The Third Heaven

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Fri Jun 12 1998 - 22:03:56 EDT

In a book I read recently the author states (referring to Paul's
statement in II Corinthians 12:2 about being caught up to the third
heaven - hARPAGENTA ... hEWS TRITOU OURANOU) that "the first heaven was
before the fall of man," "the second heaven is the spiritual realm
during the reign of evil upon the earth" (i.e., now), and "the third
heaven is when the love and domain of the Father will again prevail over
the earth through the King."

I had always interpreted Paul's statement to mean third in terms of
levels or heights - or even to mean (hyperbole) "the heaven of heavens"
- but I had NEVER interpreted it to mean third in terms of time. I'd
think that the verb hARPAZW (in 12:2 a participle, but in 12:4 the
simple indicative - hHRPAGH EIS TON PARADEISON) followed first by hEWS
then EIS would seem to support that the apostle was taken up to the
LEVEL of "the third heaven" rather than taken FORWARD IN TIME to the
time of (or to see the time of) "the third heaven" (even if Paul was
"snatched/caught away in a vision or trance" to see future things).

"Eric S. Weiss"

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