On the 22nd anniversary of Sept. 11, the New York City sky was filled with a double rainbow as Americans reflected on the thousands of lives lost due to the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. People took to social media to share their views of the double rainbow in the Manhattan sky. One social media user wrote that they cried while taking a video of the phenomenon, adding that it was something they needed to take in and capture.
One TikTok user wrote they were “speechless” after the NYC skies were consumed with a heavy thunderstorm followed by the double rainbow. A double rainbow also appeared in the sky after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, as mourners gathered around Buckingham Palace to grieve the longest-reigning British monarch. Some people think that a double rainbow sighting brings a newfound sense of hope despite sad times. So what is a double rainbow, and how do they happen?
What is a double rainbow?
According to the National Weather Service, a double rainbow is a weather phenomenon formed when “two internal reflections and the rays exit the drop the second time at an angle of around 50 degrees instead of the 42 degrees for the primary rainbow.” This effect results in a secondary rainbow, with the colors reversed from the primary rainbow. The appearance of double rainbows may be considered common, but some people believe they have a deeper meaning.
What does a double rainbow signify?
According to several online publications, double rainbows symbolize new beginnings, good tidings, promise and comfort for the dead. One publication shared that double rainbows bring a spiritual message of hope. It’s believed to be a sign from the universe that all of your pain won’t last long, and a brighter future is ahead. In the Bible, God put a rainbow in the sky to symbolize hope for Noah and his family.
Pastor Jesse Bradley, leader of Grace Community Church in the Seattle, Washington area, previously told Fox News Digital that after the flood, Noah and his family saw a rainbow from God while trying to handle challenging circumstances, as detailed in Genesis 9:12-13. He added that after the loss and trauma of the flood, there was hope because of God. With hope comes the need to hold on and perseverance, so the double rainbow could signify that better days are ahead. Perhaps the universe has seen your struggles and encourages you to keep going no matter the circumstances.
However, Noah’s story isn’t the only time the Bible mentions a rainbow. For example, God showed His glory to the prophet Ezekiel in a vision that looked like fire with a brightness like the color amber. He also said he saw what he thought were living things and a firmament on the heads of the living things, as detailed in Ezekiel 1:4. The apostle John also saw God’s throne surrounded by a rainbow in a vision resembling sardine stone and jasper. He also discussed how the seven spirits of God looked like seven lamps in Revelation 4:3.
Additionally, the double rainbow is believed to provide comfort for those mourning lost loved ones. The rainbows symbolize that the dead have reached heaven, and they’re sending the rainbow as a message to the loved ones they left behind. Some may see the double rainbow appearance as a good omen, representing the start of a new journey in life. One blog wrote that this can be a spiritual sign that you should adjust your current path. With one semi-circle visible above the ground, it means your life is a full circle that should be explored.
The blog added that a double rainbow can signify a new start, or maybe you’ve taken a step in the wrong direction, or you should change your direction for a more significant impact. It’s nature’s way of telling you to rediscover and reassess your direction to achieve your life’s purpose.
The biblical significance of a double rainbow.
The Bible says that a double rainbow shows the world is under God’s glory, and we must believe in Him to find our lives. We’ll accomplish our mission by following God’s path. Furthermore, the Bible says a double rainbow is a sign of God’s promise that He’ll never flood the earth again, as He did in the Genesis Flood. A double rainbow also means evil will be defeated, and we can trust His love.
It also shows that God hasn’t broken His promise of never flooding the earth again. Those who believe in God’s goodness and love should keep having hope and persevere. People can trust God’s promises and live fearlessly because the biblical double rainbow shows no more curses, evil will permanently lose, and we can count on God’s love. The Noahic Covenant is unconditional because it doesn’t depend on anything Noah or his descendants had to do to fulfill the covenant. It’s a promise based solely on God’s faithfulness. Because of His faithfulness to always do what He says He’ll do, we know that no matter how wicked humanity becomes, there won’t be another worldwide flood.
Neither the righteousness nor the wickedness of humanity affects this covenant. There’s no condition where God will renege on His promise. However, it also doesn’t mean God will never destroy the earth again. He’s promised to destroy the earth one day by fire, specifically in 2 Peter 3:10 in the events known as the “day of the Lord.” God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign to remind Noah and his family line of His covenantal promise. Just as circumcision signifies the Abrahamic Covenant, a rainbow symbolizes the Noahic Covenant.
The lesson is that when we see a rainbow, specifically a double rainbow, we should be reminded of God’s amazing grace and faithfulness. We should also be reminded that God is righteous and holy with a hatred for sin. Like God delivered a way for Noah and his family to be saved in the ark, He’ll also provide a way for us to be saved through Jesus.