Symbolization: The Dove and the Olive Branch

Original Entry Date 8/19/2015: Let’s take a close look at Genesis and the story of Moses at the end of the flood. We are going to specifically look at the dove and the raven but the raven only briefly.

Genesis 8:1-12 NKJV:

Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased. Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. 10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. 11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 12 So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.

The floodwaters recede and Noah sends out two very different birds. The first, interestingly, is a raven. Now, as you may know, Noah is an Old Testament Type of Christ. In this very instance, we will think of Noah as being a symbol of God, Himself.
Here is how “Type” is defined just in case you were wondering: “A type is a special form of prophecy in which the Old Testament is interpreted in the light of the New Testament. A type is a historical person, object, event or institution in the Old Testament which in some way foreshadows a particular aspect of the person or work of Christ in the New Testament.”
Noah, a symbol of God, opens the window and “sends out” a raven.

The raven is a symbol of satan and here we see a picture painted of God casting satan from heaven and he is forced to “go to and fro” across the earth. Read verse 7 and note how it says the raven went “to and fro” until the waters had receded. This connects to satan and how he introduces himself to God in Job.

Job 1:6-7 NKJV:

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 
And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Another BIG clue is how verse 7 of Genesis says He “SENT OUT” the raven. Taking a closer look at what the term “sent out” translates to and here is what I found: to send off or away or out or forth, dismiss, give over, cast out
Just like satan and his angels were cast out of heaven, amen!!
I also looked up Ravens in my Symbolism Book (it mentions doves which we will get to afterward.):

Now! Let’s talk about doves! I bet you can easily guess what a dove symbolizes??? I think of the Dove that descended on Jesus when He was baptized; the Holy Spirit! But there’s a little more that can be pulled from this scripture.
As I noted earlier that the raven was SENT OUT by Noah, here we read that the Dove was SENT OUT FROM HIMSELF. Looking up the Hebrew for “FROM HIMSELF” it means: to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider.
So fascinating! Noah sent the Dove out from Himself; as to be a set of eyes that would assess and bring back word of the condition of the land.

Reading this speaks to me as a symbol of Jesus portrayed as the Dove being sent into the world by God. The Dove returns to the Ark because there is nowhere she can find a place to rest her feet. This is reminiscent of Jesus stating that He had no place of rest while in the world.

Matthew 8:20 ERV:

20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes to live in. The birds have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to rest.”

The Dove returning the first time symbolizes Christ returning to the Father after His earthly was complete.
A second time, the Dove is sent forth and returns, once again, but this time with an olive branch!
There are some who do not believe in the rapture OR there is a disagreement as to when it will occur exactly (before the Tribulation or not). We aren’t going to go into that though. Instead, lets look at this Dove, a symbol of Jesus going out once again and bringing back an olive branch which symbolizes the chosen people of God, His church.

Matthew 24:30-31:

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earthwill mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 

Also, take note of how the Dove returns to Noah in the evening. This correlates with the scriptures that read of Jesus coming as a Thief in the Night.

Luke 17:34-36 NKJV

 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. 35 Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. 36 Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 NKJV

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 

Lastly, the Dove is sent out a third time and does not return. This symbolizes Christ’s second return to rule the earth.

Revelation 19:11-16 NKJV

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

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