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HEAVENLY, HEAVENLY THINGS (οὐράνιος, ἐπουράνιον). These terms refer to heaven, to man’s relation to spiritual truths, and to the divine and eternal realm. The meaning is best understood in context.

Jesus contrasted “the earthly things” (τὰ ἐπίγεια) concerning the rebirth of men on earth, with “the heavenly things” (τὰ ἐπουράνια) concerning the revelation of His divine person from heaven (John 3:12). The idea is somewhat abstract but not divorced from the idea of heaven as a locality.

In the Book of Hebrews, the Tabernacle is a copy and shadow of the “heavenly” sanctuary (8:5). It contains “heavenly things,” which are purified by the high priestly offering of Christ (9:23). “Heavenly” here should be associated directly with “heaven itself” and “the presence of God” (9:24).


Kittel, TWNT, V, 538-542.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)