People were blaming their troubles on the sins of their parents. Ezekiel says their own sins got them in trouble. They should accept responsibility.
VERSE 1. The LORD’s word came to me again, saying,
VERSE 2. “What do you mean, that you use this proverb concerning Eretz-Israel, saying, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
this proverb. People thought they were being punished for the sins of their parents. They quoted Jeremiah as if to prove their point:
Jeremiah 31:29. “In those days they will say no more, “ ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
VERSE 3. “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall not use this proverb any more in Israel.
VERSE 4. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine. The soul who sins, he shall die.
VERSE 5. “But if a man is just, and does that which is lawful and right,
VERSE 6. and has not eaten on the mountains, hasn’t lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hasn’t defiled his neighbor’s wife, hasn’t come near a woman in her impurity,
VERSE 7. and has not wronged any, but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery, has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment;
VERSE 8. he who hasn’t lent to them with interest, hasn’t taken any increase from them, who has withdrawn his hand from iniquity, has executed true justice between man and man,
VERSE 9. has walked in my statutes, and has kept my ordinances, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live,” says the Lord GOD.
VERSE 10. “If he fathers a son who is a robber who sheds blood, and who does any one of these things,
VERSE 11. or who does not do any of those things, but even has eaten at the mountain shrines, and defiled his neighbor’s wife,
VERSE 12. has wronged the poor and needy, has taken by robbery, has not restored the pledge, and has lifted up his eyes to the idols, has committed abomination,
VERSE 13. has lent with interest, and has taken increase from the poor; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations. He shall surely die. His blood will be on him.
VERSE 14. “Now, behold, if he fathers a son, who sees all his father’s sins, which he has done, and fears, and does not such like;
VERSE 15. who hasn’t eaten on the mountains, hasn’t lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hasn’t defiled his neighbor’s wife,
VERSE 16. hasn’t wronged any, hasn’t taken anything to pledge, hasn’t taken by robbery, but has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment;
VERSE 17. who has withdrawn his hand from the poor, who hasn’t received interest or increase, has executed my ordinances, has walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father. He shall surely live.
he shall not die for the iniquity of his father. This might be the first time this age-old proverb has been reversed.
Previously, the sins of the fathers would perpetuate through three or four generations.
This new teaching is full of mercy. Now, even if you are stuck in a generational curse, if you simply repent of your own personal sins, you will stop the curse.
VERSE 18. As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, robbed his brother, and did that which is not good among his people, behold, he will die in his iniquity.
VERSE 19. “Yet you say, ‘Why doesn’t the son bear the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done that which is lawful and right, and has kept all my statutes, and has done them, he will surely live.
VERSE 20. The soul who sins, he shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father. The ancient notion of punishing the children for the sins of their fathers is vetoed.
neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. Similarly, the father is no longer to be cursed for the sins of his son.
VERSE 21. “But if the wicked turns from all his sins that he has committed, and keeps all my statutes, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live. He shall not die.
VERSE 22. None of his transgressions that he has committed will be remembered against him. In his righteousness that he has done, he shall live.
VERSE 23. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked?” says the Lord GOD; “and not rather that he should return from his way, and live?
NAB translation. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the LORD God. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he many live?
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? This is an excellent verse to write out and place somewhere prominent. It is so contrary to the way most people think of the LORD God. He does not delight in the death of the wicked. Rather, he hopes that the wicked will turn from their wicked ways.
VERSE 24. “But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, should he live? None of his righteous deeds that he has done will be remembered. In his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them he shall die.
VERSE 25. “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not equal.’ Hear now, house of Israel: Is my way not equal? Aren’t your ways unequal?
NIV translation. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
Is it not your ways that are unjust? People often say the LORD God is unjust. However, it is actually the people who are unjust.
Prophets often need to point this out.
VERSE 26. When the righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies therein; in his iniquity that he has done he shall die.
VERSE 27. Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he will save his soul alive.
VERSE 28. Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live. He shall not die.
VERSE 29. Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ House of Israel, aren’t my ways fair? Aren’t your ways unfair?
VERSE 30. “Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, everyone according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Return, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity will not be your ruin.
VERSE 31. Cast away from you all your transgressions, in which you have transgressed; and make yourself a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, house of Israel?
VERSE 32. For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn yourselves, and live!
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.