In these Garments the Rainbow Clothes Herself when She Appears Before the King
“Rabbi Yose said, ‘The rainbow appears in order to protect the world. This may be compared to a king, who, whenever his son sins against him, comes to punish him—but the matronita appears in splendid garments of royalty. the king sees her, and eliminates his anger against his son and rejoices with her. Thus, I will see her, to remember the everlasting covenant (Genesis 9:16). Therefore the rainbow appears over the world only in splendid garments of royalty.
When there is a righteous person on earth, he himself is the covenant, fulfilling the covenant, and he protects the world. When there is no righteous person, behold, a rainbow, demonstrating that the world is poised on destruction—were it not for this rainbow.’
Rabbi El’azar said, ‘This rainbow is never clothed in anything but the garments of the primordial patriarchs: green, red, and white. Green is the garments of Abraham, imbued with this color when Ishmael issued from him [green is the traditional color of Islam]. Red is the color of Isaac, for red came imbuing when Esau issued from him, and that אָדוֹם (adom), red, spread until the planet מַאְדִים (Ma’dim), Mars, to which Esau is linked. White is the fine garment of Jacob, whose countenance never changed.’
Rabbi Abba said, ‘That is fine, but the Holy Lamp [Rabbi Shim’on son of Yoḥai] said as follows: White is Abraham, who was whitened by the white-hot fire [when he was cast into a blazing furnace by Nimrod after refusing to worship idols]. Red is Isaac, surely. Green is Jacob, situated between two colors. Of Jacob is written Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face become white (Isaiah 29:22), for his whole bed was perfect. So it is: Jacob shall not now be ashamed—appearing red like Isaac, from who issued Esau. Neither shall his face become white—appearing white like Abraham, from whom issued Ishmael. Rather, he absorbs colors, adorning himself with them beyond his fathers. In these garments, the rainbow clothes Herself when She appears before the King’” (Zohar 3:215a).
“But how can the Queen put on garments of royalty in Exile? For in Exile the blessed Holy One draws away from the Queen. Now She is covered in gloomy darkness and says: Do not see me only as dark (Song of Songs 1:6)…. When His anger at His son [Israel] leaves him, Then the king’s wrath subsided (Esther 7:10). And the King says to Her, with the Amidah prayer before Him, What is your petition? and it shall be granted you: and what is your request (ibid. 5:6). Then She asks for Her redemption and that of Her sons [of Israel], as is said: let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request (ibid. 7:3). But a rainbow that appears in the world during a time of Exile is of the slave [Metatron]. And sometimes She comes out completely, when Her sons act correctly, while at other times She does not come out completely, when Her sons do not act correctly” (Zohar 3:214a–b, Ra’aya Meheimna Pineḥas).