In Genesis 6:7, the Lord declared, “I will wipe off from the face of the earth mankind, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.” The Hebrew term translated wipe off appears here and in an additional 34 places in the Old Testament. In most instances the word means “to erase, abolish, destroy, blot out, wipe away, or wipe out.” The term occurs in at least three other places in Genesis, each time in flood account.
- In 7:4, God told Noah, “Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe off from the face of the earth every living thing I have made.”
- In 7:23 the word appears twice: God “wiped out every living thing that was on the surface of the ground, from mankind to livestock, to creatures that crawl, to the birds of the sky, and they were wiped off the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.”
Here are some examples of several other noteworthy occurrences of this Hebrew word in the Old Testament. In each verse, the English word or words representing the Hebrew term are underlined. As you will note, in some contexts the word can mean something ominous, but in others it can mean something truly wonderful.
- “The LORD replied to Moses: ‘I will erase whoever has sinned against Me from my book” (Ex. 32:33).
- Moses had met with God on the mountain. After encouraging him to descend the mountain so that he could confront the people regarding the revelry in which they were engaging, God said to His spokesman, “Leave Me alone, and I will destroy them and blot out their name under heaven. Then I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they” (Deut. 9:14).
- In 2 Kings 21:13, the Lord declared, “I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line used on Samaria and the mason’s level used on the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a bowl—wiping it and turning it upside down.”
- “You have rebuked the nations: You have destroyed the wicked; You have erased their name forever and ever” (Ps. 9:5).
- “Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion” (Ps. 51:1).
- “Turn Your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt” (Ps. 51:9).
- “This is the way of an adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’” (Prov. 30:20).
- “He will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face and remove His people’s disgrace from the whole earth, for the LORD has spoken” (Isa. 25:8).
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations in SundaySchoolZone.com materials are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.