B'resheet 8:1 But G-d remembered Noach and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and G-d caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.
The wind helped to drive the water off of the land.
B'resheet 8:2-3 Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained; and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.
The mountains were higher and the oceans were now much deeper, allowing the water to drain away.
B'resheet 8:4 And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.
This is day 150 of their time in the ark.
The mountains of Ararat - There are two theories of where the "the mountains of Ararat" are located. Most believe them to be in Eastern Turkey. "Noah's Ark and the Lost World" by John D. Morris published by Master books records various sightings by the locals in Eastern Turkey. John Morris himself has led several expeditions in Turkey in search of the ark. Robert Cornuke and David Halbrook record the second theory in "In Search of the Lost Mountains of Noah" published by Broadman & Holman Publishers. They refute the Eastern Turkey location and instead present a mountain range in Northwestern Iran as the more likely location for the resting place of the ark. Both books are well worth reading.
B'resheet 8:5 And the water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.
Another 74 days pass, talk about cabin fever, we are up to 224 days.
B'resheet 8:6-7 Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noach opened the window of the ark which he had made; and he sent out a raven, and it flew here and there until the water was dried up from the earth.
opened the window - Finally some fresh air!
The raven is a scavenger bird. If there were any food available the raven would have found it. Notice it does not mention that the raven returned to the ark. He flew the coop. :~)
B'resheet 8:8-9 Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark; for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself.
The dove is not like the raven. It is not a scavenger bird. So if it were to find food that would be a sign that things were starting to grow again.
B'resheet 8:10-11 So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. And the dove came to him toward evening; and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noach knew that the water was abated from the earth.
The dove shows more promise on his second mission.
The Dove is a symbol of peace. It is also the symbol of Rauch HaKodesh.
An olive branch means peace. The wrath of Adonai had finally subsided and peace with mankind was again restored on earth. The Noachic covenant is given.
B'resheet 8:12 Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again.
This is a good sign.
B'resheet 8:13-14 Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noach removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up. And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.
The eight letter corresponding to the eighth chapter is the Hebrew letter Chet - new beginnings; a metaphysical letter above existence. We have a new beginning for mankind to start again.
B'resheet 8:15-17 Then G-d spoke to Noach, saying, "Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons' wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth."
The Biblical year is 360 days. The flood started on the 17th day of the second month. They left the ark on the 27day second month of the following year. That is a total of 1 year and 11 days or 371 days on the ark.
be fruitful and multiply - get busy and repopulate the earth. This command was given to the animals too.
B'resheet 8:18-19 So Noach went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.
Finally time to get out of the ark. Did you ever take a really long ride in a car or airplane? Remember how good it felt to get out and walk around again. Now imagine being cooped up for over a year!