16 October 2008

Up Above The Streets And Houses... part two

Sir Isaac Newton in his early physics experiments decided the colours of the rainbow were Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Many of us remember them as 'Richard Of York Gave Battle in Vain'. However, are there only seven colours in a rainbow? Well, I understand that Newton believed in numerology and thought special numbers governed all natural phenomena. And of course, seven is a very special number...

If you look strictly at the scientific evidence, of course, rainbows are caused by the reflection and refraction of the rays of the sun shining on falling rain.

However, modern research reveals that a rainbow's appearance is in fact unique to each observer. Each rainbow is a special distribution of colours, produced in a particular way, and with reference to a definite point - the eye of the observer - and as no single distribution can be the same for two separate points, it follows that two observers do not, and cannot, see the same rainbow. A camera lens will of course record an image of a rainbow - but that's in fact different from the one we see with our own eyes. So, it all depends on your point of view.

If you look for scriptural references to rainbows you will of course come across the reference to it being a sign of God's faithfulness (Genesis 9:12-17). However, three other references exist in scripture:

Ezekiel 1:28
Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

Revelation 4:3
And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.

Revelation 10:1
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.
(all verses NIV)

All these verses speak of the rainbow as a radiance around an object or an individual - an aura? Even perhaps a halo? Well, some of our readers may have one or two issues with believing that.

... however, like the rainbow, this all depends on your point of view.

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