Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | Genesis 8

Ok, the end of the flood is nigh. Let’s do some more math:

Let’s just start with 150 days, since it says 150 days. We’ll scratch the previous days’ math because there was a question about a seven-day period and a 40-day period, and I don’t really want to argue with the very clearly stated 150-day period in this chapter because … the math. It’s just getting too complicated! The math in this chapter, however, is pretty straight forward. Follow along with me here:

150 days on the boat (v3)
77 (2.5 months later. V5)
7 (v10)
7 (v12)
61 (two more months went by (v14)

That’s about 442 days on the boat, divided by 30.5 (I’m just averaging months here to give us a good guesstimate) equals 10.44-ish months. Hallelujah! We did math! The best part is that it pretty much matches up with verse 13, which says 10 and a half months after Noah got on the boat, he finally got to get off. Ten and a half months on a boat is a long time! Think of the prep time. Noah had to make sure there was enough food and water … and room to breathe! Not just for him and his family but for the animals as well. He was responsible for everything’s survival! I mean, he had a pretty reliable project head, who in Chapter 7 waited until “everything was ready,” but still that was a lot of responsibility for one guy. Remember, though, Noah walked alongside God before the flood, so I’m sure God was right there on the boat when the rains poured down and floodwaters rose up. Have you ever just known without a doubt that you were on the “right” side of an argument, or perhaps on a team you knew could not lose? You gain a little confidence, don’t you? You know you have nothing to worry about. Imagine if you were Noah and walking alongside God through it all. The burden becomes less burdensome, doesn’t it?

Before I move on, I have to note that Noah’s boat landed on Mount Ararat. That’s present-day Turkey. This gives us context to where it all began. We have the where, everyone! Let’s keep that in mind as we move forward.

I saw something in verses 6 to 12 that I’d never noticed before today, and that’s the story of the raven and the dove. We always remember that the dove returned with an olive branch because that’s what we learn in Sunday school. Plus, it makes for a lovely story and fun coloring activity, so that part seems to sink in and stick as we get older. While this story is true, we sometimes forget that the raven went before the dove. Except the raven never came back! If we read on, we learn that the dove was released a second time, and it too, never came back! I am reeling at the symbolism here! The black raven, with its dark and dastardly reputation, and the white dove, symbol of purity and honor, were flying around willy-nilly in the great wide empty world together!

And then, at the end of verse 12, talking about the dove, “This time it did not come back.” Good grief. WHYYYY did it not come back???

Are you wondering now, too? What happened to the raven and the dove. Noah had each of their mates on the boat, and assuming these are the same ravens and doves we know today, the two roamers must not have pecked each other’s eyes and throats out there in the great wide empty world. The theme of the bad raven vs. good dove, though, sure did make me go there first, you know???

Writing prompt: the raven and the dove

Write your version of The Raven and the Dove. What did they do out there? I think this would make a beautiful poetry prompt (with a black and white theme), but if a short story is on your heart, go for it! Aim for 2,000 words, and if it’s a weekend, don’t limit yourself today!

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