Wiping Out Everyone: Genesis 6:7

wiping out everything (3)

b) Gen 6:7: Due to the brutal oppression of women by mighty men (Gen 6:1–4), God determined that humanity’s idolatry of power and violence could not continue (Gen 6:5–6).[1]

Moses wrote, “The Lord said, ‘I shall wipe away (makhah) humanity, which I have created, from all of the face of the earth.’”

The verb makhah connotes washing away a spot or stain.[2]

Since Moses’s original readers had lived in Egypt, they likely recognized this concept. When a scribe made an error on a sheet of papyrus, he took a wet rag tied to his waist and removed the wet ink.[3]

People employed the word to describe erasing people’s names from official records and even to depict cleaning dishes (Exod 17:14; Exod 32:30–36; 2 Ki 21:10–13).[4]

God can wipe away a person’s sins (Ps 51:1–2, 9; Isa 43:25). However, in this case, the Lord intended to blot out sinners.[5]

The term which God used foreshadowed how he would wipe them away. He intended to annihilate humanity with water (Gen 7:4, 23).[6]

The Lord foretold a wide scope of destruction: “from humanity to animals to creeping things, and to flying creatures of the sky, because I am sorry that I have made them.”

Virtually all humans and animals would cease to exist.[7] God would reverse his creative activity (Gen 1:20, 24–30).[8]

Just as the ground suffered the consequences of human sin (Gen 3:17–18; Gen 5:29), so would the creatures which the Lord had made.[9]

It remains unclear whether the animals contributed to the depravity of the world or were innocent victims.[10]

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Read Gen 6:7. What made God’s proclamation that he would wipe out humanity an apt metaphor? Who would he include in that judgment?





Go to Noah Found Favor (Gen 6:8)


[Related posts include Sons of God or Sons of the Gods? (Gen 6:1–2); Descendants of Seth as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Fallen Angels as the Sons of God (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Kings as Sons of the Gods (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Taking Wives for Themselves (Gen 6:1–2 cont.); Limiting Human Life Spans (Gen 6:3); Nephilim in the Land (Gen 6:4); God Grieves (Gen 6:5–6); Inhabitants of the Sea and Sky (Gen 1:20–23); Living Things from the Earth (Gen 1:24–25); Made in the Image of God (Gen 1:26 cont.); God Evaluates His Creation (Gen 1:31); Thorns and Thistles (Gen 3:17–18); Lamech’s Ode to Himself (Gen 4:23–24); Seeking Relief (Gen 5:28–32); Noah Found Favor (Gen 6:8); Guilty of Misconduct (Jude 8); It is Good Not to Touch (1 Cor 7:1‒5); and Author and Date of Genesis]

[Click here to go to Chapter 5: Groaning and Grieving (Genesis 5:28–6:8)]


[1]Kline, Kingdom Prologue: Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview, 189.

[2]L. Alonso-Schökel, “םָחָה” (makhah), TDOT 8:229–31, 229.

[3]E. Randolph Richards, Paul and First Century Letter Writing: Secretaries, Composition, and Collection (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 53–4.

[4]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 145.

[5]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 275.

[6]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 145.

[7]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 276.

[8]Wenham, Genesis 1–15, 145.

[9]Waltke and Fredricks, Genesis: A Commentary, 119.

[10]Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, 276.