Did He destroy the Earth before Noah's Flood?
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If I am interpreting the question correctly, the appearance of the rainbow in connection with the falling of rain upon the earth would not have any functional significance with regard to the prevention of another global flood, such as the one that Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives (as well as the animals) had survived by taking shelter in the ark. (That is, the rainbow by itself would play no active role in preventing another such flood.) Instead, the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds would remind God of His promise that He had made to Noah and his descendants when they left the ark (Genesis 9:11) to never again send another global or universal flood to destroy all life on earth, so that He Himself (no matter how mankind might continue to sin) would never again do so in the future. The rainbow would also be a visible and everlasting sign to humanity of this same promise on the part of God to never send another such global flood. I personally see no indication from the Genesis narrative that God had previously sent such a flood upon the earth. God's promise just meant that the global flood that those in the ark had survived would be the only such flood that God would ever send. There would never be another. And the rainbow would always be the reminder of this promise to both God and humanity.
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