8 God did not forget about Noah and the animals with him in the boat. So God made a wind blow, and the water started going down. 2 God stopped up the places where the water had been gushing out from under the earth. He also closed up the sky, and the rain stopped. 3 For one hundred fifty days the water slowly went down. 4 Then on the seventeenth day of the seventh month of the year, the boat came to rest somewhere in the Ararat mountains. 5 The water kept going down, and the mountain tops could be seen on the first day of the tenth month.
6-7 Forty days later Noah opened a window to send out a raven, but it kept flying around until the water had dried up. 8 Noah wanted to find out if the water had gone down, and he sent out a dove. 9 Deep water was still everywhere, and the dove could not find a place to land. So it flew back to the boat. Noah held out his hand and helped it back in.
10 Seven days later Noah sent the dove out again. 11 It returned in the evening, holding in its beak a green leaf from an olive tree. Noah knew that the water was finally going down. 12 He waited seven more days before sending the dove out again, and this time it did not return.
13 Noah was now six hundred one years old. And by the first day of that year, almost all the water had gone away. Noah made an opening in the roof of the boat[a] and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the earth was completely dry.
15 God said to Noah, 16 “You, your wife, your sons, and your daughters-in-law may now leave the boat. 17 Let out the birds, animals, and reptiles, so they can mate and live all over the earth.” 18 After Noah and his family had gone out of the boat, 19 the living creatures left in groups of their own kind.
The Lord’s Promise for the Earth
20 Noah built an altar where he could offer sacrifices to the Lord. Then he offered on the altar one of each kind of animal and bird that could be used for a sacrifice.[b]21 The smell of the burning offering pleased God, and he said:
Never again will I punish the earth for the sinful things its people do. All of them have evil thoughts from the time they are young, but I will never destroy everything that breathes, as I did this time.
22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat; winter and summer, day and night.
8.13made. . . boat: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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