BADG glosses TA hUPSISTA as the "highest heights," so the plural
does not even seem out of place in English. Why is "heights" plural
in English? I suspect the question is just as answerable as it is
for the Greek.
The well known Latin translation of DOKSA EN hUPSISTOIS QEWi is, of
course, GLORIA IN EXCELSIS DEO. I never really thought about until
this discussion the fact that "excelsis" is indeed ablative plural;
the singular form would be "excelso."
>(2) Semitic (Hebrew at least) has a plural (dual?) for Heaven: ha
>Shamayim,which seems to be represented at some points in the NT with the
>plural hOI OURANOI.
There's also an intriguing reference in 2Co12:2 to a "third heaven."
Any experts here in ancient cosmology?
-- Stephen C. Carlson : Poetry speaks of aspirations, firstname.lastname@example.org : and songs chant the words. http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/ : -- Shujing 2.35