Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 1042

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1042. 'I have given My bow in the cloud' means the state of a regenerate spiritual person, who is like a rainbow. Anyone may wonder that in the Word 'the bow in the cloud', or the rainbow, is taken as a sign of the covenant, for the rainbow is nothing else than something produced by the conversion of rays of sunlight in raindrops. It is a wholly natural phenomenon, unlike other signs of the covenant in the Church mentioned just above. But the fact that 'the bow in the cloud' represents regeneration and means the state of a regenerate spiritual person, nobody is able to know unless he is allowed to see and consequently know what exactly is involved. When spiritual angels, who have all been regenerate members of the spiritual Church, are in the next life manifested visibly as such, there appears around their head a rainbow so to speak. But the rainbows which appear accord completely with their state, and from this also their characters are recognized in heaven and in the world of spirits. The reason the likeness of a rainbow appears is that their natural things corresponding to spiritual present such visible shape. It is a conversion of spiritual light from the Lord within their natural things. These angels are those said to have been 'regenerated by water and the spirit' while celestial angels are those said to have been 'regenerated with fire'.

[2] In the case of; natural things, so that colour may be produced something dark and light, or black and white, is necessary. When rays of light from the sun fall on this, depending on the varying composition of the dark and light, or black and white, colours are produced from the modification of the inflowing rays of light. Some of those colours draw more, others less, on the dark and black, and some more, or less, on the light and white; and this is what gives rise to diversity of colour. Something comparable to this exists in spiritual things. In their case the intellectual side of the proprium, or falsity, constitutes 'the dark', and the will side of the proprium, or evil, which absorbs and extinguishes rays of light constitutes 'the black'. As for the 'light and white', these are the truth or good which a person imagines he does from himself, which reflects and casts back from itself the rays of light. The rays of light which fall on those things and so to speak modify them come from the Lord as the Sun of wisdom and intelligence; for the rays of spiritual light are no other and have no other source. It is because natural things correspond to spiritual that when in the next life that which is around a regenerate spiritual person is manifested visibly, there appears that which is similar to a bow in a cloud. This bow is a representation of the spiritual things present within his natural things. With the regenerate spiritual person an intellectual side of the proprium exists into which the Lord instills innocence, charity, and mercy. As is the person's reception of these gifts so is the appearance of his rainbow when manifested visibly - the more beautiful the more that the will side of his proprium has been taken away, disciplined, and reduced to a state of obedience.

[3] When the prophets had a vision of God, a bow as if in a cloud was also seen by them, as in Ezekiel's vision,

Above the firmament that was over the heads of the cherubim, in appearance like a sapphire stone, there was the likeness of a throne, and above the likeness of a throne, there was a likeness as it were of the appearance of a Man (Homo) upon it above. And I saw as it were the shape of coal burning bright, as the appearance of fire, within it round about from the appearance of His loins upwards. And from the appearance of His loins and downwards I saw as it were the appearance of fire, whose brightness was round about it, like the appearance of the bow when it is in the cloud on the day of rain; so was the appearance of brightness round about; this was the appearance of the likeness of the Glory of Jehovah. Ezek 1:26-28.

It may be clear to anyone that it was the Lord who was seen in this vision, and that on that occasion He represented heaven, for He Himself is heaven, that is, the All in all of heaven. He Himself is the 'Man' mentioned here, 'the throne' is heaven, 'the coal burning bright, as the appearance of fire, from the loins upwards' is the celestial element of love, 'the brightness of fire round about from the loins downwards, like the bow in the cloud' is the celestial-spiritual. In this way the celestial heaven, or heaven of celestial angels, was represented from the loins upwards, and the spiritual heaven, or heaven of spiritual angels, from the loins downwards. In fact the things that are below, from the loins down to the soles of the feet, mean in the Grand Man natural things. From this it is also clear that, when thus enlightened by spiritual light from the Lord, the natural things in man take on the appearance of 'the bow in the cloud'. The same appeased to John as well, see Rev 4:2, 3; 10:1.

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