Genesis 9:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 9:14, NIV: "Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,"

Genesis 9:14, ESV: "When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,"

Genesis 9:14, KJV: "And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:"

Genesis 9:14, NASB: "It shall come about, when I make a cloud appear over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud,"

Genesis 9:14, NLT: "When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds,"

Genesis 9:14, CSB: "Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds,"

What does Genesis 9:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 14 and 15 complete a single thought. Prior to the flood, God began to establish a covenant agreement with Noah (Genesis 6:18). At that time, the obligation was on Noah to build an ark to hold himself, his family, and the animals God intended to save. After the flood, God establishes His side of the promise. This binding vow is made to all of the people of the earth, as well as all of the animals. He will never bring a global flood again.

Covenant agreements were often remembered using some kind of visual sign or symbol (Genesis 17:11). In the prior verse, God explained that the sign of this particular covenant would be His bow set in the clouds. This evokes the idea of a warrior setting his weapon aside once the battle is over and the time has come for peace.

In verses 14 and 15, God begins to describe what will happen when a rainbow becomes visible.