Original Research

Die (reën)boog na die sondvloed (Gen 9:12-17)

H.F. Stander
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 58, No 4 | a711 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v58i4.711 | © 2002 H.F. Stander | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2002 | Published: 27 October 2002

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H.F. Stander, Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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The (Rain)bow after the deluge (Gen 9:12-17)

The Hebrew word which is used for “rainbow” in Genesis 9:13,16 can also be translated as an archer’s “bow”. It is interesting to note that all the ancient writers used the latter meaning (“war bow”) in their interpretation of the Noah account, and not the meaning of “rainbow”. The ancients often depicted God as a warrior God who had a bow and shot arrows at those whom He wanted to punish. After God had punished the people for their sins, he hung up his bow. The bow in the clouds is without a bow string, and this is to remind the people that God is now at peace with them. In this article the prevalence of this interpretation in the ancient world, is shown. The writings of the Church Fathers are also scrutinized for their remarks on the (rain)bow. To conclude, the translation of this symbol in various Bible translations is also discussed.


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