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The dove returns

Genesis 8:11

When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

Full bible text

Genesis 8:8-11
8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 
9 But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 
10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 
11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

About this painting

When the water recedes, the ark remains stuck on a mountain. The water recedes further and further until the peaks of the mountains are visible. Noah opens the window of the ark and releases a raven. The bird continues to fly back and forth. Then Noah releases a dove. The dove returns to the ark. A week later, Noah releases the dove for the second time. Now the dove returns with a fresh, broken olive leaf. Another week later, the dove flies away from the ark again. The bird won’t come back. The animal can find food and survive on the earth. Judgment is over and peace returns. The dove with an olive branch in its beak (the dove of peace) is an international symbol of peace in our time. In Luke 3verse 22, among other things, you read that John the Baptist sees the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in the form of a dove.

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