What does mean "разверзлись хляби небесные?"

2 Answers 2


Well in the Bible it means heavy raining of epic proportions, but this word could, as of now, is known basically due to this particular phrase (and actually is used in the Bible few more times).

Old Russian хлѩбь stands for водопад (waterfall), стремнина (rapids), generally speaking, some fierce and turbulent flow.

You can find this definition here. Here's a screenshot (it's easier to do rather then retype in modern spelling, also losing some context):enter image description here

Also it worth to mention that in modern Russian "разверзлись хлюби небесные" could be used, though this usage is way too rare, in a joking context - when talking of bad weather.

  • 1
    Yes, exactly! Nowadays we say it about heavy raining, or about the long period of rainy weather. To make a better effect, pronounce it slow with an intonation of a philosopher!
    – Polina
    Jun 10, 2017 at 20:41

This is a quote from the Bible referring to the flood. The English version from The New American Standard Bible is "...and the floodgates of the sky were opened."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.