|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:8-11 Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hated and persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching he condemned the world: but he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and this made him more truly honourable than the men of renown. Let this be our chief desire, let us labour that we may be accepted of him. When the rest of the world was wicked, Noah kept his integrity. God's good-will towards Noah produced this good work in him. He was a just man, that is, justified before God, by faith in the promised Seed. As such he was made holy, and had right principles; and was righteous in his conversation. He was not only honest, but devout; it was his constant care to do the will of God. God looks down upon those with an eye of favour, who sincerely look up to him with an eye of faith. It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it shows strong faith and resolution, to swim against the stream, and to appear for God when no one else appears for him; Noah did so. All kinds of sin were found among men. They corrupted God's worship. Sin fills the earth with violence, and this fully justified God's resolution to destroy the world. The contagion spread. When wickedness is become general, ruin is not far off; while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation, to empty the measure as it fills, judgments may be long kept off; but when all hands are at work to pull down the fences, by sin, and none stand in the gap to make up the breach, what can be expected but a flood of wrath?
Verse 11. - The earth -
(1) its inhabitants, as in ver. 11 (cf. Genesis 11:1) - mankind being denominated earth because wholly earthly (Chrysostom);
(2) the land, which had become defiled through their wickedness (vers. 12, 13; cf. Psalm 107:34) - also (literally, and the earth) was corrupt - in a moral sense, the causes and forms of which corruption have already been detailed in the preceding paragraph. The term is elsewhere applied to idolatry, or the sin of perverting and depraving the worship of God (Exodus 32:7; Deuteronomy 32:5; Judges 2:19; 2 Chronicles 27:2); but the special sins of the antediluvians were rather licentiousness and lawlessness - before God - i.e. openly, publicly, flagrantly, and presumptuously (cf. Genesis 10:9); noting the intensity of their wickedness, or intimating the fact that God had seen their corruption, and so commending the Divine long-suffering (Calvin), - and the earth was filled with violence. "The outward exhibition of inward carnality" (Murphy); "injurious and cruel dealing, the violating of duties towards men, 'rapines or robberies (Chaldee)'" (Ainsworth). Cf. Genesis 49:5; Joel 3:19; Obadiah 1:10.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The earth also was corrupt before God,.... That is, the inhabitants of the earth were corrupt in their lives and conversations; they were corrupt both in principle and practice, and did abominable things; and those corruptions were, according to Jarchi, uncleanness and idolatry; they were corrupt in the worship of God, worshipping the creature more, or besides the Creator; and they were corrupt in their manners and behaviour to one another, being guilty of fornication and adultery, and other enormous crimes; of some against God, and of others against their neighbours; and these they committed openly and impudently, without any fear of God, or dread of his wrath and displeasure, and in contempt of him, his will and laws:
and the earth was filled with violence; with doing injury to the persons and properties of men; with oppression and cruelty, by tyrannical decrees and unrighteous judgments; or with rapines and robberies, as the Targums and Jarchi; and with rapes, as Aben Ezra adds: the account that Lucian (x) gives from tradition agrees with this; that the present race of men is not the first, they totally perished by a flood; and those men were very insolent and addicted to unjust actions; for they neither kept their oaths, nor were hospitable to strangers, nor gave ear to suppliants, for which reason they were destroyed.
(x) De Dea Syria.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. the earth was filled with violence—In the absence of any well-regulated government it is easy to imagine what evils would arise. Men did what was right in their own eyes, and, having no fear of God, destruction and misery were in their ways.
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