Bible Answer

Was the flood the end of God’s curse on the earth?

In Genesis 8:21, the Lord says that He will never again curse the ground because of man. Does this imply that after God wiped out everything from the earth during the flood, that the original curse was no longer in effect?

First, in Genesis 8 the Lord promised that He would never again wipe out all life on earth again as He did in the flood. Specifically, the Lord promised that as long as the earth exists, He would not repeat the disaster of the flood:

Gen. 8:21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
Gen. 8:22  “While the earth remains, 
Seedtime and harvest, 
And cold and heat, 
And summer and winter, 
And day and night 

Never again will all humanity be destroyed yet the earth remain. Instead, in the future the Lord will destroy the earth and all unbelieving humanity with it. So the flood wasn’t the end of God’s curse on the earth. It was merely the end of a particular form of judgment. 

Secondly, the curse God pronounced on the earth cannot be considered fulfilled until the earth itself is destroyed. The curse God pronounced in the Garden was on the earth itself and all that comes from it. The flood didn’t result in the earth being destroyed. It only resulted in extinguishing almost all life on earth. 

Furthermore, the curse is responsible for physical death on the earth, and physical death continues on after the flood. Therefore, the flood did nothing to alter the curse on the earth. God promised never to repeat the curse of the flood, but that doesn’t mean that the exiting curse on the earth was erased. 

The curse God pronounced on the earth requires that the entire earth itself be destroyed, and Peter says that will yet happen in a day to come:

2Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.