Genesis 8:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

New Living Translation
And the LORD was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, "I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things.

English Standard Version
And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.

New American Standard Bible
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

King James Bible
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, He said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, even though man's inclination is evil from his youth. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.

International Standard Version
When the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, he told himself, "I will never again curse the land because of human beings—even though human inclinations remain evil from youth—nor will I destroy every living being ever again, as I've done.

NET Bible
And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma and said to himself, "I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, even though the inclination of their minds is evil from childhood on. I will never again destroy everything that lives, as I have just done.

New Heart English Bible
The LORD smelled the pleasant aroma. The LORD said in his heart, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, because the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again strike everything living, as I have done.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma. He said to himself, "I will never again curse the ground because of humans, even though from birth their hearts are set on nothing but evil. I will never again kill every living creature as I have just done.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD smelled the sweet savour; and the LORD said in His heart: 'I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

New American Standard 1977
And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD smelled a savour of rest, and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his childhood; neither will I again smite any more every living thing as I have done.

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD smelled a sweet odor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.

American King James Version
And the LORD smelled a sweet smell; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

American Standard Version
And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and said: I will no more curse the earth for the sake of man: for the imagination and thought of man's heart are prone to evil from his youth: therefore I will no more destroy every living soul as I have done.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah smelled the sweet odour. And Jehovah said in his heart, I will no more henceforth curse the ground on account of Man, for the thought of Man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will no more smite every living thing, as I have done.

English Revised Version
And the LORD smelled the sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth: neither will I again smite any more every living animal as I have done.

World English Bible
Yahweh smelled the pleasant aroma. Yahweh said in his heart, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, because the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again strike everything living, as I have done.

Young's Literal Translation
and Jehovah smelleth the sweet fragrance, and Jehovah saith unto His heart, 'I continue not to disesteem any more the ground because of man, though the imagination of the heart of man is evil from his youth; and I continue not to smite any more all living, as I have done;
Study Bible
Noah Builds an Altar
20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. 22"While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease."…
Cross References
Romans 1:21
For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts.

Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Ephesians 2:1
As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

Genesis 3:17
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.

Genesis 6:5
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 6:7
The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them."

Genesis 6:13
Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.

Genesis 9:11
"I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth."

Genesis 9:15
and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Exodus 29:18
"You shall offer up in smoke the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the LORD: it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD smelled a sweet smell; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

smelled.

Leviticus 1:9,13,17 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest …

Leviticus 26:31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries to …

Songs 4:10,11 How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is your …

Isaiah 65:6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will …

Ezekiel 20:41 I will accept you with your sweet smell, when I bring you out from the people…

Amos 5:21,22 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn …

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God a sweet smell of Christ, in them that are saved, …

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us…

Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus …

sweet savour. Heb. savour of rest. curse.

Genesis 3:17 And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your …

Genesis 4:12 When you till the ground, it shall not from now on yield to you her …

Genesis 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning …

Genesis 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters on the earth, …

for. or, though. the imagination.

Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth…

Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Job 15:14-16 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, …

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as …

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man on earth, that does good, and sins not.

Isaiah 47:12 Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your …

Isaiah 47:15 Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, even your merchants, …

Isaiah 48:8 Yes, you heard not; yes, you knew not; yes, from that time that your …

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his …

Jeremiah 8:6 I listened and heard, but they spoke not aright: no man repented …

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: …

Jeremiah 18:12 And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, …

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, …

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born …

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, …

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 8:7,8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject …

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…

James 1:14,15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed…

James 4:1,2 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even …

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.

neither.

Genesis 9:11-15 And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh …

Isaiah 54:9,10 For this is as the waters of Noah to me: for as I have sworn that …

as I.

2 Peter 3:6,7 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished…

(21) A sweet savour.--Heb., a smell of satisfaction. The idea is not so much that the sacrifice gave God pleasure as that it caused Him to regard man with complacency. The anger at sin which had caused the flood was now over, and there was peace between heaven and earth.

Said in his heart.--Heb., to his heart: that is, Jehovah determined with himself, came to the settled purpose. (Comp. Genesis 17:17.)

For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.--See Genesis 6:5. There seems at first sight to be an inconsistency between the two passages, and the Jehovist is accused of here contradicting the Elohist. For in the former place man's inborn sinfulness is described as an aggravation of his offence, while here it is used as a reason for mercy. But it is a characteristic of the Bible that it states the two sides of every principle with abrupt simplicity, and most heresies have arisen from seizing upon one side only, and omitting the other from view. Man is one whose every imagination of the heart is only evil continually. (Comp. Matthew 15:19.) In the antediluvian world, with death indefinitely postponed, these imaginations had been unrestrained, and had therefore led to habitual and inveterate sin; and so justice at last had smitten it. But when man strives against them, and sin is the result of infirmity. then mercy heals and grace strengthens the penitent. When man, therefore, began his renewed life by hallowing it with religion, God saw therein the pledge of a struggle on his part after holiness, and the proof that the world would never again become totally corrupt. In this changed state of things human weakness was a reason only for mercy, and God gave the promise that so long as the world shall last, so total a destruction of man and his works upon it shall never again take place by the same agency.

Verse 21 - And the Lord (Jehovah) smelled - as is done by drawing the air in and out through the nostrils; from the root ruach, to breathe; high., to smell - a sweet savor. Reach hannichoach literally, an odor of satisfaction, acquiescence, or rest; from nuach, to rest, with an allusion to Noah's name (vide Genesis 5:29); ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας (LXX.); (cf. Leviticus 2:12; Leviticus 26:31; Numbers 15:3; Ezekiel 6:13). The meaning is that the sacrifice of the patriarch was as acceptable to God as refreshing odors are to the senses of a man; and that which rendered it acceptable was

(1) the feeling from which it sprang, whether gratitude or obedience;

(2) the truths which it expressed - it was tantamount to an acknowledgment of personal guilt, a devout recognition of the Divine mercy, an explicit declaration that he had been saved or could only be saved through the offering up of the life of another, and a cheerful consecration of his redeemed life to God;

(3) the great sacrifice of which it was a type. Paul, by using the language of the LXX. (Ephesians 5:2), shows that he regarded the two as connected. And the Lord said in his heart. I.e. resolved within himself. It is not certain that this determination on the part of Jehovah was at this time communicated to the patriarch (cf. Genesis 6:3, 7 for Divine inward resolves which were not at the moment made known), unless the correct reading be to his (Noah's) heart, meaning the Lord comforted him (cf. Judges 19:3; Ruth 2:13; Isaiah 40:2; Hosea 2:14), which is barely probable. I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake. Literally, I will not add to curse. Not a revocation of the curse of Genesis 3:17, nor a pledge that such curse would not be duplicated. The language refers solely to the visitation of the Deluge, and promises not that God may not some. times visit particular localities with a flood, but that another such world-wide catastrophe should never overtake the human race. For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Genesis 6:5 assigns this as the reason for man's destruction; a proof of inconsistency between the Elohistic author and his Jehovistic editor (Bleek). "Hie inconstantiae videtur Deus accusari posse" (Luther). "God seems to contradict himself by having previously declared that the world must be destroyed because its iniquity was desperate" (Calvin). Some endeavor to remove the incongruity by translating כִּי as although (Bush, Inglis), but "there are few (if any) places were כִּי can be rendered although" (T. Lewis). Others connect it with "for man's sake," as explanatory not of the promise, but of the past judgment (Murphy), or as stating that any future cursing of the ground would not be for man's sake (Jacobus). The true solution of the difficulty appears to lie in the clause "from his youth," as if God meant to say that whereas formerly he had visited man with judicial extermination on account of his absolute moral corruption, he would now have regard to the circumstance that man inherited his depravity through his birth, and, instead of smiting man with punitive destruction, would visit him with compassionate forbearance (Keil, 'Speaker's Commentary'). Tayler Lewis regards the expression as strongly anthropopathic, like Genesis 6:6, and indicative of the Divine regret at so calamitous an act as the Deluge, although that act was absolutely just and necessary. Neither will I again smite any more every living thing, as I have done. There should be no more deluge, but - And the Lord smelled a sweet savour,.... Or a "savour of rest" (e); he was delighted and well pleased with his sacrifice, which was offered up in the faith of the sacrifice of Christ; the apostle says, "is for a sweetsmelling savour", Ephesians 5:2 referring to this passage; that being a satisfaction to the justice of God, an appeasing of his wrath, and a propitiation for the sins of men:

and the Lord said in his heart; within himself; it was awhile a secret there, but Noah being a prophet, as Aben Ezra observes, he revealed it to him, or "to his heart" (f), that is, to the heart of Noah, as some interpret it, he spoke comfortably to him, as follows, when the Jewish writers (g) say he stretched out his right hand and swore, agreeably to Isaiah 54:9.

I will not again curse the ground for man's sake, or drown it for the sin of man, as he had cursed it for the sin of Adam, and which continued till this time; but now was taken off, and it became more fruitful, and very probably by means of the waters which had been so long upon it, and had left a fructifying virtue in it, as the waters of the Nile do in Egypt. Some interpret the phrase, "for man's sake", for the man Christ's sake, for the sake of his sacrifice, of which Noah's was a type, and the sense be, that God would no more curse the earth; for by his sacrifice the curse of the law is removed, with respect to his people; they are redeemed from it, and shall inherit that new earth, of which this earth, renewed after the flood, was a type, in which there will be no more curse, Revelation 21:1 which sense, though evangelical, cannot be admitted, because of the reason following, unless the first word be rendered "though", as it may:

for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; his nature is depraved, his heart is corrupt, the thoughts of it evil, yea, the imagination of it, and of them, is sinful, and that originally, even from his birth; from the time he is shook out of his mother's womb, as Jarchi interprets the phrase: man is conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity, and is a transgressor from the womb, and so a child of wrath, and deserving of the curse of the law upon himself, and all that belong to him; and yet this is given as a reason why God will not any more curse the ground for his sake: that which was a reason for destroying the earth, is now one against it, see Genesis 6:5 which may be reconciled thus, God for this reason destroyed the earth once, for an example, and to display his justice; but such is his clemency and mercy, that he will do it no more to the end of the world; considering that man has brought himself into such a condition, that he cannot but sin, it is natural to him from his birth; his nature is tainted with it, his heart is full of it, and all his thoughts and imaginations are wicked and sinful, from whence continually flow a train of actual sins and transgressions; so that if God was to curse and drown the world as often as man sins, he must be continually doing it; for the words may be rendered, "though the imagination of man's heart is evil", &c. (h); yet I will not do it; and so they are expressive of the super abounding grace of God over abounding sin:

neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done; this hinders not but that there might be, as has been since, partial calamities, or particular judgments on individual persons, towns, and cities, as those of Sodom and Gomorrah, or partial inundations, but not a general deluge, or an universal destruction of the world and creatures in it, at least not by water, as has been, but by fire, as will be; for that the earth will have an end, at least as to its present nature, form, and use, may be concluded from the following words.

(e) "odorem quietis", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, &c. (f) "ad cor suum", Montanus, Tigurine version; "prophetae suo", Arab. (g) Jarchi in loc. Pirke Eliezer, c. 23. (h) "quamvis", Piscator; so Ainsworth. 21. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour—The sacrifice offered by a righteous man like Noah in faith was acceptable as the most fragrant incense.

Lord said in his heart—same as "I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth" (Isa 54:9).

for—that is, "though the imagination is evil"; instead of inflicting another destructive flood, I shall spare them—to enjoy the blessings of grace, through a Saviour.8:20-22 Noah was now gone out into a desolate world, where, one might have thought, his first care would have been to build a house for himself, but he begins with an alter for God. He begins well, that begins with God. Though Noah's stock of cattle was small, and that saved at great care and pains, yet he did not grudge to serve God out of it. Serving God with our little is the way to make it more; we must never think that is wasted with which God is honoured. The first thing done in the new world was an act of worship. We are now to express our thankfulness, not by burnt-offerings, but by praise, and pious devotions and conversation. God was well pleased with what was done. But the burning flesh could no more please God, than the blood of bulls and goats, except as typical of the sacrifice of Christ, and expressing Noah's humble faith and devotedness to God. The flood washed away the race of wicked men, but it did not remove sin from man's nature, who being conceived and born in sin, thinks, devises, and loves wickedness, even from his youth, and that as much since the flood as before. But God graciously declared he never would drown the world again. While the earth remains, and man upon it, there shall be summer and winter. It is plain that this earth is not to remain always. It, and all the works in it, must shortly be burned up; and we look for new heavens and a new earth, when all these things shall be dissolved. But as long as it does remain, God's providence will cause the course of times and seasons to go on, and makes each to know its place. And on this word we depend, that thus it shall be. We see God's promises to the creatures made good, and may infer that his promises to all believers shall be so.
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Alphabetical: account again all and aroma as because childhood creatures curse destroy done even every evil for from ground have heart Himself his I in inclination intent is living LORD man man's Never of on pleasing said smelled soothing The thing though to will youth

OT Law: Genesis 8:21 Yahweh smelled the pleasant aroma (Gen. Ge Gn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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