firmament

Concise Bible Dictionary:

The Hebrew word is raqia, signifying “expanse.” It is used for the celestial sphere that may be seen by looking upward, and also simply for the atmosphere in which the birds fly. We read that God called the firmament “heaven:” this is “heaven” in a broad sense as we read elsewhere of “the stars of heaven,” but also of “the birds of heaven” (Gen. 1:6-206And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13And the evening and the morning were the third day. 14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16And 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. 17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. (Genesis 1:6‑20)). The Psalmist speaks of them as distinct: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork" (Psa. 19:11<<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handywork. (Psalm 19:1); Psa. 150:11Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. (Psalm 150:1)). The living creatures in Ezekiel 1 move amidst the firmament: "and the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above" (Ezek. 1:2222And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the color of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above. (Ezekiel 1:22)), showing them to be executors of God's judicial government: (Compare Ezek. 10:11Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne. (Ezekiel 10:1)).

Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew Words:

Transliteration:
raqiya`
Phonic:
raw-kee’-ah
Meaning:
from 7554; properly, an expanse, i.e. the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky
KJV Usage:
firmament