abide in. The Hebrew word is difficult to translate. Some scholars relate it to a term meaning “rule” or “judge,” while ancient translators understood it to mean “remain” or “contend” (text note). Either way, the sentence points to the withdrawal of God’s life-giving Spirit (1:2 note).
120 years. Probably the span of time between this proclamation and the Flood (5:32; 7:6). It may refer to an individual’s life span, but that interpretation seems contradicted by the age of the postdiluvians who at first lived much longer (Gen. 11) and then much less (Ps. 90:10).