Rainbow BibleAustro-Hungarian Bible
First Rainbow | Bible Story
You know the first thing Noah did when he and his folks came out of the Arch? It was Noah who gave this animal present to thank God for rescuing his people from the Great Tide. he would never again be destroyed by a tide.
However, later, if they heard about the Great Tide, they might be worried that such a tide could occur again. Thus God gave something that would reminds men of His pledge never to again inundate the whole world. A rainbow. Rainbows are often seen in the skies when the rain is followed by the shining rain.
A rainbow can have many nice colours. So, if you see a rainbow, what should it be a reminder of? Yes, God's pledge that he will never again wipe out the whole wide globe with a great tide.
In the clouds: the biblical symbolism of the rainbow
Ever since the rainbow appeared in the sky - almost always after a shower - miracles and even religions have penetrated the hearts of humans." It is therefore not surprising that Scripture also contains paragraphs referring to this low atmospheric phenomena. Its best-known section, which refers to the rainbow, is chapters 9 of Genesis, a closing of the narrative of the tide.
On the basis of vs. 8, a bond is made between God and Noah, his sons, their offspring (which in the Bible means all mankind) and all animals: "And I will make myovenant with you that all creation will never again be annihilated by the water of a deluge; there will be no other deluge to ravage the earth" (Gen 9:11).
The following verse 12-16 tells us more about the "sign" of this covenant: the "bow in the clouds", the rainbow. Scientists are agreed that Genesis 9 was authored by the writer (or school) known as "Priestly", dating back to the exiled Babylonians in the sixth c. before Christ.
In Genesis 9:13,14 and 16, some define a point of departure where the holy author always references the "bow" using the noun qeset in the Hebrew language, which is normally a weapons, and say that the contexts for this are the images of a god of war. There are some Old Testament passage containing the Lord's arch-related metaphor, for example:
The rainbow in this case would be the godly "weapon" that is discarded in order never to be lifted again (that is, the rainbow as a sign of peace) in order to show that the judgment given by God is over. Other people say that the backdrop of this text is merely an illustration of the rainbow's inherent phenomena, which from time immemorial reminded of the faith in a godly action to end the tide and made no mention of force (the expression "in the clouds" would be used to show the distinction between the rainbow and the arch as a weapons for hunt or war).
At any rate, the holy author rather emphasizes his role than "sign". It is interesting that the symbol seems to be above all for God himself: "And when I carry over the ground a cloud and the arch will appear in the cloud, I will recall my alliance between myself and you and every live being - every human being - so that the water will never again become a tide to annihilate every being.
As the arch will appear in the cloud, I will see it and recall the eternal union between God and every live being - every human being on this planet. That is noteworthy, because in the other two passage that mentions a "sign of the covenant" (Gen 17,11 onircumcision and Ex 31,16-17 on the Sabbath), the mark is for the other participants.
Genesis 9 is one of a kind in the way that God needs a mark to remind himself of his engagement in a very obvious and apparently naive anthropomorphy. This means, just as Genesis 1, to which Genesis 9 has a literal and topical reference, emphasizes that the world as a place where it is possible to live is inconceivable outside the will of God; on the other side, people and beasts that are structurally vulnerable - as shown by catastrophes such as the floods - are under the guardianship of the same will.
The rainbow also has a calming effect from this perspective: We can take this issue to a lower plane if we remember that the Bible storyteller places humanity's sins at the beginning of the tide calculation. 1 Genesis 6:5 says: "The Lord saw how great was the malice of men on the face of the world, and how every wish her hearts had received was always wicked.
" Thus, the pledge to take into account the lives of Genesis 9 also includes the destructive power of the evils man has been through. It is also worth remembering that the two issues - which our contemporary mindset has successfully divided by making a clear differentiation between disasters for which humans are accountable and those created by unpredictable and unmanageable nature phenomenon - have been more easily reconciled in the mindset of the Old Testament, where malice perpetrated by men and woman often affects the order of nature (although the environmentalist's recent awareness of the issue of climate change has made us aware of this correlation again).
If, then, it was especially man's wickedness that caused God's destruction through a tide that also affected the beasts, then God's end of this tide will take on all lifeforms, since the tendency of the mortal mind to wickedness and its adverse consequences will be overthrown by the alliance of God (cf. Gen 8:21).
It is symbolically structured to confirm that an image of the Old Testament, which is largely favourable, cannot be obscured by either human disaster or malice, for God's will to provide for and promote human lives is always manifested in creature.
Maybe the rainbow is a symbol of all this, just because the atmosphere that makes it possible is only present on certain opportunities when the devastating power of the gale decreases and the sun's radiation falls. The extraordinary and astonishing qualities of the rainbow and the appeal of its colours explains why it is often associated with "splendour" in other Old Testament texts and used as an illustration of God's "glory".
The opening of Ezekiel's visions, the prophesy takes "a shape that resembled a man" (Ez 1:26) and "something like a shiny piece of fire, like the look of fire that was trapped on all sides, from what was like the waistline upwards; and from what was like the waistline downwards, I saw something like the look of fire and the bright glow that surrounded it.
Like the rainbow in the rain on a wet cloudy night, so was the splendour that enveloped it. It is hard to say whether this depiction of the divine means remembering Genesis 9: on the one side the rainbow is very different in both contexts and functions, which makes us believe that this is not the case; on the other side there are so few indications of the rainbow in the Old Testament and so many testimonies that Ezekiel and the "priestly" lyrics in Pentateuch are related to one another that we tend to say "yes" to ourselves.
Taking up the latter assumption, it follows that Ezekiel from the first pages reminds us of God's ceremonial engagement for the whole earth and the beings within it. In this sense, the convictions and menaces that govern the first part of the text should be read: The Lord who interferes to penalize his untrue nation (see Chapter 4-24) and the alien nations (see Chapter 25-32) seek their welfare and concern even in this seeming devastation.
Also there are two parts of the books Sirach or Ecclesiasticus. Rainbow is referred to in verse 11 and 12, immediately after a hint of the celestial element (firmament, star, earth and moon) and before the weatherological element (wind, thunderstorm, winter, freeze, sunset, glaciers, burning hotness, dew). Maybe this detail is no coincidence: it could indicate a certain significance of the rainbow, which seems like the star in the heavens, but is also associated with certain weather phenomenon.
At any rate, the emphasis here is on praising and acknowledging the work of God: "Look at the rainbow! "We can liken this section to Ezekiel, not only because both mentions "splendour" and "glory", but also because they both relate to the godly manifestation: the visionary prophesy and the creator of sentiments.
Sirach's point of views, on the other side, are complimentary to those of Genesis 9: the rainbow was a symbol for God; here it is a symbol for the people. At Sirach 50:7 the rainbow reappears. It shines like a stellar light between the skies, like the full moons of the feast time, like the light that shines on the king's house, like a rainbow that shines in the gloom." (Sir 50:5-7).
The New Testament sees Ezekiel 1's Passage in the backdrop of the opening visions of the second part of Revelation (Rev 4:1-11). In this case the seer (John) may enter the heavenly hall of God (see verses 1-2) and he sees "a seated one" on the seat (unlike Ezekiel, the New Testament writer does not offer a picture or character description); "around the seat was a rainbow[the New American Bible translated here and elsewhere halo] as bright as an emerald" (verse 3).
In the further course of the premonition, a sacred christianity is described that takes up Isaiah 6 elements: the general goal of the text is to give authenticity to the messages found in the Bible and to point out that John is a prophesy to whom the Godly intentions are made known. Then I saw another powerful angelic coming down from heaven, clothed in a cloudy sky, with a rainbow around his face; his face was like the light and his legs like columns of fire.
" Nearly the whole line is reminiscent of a godly appearance: various passage of the Pentateuch describe the Lord who "comes down in a cloud" (cf. Ex 34:5; Num 11:25; 12:5; see also Deut 31:15 in his Septuagint ) and the "pillar of fire" which guided Israel through the wilderness (Ex 13:21-22; 14:24; Num 14:14; Neh 9:12-19).
Note that the Old Hellenic language Septuagint (III-II century B.C.) translates the Old Testament passage on the rainbow with the ancient grecian term toxon, or "arch", into in Hebrew Qeset. That makes it more complicated to associate these passage with Revelation and Genesis 9, although some writers have tried to do so.
There would be a similar significance in this case to Ezekiel: some parts of Revelation are presented as preaching judgement, but in fact God manifests himself as the prime seeking redemption and living for his creation. When we finish our brief reflection, we can see that the significance of the rainbow in the Bible, despite the various possible interpretation, is quite positive: it leads us back to the manifestation of a God who unafraidly faces the adverse facets of the realities and the mortal hearts to take caring for his beings and fill them with being.