VI:12. And God looked at the earth, and behold it was corrupted for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. 13. And God said to Noach: The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with wrong on account of them, and so, behold Me about to destroy them with the earth.
This section, by the way, follows only eight verses after the discussion about the godly men, men, and the n'filim. I believe it is important to note that, in this particular instance, God is providing not only a lesson for spiritual growth and expansion, but even more important, a clear indication of the consequences for failing to heed His teachings. Utter and total destruction. What few commentators ever discuss, and I believe it is relevant, is that since God is all powerful, why not merely destroy the people, leaving the world itself, and the animal kingdom, intact. In other words, what was it in Man's gross transgressions that necessitated the destruction of all life on land. To this, I have no answer. At the same time, I see an important point. When we, as people, determine to perceive ourselves as all powerful, in command of our lives, the lives of people around us, and even our environment, we make a serious mistake. With that mistake, we not only risk the destruction of ourselves but everyone and everything around us.
Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll
Stone Edition Chumash and from
Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash
Torah Portions Archive
here or Torah for Tots