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What does firmament really mean?

asked 2018-08-31 13:06:04 -0500

brynnoallen gravatar image

I know what the dictionary definition of the word "firmament" is, and how it is used in the bible, but what root words is it derived from? The way we use and define it now seems to be heavy laden with connotation, but I'm looking to figure out what its more literal definition would be. I understood it to be a latin word, but I am having trouble breaking it into its pieces. I have pieces that seem like they might fit, but some of them are latin, some of them seem strange, I'm not sure where to go with it. Any ideas?

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answered 2019-01-28 13:26:14 -0500

Gerard Cheshire gravatar image

The word 'firmament' is derived from the Latin 'firmamentum' which roughly translates as 'that which supports, or, is supported'. The Romans used the term more literally: i.e. the sky is fixed or supported above the earth. But, the religious notion of the sky as heaven gave rise to the idea that looking and praying to heaven gives emotional strength or support. Thus, something was lost (and gained) in translation.

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Asked: 2018-08-31 13:06:04 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 28