I am told that the New Testament is the New Covenant. If that is so, why didn't God remove the rainbow that He made for the Jews. If the Old Covenant has gone away, how does the Church explain the continuation of rainbows?

Genesis 9:13 (NIV)

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth

  • 1
    Rainbows are the result of light passing through tiny 'prisms' formed by moisture in the air. To take away rainbows would involve the removal of laws of nature that could well mean the end of the universe. Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 17:25

3 Answers 3


There are many covenants which are recorded in the Bible. Some are made by people, some are made by God, and some are made between God and people. The terms Old Testament (Covenant) and New Testament (Covenant) are general terms which are referring to two specific covenants. The Old Testament is a term which refers to the Mosaic Covenant which was between God and the Jews. The New Testament is a term which refers to the New Covenant between Christ and the Church.

The rainbow is not a sign of either of these two covenants. The rainbow is a sign of another covenant which God made, by himself, in front of Noah. That covenant is still in effect today. It is referred to as the Noahic Covenant. The rainbow still appears today because God's promise, to never again destroy the earth by flood, still applies to us today.

Gen 9:12 (NASB)

God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations

The New Covenant did not put an end to all previous covenants. It only put an end to the Mosaic covenant.

Heb 8:6–13 (NASB)

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says,

“Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not continue in My covenant,
And I did not care for them, says the Lord.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.
“And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen,
And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
For all will know Me,
From the least to the greatest of them.
“For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
And I will remember their sins no more.”

When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

The old covenant being discussed in this passage is the one made between God and Israel and Judah. Israel and Judah were not even born at the time of Noah. In context, the old covenant is the Mosaic Covenant. It's talking about the covenant that He made when he "took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt." It is talking about The Law, which is another term usually used in the Bible to refer to the Mosaic Law.

  • 2
    I for one am glad that this covenant still stands. I am not certain that we have not re-qualified as a whole for another flood if the covenant with Noah were not still in effect.
    – ghangas
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 22:45

The rainbow is a perpetual sign of the covenant God made with all the Earth, that never again would he destroy all flesh with water.

Gen 9:11 through 17 KJV

11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

So the covenant was not just with Noah, but with all flesh on the earth.


This is a Covenant to Noah and all who come after him. The covenant is also to all of nature and the animals too. Read Gen 9:9-10. Wikipedia made it really clear too:

The Noahic covenant [Gen 9:8-17] applies to all of humanity and to all other living creatures. In this covenant, God promises never again to destroy all life on Earth by flood [9:11] and creates the rainbow as the sign of this "everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth".

I believe we can rest assure the rainbow is not going away. In my mind "everlasting" means LASTING for EVER.

  • 1
    Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. Please consider registering an account to fully take advantage of what this site has to offer. Also, be sure to check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. This is not a comment on the quality of your answer, but rather a standard welcome message.
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 19:04

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .