But God remembered Noah and all the animals in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the waters, and the floods began to disappear.
The underground water sources ceased their gushing, and the torrential rains stopped.
So the flood gradually began to recede. After 150 days,
exactly five months from the time the flood began, a the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
Two and a half months later, b as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks began to appear.
After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat
and released a raven that flew back and forth until the earth was dry.
Then he sent out a dove to see if it could find dry ground.
But the dove found no place to land because the water was still too high. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside.
Seven days later, Noah released the dove again.
This time, toward evening, the bird returned to him with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Noah now knew that the water was almost gone.
A week later, he released the dove again, and this time it did not come back.
Finally, when Noah was 601 years old, ten and a half months after the flood began, c Noah lifted back the cover to look. The water was drying up.
Two more months went by, d and at last the earth was dry!
Then God said to Noah,
"Leave the boat, all of you.
Release all the animals and birds so they can breed and reproduce in great numbers."
So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat.
And all the various kinds of animals and birds came out, pair by pair.
Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and sacrificed on it the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.
And the LORD was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, "I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people's thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood.
As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)