December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- and then God 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.
- The fountains of the abyss and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the downpour from the sky was held back.
- Gradually the waters receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred and fifty days, the waters had so diminished
- 1 that, in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
- The waters continued to diminish until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains appeared.
- 2 At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch he had made in the ark,
- and he sent out a raven, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth. It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth.
- Then he sent out a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth.
- But the dove could find no place to alight and perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water all over the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark.
- He waited seven days more and again sent the dove out from the ark.
- In 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 lessened on the earth.
- He waited still another seven days and then released the dove once more; and this time it did not come back.
- In the six hundred and first year of Noah's life, 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 was drying up.
- In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.
- Then God said to Noah:
- "Go out of the ark, together with your wife and your sons and your sons' wives.
- Bring out with you every living thing that is with you--all bodily creatures, be they birds or animals or creeping things of the earth-and let them abound on the earth, breeding and multiplying on it."
- So Noah came out, together with his wife and his sons and his sons' wives;
- and all the animals, wild and tame, all the birds, and all the creeping creatures of the earth left the ark, one kind after another.
- Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird, he offered holocausts on the altar.
- 3 When the LORD smelled the sweet odor, he said to himself: "Never again will I doom the earth because of man, since the desires of man's heart are evil from the start; nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done.
- As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
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1  Ararat: ancient Urartu, north of the Mesopotamian plain, part of modern Armenia.
2  In the original Yahwist source, from which this verse is taken, the forty days refer to the full period of the flood itself (cf Genesis 7:4, 17); in the present context, however, they seem to refer to a period following the date just given in Genesis 8:5 from the Priestly source.
3  From the start: literally "from his youth." It is uncertain whether this means from the beginning of the human race or from the early years of the individual.
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