What does Genesis 6:7 mean?
ESV: So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
NIV: So the LORD said, 'I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created--and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground--for I regret that I have made them.'
NASB: Then the Lord said, 'I will wipe out mankind whom I have created from the face of the land; mankind, and animals as well, and crawling things, and the birds of the sky. For I am sorry that I have made them.'
CSB: Then the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky--for I regret that I made them."
NLT: And the Lord said, 'I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing — all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.'
KJV: 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 repenteth me that I have made them.
Verse Commentary:
One of the most devastating verses in Scripture, verse 7 expresses both God's sorrow in seeing what humanity has become, and His pronouncement that He will wipe from the face of the earth so much of what He has made. These words raise many questions.

How can a perfect, sovereign God feel sorrow about any action He has taken? The Hebrew word ni'ham'ti used here, is from the same root word as yin'nā'hem, used in verse 6. This term is nacham, and it refers to emotions. The primary meaning is simply one of pain, anguish, or unhappiness. It's entirely possible for a person to feel unhappiness about a situation, without considering it the "wrong" choice. God is sorry that man has come to this state—His decision to create man is, in this moment, causing Him grief. He is not suggesting that He's made a mistake in creating us.

Another question is why God is committed to destroying animals and birds, along with humanity? This is an issue the Bible gives virtually no guidance on. Ultimately, we can wonder, and we can question, but we can't give a dogmatic response. What we do know is that God's sovereignty and ownership over the earth includes animals just as much as humans.

Those first two questions are difficult to answer in a satisfying way. A third question, however, is actually the entire point of Scripture itself: If this—destruction and wrath—is God's response to humanity in our natural, sinful state, how can we ever hope to be at peace with our Creator? The book of Genesis, as with the rest of Scripture, will present God's answer to this dilemma. In short, God provides both the judgment which is required for sin, as well as a means of mercy for humanity.

The following verse will provide a glimmer of hope that all is not lost for mankind.
Verse Context:
Genesis 6:1–8 introduces us to two mysterious groups: the ''sons of God'' and the Nephilim. Provoked by the wickedness of humanity and, perhaps, by the power of these two groups, God declares that He will reduce human lifespans to 120 years. Alternatively, this same remark might refer to God's plan to wipe out all of humanity in 120 years. In either case, this prediction is fulfilled. God will exercise His authority as Creator and execute justice by ending the world as it was. Human civilization will be forced to start again, through one man: Noah.
Chapter Summary:
God sees. In the first chapter of Genesis, God saw that all He had made was good. Now, many generations after sin entered the world, God sees that all man has made is wickedness and evil. Human beings have used their power for violence and destruction. God declares His plan to wipe out all land-dwelling life on the face of the earth. He will however, preserve humanity and animal life for a new beginning through the one righteous man, Noah, and a huge life-giving structure called an ark.
Chapter Context:
The previous chapter traced the generations from Adam through his son Seth and all of the way to Noah. This chapter reveals that Noah will be the man through whom God will preserve humanity for a new beginning after wiping out all life on the face of the earth. God tells Noah to build an enormous structure, an ark, and prepare to welcome representatives of all of the animals on earth. Noah does exactly that, setting the stage for the cataclysmic judgment of God to come in chapter 7.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 4/17/2024 10:25:06 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.