Genesis 7:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 7:23, NIV: "Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark."

Genesis 7:23, ESV: "He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark."

Genesis 7:23, KJV: "And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark."

Genesis 7:23, NASB: "So He wiped out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from mankind to animals, to crawling things, and the birds of the sky, and they were wiped out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark."

Genesis 7:23, NLT: "God wiped out every living thing on the earth--people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat."

Genesis 7:23, CSB: "He wiped out every living thing that was on the face of the earth, from mankind to livestock, to creatures that crawl, to the birds of the sky, and they were wiped off the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark."

What does Genesis 7:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

These last few verses of chapter 7 seem repetitive, and they are. This is a very deliberate technique, used often in ancient literature. Stating certain facts over and over was a way of emphasizing their truth and importance. In this case, Genesis is making it clear that no human or animal life survived the flood, other than those aboard the ark.

This verse also uses repetition to remind us that this wasn't "just" a natural catastrophe. God blotted out (or wiped out) all the human and animal life. He caused the flood. As Creator and Judge and God, He acted out of His authority to execute justice. In a sense, God is un-making some of what He has made, by taking dry land back beneath the water (Genesis 1:9–10). God would not allow the violence of mankind to go on as it had. He ended it.

From this distance, and from a merely human perspective, this scale of death is inconceivable to most of us. It is uncomfortable. It challenges our very idea of who our God is. It is essential that we understand both His righteousness and His mercy. God has not changed in His nature. He will not abide sin, and He will in mercy save some from destruction.

The rest of the Bible is the story of how sinful, mortal man could ever possibly be at peace and even loved by such a righteous, powerful, just, and holy God.