A Daily Genesis

Genesis 8:6-12

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 8:6-7a . . At the end of forty days, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent out the raven;[/B]

Although the Raven is listed in Israel's covenanted law as an unclean bird, sometimes it's an excellent choice for assisting in a divine task; for example 1Kgs 17:1-6.

The word for "Raven" is [I]'oreb[/I] (o-rabe') which is not a specific species of bird, but a whole family of birds now classified as Corvids; which includes Crows, Jackdaws, Jays, Magpies, Nutcrackers, and Rooks.

Ravens are classified in ornithology as song birds; although Crows don't seem to carry much of a tune. They're intelligent, sociable, and highly adaptable. Although they don't usually trust Man, they have been known to associate with him in remarkable ways.

One morning I was out in front weeding the yard when some crows down the street were raising a serious ruckus and dive-bombing back and forth across the street. One of them flew to where I was weeding and landed on a streetlight above me and cawed its fool head off; the meanwhile fluttering its wings and leaning forward and rocking as it cawed. Then it flew back and rejoined the others. Then another one, a really big barrel-chested crow, came and landed on our roof. It too cawed like mad (only louder).

Then it occurred to me they might be trying to get my attention. So I walked down to where the others were, and there in a driveway was a fledgling Crow who couldn't fly well enough to get back up in the trees from whence it fell; and a big cat was harassing it. So I brought the young Crow home and put it up on a limb in our backyard and pretty soon the others heard its cries and came to take care of it. We had to assist the fledgling back up to his limb a few more times after it soared down to the food and water we put out for its friends; but eventually its wings became strong enough to do it alone.
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[/SIZE][B][SIZE=1]BTW[/SIZE]:[/B] That event took place quite a few years ago and as time went by, young crows began little by little making our backyard their playground and today, it isn't unusual to see twenty or so of all ages walking around out there like chickens in a barnyard helping themselves to the peanuts we put out for squirrels, and pecking cracked corn and sunflower chips out of the bird feeders.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 8:7b . . it went to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth.[/B]

Ravens will eat just about anything, including carrion; and there was probably plenty of that floating around out there. With all the dead stuff to feast on, the raven could spend the whole day out on its own. However, no tree tops were above the water yet and crows need to get off the ground at night so it probably returned to the ark in the evening to roost. The very fact of its return was evidence to Noah that the waters were still pretty deep out there.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 8:8-9 . .Then he sent out the dove to see whether the waters had decreased from the surface of the ground. But the dove could not find a resting place for its foot, and returned to him to the ark, for there was water over all the earth. So putting out his hand, he took it into the ark with him.[/B]

The word for "Dove" is from [I]yownah[/I] (yo-naw') which is a general term for either a Dove or a Pigeon. Pigeons are well known for their homing instincts. So why didn't the Pigeon roost up on the roof of the ark instead of letting Noah take it inside? Well . . a Pigeon's nature is different than a Raven's. The big guys are somewhat independent, but Pigeons readily take to human care. That's probably why they are so much more common in cities than Crows; where people can feed them popcorn and bread crumbs.

Pigeons and Doves don't eat carrion; but prefer to forage on the ground for seeds. But bare ground was inaccessible at this point in time. The yownah no doubt became very hungry; and certainly knew Mr. Noah had plenty of grain on board with him back at the ark. Pigeons also prefer a roof over their heads; like docks and wharfs, and bridges and roadway overpasses. It almost seems they were actually made to live in coops; and what better coop than the ark?

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 8:10-11 . . He waited another seven days, and again sent out the dove from the ark. The dove came back to him toward evening, and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the waters had decreased on the earth.[/B]

The word for "plucked-off" is from [I]taraph[/I] (taw-rawf') which means: recently torn off; viz[B]:[/B] fresh. A taraph leaf is alive; which of course the skeptics are only too happy to point out is impossible seeing as how olive trees cannot survive under water very long before they die. But wasn't the Flood itself impossible? (sigh) Some people are just naturally miracle-challenged; what can I say?

It is just unbelievable that any trees survived. Even ordinary flooding is very destructive. Just southeast of Mount Ste. Helens is an area called the Lahar. It was a totally denuded region caused, not by the volcano's blast, but by water that poured down from the mountain's side when glacier and snow pack melted during the eruption in 1980.

In the water's path, whole pine trees were uprooted and swept away, like hot-waxing a woman's legs; leaving nothing but bare skin. However, the Flood wasn't a rush of water, but rather a pounding of water. But even so the pounding would have been relatively brief, at least in the low lands. As the water began to rise, its increasing depth would cushion the impact of the rest that fell.

Old-world olives prefer a Mediterranean climate, which is probably why olives do so well in southern California. Anyway, that olive leaf is pretty good empirical evidence that the ark did not come to rest on Turkey's Mt[B].[/B] Ararat. It's seriously doubtful any kind of trees have ever grown up on that mountain; which is a snow-capped dormant volcano consisting of two peaks[B]:[/B] Lesser Ararat @ 12,782 feet, and Greater Ararat @ 16,854 feet. High mountains like Ararat have what's called a timberline; which is an elevation beyond which no trees grow. The elevation of Mt[B].[/B] Hood's timberline here in Oregon is right around 6,000 feet.
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[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 8:12 . . He waited still another seven days and sent the dove forth; and it did not return to him any more.[/B]

Apparently the dove finally found some dry, bare ground to forage for seeds, and minute gravel for its craw.

Why didn't Noah just look out the window and see for himself? Well; the structural location of the ark's window is a bit a mystery. For one thing, it wasn't cut into the sides like the windows in an airplane, rather, it was located up on top.

The horizontal dimension of the window is unknown, but its vertical dimension is known to be only a cubit; roughly 18 inches.

Imagine a structure on top of the ark similar to the windowed portion of the cab of a large pick-up truck; for example a Ford 350. If a structure like that were situated in the middle of the top of the ark, whose top deck dimensions were 450 feet by 75 feet, the angle of Noah's view would be pretty much limited to the portion of sky that he could see above the horizon.

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Updated 04-01-2016 at 01:23 PM by WebersHome

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