Genesis 8:11 reads:

"And the dove came into [Noah] 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. (KJV)

John 1:32 reads:

"And John bare record saying, 'I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it abode upon Him."* (KJV)

Both verses refer to a dove. There is water receding in the Genesis verse and there is water in Christ's baptism. Is there a connection between these two verses?

  • 3
    The chief question ("Why is peace represented by a dove") is bringing some assumptions to the texts being examined: neither Genesis 8.11 nor John 1.32 says anything about peace, or that peace is symbolized by a dove. The last paragraph in your question appears to imply your main aim is systematic theology, rather than textual exegesis. Perhaps your question would be better suited over at Christianity.SE instead?
    – user2910
    Apr 12 '16 at 2:36
  • Related.
    – user2910
    Apr 12 '16 at 2:38
  • Mark, I didn't realize it. You are right. Thanks for pointing that out. I've always heard it being a symbol for peace. There is peace with the Holy Spirit and Christ is the prince of peace -the dove must fit here somewhere. Let me think of how I can rephrase it and if not, send it S.E. I'm assuming that means southeast?
    – Daisy
    Apr 12 '16 at 4:49
  • @Daisy "S.E." is an abbreviation for "StackExchange".
    – user10231
    Jun 20 '16 at 16:47

Rex Wyler says, in The Jesus Sayings, page 73, that to the ancients, the dove depicted a new beginning. Thus, the representation is not so much of peace, but in each case, a new beginning:

  1. The end of the Flood represents a new beginning, with Noah and his family repopulating the earth. The symbolism was so widespread that in the Epic of Gilgamesh, in the Flood of Utnapishtim, the dove also represents a new beginning.
  2. The baptism of Jesus marks a new beginning. He begins to preach the gospel and fulfil the Old Testament.

James W. Kinn says (The Spirit of Jesus in Scripture and Prayer, page 40) that when the dove returned, Noah knew the flood was over, and in the next chapter God makes a covenant with Noah. So the dove is apparently a symbol of a new beginning. He says that in the Gospel, the dove was a new beginning for Jesus.

  • I like it. "A new beginning" almost sounds like "a new creation." ???
    – Daisy
    Apr 12 '16 at 21:17

The connection between Genesis 8:11 and John 1:32 is the Promised Land. The dove was sent out three times looking for land. Jesus is the Branch of Jeremiah 33:15. Jesus is the Promised Land upon which the Spirit of the Dove descends and finds rest. The volume of the book is written of Jesus, Ps 40:7 and Hebrews 10:7. Note that it is the fourth time or "day" when you see the Dove come down on Jesus.

Who are the "third and fourth generation" in Exodus 20:5?

What does Paul mean by allegory in Galatians 4:24?

Deuteronomy 21:23 "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree that thy Land not be defiled."

The word "generation" has six different definitions. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/generation

The word "day" has two definitions. https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?p=day+definition&ei=UTF-8&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

If I had laid the foundation for everything at once, you would have said I went off on a tangent. Sometimes less is more.

It is significant that three times Noah sent out the Dove and the fourth "time" you see the Dove is when it's spirit comes to rest on Jesus. It is the beginning of the fourth covenant generation after the flood. Scripture only uses the word "generation" or the word "day" for longer time periods and this is why I added these links to explain the "fourth day."

Jesus is the Word. Genesis 2:4 is only the example of the hyphenated compound word, creation-day. God created but told "man" to name it.

When Jesus tells you in Matt. 16:3 "ye can not discern the signs of the times" he is telling you that you do not know what time it is. He knows you can see the signs.

"Wise men know time and judgement," says the Preacher. Ecc. 8:5

  • I think the connection with the land works well but more as an extension of Harfield's answer rather than a replacement. I think you might want to add the land imagery to his answer and delete this one because you have included some much weaker metaphors that detract. The "new beginning" ties in very well with the promised land.
    – user10231
    Jun 20 '16 at 16:52

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