Genesis 6:7
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) I will destroy.—Heb., delete, rub out.

From the face of the earth.—Heb., the adâmâh, the tilled ground which man had subdued and cultivated.

Both man, and beast.—Heb., from man unto cattle, unto creeping thing, and unto fowl of the air, The animal world was to share in this destruction, because its fate is bound up with that of man (Romans 8:19-22); but the idea of the total destruction of all animals by the flood, so far from being contained in the text, is contradicted by it, as it only says that it is to reach to them. Wild beasts are not mentioned in this enumeration, probably because the domestic cattle would be the chief sufferers.

Creeping thing.—Not necessarily reptiles. (See Note on Genesis 1:24.)

Genesis 6:7. I will destroy man — The original word is very significant, I will wipe off man; from off the earth — As dirt is wiped off from a place which should be clean, and thrown to the dunghill. Or, I will blot out man from the earth, as those lines are blotted out of a book which displease the author, or as the name of a citizen is blotted out of the rolls of the freemen when he is disfranchised. Both man and beast, the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air — These were made for man, and therefore destroyed with man. It repenteth me that I have made them — For the end of their creation also was frustrated: they were made that man might serve and honour God with them; and therefore were destroyed, because he had served his lusts with them, and made them subject to vanity.6:1-7 The most remarkable thing concerning the old world, is the destroying of it by the deluge, or flood. We are told of the abounding iniquity of that wicked world: God's just wrath, and his holy resolution to punish it. In all ages there has been a peculiar curse of God upon marriages between professors of true religion and its avowed enemies. The evil example of the ungodly party corrupts or greatly hurts the other. Family religion is put an end to, and the children are trained up according to the worldly maxims of that parent who is without the fear of God. If we profess to be the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty, we must not marry without his consent. He will never give his blessing, if we prefer beauty, wit, wealth, or worldly honours, to faith and holiness. The Spirit of God strove with men, by sending Enoch, Noah, and perhaps others, to preach to them; by waiting to be gracious, notwithstanding their rebellions; and by exciting alarm and convictions in their consciences. But the Lord declared that his Spirit should not thus strive with men always; he would leave them to be hardened in sin, and ripened for destruction. This he determined on, because man was flesh: not only frail and feeble, but carnal and depraved; having misused the noble powers of his soul to gratify his corrupt inclinations. God sees all the wickedness that is among the children of men; it cannot be hid from him now; and if it be not repented of, it shall be made known by him shortly. The wickedness of a people is great indeed, when noted sinners are men renowned among them. Very much sin was committed in all places, by all sorts of people. Any one might see that the wickedness of man was great: but God saw that every imagination, or purpose, of the thoughts of man's heart, was only evil continually. This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring. The heart was deceitful and desperately wicked; the principles were corrupt; the habits and dispositions evil. Their designs and devices were wicked. They did evil deliberately, contriving how to do mischief. There was no good among them. God saw man's wickedness as one injured and wronged by it. He saw it as a tender father sees the folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child, which grieves him, and makes him wish he had been childless. The words here used are remarkable; they are used after the manner of men, and do not mean that God can change, or be unhappy. Does God thus hate our sin? And shall not we be grieved to the heart for it? Oh that we may look on Him whom we have grieved, and mourn! God repented that he had made man; but we never find him repent that he redeemed man. God resolves to destroy man: the original word is very striking, 'I will wipe off man from the earth,' as dirt or filth is wiped off from a place which should be clean, and is thrown to the dunghill, the proper place for it. God speaks of man as his own creature, when he resolves upon his punishment. Those forfeit their lives who do not answer the end of their living. God speaks of resolution concerning men, after his Spirit had been long striving with them in vain. None are punished by the justice of God, but those who hate to be reformed by the grace of God.I will wipe away man from the face of the soil. - The resolve is made to sweep away the existing race of man. Heretofore, individuals had departed this life. Adam himself had long since paid the debt of nature. These solemn testimonies to the universal doom had not made any salutary or lasting impression on the survivors. But now a general and violent destruction is to overtake the whole race - a standing monument of the divine wrath against sin, to all future generations of the only family saved.

From man to cattle, creeper and fowl of the sky. - These classes of animated nature being mingled up with man are involved in the same ruin with him. This is of a piece with the curse laid upon the serpent, which was the unconscious organ of the tempter. It is an instance of a law which runs through the whole course of nature, as we observe that it is the method of the divine government to allow for the time the suffering inflicted on an inferior animal, or even on a fellow-creature, by selfish passion. It has an appearance to some minds of harshness and unfairness. But we must remember that these animated creatures are not moral, and, therefore, the violent termination of their organic life is not a punishment; that the pain incidental to this, being apart from guilt, is in itself a beneficial provision for the conservation of life; and that it was not intended that the life of animals should be perpetual. The return of the land to a state of desolation by the destruction of animal and vegetable life, however, has its lesson for man, for whom ultimately all of this beauty and fertility were designed, and from whom it is now withdrawn, along with all the glories it foreshadows, as part of the punishment of his guilt. The tenant has become unworthy of the tabernacle, and accordingly he is dispossessed, and it is taken down and removed.

5, 6. God saw it … repented … grieved—God cannot change (Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17); but, by language suited to our nature and experience, He is described as about to alter His visible procedure towards mankind—from being merciful and long-suffering, He was about to show Himself a God of judgment; and, as that impious race had filled up the measure of their iniquities, He was about to introduce a terrible display of His justice (Ec 8:11). Both man and beast; for as the beasts were made for man’s use and service, so they are destroyed for man’s punishment, and to discover the malignity of sin, and God’s deep abhorrency thereof, by destroying those innocent creatures that had been made instrumental to it. And the Lord said,.... Not to the angels, nor to Noah, but within himself, on observing to what a height the sin of man had got, and what a spread it made on the earth:

I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth; though he is my creature, the work of my hands, I have made him out of the earth, and made him lord of it; I am now determined to show my detestation of his wickedness, and for the honour of my justice to destroy him from off it; just as a potter takes a vessel he dislikes, when he has made it, and dashes it to pieces: or "I will wipe men off of the earth" (s); like so much dust; man was made of the dust of the earth, he is dust, yea, sinful dust and ashes; and God resolved to send a flood of waters on the earth, which should wash off man from it, like so much dust upon it, just as dust is carried off by a flood of water, see 2 Kings 21:13 or "I will blot out man" (t), as most render the words; that is, out of the book of the living, he shall no longer live upon the earth; out of the book of creation, or of the creatures, he shall have no more a being, or be seen among them, any more than what is blotted out of a book:

both man and beast; or "from man to beast" (u); even every living creature upon the earth, from man to beast, one as well as another, and one for the sake of the other, the beasts for the sake of man; these were made for his use and benefit, but he sinning against God, and abusing his mercies, they are to be taken away, and destroyed for his sake, and as a punishment for his sins:

and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air; not the creeping things in the great and wide sea, for the fishes died not in the deluge, but the creeping things on the earth, Genesis 6:20.

for it repenteth me that I have made them; man, male and female, whom he created; Adam and Eve, and their posterity, and particularly the present inhabitants of the earth: but though it may respect men principally, yet is not to be restrained to them, but takes in all the creatures before mentioned, made for the use of man; and the ends not being answered by them, God repented that he had made them, as well as man. Some think the repentance, attributed to God in this and the preceding verse, is not to be understood of him in himself, but of his Spirit in good men, particularly Noah, producing grief, sorrow, and repentance in him, who wished that man had never been, than to be so wicked as he was; but for such a sense there seems to be no manner of foundation in the text.

(s) "abstergam; verbum Hebraeum" "significat aqua aliquid extergere", Pareus. (t) Delebo, V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (u) "ab homine usque ad jumentum", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and {h} beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

(h) God declares how much he detests sin, seeing the punishment of it extends to the brute beasts.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. destroy] R.V. marg. Heb. blot out. LXX ἀπαλείψω, Lat. delebo. A characteristic word in J, cf. Genesis 7:4; Genesis 7:23; and different from the word for “destroy” in Genesis 6:13. (LXX καταφθείρω, Lat. disperdam.)

both man, and beast, &c.] No reference is here made to any preservation of life.Verse 7. - And the Lord said, - "Before weird (doom) there's word: Northern Proverb" (Bonar) - I will destroy - literally, blot or wipe out by washing (cf. Numbers 5:23; 2 Kings 21:13; Proverbs 30:20; Isaiah 25:8). "The idea of destroying by washing away is peculiarly appropriate to the Deluge, and the word is chosen on account of its significance" (Quarry) - man whom I have created from the face of the earth. An indirect refutation of the angel hypothesis (Keil, Lange). If the angels were the real authors of the moral corruption of the race, why are they not sentenced as the serpent was in Genesis 3:14? Both man, and beast, and the creeping thing. Literally, from man unto beast, &c. The lower creatures were involved in the punishment of man neither because of any moral corruption which had entered into them, nor as sharing in the atonement for human sins (Knobel); but rather on the ground of man's sovereignty over the animal world, and its dependence on him (Keil, Lange), and in exemplification of that great principle of Divine government by which the penal consequences of moral evil are allowed to extend beyond the immediate actor (cf. Romans 8:20). For it repenteth me that I have made them. Vide supra on ver. 6. Now when the wickedness of man became great, and "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil the whole day," i.e., continually and altogether evil, it repented God that He had made man, and He determined to destroy them. This determination and the motive assigned are also irreconcilable with the angel-theory. "Had the godless race, which God destroyed by the flood, sprung either entirely or in part from the marriage of angels to the daughters of men, it would no longer have been the race first created by God in Adam, but a grotesque product of the Adamitic factor created by God, and an entirely foreign and angelic factor" (Phil.).

(Note: When, on the other hand, the supporters of the angel marriages maintain that it is only on this interpretation that the necessity for the flood, i.e., for the complete destruction of the whole human race with the exception of righteous Noah, can be understood, not only is there no scriptural foundation for this argument, but it is decidedly at variance with those statements of the Scriptures, which speak of the corruption of the men whom God had created, and not of a race that had arisen through an unnatural connection of angels and men and forced their way into God's creation. If it were really the case, that it would otherwise be impossible to understand where the necessity could lie, for all the rest of the human race to be destroyed and a new beginning to be made, whereas afterwards, when Abraham was chosen, the rest of the human race was not only spared, but preserved for subsequent participation in the blessings of salvation: we should only need to call Job to mind, who also could not comprehend the necessity for the fearful sufferings which overwhelmed him, and was unable to discover the justice of God, but who was afterwards taught a better lesson by God Himself, and reproved for his rash conclusions, as a sufficient proof of the deceptive and futile character of all such human reasoning.) But this is not the true state of the case. The Scriptures expressly affirm, that after the flood the moral corruption of man was the same as before the flood; for they describe it in Genesis 8:21 in the very same words as in Genesis 6:5 : and the reason they assign for the same judgment not being repeated, is simply the promise that God would no more smite and destroy all living, as He had done before-an evident proof that God expected no change in human nature, and out of pure mercy and long-suffering would never send a second flood. "Now, if the race destroyed had been one that sprang from angel-fathers, it is difficult to understand why no improvement was to be looked for after the flood; for the repetition of any such unnatural angel-tragedy was certainly not probable, and still less inevitable" (Philippi).)

The force of ינּחם, "it repented the Lord," may be gathered from the explanatory יתעצּב, "it grieved Him at His heart." This shows that the repentance of God does not presuppose any variableness in His nature of His purposes. In this sense God never repents of anything (1 Samuel 15:29), "quia nihil illi inopinatum vel non praevisum accidit" (Calvin). The repentance of God is an anthropomorphic expression for the pain of the divine love at the sin of man, and signifies that "God is hurt no less by the atrocious sins of men than if they pierced His heart with mortal anguish" (Calvin). The destruction of all, "from man unto beast," etc., is to be explained on the ground of the sovereignty of man upon the earth, the irrational creatures being created for him, and therefore involved in his fall. This destruction, however, was not to bring the human race to an end. "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." In these words mercy is seen in the midst of wrath, pledging the preservation and restoration of humanity.

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