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The Dry Land Appears

line The Dry Land Appears

Pause and Consider



The Dry Land Appears


So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.  Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth.  He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground.  But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself.  And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark.  Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.  So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.  And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry.  And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried. (Gen 8:6-14)

Previously we found that after 120 days of rain, the ark rested on the mountains on Ararat.  Recall with me that Noah’s name means ‘rest.’  As the ark comes to rest, a new era in the history of man begins.

We find today in our text that the water dried up and dry land returned.  Noah began to send out various birds from the ark in an attempt to evaluate the situation.  He first sent out a raven.  Being an unclean bird, it was right at home among the floating carrion and did not return.

Next, Noah sent out a dove.  This clean bird found no place to land.  After a week, he sent it out again.  This time it returned with an olive leaf in its mouth.  Noah now knew that fresh vegetation had appeared.  An olive tree can bear leaves even under water.  Thus the dove has become the symbol of peace.  It is interesting that this symbol, the dove with an olive branch, is revered even by those who openly reject the authority of Scripture.

One week later, the dove is sent out a third time. When the dove did not return, Noah knew that the ground had dried up.  The seventh month would later be important to Israel—the New Year, the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles.

Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.  Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”  So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.  Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark. (15-19)

God rewarded Noah’s faith. The inhabitants of the ark come out onto dry land!  The people were on the ark a total of 371 days.  As they exited the ark, the air would be fresh and pure, yet they entered a hostile world.  The oceans were more extensive.  The earth’s crust was more unstable. The land was initially laid bare and not quite so habitable (but would become fruitful again).  There was an ice-age that followed the Flood.  Morris writes: “The ice-age… would aid in people migrating all over the globe.  Land bridges would have existed across the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska and down the Malaysian Strait to New Guinea.”

Next week we will continue our look at the post-Flood era.

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