"God remembered Noah". The author explains that god sends a wind that blows over the earth so that the waters recede. Well, that makes sense.
After 150 days the water was lower, and on the "seventeenth day of the seventh month" the ark foundered in the mountains of Ararat. So they're sitting in a boat in the mountains. By the tenth month they could see the tops of all the mountains.
The time lapse is confusing here. There is mentioned months and days, 150 days, 40 days, which month it was. It confuses me a bit. The waters receded after 150 days, but after 40 days Noah sends out a raven? Is it 40 days after the waters have receded? How much time was actually spent on the ark? And furthermore, what does it matter?
Anyway, at some point Noah sends out a raven and it flies back and forth. Apparently the raven idea was a bust because then he sends out a dove. The dove comes back. So Noah waits seven days and sends it out again. This time the dove brings a "freshly plucked olive leaf!" Which is a neat trick. I can't even get my dog to fetch a ball. So Noah knew this meant the flood was over because olive trees only grow at low altitudes. Like, not in the death zone.
He waits seven more days and then sends the dove out again, and this time the dove buggers off.
So "the first day of the first month of Noah's six hundred and first year" the flood was over. Although, now they were the only humans, they could've made up their own calendar and said that they were 30 instead of 601. But whatever. This was the day Noah saw that the ground was dry, and in the next sentence the author says that actually after the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was dry. So the times contradict a little here, too.
God told Noah to come out of the ark, because god is apparently a micro-manager, and Noah and all the animals came out and probably stretched their legs a little, wobbled their heads around like you do after a long voyage. God told them all to multiply so that the earth would have animals and people on it. This doesn't sound like a fool-proof plan, but okay. Genetics didn't really happen until Mendel anyway.
Noah's first task after having to build an enormous boat and watch god psychotically wipe out all the people on the planet, then sit in the boat with all the stinky animals and his whole family probably yakking it up all the time, was to go make a sacrifice to god, thanking him. I'm thinking Noah was feeling pretty sarcastic about this, but that's just me. And, kind of like a child when cookies are baking, god is pleased by the smell of the barbeque (burnt offering), and decides he probably shouldn't wipe out the planet whenever he feels like it. Maybe he was too harsh.
He tells Noah as much. And Noah probably says, "You think?!?!?!"
"Never again will I curse the ground because of man." I will let man do it. He's perfectly capable of destroying things of his own accord. Why should I get my fingernails all dirty? More burnt offerings please! Mmmmmm. . . Laaaaaaamb. . .