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Holman Bible Dictionary


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Caused by the reflection and refraction of sunlight by droplets of rain, a rainbow often appears after the passing of thunderstorms, marking its end. The bow is colored by the division of sunlight into its primary colors. The rainbow served to remind Israel and her God of His covenant with Noah to never again destroy the earth by flooding (Genesis 9:8-17 ). The Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, another ancient flood account, does not include the sign of the rainbow. The rainbow and its beauty became a symbol of the majesty and beauty of God. While having a vision, Ezekiel compared the brightness of the glory of God with the colors of the rainbow (Genesis 1:28 ). Habakkuk also used the bow to describe the scene of God's final deliverance of His people (Genesis 3:9 ). The Book of Revelation records John's vision of the throne of Christ as surrounded by the rainbow, “in sight like unto an emerald.” (Genesis 4:3 ). Later, Revelation 10:1 pictures a descending angel with the rainbow shining upon his head and having a face as the sun.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Rainbow'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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