Land words are significant to this chapter. Verse 1 opens with a recollection of Genesis 1:28. In chapter 1 God declares the blessing: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth [אֶרֶץ].” In 6:1 we see that God’s blessing is being fulfilled. The setting of the chapter is “when man began to multiply on the face of the land [אֲדָמָה].” And yet the blessing is now seen to be tainted by the fall. The seed blessing is seen to be corrupted in 6:1-4. Verses 5-7 highlight the corruption of the land blessing. It seems that the inspired text could read: “The Lord saw the wickedness of man was great. . . . And the Lord regretted that he had made man. . . . So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created.” But instead we read that the “wickedness of man was great in the earth [אֶרֶץ]” and that “he had made man on the earth [אֶרֶץ]” and that man will be blotted out “from the face of the land [אֲדָמָה].” This emphasis recurs in 6:11-13. Verse 11 resumes the discussion of the sin problem that leads to the Flood after verses 8-10 introduce righteous Noah and his family. The earth leads off the description of the problem: “Now the earth [אֶרֶץ] was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth [אֶרֶץ] was filled with violence.” There is probably an allusion here to the fact that God intended mankind to fill the earth (1:28); but rather than being filled with humans, the earth is filled with violence, which almost certainly includes murders. It is this violence that corrupts the earth, just as Cain polluted the ground with the blood of Abel. Verse 12 says that “God saw the earth [אֶרֶץ],” which harkens back to God’s sight of his creation in chapter 1 (vv. 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). But now what he sees is not good. He sees corruption, and the rest of the verse explains why: “for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth [אֶרֶץ].” Verse 13 then gives the death sentence, and the reason given for the sentence is an echo of verse 11—“the earth [אֶרֶץ] is filled with violence.” Thus it is not simply that the death sentence will be executed. It will be executed in conjunction with the earth: “I will destroy them with the earth [אֶרֶץ].” Verse 17 and 18 explain that this will happen with “a flood of waters upon the earth [אֶרֶץ]” with the result that everything that is on the earth [אֶרֶץ] shall die.” The earth is at the center of the problem in this chapter (it is corrupted by sin), and it is therefore going to play a large role in the judgment.
 John H. Sailhamer, “Genesis,” in Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol. 2, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), 76; Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, ed. R. K. Harrison, New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1:262; Mathews, 1:322.
 It may be that אֲדָמָה is used here instead of אֶרֶץ to indicate the close connection that man has to the ground. That connection will be significant as the passage unfolds. See Wenham, 1:137, 139.
 Some think that earth here is “synecdoche” (Leupold, 1:266) or “metonymy” (John Currid, Genesis, EP Study Commentary, 1:184) for “inhabitants of the earth.” However, given the emphasis on the physical earth throughout this chapter, and given the teaching in chapter 4 and later in the Pentateuch that murder pollutes the land, it is better to see the physical earth here as corrupted by the violence of its inhabitants. Mathews, Genesis, New American Commentary1:359-60.
 Gordon Wenham, Genesis, Word Biblical Commentary, 1:171.
 Mathews, 1:159-60.
 Wenham, 1:171.