'A bow in the clouds' (Genesis 9.13): YHWH's qeset and the rainbow serpent as metaphors of life and destruction

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

In ancient mythologies a rainbow represented a weapon used by gods in battle. The bows would be hung in the sky as symbols of victory (Plaut, 2005). References to YHWH's bow in the Hebrew Bible retains elements of this mythology, but the bow is used metaphorically for both destructive power against Israel and/or her enemies and YHWH's intention for renewed creation and peace. The paramount symbol of indigenous spirituality, the rainbow serpent, similarly is a metaphor that combines both life and destructive power. In both cases there is an intimate connection to the natural world. This paper explores the potential power of this symbol for our time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcological aspects of war
Subtitle of host publicationEngagements with Biblical texts
EditorsAnne Elvey, Keith Dyer, Deborah Guess
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherBloomsbury Professional
Chapter2
Pages9-23
Number of pages15
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780567676405
ISBN (Print)9780567676399
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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