18 2 He showeth that every man shall bear his own sin. 21 To him that amendeth, salvation is promised. 24 Death is prophesied to the righteous, which turneth back from the right way.

The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying,

What mean ye that ye speak this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, [a]The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?

As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall use this proverb no more in Israel.

Behold, all souls are mine, both the soul of the father, and also the soul of the son are mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,

And hath not eaten [b]upon the mountains, neither hath lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath (A)defiled his neighbor’s wife, neither hath [c]lain with a (B)menstruous woman,

Neither hath oppressed any, but hath restored the pledge to his debtor: he that hath spoiled none by violence, (C)but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,

And hath not given forth upon (D)usury, neither hath taken any increase, but hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, and hath executed true judgment between man and man,

And hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments to deal truly, he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord God.

10 ¶ If he beget a son, that is a [d]thief, or a shedder of blood, if he do anyone of these things,

11 Though he do not all these things, but either hath eaten upon the mountains, or defiled his neighbor’s wife,

12 Or hath oppressed the poor and needy, or hath spoiled by violence, or hath not restored the pledge, or hath lifted up his eyes unto the idols, or hath committed abomination,

13 Or hath given forth upon usury, or hath taken increase, shall he live? he shall not live: seeing he hath done all these abominations, [e]he shall die the death, and his blood shall be upon him.

14 ¶ But if he beget a son, that seeth all his father’s sins, which he hath done, and feareth, neither doeth such like,

15 That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, nor hath defiled his neighbor’s wife,

16 Neither hath oppressed any, nor hath withheld the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment,

17 Neither hath withdrawn his hand from the afflicted, nor received usury nor increase, but hath executed my judgments, and hath walked in my statutes, he shall not die in the iniquity of his father, but he shall surely live.

18 His father, because he cruelly oppressed and spoiled his brother by violence, and hath not done good among his people, lo, even he dieth in his iniquity.

19 Yet say ye, Wherefore shall not the son bear the iniquity of the father? because the son hath executed judgment and justice, and hath kept all my statutes, and done them, he shall surely live.

20 (E)The same soul that sinneth, shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son, but the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

21 But if the wicked will return from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my [f]statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, and shall not die.

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be [g]mentioned unto him, but in his [h]righteousness that he hath done, he shall live.

23 [i]Have I any desire that the wicked should die, saith the Lord God? [j]or shall he not live, if he return from his ways?

24 But if the righteous turn away from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and do according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? all his [k]righteousness that he hath done, shall not be mentioned: but in his transgression that he hath committed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not [l]equal: hear now, O house of Israel. Is not my way equal? or are not your ways unequal?

26 For when a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and commiteth iniquity, he shall even die for the same, he shall even die for his iniquity that he hath done.

27 Again, when the wicked turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, and shall not die.

29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? or are not your ways unequal?

30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, saith the Lord God: return therefore, and cause others to turn away from all your transgressions: so iniquity shall not be your destruction.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed and make [m]you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

32 For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: cause therefore one another to return, and live ye.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 18:2 The people murmured at the chastisings of the Lord, and therefore used this proverb, meaning, that their fathers had sinned, and their children were punished for their transgressions, read Jer. 31:29.
  2. Ezekiel 18:6 If he hath not eaten of the flesh that hath been offered up to idols, to honor them thereby.
  3. Ezekiel 18:6 Hebrew, come near.
  4. Ezekiel 18:10 Or, a cruel man.
  5. Ezekiel 18:13 He showeth how the son is punished for his father’s fault: that is, if he be wicked as his father was, and doth not repent, he shall be punished as his father was, or else not.
  6. Ezekiel 18:21 He joineth the observation of the commandments with repentance: for none can repent in deed, except he labor to keep the Law.
  7. Ezekiel 18:22 Or, not laid to his charge.
  8. Ezekiel 18:22 That is, in the fruits of his faith which declare that God doth accept him.
  9. Ezekiel 18:23 He speaketh this to commend God’s mercy to poor sinners, who rather is ready to pardon than to punish, as his long suffering declareth, Ezek. 33:11. Albeit God in his eternal counsel appointed the death and damnation of the reprobate, yet the end of his counsel was not their death only, but chiefly his own glory. Also because he doth not approve sin, therefore it is here said that he would have them to turn away from it, that they might live.
  10. Ezekiel 18:23 Or, rather that he may return from his ways, and live.
  11. Ezekiel 18:24 That is, the false opinion that the hypocrites have of their righteousness.
  12. Ezekiel 18:25 In punishing the father with the children.
  13. Ezekiel 18:31 He showeth that man cannot forsake his wickedness, till his heart be changed, which is only the work of God.

The One Who Sins Will Die

18 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:

“‘The parents eat sour grapes,
    and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?(A)

“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb(B) in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins(C) is the one who will die.(D)

“Suppose there is a righteous man
    who does what is just and right.
He does not eat at the mountain(E) shrines
    or look to the idols(F) of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife
    or have sexual relations with a woman during her period.(G)
He does not oppress(H) anyone,
    but returns what he took in pledge(I) for a loan.
He does not commit robbery(J)
    but gives his food to the hungry(K)
    and provides clothing for the naked.(L)
He does not lend to them at interest
    or take a profit from them.(M)
He withholds his hand from doing wrong
    and judges fairly(N) between two parties.
He follows my decrees(O)
    and faithfully keeps my laws.
That man is righteous;(P)
    he will surely live,(Q)
declares the Sovereign Lord.

10 “Suppose he has a violent son, who sheds blood(R) or does any of these other things[a] 11 (though the father has done none of them):

“He eats at the mountain shrines.(S)
He defiles his neighbor’s wife.
12 He oppresses the poor(T) and needy.
He commits robbery.
He does not return what he took in pledge.(U)
He looks to the idols.
He does detestable things.(V)
13 He lends at interest and takes a profit.(W)

Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.(X)

14 “But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things:(Y)

15 “He does not eat at the mountain shrines(Z)
    or look to the idols(AA) of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife.
16 He does not oppress anyone
    or require a pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery
    but gives his food to the hungry(AB)
    and provides clothing for the naked.(AC)
17 He withholds his hand from mistreating the poor
    and takes no interest or profit from them.
He keeps my laws(AD) and follows my decrees.

He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.

19 “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live.(AE) 20 The one who sins is the one who will die.(AF) The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.(AG)

21 “But if(AH) a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees(AI) and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die.(AJ) 22 None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live.(AK) 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased(AL) when they turn from their ways and live?(AM)

24 “But if a righteous person turns(AN) from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness(AO) they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.(AP)

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’(AQ) Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust?(AR) Is it not your ways that are unjust? 26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. 27 But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life.(AS) 28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die.(AT) 29 Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?

30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent!(AU) Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.(AV) 31 Rid(AW) yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart(AX) and a new spirit. Why(AY) will you die, people of Israel?(AZ) 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent(BA) and live!(BB)

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 18:10 Or things to a brother

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