6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: 7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. 8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; 9 But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. 10 And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11 And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. 12 And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.
There’s actually very little that I have to say of spiritual significance about this passage, but I still included it, just because I think it’s beautiful. The idea of Noah sending out birds to learn the status of the earth is like something out of a fairy tale, and I like that very much.
I suppose there is one thing I could make note of: the dove returning with the olive leaf. Doves and olive branches would, of course, become symbols for the holy spirit and peace. We are a sentimental race, and when we experience something that moves us, we often seek a symbol to attach all those good feelings to. I wouldn’t be surprised if Noah did exactly this, and thus passed the idea of doves and olive branches as sacred things down through our generations.