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" F19; 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" F20, 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" F21; 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.
F19 (hxma) "abstergam; verbum Hebraeum" (hxm) "significat aqua aliquid extergere", Pareus.
F20 Delebo, V. L. Pagninus, Montanus
F21 (hmhb de Mdam) "ab homine usque ad jumentum", Pagninus, Montanus