Genesis 7:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 7:22, NIV: "Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died."

Genesis 7:22, ESV: "Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died."

Genesis 7:22, KJV: "All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."

Genesis 7:22, NASB: "of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died."

Genesis 7:22, NLT: "Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died."

Genesis 7:22, CSB: "Everything with the breath of the spirit of life in its nostrils--everything on dry land died."

What does Genesis 7:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

These last few verses of Genesis 7 seem to repeat the same idea over and over. This is not an accident. Repetition in ancient literature was often used to emphasize the truth or importance of a statement. In this case, God had promised to "blot out" all mankind, and every land- and air-dwelling creature, as judgment on mankind's sin (Genesis 6:13).

Some debate whether this judgment by God required a planet-wide event, or a flood confined to the regions inhabited by men. For the purposes of the story, such a question is actually beside the point. As this verse makes clear, everything not protected from the flood by the ark died. Every land-dwelling, air-breathing thing confronted by the flood was killed, including every single human being other than Noah and his immediate family.

Interestingly, no mention is made of fish or other sea-dwelling creatures, who apparently survived the flood. Or, who at least were able to survive in sufficient numbers that there was no need for Noah to preserve them on the ark. God's judgment was limited to the land, as it was a response to humanity's pervasive evil (Genesis 6:5).