A captivating photo capturing a double rainbow arching across a serene landscape, evoking a biblical symbolism of hope, promise, and God's covenant with humanity.

What Does A Double Rainbow Mean In The Bible?

If you’ve ever seen a double rainbow in the sky, you may have wondered what it symbolizes according to the Bible. These unique rainbows, with an extra band of color, carry deep meaning for many.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: In the Bible, rainbows in general and double rainbows specifically are seen as signs of God’s covenant and grace.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the biblical significance of rainbows, the meaning of double rainbows, powerful rainbow scripture passages, and rainbow symbolism.

Rainbows as Signs from God

The Rainbow Covenant

In the Bible, the rainbow is first mentioned in Genesis 9 after the Flood. God created the rainbow as a sign of His covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with a global flood. The rainbow symbolized God’s grace and forgiveness, as He promised to never again send such catastrophic judgment on humankind.

According to Genesis 9:12-17, God said to Noah, “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: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

So when we see a rainbow, it can remind us of God’s promises and His willingness to forgive and show mercy. The rainbow represents God’s faithfulness and His desire to reconcile with humanity despite our sin and failures.

Rainbows as Reminders of God’s Promises and Grace

Aside from the rainbow’s association with the Flood account, rainbows are seen in Revelation and Ezekiel as reminders of God’s divine presence and authority. Rainbows around God’s throne remind us that He is faithful, gracious, and loving.

In Ezekiel 1:28, the prophet Ezekiel described seeing “what looked like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.” So the rainbow here alludes to the glory, splendor, and majesty of God.

Revelation 4:3 describes that “There before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.”

Again, the rainbow encircling God’s throne highlights the unfathomable majesty and holiness of God.

What Does a Double Rainbow Signify in the Bible?

Double Rainbows in Scripture

Double rainbows are mentioned several times in the Bible, often in relation to God’s promises and covenant with His people. Here are some examples:

  • After the great flood, God set a rainbow in the sky as a sign of His covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood (Genesis 9:12-16). The appearance of a double rainbow could symbolize the surety and permanence of this covenant.
  • In Ezekiel 1:28, the prophet Ezekiel describes seeing “the likeness of the glory of the Lord” surrounded by a rainbow that appeared “like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day.” Some interpret this as a double rainbow around God’s throne, emphasizing the fullness of His glory and faithfulness.
  • In Revelation 4:3, a rainbow encircles God’s throne in John’s vision of heaven. This again could signify God’s mercy, love, and enduring promises. The double rainbow intensifies this symbolism, just as God’s faithfulness is doubled towards His children.

Symbolic Meaning of Double Rainbows

Beyond Scripture, double rainbows have carried symbolic meaning for cultures around the world. Here are some common interpretations of their significance:

  • Double rainbows represent transformation and liminality. The second arc mirrors the first but in a changed state, representing growth, progression, and transition.
  • They signify balance, harmony, and wholeness. The two arches create a sense of equilibrium and completeness.
  • Double rainbows are considered good omens, heralding luck, prosperity, or positive change. Some associate them with miracles. In Hawaii, the name for a double rainbow is “nānā nu’u,” meaning “rainbow all stacked up,” and is seen as lucky.
  • They represent bridges, thresholds, and gateways. The rainbows can be seen as liminal spaces between heaven and earth or this world and the next, between spiritual and physical realms.
  • Some cultures saw double rainbows connected to marriage, relationships, and twins due to the coupling of the two arches. They can represent partnership, duality coming together in unity.

While views differ, double rainbows commonly evoke themes of transformation, fulfillment, luck, and liminality. Their beauty and rarity make them special signs to many cultures and individuals, promising hope and meaningful change ahead.

Rainbow References in Key Bible Passages

Genesis Flood Story Rainbow

The rainbow is first mentioned in the Bible in the story of Noah and the Flood (Genesis 6-9). After the Flood, God makes a covenant with Noah, promising to never again destroy the earth with a flood. As a sign of this everlasting covenant, God places a rainbow in the sky, saying “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:13).

This rainbow serves as a reminder of God’s faithfulness and mercy.

The rainbow symbolizes hope, as it appeared after the destructive Flood showing that God keeps His promises. It also represents God’s glory and beauty displayed in nature. Additionally, in this context, the rainbow points to salvation and restoration, as it marked the new beginning for Noah and his family after the Flood.

Ezekiel’s Vision of God’s Glory

The prophet Ezekiel recounts an incredible vision he had of God’s glory, comparing it to “a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day” (Ezekiel 1:28). The rainbow here illustrates the breathtaking radiance, splendor, and majesty of God’s presence.

Ezekiel struggled to find adequate words to describe God’s awe-inspiring glory.

This reference emphasizes God’s transcendence, reminding us that the Creator of rainbows and all wonders of nature far surpasses our human comprehension. Yet God condescended to give Ezekiel and all people glimpses of His glory through wondrous signs like rainbows that point to His beauty, creativity, and power.

Revelation’s Emerald Rainbow

In his Book of Revelation, the apostle John describes God’s dazzling throne room in heaven, picturing “a rainbow that shone like an emerald” surrounding God’s throne (Revelation 4:3). Later John states that this emerald rainbow encircled God’s mighty angel as well (Revelation 10:1).

This brilliant rainbow speaks to God’s splendor, majesty, holiness, and mystery. The rainbow also represents God’s faithfulness to keep His promises, echoing the Noahic covenant. Believers today can look to this heavenly rainbow with awe and take heart that God will remain faithful to His people forever.

So in Scripture, rainbows carry symbolic meaning pointing to God Himself. Rainbows in the Bible reveal His glory, beauty, faithfulness, mercy, holiness, and power. They inspire amazement and wonder in those who behold these natural wonders.

For believers, seeing a rainbow can remind them of God’s promises and fill them with hopeful assurance.

The Significance of Rainbow Colors in the Bible

Red Symbolism

In the Bible, the color red symbolizes blood, sacrifice, and atonement. It is associated with life, passion, and war. Red often represents divine love, the blood of Christ, and the Christian church. Some examples of symbolic red in the Bible include:

  • The sacrifice of Christ’s blood on the cross (Hebrews 9:12-14).
  • The Lamb’s blood sprinkled on the doorposts of the Israelites during Passover (Exodus 12:13).
  • The red heifer sacrificed as an atonement offering (Numbers 19:1-10).
  • The scarlet thread used by Rahab in Jericho (Joshua 2:18,21).
  • The red horse representing war in Revelation (Revelation 6:4).

Orange Symbolism

The color orange does not appear often in the Bible, but as a mix of red and yellow, it can represent a combination of their symbolic meanings. Orange contains the energy and vitality of red along with the joy and wisdom of yellow.

Just as orange emerges from the setting sun, it can symbolize the light of dawn and new beginnings. Some potential orange symbolism includes:

  • The first light of dawn after a long night.
  • New life and vitality emerging out of suffering.
  • Warmth, creativity, and passion.
  • Balance between the spiritual and physical.
  • Energizing the mind and spirit.

Yellow Symbolism

In the Bible, yellow often represents gold and wealth. As one of the purest metals, gold symbolizes perfection, divinity, and God’s glory. Other symbolic yellow meanings include:

  • Holiness and glory of God (Ezekiel 1:4, 1:27-28).
  • Valuable faith tested through fire (1 Peter 1:7).
  • Heavenly treasures (Revelation 21:18-21).
  • Wisdom, joy, and the light of the Holy Spirit (Esther 8:15, Ecclesiastes 9:8).

Green Symbolism

In the Bible, the color green represents life, growth, blooming, and fruitfulness. It can symbolize fresh beginnings, hope, maturity, and restoration. Some symbolic green shades include:

  • Lush green pastures where God leads His people (Psalm 23:2).
  • Sprouting growth from seeds of faith or the Word of God (Mark 4:8).
  • Green branches as a sign of fruitful disciples (John 15:2-8).
  • The green rainbow around God’s throne, symbolizing His mercy (Revelation 4:3).

Blue Symbolism

Blue often represents the heavenly realm, authority, and truth. Other symbolic blue meanings in the Bible include:

  • The sapphire pavement under God’s throne (Exodus 24:10).
  • The holy commandments (Numbers 15:38-40).
  • Melchizedek’s robe, a high priest of God (Exodus 28:31-35).
  • The blockade of God’s judgement and protection (Job 15:8, Psalm 91:4).

Indigo Symbolism

While not directly mentioned, the color indigo can carry symbolism of royalty, wealth, and the commanders of God’s armies based on its use in the tabernacle:

  • The purple cloth of fine twined linen (Exodus 25:4).
  • A royal color befitting a King (Judges 8:26).
  • Indicating spiritual authority and warfare (Numbers 4:7, Exodus 38:21).
  • Intercession and standing between heaven and earth.

Violet Symbolism

In the Bible, violet or purple represents wealth, royalty, and authority. It was highly valued and associated with kings, nobles, and the upper echelons of society. Biblical meanings include:

  • Wealth, extravagance, and status (Judges 8:26, Acts 16:14).
  • Royalty, kingship, and nobility (Mark 15:17-20).
  • High spiritual office and authority (Exodus 28:4-6).
  • Penitence, repentance, and sorrow (Luke 16:19).


In summary, rainbows and double rainbows hold deep symbolic meaning in the Bible as signs of God’s enduring covenant, grace, mercy and promises. When we see these vibrant arches stretching across the sky, we can be reminded of God’s protection and care.

The added band of color in a double rainbow serves to intensify this message of divine faithfulness. Rainbow scripture passages in Genesis, Ezekiel and Revelation use rainbow imagery to convey spiritual truths about God’s glory and salvation plan.

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