The rainbow, a Sign of Peace in the Bible

In the story of the Genesis of the Bible, GOD, after generating the flood to wash away the corruption of humanity, placed the rainbow in the sky as a sign of his Covenant with man.

The moral decay of human civilization had reached unimaginable levels, so GOD “regretted having made man on earth and grieved for it” (Genesis 6, 6). Thus the flood over all creation was unleashed, a catastrophe necessary to purge the earth, and only Noah (in Hebrew: נֹחַ Noach, in Arabic: نوح Nuh) and his family was allowed to be saved (Gen 7, 21-22). They sailed aimlessly for 150 days until the water calmed down, and once and land Noah offered sacrifices of thanks to the LORD. GOD accepted his offer and made with him and his descendants a New Covenant, humanity would never again suffer such a grave calamity:

21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. 22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
(Genesis 8, 21-22)

 

Then the LORD turned to Noah and his children and said:

“I now establish my Covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you, the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you, every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my Covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And GOD said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a Covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between GOD and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” 17 So GOD said to Noah, “This is the Sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
(Genesis 9, 9-17)

 

The rainbow is a tangible sign of GOD’s eternal mercy. In spite of the fact that humanity is still sinning and could certainly deserve another deluge, the CREATOR always remembers His promise.

The Jewish tradition of the Talmud considers it a very positive sign when we do not see the rainbow for a long period of time, because it believes that this vision only happens for men after sins are committed and to remind us of the eternal Compassion of GOD (Talmud, Ketubot 77b).

Divine glory is compared to the appearance of the rainbow. In the words of the prophet Ezekiel, “As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness around it; that was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD” (Ezekiel 1, 28).

The rainbow is seen in the sky only when the rain subsides or stops completely, it is a sign that must give us strength because it reminds us that the storm, no matter how great and strong it may be, always comes to calm, and ceasing leaves room for sunlight, tranquillity.
Even if there will no longer be a flood like in Noah’s time, storms remain frequent in man’s life, and to face them in the best possible way it will be enough to remember how wonderful the rainbow will be as soon as the clouds have disappeared. The more threatening and dark the sky has been, the more the light that will come once the storm is over will be appreciated by the men and women who understand.

 

 

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