmament is Heaven. The term firmament appears first in the creation story in Genesis 1:6, where God created the firmament in the midst of waters. The firmament separated the waters that were under it from the waters above it, and in Genesis 1:8, God named the firmament heaven.

What Does the Bible Say About Firmament?

How many times is firmament mentioned in the Bible? 
What Does the Bible Say About Firmament? Image source: Pixabay

The term firmament is one we are not accustomed to hearing often. The Bible does not say much about firmament either, as it is only mentioned a handful of times in the Old Testament. You will encounter the word firmament immediately after you start reading the creation story. We know that the earth did not have form in the beginning and was filled with darkness with God’s spirit hovering over the face of the waters. Thus, one can conclude that water was everywhere, and it is on the second day that God created the firmament in the waters to separate the waters from the waters and create a space between them. God called the firmament heaven, as seen in Genesis 1:8, or sky, as in the New International Version (NIV) translation.

Where is the firmament mentioned in the Bible?        

The term firmament is mentioned in the Old Testament only. Specifically, firmament is mentioned seven times in Genesis, two times in the book of Psalms, five times in Ezekiel, and once in Daniel. In Genesis, firmament is seen in the creation story from Genesis 1:6 to Genesis 1:20. God created the firmament on the second day in the midst of waters and used it to divide the waters, such that there was water below it on earth and above it. We find the word used again in Psalms as the author uses firmament as proof of God’s creation and, in a later verse, asks all things to praise God in His mighty firmament. In Ezekiel, firmament is mentioned five times, and each occurrence of the word occurs within a vision. In the vision, the firmament is described to be stretched out above the heads of the living creatures Ezekiel saw in his vision and is likened to the color of a beautiful crystal. The last time the word firmament is used is in the book of Daniel, where the author compares firmament to something bright.

Bible verses about firmament

There are only 15 bible verses about firmament in the King James Version. The first encounter is the first book and chapter of the Bible that delves into the creation story. In Genesis 1:6Genesis 1:7and Genesis 1:8God created the firmament to divide the waters on the earth and the waters above it and called it Heaven. In Genesis 1:14, Genesis 1:15and Genesis 1:17God created lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate day and night and commanded the light to be for seasons, days, and years. In Genesis 1:20God created the animals living in the water and the birds to fly across the face of the firmament. Psalm 19:1 talk about the perfect revelation of God and uses the firmament to show God’s handiwork. Psalm 150:1 asks all things to praise God in His mighty firmament. In Ezekiel 1:22Ezekiel 1:23Ezekiel 1:25Ezekiel 1:26and Ezekiel 10:1, God came expressly to Ezekiel through a vision, and he could see four living creatures, and above their heads was the likeness of the firmament that looked like awesome crystal. Lastly, in Daniel 12:3, the author likens the wise to the brightness of the firmament.

Is the firmament the atmosphere?

What does the Bible say about the firmament?
Is the firmament the atmosphere? Image source: Pixabay

The Bible says that firmament is Heaven in Genesis 1:8 when reading the King James Version. Other translations have used a different word; for instance, the NIV says vault or sky, AMP calls it an expanse of sky, and CEB says dome sky. 

Other scholars also have an input on what the word means. According to one article, firmament is derived from the Latin word firmamentum, meaning expanse or sky, and describes the expanse of the skies above the earth.

In another article, the scholar explains that the word firmament means expanse, with an idea of something made by being spread out. Thus, when referring to Genesis 1:6-8, firmament denotes the space God created between the waters, the waters above and the waters below. Additionally, the KJV organization describes firmament as outer space, the atmosphere, or the expanse of the sky.

When you read further in Genesis 1:14, God commands that there be light in the firmament to give light to the earth and create day and night. In Genesis 1:20, God created the birds and commanded them to fly above the earth across the firmament.

Therefore, looking at how the Bible describes firmament and what other scholars say about it, one can conclude that it is actually the atmosphere. The space between the waters above and waters below and where birds fly above the earth.

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