And the LORD smelled a sweet odor; and the LORD said in his heart,
I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.
All Commentaries on Genesis 8:21 Go To Genesis 8
George Leo Haydock
Smelled A figurative expression, denoting that God was pleased with the sacrifices which his servant offered, (Challoner) and in this sense it is expressed in the Chaldee, "God received his offering gratefully. "God requires sacrifices of us, to testify his dominion, and not for any advantage he derives from them; but rather to bless us, if we perform our duty with fervour.
For the sake of, or on account of men's sins. They are so prone to evil, that, if I were to punish them as often as they deserve, new deluges might be sent every day. I take pity on their weakness. I will punish the most criminal, but not as I have done, by cursing the earth. These words of God, are by some addressed to Noe, by others to God the Son. Hebrew, "he said to his heart "Onkelos, "he said in his word "Septuagint, "he said with reflection. "(Calmet)
Noe was beloved by God, and therefore may be called his heart. To speak to the heart, often means to comfort. (Haydock)