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Genesis 8:7-12

Context
8:7 and sent out a raven; it kept flying 1  back and forth until the waters had dried up on the earth.

8:8 Then Noah 2  sent out a dove 3  to see if the waters had receded 4  from the surface of the ground. 8:9 The dove could not find a resting place for its feet because water still covered 5  the surface of the entire earth, and so it returned to Noah 6  in the ark. He stretched out his hand, took the dove, 7  and brought it back into the ark. 8  8:10 He waited seven more days and then sent out the dove again from the ark. 8:11 When 9  the dove returned to him in the evening, there was 10  a freshly plucked olive leaf in its beak! Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 8:12 He waited another seven days and sent the dove out again, 11  but it did not return to him this time. 12 

1 tn Heb “and it went out, going out and returning.” The Hebrew verb יָצָא (yatsa’), translated here “flying,” is modified by two infinitives absolute indicating that the raven went back and forth.

2 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Noah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn The Hebrew text adds “from him.” This has not been translated for stylistic reasons, because it is redundant in English.

4 tn The Hebrew verb קָלָל (qalal) normally means “to be light, to be slight”; it refers here to the waters receding.

5 tn The words “still covered” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Noah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the dove) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “and he brought it to himself to the ark.”

9 tn The clause introduced by vav (ו) consecutive is translated as a temporal clause subordinated to the following clause.

10 tn The deictic particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) draws attention to the olive leaf. It invites readers to enter into the story, as it were, and look at the olive leaf with their own eyes.

11 tn The word “again” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

12 tn Heb “it did not again return to him still.” For a study of this section of the flood narrative, see W. O. E. Oesterley, “The Dove with the Olive Leaf (Gen VIII 8–11),” ExpTim 18 (1906/07): 377-78.



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