Genesis 9:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:

New Living Translation
Then God said, "I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come.

English Standard Version
And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:

New American Standard Bible
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;

King James Bible
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:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all future generations:

International Standard Version
God also said, "Here's the symbol that represents the covenant that I'm making between me and you and every living being with you, for all future generations:

NET Bible
And God said, "This is the guarantee of the covenant I am making with you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all subsequent generations:

New Heart English Bible
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:

GOD'S WORD® Translation
God said, "This is the sign of the promise I am giving to you and every living being that is with you for generations to come.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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:

New American Standard 1977
And 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;

Jubilee Bible 2000
And God said, This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living soul that is with you, for perpetual ages:

King James 2000 Bible
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:

American King James Version
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:

American Standard Version
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:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And God said: This is the sign of the covenant which I will give between me and you, and to every living soul that is with you, for perpetual generations.

Darby Bible Translation
And God said, This is the sign of the covenant that I set between me and you and every living soul that is with you, for everlasting generations:

English Revised Version
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:

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
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:

Young's Literal Translation
And God saith, 'This is a token of the covenant which I am giving between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, to generations age-during;
Study Bible
The Covenant of the Rainbow
11"I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth." 12God 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; 13I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.…
Cross References
Genesis 9:13
I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.

Genesis 9:17
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 17:11
"And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
Treasury of Scripture

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:

Genesis 17:11 And you shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall …

Exodus 12:13 And the blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you …

Exodus 13:16 And it shall be for a token on your hand, and for frontlets between your eyes…

Joshua 2:12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have …

Matthew 26:26-28 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke …

1 Corinthians 11:23-25 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you…

(12) This is the token of the covenant.--The word rendered "token" really means sign, and is a term that has met with very unfortunate treatment in our Version, especially in the New Testament, where--as, for instance, in St. John's Gospel--it is too frequently translated miracle. Its meaning will be best seen by examining some of the places where it occurs: e.g., Genesis 17:11; Exodus 3:12; Exodus 12:13; Exodus 13:16; Numbers 17:10; Joshua 2:12; Job 21:29; Psalm 65:8; Psalm 86:17; Psalm 135:9; Isaiah 44:25. In the majority of these places the sign, or token, is some natural occurrence, but in its higher meaning it is a proof or indication of God's immediate working. On proper occasions, therefore, it will be supernatural, because the proof of God's direct agency will most fitly be some act such as God alone can accomplish. More frequently it is something natural. Thus the sign to the shepherds of the birth of a Saviour, who was "the anointed Jehovah" (Luke 2:11), was their finding in a manger a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, a thing of the most simple and ordinary kind. We may dismiss, then, all such curious speculations as that no rain fell before the flood, or that some condition was wanting necessary for producing this glorious symbol. What Noah needed was a guarantee and a memorial which, as often as rain occurred, would bring back to his thoughts the Divine promise; and such a memorial was best taken from the natural accompaniments of rain. We may further notice with Maimonides that the words are not, as in our version, "I do set," but my how I have set in the cloud: that is, the bow which God set in the cloud on that day of creation in which He imposed upon air and water those laws which produce this phenomenon, is now to become the sign of a solemn compact made with man by God, whereby He gives man the assurance that neither himself nor his works shall ever again be swept away by a flood.

But a covenant is a contract between two parties; and what, we may ask, was the undertaking on man's part? The Talmud enumerates several of the chief moral laws, which it supposes that Noah was now bound to observe. More truly it was a covenant of grace, just as that in Genesis 6:18 was one simply of mercy. What then might have been granted simply as a promise on God's part is made into a covenant, not merely for man's greater assurance, but also to indicate that it was irrevocable. Promises are revocable, and their fulfilment may depend upon man's co-agency; a covenant is irrevocable, and under no circumstances will the earth again be destroyed by water.

The rainbow appears in the Chaldean Genesis, but in a heathenish manner:--

"From afar the great goddess (Istar) at her approach

Lifted up the mighty arches (i.e., the rainbow) which Anu

had created as his glory.

The crystal of those gods before me (i.e., the rainbow) never

may I forget."--Chald. Gen., p. 287.

Verse 12. - And God said, This is the token - אות (vide Genesis 1:14; 4:15) - of the covenant which I make - literally, am giving (cf. Genesis 17:2) - between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. Le'doroth (vide Genesis 6:9); olam (from alam, to hide, to conceal), pr. that which is hidden; hence, specially, time of which either the beginning or the end is uncertain or undefined, the duration being usually determined by the nature of the case (vide Gesenius, 'Hebrews Lex.,' sub voce). Here the meaning is, that so long as there were circuits or generations of men upon the earth, so long would this covenant endure. And God said, this is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you,.... Meaning the bow in the cloud, and which might be formed in the cloud at this time, that Noah might see it, and know it when he saw it again, and seems to be pointed unto: "this is the token"; or sign of the covenant made between God and Noah, and his sons:

and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations; which more clearly shows and proves, that this covenant reaches to all creatures that then were, or should be in all ages, to the end of the world. 9:8-17 As the old world was ruined, to be a monument of justice, so this world remains to this day a monument of mercy. But sin, that drowned the old world, will burn this. Articles of agreement among men are sealed, that what is promised may be the more solemn, and the doing of what is covenanted the more sure to mutual satisfaction. The seal of this covenant was the rainbow, which, it is likely, was seen in the clouds before, but was never a seal of the covenant till now it was made so. The rainbow appears when we have most reason to fear the rain prevailing; God then shows this seal of the promise, that it shall not prevail. The thicker the cloud, the brighter the bow in the cloud. Thus, as threatening afflictions abound, encouraging consolations much more abound. The rainbow is the reflection of the beams of the sun shining upon or through the drops of rain: all the glory of the seals of the covenant are derived from Christ, the Sun of righteousness. And he will shed a glory on the tears of his saints. A bow speaks terror, but this has neither string nor arrow; and a bow alone will do little hurt. It is a bow, but it is directed upward, not toward the earth; for the seals of the covenant were intended to comfort, not to terrify. As God looks upon the bow, that he may remember the covenant, so should we, that we may be mindful of the covenant with faith and thankfulness. Without revelation this gracious assurance could not be known; and without faith it can be of no use to us; and thus it is as to the still greater dangers to which all are exposed, and as to the new covenant with its blessings.
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