The Hebrew suffix ים‎ (Yud + Mem) is a masculine plural.

The word Shamayim seems to always end in plural;

  1. Genesis 1:1 הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם translated; the heavens.
  2. Genesis 1:8 שָׁמָ֑יִם translated; heaven.
  3. Genesis 1:9 הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ translated; the heavens.
  4. Genesis 1:14 הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם translated; of the heavens.
  5. Genesis 1:15 הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם translated; of the heavens.
  6. Genesis 1:17 הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם translated; of the heavens.
  7. Genesis 1:20 הַשָּׁמָֽיִם translated; of the heavens.
  8. Genesis 1:26 הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם translated; of the sky.
  9. Genesis 1:28 הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם translated; of the sky.
  10. Genesis 1:30 הַשָּׁמַ֜יִם translated; of the sky.

The word occur over 400 times in the bible but I can't find it in singular form, yet when being translated to singular heaven in Genesis 1:8 it's stil in the Hebrew plural form.

  • Are there a Hebrew singular form for this word?

Source; shamayim Strong's

  • While ים‎ is usually a masculine plural ending, it does have other uses; most obviously in נָשִׁים nashim, "women".
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 30 at 18:09
  • @ColinFine Thanks! Masculine plural can refer to just this word (Gen 1:1 Noun Masculine Plural) but I also know that names of people (Abarim עברים, Jakim יקים), places (Yerushalayim ירושלים, Mt Olivet הר הזיתים, Egypt מצרים) and foods/fruits (lime ליים) also all places related to sea/lake [ים yam = lake/sea/west] can end in ים without being plural, my question is solely if the plural Shamayim has a singular equivalent. Jul 31 at 8:10
  • Note that skies is a poetic alternative to sky in English. See english.stackexchange.com/questions/29302/…
    – Colin Fine
    Jul 31 at 11:28
  • @ColinFine Yeah you refer to; apaderno "Skies is a poetic/literary word used to mean heaven or heavenly power. The first example sentence could mean reach for heaven." just found this; It should be noted that this Hebrew word, just like “water” (MYM), is always plural. When translating “water” into English, we sometimes use the singular, and sometimes the plural, depending on English grammar usage, and “heavens” should be given this same consideration. Jul 31 at 11:36

It is what is called a plurale tantum, a word used always in the plural form, but with a singular meaning.

  • Thanks "plurale tantum" with m it is.. Jul 30 at 11:59
  • @DanielDahlberg. Yes, corrected.
    – fdb
    Jul 30 at 12:48
  • 1
    pluralia tantum are not necessarily singular in meaning
    – Tristan
    Jul 30 at 13:18
  • agree with @Tristan. Compare with "pelagic" derivative of 'flat, spreading', which contrasts a signified thing with a boundless or indeterminate concept Jul 30 at 14:57

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