Three Rainbows In The Bible: 3 of God’s Awe-Inspiring Promises to His Children

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Rainbows in the Bible hold such promise. Such hope, don’t they? In fact, we find several examples of rainbow symbolism in the Bible. Let’s take a look at Bible verses about the three rainbows in the Bible and what they mean.

Rainbows are such a awesome phenomenon to witness. It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen them, each and every time they leave me in awe. I have to stop and praise God for His creative beauty and wondrous power.

Of course scientifically rainbows are “an arch of colors formed in the sky in certain circumstances, caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere.”

Science aside, rainbows symbolize so much more to God’s children and reveal a bit about His characteristics.

In this post, we won’t cover the meaning behind colors in the Bible, but you can read more in this in-depth post.

Smith’s Bible Dictionary says that rainbows in the Bible are: 

“the token of the covenant which God made with Noah when he came forth from the ark that the waters should no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. The right interpretation of (Genesis 9:13) seems to be that God took the rainbow, which had hitherto been but a beautiful object shining in the heavens when the suns rays fell on falling rain, and consecrated it as the sign of his love and the witness of his promise. Ecclus. 43:11.

The rainbow is a symbol of Gods faithfulness and mercy. In the “rainbow around the throne,” (Revelation 4:3 ) is seen the symbol of hope and the bright emblem of mercy and love, all the more true as a symbol because it is reflected from the storm itself.”

And, while many other instances of Bible symbolism occur more often in the Bible, rainbows are mentioned just seven times.

What Does the Bible Say About Rainbows:  The Great Flood

The first mention of rainbows in the Bible occurs in Genesis:

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. – Genesis 9:13 

In this mention, we are in the midst of the story of the Great Flood. God sets a rainbow in the sky as a covenant to us. His promise to His children. A rainbow is designed to reassure us that when we see one, God has remembered His promise.

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. 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.”

So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” – Genesis 9:15-17 

God has promised to never destroy the Earth again with a flood. A rainbow serves as a powerful reminder of God’s promise of this to us.

God sets a rainbow in the sky as a covenant to us. His promise to His children. A rainbow is designed to reassure us that when we see one, God has remembered His promise. Click to Tweet
The colors in the rainbow

 

Rainbows in the Bible: The Second Mention: Ezekiel’s Vision

The second mention of rainbows in the Bible takes place in Ezekiel. In this chapter Ezekiel has a vision of heavenly and angelic beings, and cherubim, that were appointed as guardians of the holiness of God.

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking. – Ezekiel 1:28

Ezekiel was privileged to see a vision of God in heaven and the brightness of God was seen as a rainbow. The rainbow is seen as a part of the manifestation of God in Revelation 4:3 and Revelation 10:1. Enduring Word has a good short study on cherubim that you may wish to check out.

It’s interesting to note that the Hebrew word for Rainbow is קֶשֶׁת — Qeshet. Keshet is also used to describe a war bow.

When you think of a bow used in war, it needs, essentially two things:  the bow and an arrow. Without the arrow, it cannot serve as a weapon. (For sports imagery in the Bible, see this post.)

The symbol of the rainbow, a bow without an arrow, is therefore a symbol of the mercy of God. A symbol that shows that while God can destroy the earth with a flood, He has promised not to do that ever again.

You may enjoy this short video by a rabbi about the meaning of the word rainbow in the Bible and what it signifies.

 

Ezekiel 1:28 confirms Exodus 34:6-7 and shows us that God’s glory was not merely a brightness around Him but was His character. How fitting then that the rainbow should be an integral part in manifesting that character to all those who were blessed with a vision of God manifested in heaven.

“And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” – Exodus 34:6-7

 

 

The Three Meaning of Rainbows in the Bible

There are three overarching meaning of rainbows in God’s Word:

God’s Promises To Us

In Genesis, the rainbow symbolizes God’s promise to never destroy the earth again with a worldwide flood. When God makes a promise, He keeps it. A rainbow is a reminder of that.

Creation

Rainbows have been a symbol of creation since Genesis. The rainbow symbolizes God as the masterful Creator of earth and nature. 

Bridges

The rainbow also signifies a bridge. For example, a bridge from earth to heaven, a beautiful, happier place.

When You See A Rainbow

The next time you see a rainbow, appreciate its beauty then consider what the rainbow means.

We have been blessed to have revealed to us just a glimpse of God’s character. A reminder of His promises to us despite the hardship and difficulties that we face in life. Let it be a remembrance that while we deserve judgement and death, God is merciful and he has given us eternal life. He is faithful to keep His promises to us for eternity. Just as he made and kept His promises to the Israelites thousands of years’ ago.

Click the image below to downloand and print Bible verses about rainbows.

Bible verses about rainbows

Remember and be awed by His breathtaking creation and that He is the Masterful Creator of heaven and earth.

If you see a rainbow, take a picture and share on social media with the hashtags: #Godspromises #rainbowsWONC and be sure to thank our Heavenly Father for His abundant blessings and kept promises.

Because of Him,

Sue

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11 Comments

  1. Hey, I saw the most amazing rainbow on Dahboo0077 channel today, it touched my soul. Thank you for scriptures, many prayers/blessings!

  2. Hi, you wrote:
    “And, while many other instances of Bible symbolism occur more often in the Bible, rainbows are mentioned just seven times.”

    Just like to check with you which version you were using.

    From the NKJV, I have only 6 times:
    1. Gen 9:13
    2. Gen 9:14
    3. Gen 9:16
    4. Eze 1:28
    5. Rev 4:3
    6. Rev 10:1

    Thanks!

  3. Thank you for this article. I have one question, where does Bridge fit in in scripture? I see the other too.
    Thanks for your response.

    1. Hi, Margie – I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’ve not, yet written or studied bridges, but I’ll consider it for a future post. Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed day!

      1. Today I woke up and the first thing i did was to text good morning to the person i love the most in this world. Who saved me from becoming a monster. And i have strong feelings towards her and she knows it (nothing s*xual but pure love). And she knows about my feelings and because of her bad experience in her past relationship restraint her from giving a chance to me and always try to push me away…

        As I said before today also i texted good morning to her and she replied with text saying morning.. The next thing happened was she video called me ( we both never actually met and talked in person coz she live abroad and she dont want me to go there and meet her becoz she scared of me getting disappointed and getting hurt, becoz she have no such feelings for me.. Not The way I love her) and showed me a full arch rainbow on sky and told me there was noone der to show this, so she called me and she was so excited to see the rainbow… And I am also exicited to see the rainbow because I love the nature as it is and its wonders..

        Later I was just trying to remember what exactly causes the rainbow to form and i kept on reading about it, the reflection, refraction and dispersion.. Then came the mythological sections, alot of myths regarding rainbows and god… Then I saw this post and I saw the writer is responding to the comment so on a curious note I would like to ask the writer.. Does this actually mean anything? All the bible thing and myths and stuffs.. If You believe its true to the word in bible then connect the story I told you above to the bible words.

        Hope you ll reply
        Thank you

        1. Hi, Jason – thank you for writing and sharing your story. Rainbows are a symobolim of God’s promise to us, His children. It would be impossible for me to connect your particular story to scripture. God has a plan for each of us. He may have been pointing out His promises or it may just be a random connection. Only God knows. Do you know Jesus? I would be happy to talk with you via email or phone and explore this deeper. Thank you for stopping by and have a blessed day

    2. Well my first thought would be that Jesus is the bridge that finishes our connection to God. Since we sinful in our nature, Jesus “bridges the gap” between us and our Heavenly Father. … Of Course, I’m not a theologian 📖by any means, ⛪ but I hope that helps and encourages you! Blessings my friend. 🙏🙋🏽‍♀️🙏

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