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Genesis 8:11 says, “And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had abated from the earth.” This verse indicates that the dove brought an olive leaf to Noah, which he took as a sign that the floodwaters had receded.
The olive tree may have been one of the few types of trees that were able to survive the flood. Olive trees are known for their hardiness and ability to withstand difficult conditions, including drought, saltwater, and pests. Alternatively, it’s possible that the olive tree was not completely destroyed by the flood and was able to regenerate after the waters receded.
It’s also worth noting that the story of the flood in the Bible is a religious tale and should not be taken as a scientific account of historical events.
Again, it bears repeating that the olive is a very strong and resistant tree, so it is possible that it could have remained alive underwater for many months of the flood. After the floodwaters had gone down, leaving the tree on the dry ground once more, it could then have put forth leaves once more. Another alternative is that the dove was carrying the leaf of a very young sprout that came up after the floodwaters had gone down.