1God remembered Noah and all the animals, wild and tame, that were with him in the ark. So God made a wind sweep over the earth, and the waters began to subside. 2The fountains of the abyss and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the downpour from the sky was held back. 3Gradually the waters receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days, the waters had so diminished 4that, in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.#The mountains of Ararat: the mountain country of ancient Arartu in northwest Iraq, which was the highest part of the world to the biblical writer. There is no Mount Ararat in the Bible. 5The waters continued to diminish until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains appeared.
6At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch of the ark that he had made, 7#In the eleventh tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic, Utnapishtim (the equivalent of Noah) released in succession a dove, a swallow, and a raven. When the raven did not return, Utnapishtim knew it was safe to leave the ark. The first century A.D. Roman author Pliny tells of Indian sailors who release birds in order to follow them toward land. and he released a raven. It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth. 8Then he released a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. 9But the dove could find no place to perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water over all the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark. 10He waited yet seven days more and again released the dove from the ark. 11In the evening the dove came back to him, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! So Noah knew that the waters had diminished on the earth. 12He waited yet another seven days and then released the dove; but this time it did not come back.
13#On the first day of the first month, the world was in the state it had been on the day of creation in chap. 1. Noah had to wait another month until the earth was properly dry as in 1:9. In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the water began to dry up on the earth. Noah then removed the covering of the ark and saw that the surface of the ground had dried. 14In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.
15Then God said to Noah: 16Go out of the ark, together with your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives. 17Bring out with you every living thing that is with you—all creatures, be they birds or animals or crawling things that crawl on the earth—and let them abound on the earth, and be fertile and multiply on it.#Gn 1:22, 28. 18So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives; 19and all the animals, all the birds, and all the crawling creatures that crawl on the earth went out of the ark by families.
20Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21When the Lord smelled the sweet odor, the Lord said to himself: Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, since the desires of the human heart are evil from youth; nor will I ever again strike down every living being, as I have done.#Sir 44:18; Is 54:9; Rom 7:18.
22All the days of the earth,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
and day and night
shall not cease.#Jer 33:20, 25.
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The End of the Flood
1God had not forgotten Noah and all the animals with him in the boat; he caused a wind to blow, and the water started going down. 2The outlets of the water beneath the earth and the floodgates of the sky were closed. The rain stopped, 3and the water gradually went down for 150 days. 4On the seventeenth day of the seventh month the boat came to rest on a mountain in the Ararat range. 5The water kept going down, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains appeared.
6After forty days Noah opened a window 7and sent out a raven. It did not come back, but kept flying around until the water was completely gone. 8Meanwhile, Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had gone down, 9but since the water still covered all the land, the dove did not find a place to alight. It flew back to the boat, and Noah reached out and took it in. 10He waited another seven days and sent out the dove again. 11It returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water had gone down. 12Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove once more; this time it did not come back.
13When Noah was 601 years old, on the first day of the first month, the water was gone. Noah removed the covering of the boat, looked round, and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14By the 27th day of the second month the earth was completely dry.
15God said to Noah, 16“Go out of the boat with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 17Take all the birds and animals out with you, so that they may reproduce and spread over all the earth.” 18So Noah went out of the boat with his wife, his sons, and their wives. 19All the animals and birds went out of the boat in groups of their own kind.
Noah Offers a Sacrifice
20Noah built an altar to the LORD; he took one of each kind of ritually clean animal and bird, and burnt them whole as a sacrifice on the altar. 21The odour of the sacrifice pleased the LORD, and he said to himself, “Never again will I put the earth under a curse because of what people do; I know that from the time they are young their thoughts are evil. Never again will I destroy all living beings, as I have done this time. 22As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest. There will always be cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
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Good News Bible. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.