Genesis 8:1-12 The Raven and the Dove CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In this lesson, we find the waters of the flood receding, the ark coming to rest, plant life growing, and the Raven and the Dove released from the ark, which are types of spirits, one of which is a type of the Church.
In describing the end of the flood and the evaporation of the water, the Bible uses three terms: “asswaged,” which means the seas were calmed, “restrained,” which means that it quit raining (and suggests that the water was gathered in clouds, Job 26:8), and “abated,” which means the water was reduced.
The ark rested in Mt. Ararat, which is in modern-day Turkey, on the 17th day of the 10th month. But it wasn’t until 114 days later that Noah let the first bird out of the ark (74 days until the 1st day of the 10th month, when the tops of the mountains were seen, and 40 more days until he opened the window).
He sent out a raven, which went “to and fro” and never returned to him. The raven is an “unclean” bird (Lev. 11:15) and is connected with devils in Rev. 18:2. It’s going to and fro matches Satan and the fallen angels in Job 1:6-7 and 2:1-2. Therefore, as fowls picture the devil in the parable of the sower and the seed (Lk. 8:5-12), even so, this raven pictures an unclean spirit, or an unholy spirit.
He sent out a dove, which found no rest and returned to him. Well, we know that the Holy Spirit was manifested as a dove at Jesus’ baptism (Matt. 3:16). Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the One who baptizes us into the body of Christ at our salvation (1 Cor. 12:13), thereby putting us into the Church (1 Cor. 12:27-28; Col. 1:18). So, the dove pictures the Holy Spirit. But the dove also pictures the Church.
One of the best places to see the connection of the dove to the Church is in Song of Solomon 6:9. As the Church is Christ’s bride, and he only has one, even so, Solomon calls his bride, “My dove, my undefiled is but one.” Paul says that we will be presented to Jesus Christ as a “chaste virgin” and as a “glorious church not having spot, or wrinkle,” (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27).
So, notice the significance of the events related to the dove as they concern the Church, in type.
- The dove found no rest in the earth (“this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through”), thus our only rest is in Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:28-30).
- The dove returned to him, which pictures “the rapture.”
- Noah took her, which pictures Jesus Christ personally coming to meet us in the air (1 Thes. 4:16-18).
- The dove was with him 7 days, which pictures the time the Church is with Christ during the Tribulation (Num. 14:34, “each day for a year”).
- Then Noah sends her out again and the dove returns with an olive leaf, which pictures the restoration of the earth similar to the restoration following the second coming of Jesus Christ (Is. 11:4-12).
- The additional 7 days that the dove stays with Noah after her second return (8:12) seems to match the 7 years that the Jews will be cleansing the earth of weapons at the beginning of the millennial reign of Jesus (Eze. 39:9).
- The significance of the olive leaf relates to the restoration and salvation of the nation of Israel after the Tribulation (Rom. 11:13-27, where Israel is pictured as the olive tree).
- The whole series of events lays out a premillennial system in the Bible, where the Church is raptured before the Tribulation, and the Jews are restored at the second coming of Christ.