RAINBOW (Heb. qesheth, bow). The biblical interpretation of the rainbow is found in the record of Noah’s life. God’s covenant with Noah declared that he would never again send a universal flood to destroy the whole inhabited earth (
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
As most of the rainfall in Palestine is in the form of short heavy showers it is often accompanied by the rainbow. Most beautiful double bows are often seen, and occasionally the moon is bright enough to produce the bow. It is rather remarkable that there are so few references to the rainbow in the Bible. The Hebrew qesheth is the ordinary word for a bow, there being no special word for rainbow.
The interpretation of the significance of the bow in the sky is given at the close of the story of the flood, where it is called "the token of the covenant" of Yahweh with Noah that there should be no more flood: "I do set my bow in the cloud, .... and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh" (
Alfred H. Joy