New International Version
The One Who Sins Will Die
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “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)
3 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb(B) in Israel. 4 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)
5 “Suppose there is a righteous man
who does what is just and right.
6 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)
7 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)
8 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.
9 He follows my decrees(O)
and faithfully keeps my laws.
That man is righteous;(P)
he will surely live,(Q)
declares the Sovereign Lord.
“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)
A Lament Over Israel’s Princes
“‘What a lioness(BE) was your mother
among the lions!
She lay down among them
and reared her cubs.(BF)
3 She brought up one of her cubs,
and he became a strong lion.
He learned to tear the prey
and he became a man-eater.
4 The nations heard about him,
and he was trapped in their pit.
They led him with hooks(BG)
to the land of Egypt.(BH)
5 “‘When she saw her hope unfulfilled,
her expectation gone,
she took another of her cubs(BI)
and made him a strong lion.(BJ)
6 He prowled among the lions,
for he was now a strong lion.
He learned to tear the prey
and he became a man-eater.(BK)
7 He broke down[b] their strongholds
and devastated(BL) their towns.
The land and all who were in it
were terrified by his roaring.
8 Then the nations(BM) came against him,
those from regions round about.
They spread their net(BN) for him,
and he was trapped in their pit.(BO)
9 With hooks(BP) they pulled him into a cage
and brought him to the king of Babylon.(BQ)
They put him in prison,
so his roar(BR) was heard no longer
on the mountains of Israel.(BS)
10 “‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard[c](BT)
planted by the water;(BU)
it was fruitful and full of branches
because of abundant water.(BV)
11 Its branches were strong,
fit for a ruler’s scepter.
It towered high
above the thick foliage,
conspicuous for its height
and for its many branches.(BW)
12 But it was uprooted(BX) in fury
and thrown to the ground.
The east wind(BY) made it shrivel,
it was stripped of its fruit;
its strong branches withered
and fire consumed them.(BZ)
13 Now it is planted in the desert,(CA)
in a dry and thirsty land.(CB)
14 Fire spread from one of its main[d] branches
and consumed(CC) its fruit.
No strong branch is left on it
fit for a ruler’s scepter.’(CD)
“This is a lament(CE) and is to be used as a lament.”
New International Version
Submit Yourselves to God
4 What causes fights and quarrels(A) among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle(B) within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill.(C) You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive,(D) because you ask with wrong motives,(E) that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4 You adulterous(F) people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world(G) means enmity against God?(H) Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.(I) 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]?(J) 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil,(L) and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you.(M) Wash your hands,(N) you sinners, and purify your hearts,(O) you double-minded.(P) 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.(Q) 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.(R)
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another.(S) Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister[d] or judges them(T) speaks against the law(U) and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it,(V) but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge,(W) the one who is able to save and destroy.(X) But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?(Y)
Boasting About Tomorrow
13 Now listen,(Z) you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”(AA) 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.(AB) 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will,(AC) we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.(AD) 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.(AE)
- James 4:4 An allusion to covenant unfaithfulness; see Hosea 3:1.
- James 4:5 Or that the spirit he caused to dwell in us envies intensely; or that the Spirit he caused to dwell in us longs jealously
- James 4:6 Prov. 3:34
- James 4:11 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family.