Re: [asa] rainbow covenant

From: <>
Date: Thu Oct 11 2007 - 16:17:32 EDT

Quoting Christine Smith <>:

> Regardless, I think the meaning of the rainbow
> covenant goes beyond the particular context of a
> flood. I see it as a promise that God will never
> (again?) use natural laws and natural phenomenon to
> reign whole-scale destruction on the world (or what
> seemed to Noah to be the world, at the time) as
> punishment.
> I suppose if the same story were written in this day
> and age, the same convenant might look something like
> "Never again will I use a hurricane (or tsunami) to
> punish the world". (And no, I am not arguing that God
> was angry w/ or punishing New Orleans or Asia)
> In Christ,
> Christine

The problem with this is that the covenant was very specific: never again will
I destroy the whole world *with a flood*. While other prophecies in the Bible
may speak to whether or not this world survives, this covenant alone doesn't
promise anything of the sort. It just promises that it won't happen in this
particular way.

As George says, it probably means what it says, only "whole world" may have
meant their local "whole world". This may still carry some meaning if it was
merely a "whopper" of a flood. But we all know what we would think of someone
who told us "never again will a tornado cause destruction in Kansas", and then
after another one does -- they clarify: "well, I meant never again will another
F-5 hit Hesston like the one in '87".

    Maybe, like Dick is thinking, it was just for the Hebrew peoples, but there
certainly are lots of verses (like 9:16) that make it clear the covenant was for
"all flesh" including animals. It seems a stretch to assume that some hominids
would be excluded from that covenant. George is right to say that the science
is in the drivers' seat behind this certainty. It does force some liberties
with a straightforward reading of this text. Or so it still seemeth to me.

> --- George Murphy <> wrote:
> > There are (at least) 2 ways of arguing that "Noah's
> > flood" was local.
> >
> > 1) There is no evidence for a worldwide flood a few
> > thousand years ago but
> > there were large but local floods, especially in
> > Mesopotamia. These were
> > one of the sources for the biblical story of a
> > non-historical global flood.
> >
> > 2) The biblical account can be read as a story of
> > an historical local
> > flood - e.g., the statements that "all flesh" will
> > be destroyed &c are
> > simply hyperbole.
> >
> > Of course there can be combinations of elements of
> > both views but these are
> > really distinct approaches. IMO the 1st is most
> > likely. I.e., God's
> > statement that he will destroy "all flesh" means
> > just that (in the context
> > on the story) & not "lots of flesh." But the story
> > is not an historical
> > narrative, even though there are some historical
> > roots to it.
> >
> > & with this view, the rainbow covenent means what it
> > says - God won't
> > destroy the whole world with a flood again.
> >
> > Shalom
> > George

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Received on Thu Oct 11 16:21:39 2007

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