He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground.
Forty days after the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat and Noah began to see the peaks of mountains, he decided to try to find out if the water had receded enough to support plant or animal life.
First, he sent out a raven and a dove to see whether they could find dry land. We are told that the dove returned to the ark with nothing, which showed Noah there was no dry land yet. Seven days later, he sent out the dove again. This time the dove returned with a living olive leaf. Since olives trees only grow at low elevations, this was a sign that the waters were receding close to sea level and that life was beginning to sprout in various places on earth again. Soon the land would be dry and ready for human habitation.
Seven days later he sent the dove out again, but it did not return! The dove was able to survive on its own and did not need to come back to the ark for food.
Finally, over a year after the Flood began, the earth would soon be ready to support life on dry land once again!
To learn more about the book of Genesis, read our article introducing Genesis.
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Noah and His Family Leave the Ark.”