Genesis 9:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 9:17, NIV: "So God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.'"

Genesis 9:17, ESV: "God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”"

Genesis 9:17, KJV: "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."

Genesis 9:17, NASB: "And God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.'"

Genesis 9:17, NLT: "Then God said to Noah, 'Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.'"

Genesis 9:17, CSB: "God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and every creature on earth.""

What does Genesis 9:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse restates, yet again, that the sign of the rainbow is meant to prove His covenant promise to all humanity and all animal-kind forever. The symbolism hints at a battle bow "set" in the clouds, instead of being held in God's hand, representing a lasting peace. That peace comes in the form of God's promise to never flood the earth and destroy all life again.

Notice once more that humans and animals have done nothing to earn or deserve God's gift of mercy in never wiping out life with a flood again. God established the covenant. God will keep the agreement. God provided a sign of the promise. As those who live after the terrible, catastrophic destruction of the flood, God's righteous judgment for the sinfulness and violence on the earth, we are left to simply receive and enjoy God's promise.

This will serve as a model for other promises of God in the rest of Scripture.