Postdiluvian f. Sign
Genesis 9:12-17, “And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Apparently the rainbow was not previously seen on Earth. From Genesis Chapter 1 it can be construed that the Earth had a thick cloud covering. The light was therefore subdued and the planet was “watered” by mists and/or fogs. Only after the Flood was sunlight more able to shine directly upon the Earth, albeit through a moisture infused atmosphere. It was this change to the atmospherics that allowed the mechanics of light refraction to produce the effect of a rainbow. The story is not a folklore of how we have a rainbow, but a lesson in Earth’s history.
It is also worth noting that the rainbow consists of 7 visible bands of colours – a number often associated with Jesus.
We have all looked at a rainbow, and marvelled at its beauty. Maybe we’ve even seen a double rainbow. We’ve probably heard about the Irish stories of Leprechauns and their pots of gold. Scientifically we are reminded of the refraction of light through the water in the atmosphere and that the bow is due to the curvature of the earth. And for those of us familiar with the scriptures there is the reminder of God’s promise as seen in Genesis chapter 9. But other than remembering that God would never again flood the entire world, we give very little thought to this passage. However, over 5000 years of thought by the Hebrew scholars, give us much to contemplate.
As Noah and his family were the only survivors of this world-wide catastrophe, all mankind has descended from them, and pre-dates Abraham and the birth of the people of Israel. Therefore, those scholars conclude that the instructions given in Genesis 9:1-17 are for all of humanity. There are no conditions placed on humanity regarding the promises God made in reference to the rainbow, it is totally unconditional on humanity’s performance.
However, mankind does not seem to be able to live without guidance, and therefore constructed laws based on God’s good promises. The Jews consider these instructions are for the Gentiles as being of a broader, though limited, version of their commandments, and became known as the ‘Noahide Laws’ or the ‘7 Laws of the Gentiles’. Except for the requirement for any man or animal killing a human to be killed, God had not set punishments regarding the covenants He had decreed, though as usual mankind has taken it upon itself to impose the death penalty (in theory at least) for those not adhering to the other tenets defined.
Based on the visible bands of God’s sign in the skies, theses 7 Laws are:
Colour Meaning Law
Violet – King / Priest No Idolatry
Indigo – Power / Establish Government
Blue – Heaven / No Blasphemy
Green – Earth / Nature / No Immorality
Yellow – Hope / Wealth / Gold / No Theft
Orange – Healing / Wholeness / No Murder
Red Blood / Life / No eating blood