God Deals Justly with Individuals

18 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, (A)What do you people mean by using this proverb about the land of Israel, saying,

(B)The fathers eat sour grapes,
[a]But it is the children’s teeth that have become blunt’?

As I live,” declares the Lord [b]God, “you certainly are not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore. Behold, (C)all [c]souls are Mine; the [d]soul of the father as well as the [e]soul of the son is Mine. The [f]soul who (D)sins will die.

“But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness, if he does not (E)eat at the mountain shrines or (F)raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or (G)defile his neighbor’s wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period— and if a man does not oppress anyone, but (H)restores to the debtor his pledge, (I)does not commit robbery, but (J)gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, and if he does not [g]lend money at (K)interest or take [h](L)interest, if he keeps his hand from injustice and (M)executes true justice between one person and another, if he walks in (N)My statutes and keeps My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—(O)he is righteous and will certainly (P)live,” declares the Lord God.

10 “However, he may father a violent son who sheds blood, and does any one of these things to a brother 11 (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and (Q)defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the (R)poor and needy, (S)commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but raises his eyes to the idols and (T)commits abomination, 13 (U)lends money at interest and takes [i]interest; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he shall certainly be put to death; his (V)blood will be on himself.

14 “Now behold, he has fathered a son who saw all his father’s sins which he committed, but he has (W)seen them and does not do likewise. 15 He does not eat at the mountain shrines or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel; he has not defiled his neighbor’s wife, 16 nor oppressed anyone, nor retained a pledge, nor committed robbery; instead, he (X)gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing, 17 he keeps his hand from [j]the poor, does not take any kind of interest on loans, but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; (Y)he will not die for his father’s guilt, he will certainly live. 18 As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what was not good among his people, behold, he will die for his guilt.

19 “Yet you say, ‘(Z)Why should the son not suffer the punishment for the father’s guilt?’ When the son has practiced (AA)justice and righteousness and has kept all My statutes and done them, he shall certainly live. 20 The person who (AB)sins will die. A (AC)son will not suffer the punishment for the father’s guilt, nor will a father suffer the punishment for the son’s guilt; the (AD)righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

21 “But if the (AE)wicked person turns from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall certainly live; he shall not die. 22 (AF)All his offenses which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his (AG)righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. 23 (AH)Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “[k]rather than that he would (AI)turn from his ways and live?

24 “But when a righteous person (AJ)turns away from his righteousness, commits injustice and does according to all the abominations that the wicked person does, will he live? (AK)All his righteous deeds which he has done will not be remembered for his (AL)treachery which he has committed and his sin which he has committed; for them he will die. 25 Yet you say, ‘(AM)The way of the Lord is not right.’ Hear now, house of Israel! Is (AN)My way not right? Is it not your ways that are not right? 26 When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness, commits injustice and dies because of it, for his injustice which he has committed he dies. 27 But when a wicked person turns away (AO)from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life. 28 Since he understood and turned away from all his offenses which he had committed, he shall certainly live; he shall not die. 29 But the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not right.’ Are My ways not right, house of Israel? Is it not your ways that are not right?

30 “Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “(AP)Repent and turn away from all your offenses, so that wrongdoing does not become a stumbling block to you. 31 (AQ)Hurl away from you all your offenses which you have committed and make yourselves a (AR)new heart and a new spirit! For why should you die, house of Israel? 32 For I take (AS)no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live!”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 18:2 Lit I.e., the children suffer for the fathers’ sins
  2. Ezekiel 18:3 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch
  3. Ezekiel 18:4 Or lives
  4. Ezekiel 18:4 Or life
  5. Ezekiel 18:4 Or life
  6. Ezekiel 18:4 Or person
  7. Ezekiel 18:8 Lit give
  8. Ezekiel 18:8 Or usury, and so throughout the ch; i.e., on other kinds of loans
  9. Ezekiel 18:13 I.e., on other kinds of loans
  10. Ezekiel 18:17 As in MT; LXX injustice
  11. Ezekiel 18:23 Lit is it not

Song of Mourning for the Leaders of Israel

19 “As for you, take up a (A)song of mourning for the (B)leaders of Israel and say,

[a]What was your mother?
A lioness among lions!
She lay down among young lions,
She raised her cubs.
When she brought up one of her cubs,
(C)He became a young lion,
And he learned to tear his prey;
He devoured people.
Then nations heard about him;
He was caught in their trap,
And they (D)brought him with hooks
To the land of Egypt.
When she saw, as she waited,
That her hope was lost,
She took [b]another of her cubs
And made (E)him a young lion.
And he (F)walked about among the lions,
He became a young lion;
He learned to tear his prey;
He devoured people.
He [c]destroyed their [d]palaces
And laid waste their cities;
And the land and its fullness were appalled
Because of the sound of his roaring.
Then (G)nations set against him
On every side from their provinces,
And they spread their net over him;
He was caught in their trap.
(H)They put him in a [e]wooden collar with hooks
And (I)brought him to the king of Babylon;
They brought him in hunting nets
So that his voice would no longer be heard
On the mountains of Israel.
10 Your mother was (J)like a vine in your [f]vineyard,
Planted by the waters;
It was fruitful and thick with branches
Because of abundant waters.
11 And it had [g](K)strong stems fit for scepters of rulers,
And its (L)height was raised above the clouds
So that it was seen in its height with the mass of its branches.
12 But it was (M)uprooted in fury;
It was (N)thrown down to the ground;
And the (O)east wind dried up its fruit.
[h]Its (P)strong stem [i]was torn out
So that [j]it withered;
The fire consumed it.
13 And now it is planted in the (Q)wilderness,
In a dry and thirsty land.
14 And (R)fire has gone out from its stem;
It has consumed its shoots and fruit,
So that there is no [k]strong stem in it,
A scepter to rule.’”

This is a song of mourning, and has become a song of mourning.

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 19:2 Or Why did your mother, a lioness, lie down among lions; among young lions rear her cubs?
  2. Ezekiel 19:5 Lit one
  3. Ezekiel 19:7 As in Targum; MT knew
  4. Ezekiel 19:7 Or widows
  5. Ezekiel 19:9 Or iron
  6. Ezekiel 19:10 As in some mss; MT blood
  7. Ezekiel 19:11 Lit stems of strength
  8. Ezekiel 19:12 Lit The stem of her strength
  9. Ezekiel 19:12 As in LXX; MT were
  10. Ezekiel 19:12 As in LXX; MT they
  11. Ezekiel 19:14 Lit stem of strength

God’s Dealings with Israel Rehearsed

20 Now in the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth of the month, men from the (A)elders of Israel came to inquire of the Lord, and they sat before me. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord [a]God says: “Do you yourselves come to inquire of Me? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “(B)I certainly will not be inquired of by you.”’ Will you judge them, will you judge them, son of man? (C)Make known to them the abominations of their fathers; and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “On the day when I (D)chose Israel and [b]swore to the [c]descendants of the house of Jacob and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I [d]swore to them, saying, (E)I am the Lord your God, on that day I swore to them, (F)to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had [e]selected for them, (G)flowing with milk and honey, which is (H)the glory of all the lands. And I said to them, ‘(I)Throw away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and (J)do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; (K)I am the Lord your God.’ But they (L)rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not throw away, each of them, the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they abandon the (M)idols of Egypt.

“Then I [f]resolved to (N)pour out My wrath on them, to [g]use up My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted (O)for the sake of My name, that it would (P)not be defiled in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I took them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the (Q)wilderness. 11 I gave them My (R)statutes and informed them of My ordinances, (S)which, if [h]a person [i]follows them, then he will live by them. 12 Also I gave them My Sabbaths to be a (T)sign between Me and them, so that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel (U)rebelled against Me in the wilderness. They did not walk in My statutes and they rejected My ordinances, (V)which, if [j]a person [k]follows them, then he will live by them; and they greatly profaned My (W)Sabbaths. Then I [l]resolved to (X)pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them. 14 But I acted for the sake of My name, so that it would not be defiled before the eyes of the nations, before whose eyes I had brought them out. 15 Also (Y)I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all the lands, 16 because they rejected My ordinances, and as for My statutes, they did not walk in them; they also profaned My Sabbaths, because their (Z)heart continually followed their idols. 17 Yet My eye spared them rather than destroying them, and I did not bring about their (AA)annihilation in the wilderness.

18 “Instead, I said to their [m](AB)children in the wilderness, ‘(AC)Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers or keep their ordinances or defile yourselves with their idols. 19 (AD)I am the Lord your God; (AE)walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and [n]follow them. 20 (AF)Sanctify My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, so that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ 21 But the (AG)children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to [o]follow My ordinances which, if [p]a person [q]follows them, then he will live by them; they profaned My Sabbaths. So I [r]resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to [s]use up My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I (AH)withdrew My hand and acted (AI)for the sake of My name, so that it would not be defiled in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would (AJ)scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands, 24 because they had not [t]complied with My ordinances, but had rejected My statutes and had profaned My Sabbaths, and (AK)their eyes were [u]on the idols of their fathers. 25 I also gave them statutes that were (AL)not good, and ordinances by which they could not live; 26 and I pronounced them (AM)unclean because of their gifts, in that they (AN)made all [v]their firstborn pass through the fire so that I might make them desolate, in order that they might (AO)know that I am the Lord.”’

27 “Therefore (AP)speak to the house of Israel, son of man, and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “Again, in this your fathers have (AQ)blasphemed Me by (AR)being disloyal to Me. 28 When I had (AS)brought them into the land which I swore to give to them, then they saw every (AT)high hill and every tree thick with branches, and there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering. There also they made their soothing aroma and there they poured out their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them, ‘What is the high place to which you go?’ So its name is called [w]Bamah to this day.”’ 30 Therefore, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “Will you defile yourselves in the way of your (AU)fathers and adulterously pursue their detestable things? 31 And [x]when you offer your gifts, when you (AV)make your sons pass through the fire, you are defiling yourselves with all your idols to this day. So shall I be inquired of by you, house of Israel? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I certainly will not be inquired of by you. 32 And whatever (AW)comes [y]into your mind certainly will not come about, when you say: ‘We will be like the nations, like the families of the lands, (AX)serving wood and stone.’

God Will Restore Israel to Her Land

33 “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “with a mighty hand and with an (AY)outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I assuredly shall be (AZ)king over you. 34 I will (BA)bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with (BB)wrath poured out; 35 and I will bring you into the (BC)wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 Just as I (BD)entered into judgment with your fathers in the (BE)wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” declares the Lord God. 37 “I will make you (BF)pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 and I will (BG)purge from you the rebels and those who revolt against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they reside, but they will (BH)not enter the [z]land of Israel. So you will know that I am the Lord.

39 “As for you, house of Israel,” this is what the Lord God says: “(BI)Go, serve, everyone of you his idols; [aa]but later you will certainly listen to Me, and My holy name you will no longer (BJ)defile with your gifts and your idols. 40 For on My holy mountain, on the high mountain of Israel,” declares the Lord God, “there the entire house of Israel, (BK)all of them, will serve Me in the land; there I will (BL)accept them and there I will demand your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your holy things. 41 [ab]As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I (BM)bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will show Myself to be (BN)holy among you in the sight of the nations. 42 And (BO)you will know that I am the Lord, (BP)when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the (BQ)land which I swore to give to your forefathers. 43 And there you will (BR)remember your ways and all your deeds by which you have defiled yourselves; and you will (BS)loathe yourselves in your own [ac]sight for all the evil things that you have done. 44 Then (BT)you will know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you (BU)in behalf of My name, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds, house of Israel,” declares the Lord God.’”

45 [ad]Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 46 “Son of man, set your face toward the south, and speak prophetically against the (BV)south and (BW)prophesy against the (BX)forest [ae]land of the Negev, 47 and say to the forest of the Negev, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: this is what the Lord God says: “Behold, I am going to (BY)kindle a fire in you, and it will consume every [af]green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not go out and [ag](BZ)the entire surface from south to north will be scorched by it. 48 And all [ah]mankind will see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it will (CA)not go out.”’” 49 Then I said, “Oh, Lord God! They are saying of me, ‘Is he not just speaking in (CB)riddles?’”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 20:3 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord, and so throughout the ch
  2. Ezekiel 20:5 Lit lifted up My hand, and so throughout the ch
  3. Ezekiel 20:5 Lit seed
  4. Ezekiel 20:5 Lit lifted up My hand, and so throughout the ch
  5. Ezekiel 20:6 Lit spied out
  6. Ezekiel 20:8 Lit said
  7. Ezekiel 20:8 Or finish
  8. Ezekiel 20:11 Lit the person
  9. Ezekiel 20:11 Lit does them
  10. Ezekiel 20:13 Lit the person
  11. Ezekiel 20:13 Lit does them
  12. Ezekiel 20:13 Lit said
  13. Ezekiel 20:18 Lit sons
  14. Ezekiel 20:19 Lit do
  15. Ezekiel 20:21 Lit do My
  16. Ezekiel 20:21 Lit the person
  17. Ezekiel 20:21 Lit does them
  18. Ezekiel 20:21 Lit said
  19. Ezekiel 20:21 Or finish
  20. Ezekiel 20:24 Lit done My
  21. Ezekiel 20:24 Lit after
  22. Ezekiel 20:26 Lit that which opens the womb
  23. Ezekiel 20:29 Or High Place
  24. Ezekiel 20:31 Lit in your lifting up
  25. Ezekiel 20:32 Lit upon your spirit
  26. Ezekiel 20:38 Lit ground; or soil
  27. Ezekiel 20:39 Or and afterward, if you will not listen to Me, but
  28. Ezekiel 20:41 Lit With
  29. Ezekiel 20:43 Lit faces
  30. Ezekiel 20:45 Ch 21:1 in Heb
  31. Ezekiel 20:46 Lit of the field
  32. Ezekiel 20:47 Lit moist
  33. Ezekiel 20:47 Or all the faces
  34. Ezekiel 20:48 Lit flesh