Genesis 8:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 8:9, NIV: "But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark."

Genesis 8:9, ESV: "But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him."

Genesis 8:9, KJV: "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."

Genesis 8:9, NASB: "but the dove found no resting place for the sole of its foot, so it returned to him in the ark, for the water was on the surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took it, and brought it into the ark to himself."

Genesis 8:9, NLT: "But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside."

Genesis 8:9, CSB: "but the dove found no resting place for its foot. It returned to him in the ark because water covered the surface of the whole earth. He reached out and brought it into the ark to himself."

What does Genesis 8:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous verse, Noah began sending a dove out from the ark on a search mission. If it didn't return, Noah would assume it had found dry land and food to keep it occupied. However, the dove did return from this first of three missions. This verse specifies that the dove found nowhere to land. While the tops of mountains have been visible (Genesis 8:5), those peaks are apparently quite far away, or not suitable for life. At this point, the majority of the land is still covered with water. Upcoming verses will explain that the flood is continually receding, quickly and steadily.

This verse gives us a rare glimpse of a relationship between Noah and the animals on the ark. When the dove returns, Noah is able to put out his hand and take hold of the female dove and bring her back into the ark. It's a picture of a gentle, hands-on connection between Noah and one of the animals he was responsible for.