Genesis 6:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 6:12, NIV: "God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways."

Genesis 6:12, ESV: "And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth."

Genesis 6:12, KJV: "And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."

Genesis 6:12, NASB: "And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for humanity had corrupted its way upon the earth."

Genesis 6:12, NLT: "God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt."

Genesis 6:12, CSB: "God saw how corrupt the earth was, for every creature had corrupted its way on the earth."

What does Genesis 6:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse describes the extent of the corruption of sin on the earth: It was everywhere. It was everyone. And it was self-inflicted. "All people" or "all flesh" had corrupted their ways. In other words, every person was guilty of taking the good thing that God had made—including themselves—and turning it away from God's good intent to use it for selfishness and evil.

The prior verse described man's culture as "violent," from the Hebrew term hā'mās'. This not only includes physical aggression, but cruelty and injustice, as well. Man has rejected God, and turned against each other. The fact that this evil is so widespread is a primary reason for God's chosen instrument of destruction: the flood. Left alone, humanity is doomed to fall further and further into sin and evil. Without intervention, there will soon be no godly people left.

To correct the situation, God has chosen to limit the lifespan of human beings (Genesis 6:3), and will eliminate all but a tiny fraction (Genesis 6:8) in order to "reboot" the human race.