seven earths

On the first day of Creation, God created seven earths, corresponding to the seven heavens. Each earth is separated from the next by five layers.

The lowest earth, the seventh, is called Erez. Over it lie in succession the abyss, the Tohu, the Bohu, a sea, and waters.
The sixth earth, Adamah, is the scene of the magnificence of God. It is in the same way separated from the fifth earth.
The fifth earth is called Arka. It contains seven divisions of Hell, one beneath the other: Gehenna, and Sha'are Mawet, and Sha'are Zalmawet, and Beër Shahat, and Tit ha-Yawen, and Abaddon, and Sheol. Here the souls of the wicked are guarded by the Angels of Destruction.
The fourth earth is Harabah, the dry. Despite its name, it is the place of brooks and streams.
The third earth is Yabbashah, the mainland. It contains the rivers and the springs.
The second earth, Tebel, is the first mainland populated by living creatures; three hundred and sixty-five species, all essentially different from those on earth. Some of them are half man half lion or serpent or ox. Tebel is also inhabited by human beings with two heads and four hands and feet, and which are distinguished by great piety.
The first earth, the earth of mankind, is called Heled. It is separated from Tebel by an abyss, the Tohu, the Bohu, a sea, and waters.

See also seven heavens and seven hells.

Tohu and Bohu, in Hebrew "toil" and "confusion," are two contiguous islands.



  • Ginzberg, Louis. 1909. The legends of the Jews. Vol. 1. Philadelphia: The Jewish publication society of America, pp. 10-11.