And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
All Commentaries on Genesis 6:6 Go To Genesis 6
Salvian the Presbyter
Let us consider how both the solicitude and severity of the Lord are shown equally in all these words. First, he said, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great.” Second, he said, “He was touched inwardly with sorrow of heart.” Third, “I will destroy man whom I have created.” In the first statement, wherein it is said that God sees all things, his providential care is shown. In the statement that he has sorrow is shown his solicitude amid the dread of his wrath. The statement about his punishment shows his severity as a judge. Holy Scripture says, “God repented that he had made man on earth.” This does not mean that God is affected by emotion or is subject to any passion. Rather, the Divine Word, to impart more fully to us a true understanding of the Scriptures, speaks “as if” in terms of human emotions. By using the term “repentant God,” it shows the force of God’s rejection. God’s anger is simply the punishment of the sinner.