And the Earth Became Corrupt

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28) “And the earth became corrupt before God.” Why is it written, “Before God,” which is obvious? Because they committed their sins openly, it is written, “Before God.”

29) “And the earth became corrupt before God.” Initially, it was before God; they did not sin openly. They did their deeds before God and not before people. But in the end they did their deeds openly. And in both manners it is written that they sinned, in hiding and openly.

30) Since the day Adam broke his Master’s commandment, all the people born after him were called “sons of Adam.” It is not a praise that they are called so. Rather, it is as one who says, “The sons of so and so who broke the commandment of his Master.”

31) When Noah came, the people of the world are named after Noah, “the generations of Noah.” This is a praise, since Noah sustained them in the world and not the generations of Adam, who removed them from the world and caused death to everyone.

32) “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built.” It is written, “sons of men,” and it is not written, “sons of Noah,” although they came from Noah. But because Adam sinned before his Master, the text attributes them to sons of men, and it would be better for him if he were not created.

33) It is written, “A wise son makes a father glad.” If the son is good, all the people of the world mention his father favorably. If the son is bad, everyone mentions his father unfavorably. Because Adam sinned and broke the commandment of his Master, when those builders of the tower came and rebelled against their Master, it is written about them, “that the sons of men had built,” the sons of Adam HaRishon who rebelled against his Master and broke His commandment.

34) This is why it is written, “These are the generations of Noah.” These are regarded as offspring [generations], and not the first. These—who emerged and came out from the ark—are offspring, and not the offspring of Adam, who went out from the Garden of Eden and did not take them out from there. This is why they are not sustainable.

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