28 : The Ark Comes To Rest
THE fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped
and the rain from heaven was restrained.
The waters receded for a hundred and fifty days
so that in the seven month on the seventeenth day of the month,
the ark rested on the mount of Ararat.
And the waters continued to decrease until the flrst day of the tenth month
when the peaks of the mountains were seen.
At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark and sent out a raven,
which flew to and fro.
He also sent out a dove to see if the waters had dried from the ground anywhere.
The dove found no rest for the sole of her foot,
and she returned to the ark, for the waters still covered the earth.
So Noah put out his hand and took her back into the ark.
He waited seven more days and once again he sent out the dove.
The dove came back to him in the evening and,
when she did so, there was in her mouth a,freshly plucked olive leaf.
So Noah knew that the waters had receded from the face of the earth.
Noah waited still another seven days before he sent out the dove.
This time the dove did not return.
The water had dried from the earth, so Noah opened the window of the ark.
He looked out and saw that the ground was dry.
God spoke to Noah, saying: "Take with you the birds,
the cattle, and every living thing that is with you,
that they may breed and raise their young and multiply upon the earth."
So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him.
Every beast, every creeping thing and every bird went out of the ark.
And Noah built an altar to the Lord and offered him burnt offerings of every clean beast and every clean fowl.
The Lord smelled the sweet odour and said in his heart:
"I will not curse the ground any more for man's sake.
Nor will I ever again strike down every living thing as I have done.
As long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them:
"Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.
The fear and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth
and upon every bird of the air,
upon all that moves on the earth and upon all the fishes of the sea.
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.
As once I gave you the green plants, now have I given you all these things."
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