8 1But God showed concern for Noah. He also showed concern for all of the wild animals and livestock that were with Noah in the ark. So God sent a wind over the earth. And the waters began to go down. 2The springs at the bottom of the oceans had been closed. The windows of the skies had been closed. And the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3The water continued to go down from the earth. At the end of the 150 days the water had gone down. 4On the 17th day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5The waters continued to go down until the tenth month. On the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains could be seen. 6After 40 days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark. 7He sent a raven out. It kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8Then Noah sent a dove out. He wanted to see if the water had gone down from the surface of the ground. 9But the dove couldn’t find any place to put its feet down. There was still water over the whole surface of the earth. So the dove returned to Noah in the ark. Noah reached out his hand and took the dove in. He brought it back to himself in the ark. 10He waited seven more days. Then he sent the dove out from the ark again. 11In the evening the dove returned to him. There in its beak was a freshly picked olive leaf! So Noah knew that the water on the earth had gone down. 12He waited seven more days. Then he sent the dove out again. But that time it didn’t return to him. 13It was the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year. The water had dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering from the ark. He saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14By the 27th day of the second month the earth was completely dry. 15Then God said to Noah, 16“Come out of the ark. Bring your wife and your sons and their wives with you. 17“Bring out every kind of living thing that is with you. Bring the birds, the animals, and all of the creatures that move along the ground. Then they can multiply on the earth. They can have little ones and increase their numbers.” 18So Noah came out of the ark. His sons and his wife and his sons’ wives were with him. 19All of the animals came out of the ark. The creatures that move along the ground also came out. So did all of the birds. Everything that moves on the earth came out of the ark. One kind after another came out. 20Then Noah built an altar to honor the Lord. He took some of all of the “clean” animals and birds. He sacrificed burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar. 21Their smell was pleasant to the Lord. He said to himself, “I will never put a curse on the ground again because of man. I will not do it even though his heart is always directed toward what is evil. His thoughts are evil from the time he is young. I will never destroy all living things again, as I have just done.   22“As long as the earth lasts, there will always be a time to plant and a time to gather the crops. As long as the earth lasts, there will always be cold and heat. There will always be summer and winter, day and night.”
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