And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The end of all flesh is come before me.—A metaphor taken from the customs of earthly kings. Before an order is executed the decree is presented to the sovereign, that it may finally be examined, and if approved, receive the sign manual, upon which it becomes law.
With the earth.—Rather, even the earth: eth, as in Genesis 4:1. The meaning is, “I will bring them to nought, even the whole present constitution of earthly things.”Genesis 6:13. The end, or ruin, of all flesh is come before me — Is approaching, is at the very door. It is come in my purpose and decree, and shall as certainly take place, as if it were come already, in what manner soever vain men may flatter themselves with hopes of longer impunity. I will destroy them with the earth; but make thee an ark — I will take care to preserve thee alive. This ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted not to sail upon the waters, but to float, waiting for their fall. God could have secured Noah by the ministration of angels, without putting him to any care or pains; but he chose to employ him in making that which was to be the means of his preservation, both for the trial of his faith and obedience, and to teach us that none shall be saved by Christ, but those only that work out their salvation; we cannot do it without God, and he will not without us: both the providence of God, and the grace of God, crown the endeavours of the obedient and diligent.Genesis 6:13, the plan and specification of the ark Genesis 6:14-16, the announcement of the deluge Genesis 6:17, the arrangements for the preservation of Noah and his family, and certain kinds of animals Genesis 6:18-21.
The end of all flesh. - The end may mean either the point to which it tends, or the extermination of the race. The latter is the simpler. All flesh is to be understood of the whole race, while yet it does not preclude the exception of Noah and his family. This teaches us to beware of applying an inflexible literality to such terms as all, when used in the sense of ordinary conversation. "Is come before me," is in the contemplation of my mind as an event soon to be realized. "For the land is filled with violence." The reason. "I will destroy them." The resolve. There is retribution here, for the words "corrupt" and "destroy" are the same in the original.Ezekiel 7:2-3, Ezekiel 7:6, Amos 8:2,
of all flesh, to all men, as Genesis 6:12, though the beasts also were involved in the same destruction,
is come, i.e. is approaching, and at the very door, and shall as certainly come as if it were actually come.
Before me, i.e. in my purpose and decree, howsoever vain men flatter themselves with hopes of longer impunity.
Through them, i.e. By their means; so that the earth even groans under them.
With the earth, i.e. with the fruits and beauty, though not the substance of the earth. Or, from the earth, as Genesis 6:7; the Hebrew eth being oft put for min or meeth, as Genesis 44:4 Deu 34:1 1 Kings 8:43, compared with 2 Chronicles 6:33.
the end of all flesh is come before me; that is, it was determined to put an end to the lives of all men, and of all cattle, and fowl and creeping things on the earth; all which are included in the phrase, "all flesh", even every living substance on the earth:
for the earth is filled with violence through them; that is, through men, for they are principally intended in the preceding clause, though not only; and it was through them, and not through other creatures, that the earth was filled with violence, in the sense in which it is explained in See Gill on Genesis 6:11,
and behold, I will destroy them with the earth; meaning, that he would destroy all men, together with the cattle and creeping things of the earth, the trees, and herbs, and plants in it, yea, that itself, for that is said to perish by the flood, 2 Peter 3:6. Some render it, "out of the earth" (b); that is, would destroy them from it, that they should be no more on it.And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13–17. Noah is commanded to build the Ark
13. is come before me] viz. mentally. The intention to destroy all flesh has entered the mind of God.Verse 13. - And God said unto Noah, The end. קֵצ (from Hophal of קָצַצ, to cut off) that which is cut off, the end of a time (Genesis 4:3) or of a space (Isaiah 37:24); specially the end or destruction of a people (Ezekiel 7:2; Amos 8:2), in which sense it is to be here understood (Gesenius, Rosenmüller). The rendering which regards ketz as, like τέλος - the completion, consummation, fullness of a thing (here of human fleshliness or wickedness), and the following clause as epexegetic of the present (Bush), though admissible in respect of Scriptural usage (cf. Jeremiah 51:13; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Romans 10:4) and contextual harmony, is scarcely so obvious; while a third, that the end spoken of is the issue to which the moral corruption of the world was inevitably tending (Keil, Lange), does not materially differ from the first. Of all flesh, I.e. of the human race, of course with the exception of Noah and his family, which "teaches us to beware of applying an inflexible literality to such terms as all, when used in the sense of ordinary conversation" (Murphy). Is come before me. Literally, before my face. Not "a me constitutus est" (Gesenius), "is decreed before my throne" (Kalisch); but, "is in the contemplation of my mind as an event soon to be realized" (Murphy), with perhaps a glance at the circumstance that man s ruin had not been sought by God, but, as it were, had thrust itself upon his notice as a thing that could no longer be delayed. If בָּא לְפָנַי = the similar expression בָּא אֶל, which, when applied to rumors, signifies to reach the ear (cf. Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:9; 1 Kings 2:28; Esther 9:11), it may likewise indicate the closeness or near approach of the impending calamity. For the earth is filled with violence through them. More correctly, "from their faces; a facie eorum" (Vulgate). That is, "the flood of wickedness which comes up before God's face goes out from their face" in the sense of being perpetrated openly (Lange), and "by their conscious agency" (Alford). And, behold, I will destroy them. Literally, and behold me destroying them. The verb is the same as is translated "corrupt' in ver. 12, q.v., as if to convey the idea of fitting retribution (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:17: εἴτις τὸν ναὸν τοῦ θεοῦ δθείρει φθερεῖ τοῦτον ὁ θεός; Revelation 11:18: καὶ διαφθεῖραι τοὺς διαφθείροντας τὴν γῆν). Whether this destruction which was threatened against the antediluvian sinners ex tended to the loss of their souls throughout eternity may be reasoned (pro and con) from other Scriptures, but cannot be determined from this place, which refers solely to the-extinction of their bodily lives. With the earth. Not from the earth (Samaritan), or on the earth (Syriac, Rosenmüller), or even the earth, "thus identifying the earth with its inhabitants" (Bush), but, together with the earth (Kalisch, Keil, Alford; cf. Genesis 9:11; καὶ τὴν γῆν, LXX.). The universality of representation which characterizes this section (vers. 9-13) is regarded by Davidson, Colenso, and others as contradictory of Genesis 6:5, which depicts the corruption as only human, and limits the destruction to the race of man. But as the two accounts belong to different subdivisions of the book, they cannot properly be viewed as contradictory (cf. 'Quarry on Genesis,' pp. 370, 371). Genesis 18:21; Exodus 3:9; Esther 9:11); hence לפני בּא in this case cannot mean a me constitutus est (Ges.). קץ, therefore, is not the end in the sense of destruction, but the end (extremity) of depravity or corruption, which leads to destruction. "For the earth has become full of wickedness מפּגיהם," i.e., proceeding from them, "and I destroy them along with the earth." Because all flesh had destroyed its way, it should be destroyed with the earth by God. The lex talionis is obvious here.
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