And God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.—These material things were incapable alike of moral good or evil, but man had made them the instruments of working his carnal will, and because of the associations connected with them they must be effaced, or rubbed out. (See Note on Genesis 6:7.)flesh is taken, Psalm 78:39 Isaiah 40:5, and oft elsewhere,
had corrupted his way; either,
1. God’s way, his precepts concerning religion and righteousness; or,
2. Their own way or manner of living.
for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth: that is, all men, excepting Noah; who were flesh, carnal and unregenerate persons; these had corrupted the way of God, the true religion, with their idolatries: and they had corrupted their own way, their manners, their life and conversation with their uncleanness and wickedness of various sorts: the Arabic writers (y) say, that after Enoch was taken away, the children of Seth and of Cain worshipped idols, everyone as he pleased, and were immersed in wickedness, and gave their right hands to each other, and joined in fellowship in committing sin and vice; and that in the times of Noah, none were left in the holy mount but he and his wife, and his three sons and their wives; all went down below and mixed with the daughters of Cain, and were immersed in sins, and worshipped strange gods, and so the earth was corrupted and filled with lasciviousness. The Jewish writers also observe (z), that the generations of Cain were guilty of uncleanness, men and women, like beasts, and defiled themselves with all kind of fornication and incest, everyone with his mother, and with his own sister, and with his brother's wife, and that openly, and in the streets: and Sanchoniatho (a), the Heathen historian, the writer of the history of Cain's line, says of the fifth generation before the flood, that the women of those times, without shame, lay with any man they could meet with.And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. all flesh] Used here for “all the human race.” The phrase, which is found 13 times in the Story of the Flood, is a characteristic of P.
had corrupted his way] This expression seems to be used with the object of shewing that man was a free agent, and that his corruption was not the result of blind fate, or of any external malign influence.Verse 12. - And God looked upon the earth. "God knows at all times what is doing in our world, but his looking upon the earth denotes a special observance of it, as though he had instituted an inquiry into its real condition" (Bush; cf. Psalm 14:2; Psalm 33:13, 14; Psalm 80:2, 3). And, behold, it was corrupt. "Everything stood in sharpest contradiction with that good state which God the Creator had established" (Delitzsch, quoted by Lange). The nature of this corruption is further indicated. For all flesh, i.e. the human race, who are so characterized here not so much for their frailty (Isaiah 40:5, 6) as for their moral and spiritual degeneracy (Genesis 6:3, q.v. ) - had corrupted - skachath (καταφθείρω, LXX. ); literally, had destroyed, wrecked, and ruined, wholly subverted and overthrown - his way - derech (from darach, to tread with the feet), a going; hence a journey, a way; e.g.
(1) of living or acting (Proverbs 12:15; 1 Samuel 18:44)';
(2) of worshipping God - ὀδὸς, Acts 19:9, 23 (Psalm 139:24; Amos 8:14). Here it signifies the entire plan and course of life in all its ethical and religious aspects as designed for man by God (cf. Psalm 119:9; and contrast "the way of Cain," Jude 1:11; "the way of Balaam," 2 Peter 2:15) - upon the earth. Genesis 6:10-12, the account of the birth of his three sons, and of the corruption of all flesh, is repeated. This corruption is represented as corrupting the whole earth and filling it with wickedness; and thus the judgment of the flood is for the first time fully accounted for. "The earth was corrupt before God (Elohim points back to the previous Elohim in Genesis 6:9)," it became so conspicuous to God, that He could not refrain from punishment. The corruption proceeded from the fact, that "all flesh" - i.e., the whole human race which had resisted the influence of the Spirit of God and become flesh (see Genesis 6:3) - "had corrupted its way." The term "flesh" in Genesis 6:12 cannot include the animal world, since the expression, "corrupted its way," is applicable to man alone. The fact that in Genesis 6:13 and Genesis 6:17 this term embraces both men and animals is no proof to the contrary, for the simple reason, that in Genesis 6:19 "all flesh" denotes the animal world only, an evident proof that the precise meaning of the word must always be determined from the context.
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