Re: [asa] rainbow covenant

From: Merv <mrb22667@kansas.net>
Date: Sat Oct 13 2007 - 22:06:26 EDT
philtill@aol.com wrote:

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.  
Consider that God's covenant people were located in (southern?) Mesopotamia, and the attention of the Bible was entirely upon (southern?) Mesopotamia until the time of Abraham.  It was this way for thousands of years.  As the account goes, at one point in (southern?) Mesopotamian history, there was only one godly family remaining, and so God sent a flood to wipe out the civilization and have a "do-over".  

One or two thousand years later, it appears that evil had grown again in southern Mesopotamia and only one godly family was remaining for the second time in its very long history.  It was Abraham's family.  But did God perform another do-over in Mesopotamia?  Did he wipe it out a second time so that Abraham's family could start over with a more godly culture in southern Mesopotamia?  No.  Instead, he simply sent Abraham's family away to a new land.  The Bible makes a very big deal of this change in locations.  It is not simply the setting of the story.  It becomes a central part of the story itself, in which God promises Canaan to the descendants of Abraham.  They will get their "do-over" in a new location.  So we should not make the mistake of undervaluing this change of locations to the biblical narrative.

So here is the interpretation that I think explains the rainbow promise.  God wiped out "all flesh" in that the local flood in (southern?) Mesopotamia was so destructive that it interrupted the civilization.  Perhaps this entails some hyperbole, but if so then it was a perfectly good use of hyperbole.  But God promised there would be no more "do-overs".  God kept the rainbow promise in Abraham's time.

Phil

I hadn't thought of it in that way before.  Thanks -- it makes sense and seems plausible enough.   I need to think about this some more.

--Merv

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