10–11 The second week of impatient waiting climaxes with the return of the dove at evening, when birds normally retire to their nests, with a freshly picked olive leaf in her beak. The discovery of an olive was no doubt highly auspicious. One of the commonest trees in Palestine and source of the invaluable oil, the olive was regarded as a symbol of beauty and fertility. Like many other ingredients of sacrifice (Lev 2), the olive also symbolized Israel (Jer 11:16; cf. EM 2:913–18 and M. Zohary, Plants of the Bible [Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982] 56–57). The find was the more significant in that it was “freshly plucked” (טרף, only here; cf. Aram. ṭarufa fresh), indicating that plants were growing again ready to feed man and beast (cf. 1:30), and that “the waters had gone down on the earth.” The last remark shows that the dove has fulfilled her mission (cf. 8:8) and anticipates her non-return next time she is dispatched.
8:7–12 a raven … a dove. Ravens survive on a broad range of food types. If any food was available outside the ark, the raven could survive. In contrast, a dove is much more selective in its food choices. The dove’s choice of food would indicate that new life had begun to grow; thus Noah and his family could also survive outside the ark.
 Wenham, G. J. (1998). Genesis 1–15 (Vol. 1, p. 187). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 8:7–12). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.