(94) Why God, after having threatened to destroy mankind, says that he will also destroy all the beasts likewise; using the expression, “from man to beast, and from creeping things to flying creatures;” for how could irrational animals have committed sin? (#Ge 6:7). This is the literal statement of the holy scripture, and it informs us that animals were not necessarily and in their primary cause created for their own sake, but for the sake of mankind and to act as the servants of men; and when the men were destroyed, it followed necessarily and naturally that they also should be destroyed with them, as soon as the men, for whose sake they had been made, had ceased to exist. But as to the hidden meaning conveyed by the statement, since man is a symbol for the intellect which exists in us, and animals for the outward sense, when the chief creature has first been depraved and corrupted by wickedness, all the outward sense also perishes with him, because he had no relics whatever of virtue, which is the cause of salvation.
(95) Why God says, I am indignant that I made them? (#Ge 6:7). In the first place, Moses is here again relating what took place, as if he were speaking of some illustrious action of man, but, properly speaking, God does not feel anger, but is exempt from, and superior to, all such perturbations of spirit. Therefore Moses wishes here to point out, by an extravagant form of expression, that the iniquities of man had grown to such a height, that they stirred up and provoked to anger even that very Being who by his nature was incapable of anger. In the second place he warns us, by a figure, that foolish actions are liable to punishment, but that those which proceed from wise and deliberate counsel are praiseworthy.