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Genesis 9:12-17

Context

9:12 And God said, “This is the guarantee 1  of the covenant I am making 2  with you 3  and every living creature with you, a covenant 4  for all subsequent 5  generations: 9:13 I will place 6  my rainbow 7  in the clouds, and it will become 8  a guarantee of the covenant between me and the earth. 9:14 Whenever 9  I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 9:15 then I will remember my covenant with you 10  and with all living creatures of all kinds. 11  Never again will the waters become a flood and destroy 12  all living things. 13  9:16 When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will notice it and remember 14  the perpetual covenant between God and all living creatures of all kinds that are on the earth.”

9:17 So God said to Noah, “This is the guarantee of the covenant that I am confirming between me and all living things 15  that are on the earth.”

1 tn Heb “sign.”

2 sn On the making of covenants in Genesis, see W. F. Albright, “The Hebrew Expression for ‘Making a Covenant’ in Pre-Israelite Documents,” BASOR 121 (1951): 21-22.

3 tn Heb “between me and between you.”

4 tn The words “a covenant” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

5 tn The Hebrew term עוֹלָם (’olam) means “ever, forever, lasting, perpetual.” The covenant would extend to subsequent generations.

6 tn The translation assumes that the perfect verbal form is used rhetorically, emphasizing the certainty of the action. Other translation options include “I have placed” (present perfect; cf. NIV, NRSV) and “I place” (instantaneous perfect; cf. NEB).

7 sn The Hebrew word קֶשֶׁת (qeshet) normally refers to a warrior’s bow. Some understand this to mean that God the warrior hangs up his battle bow at the end of the flood, indicating he is now at peace with humankind, but others question the legitimacy of this proposal. See C. Westermann, Genesis, 1:473, and G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:196.

8 tn The perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here has the same aspectual function as the preceding perfect of certitude.

9 tn The temporal indicator (וְהָיָה, vÿhayah, conjunction + the perfect verb form), often translated “it will be,” anticipates a future development.

10 tn Heb “which [is] between me and between you.”

11 tn Heb “all flesh.”

12 tn Heb “to destroy.”

13 tn Heb “all flesh.”

14 tn The translation assumes that the infinitive לִזְכֹּר (lizkor, “to remember”) here expresses the result of seeing the rainbow. Another option is to understand it as indicating purpose, in which case it could be translated, “I will look at it so that I may remember.”

15 tn Heb “all flesh.”



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