In #10 I touched on what is perhaps the most mega-mystery of the Bible that I know of. I refer to it as the five great spiritual realms. We could also call it the FIVE GREAT FACES.
Never underestimate the Bible. Just when you think you’ve hit some of the depths, the Scripture will still go even deeper.
Ye hypocrites, ye know how to interpret the face of the earth and the heaven; but how is it that ye know not how to interpret this time? (Luke 12:56 ASV, RSV, KJV, YLT – modern translations obscure the true words of Jesus and scripture—ditch them!!)
In His preparing the heavens I am there, In His decreeing a circle on the face of the deep. Prov. 8:27 YLT
Send forth thy bread on the face of the waters, For in the multitude of the days thou dost find it. Ecc. 11:1 YLT
But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. Gen. 2:6 KJV
And God saith, ‘Let the waters teem with the teeming living creature, and fowl let fly on the earth on the face of the expanse of the heavens.’
The Septuagint and the YLT translate Ecc. 11:1 accurately. If words are left out of translations, it only makes it that much more impossible to understand. Cross reference “face of the waters” in the Young’s Literal Translation and learn something new…
These are the five great faces. If you come across “face of the land” it is the same Hebrew word as earth – haEretz. Context-dependent rendering of “land” instead of “earth” unfortunately obscures a lot of important appearances of “the earth” in Scripture.
Note that “face of heaven” does not appear in the Bible. Only “face of the expanse of heaven”. Why? Because Heaven shows its face at the end. Like a holy cloud hidden behind a veil or tent. Or a nation in the womb about to born in an instant (Isa. 66:8). It is yet in the building stage, and nearly complete. This is the zeal of the Lord. The expectant father. His eyes are fixed on this one objective from the beginning, literally. If one does not abide in this objective as God does, he misses God, and his prayers will be fruitless. The very, very first thought to God is “HEAVEN”. He planned it out ages ago as an architect sits down and designs, draws out, and meticulously estimates every cost and measurement and creates a blueprint. Read Luke 14:28-33 to see how Jesus explains it.
So why the face? This is a Hebrew word, panim. It is a plural word. It’s another one of the mystery plural Hebrew words, like mayim (waters) and shamayim (heavens). Explanations abound as to why. Much of what you find argues that they have the characteristic of plurality as in, there’s a lot of it. I defer to the understanding of some Jewish scholars that it does not mean plurality, but multiplicity. You’ll see the logic of this at once. How many forms of water are there? Rain, rivers, seas, lakes, streams, mist, springs, fountains, spit, tears who knows! How many faces does a person have? As many as a person can make! The Hebrews were wise. No one has just one face. It is one thing which are many.
There are a couple of rare instances of “eye of the earth” that appear in Scripture—Ex. 10:5, 15, and Numbers 22:5,11. It refers to the destroying locust rising up on the earth. More food for thought.