Ezekiel 18 Expanded Bible (EXB)
God Is Fair
18 The ·Lord spoke his word [L word of the Lord came] to me, saying: 2 “What do you mean by ·using [quoting; repeating] this ·saying [proverb] about the land of Israel:
‘The ·parents [fathers] have eaten sour grapes,
3 “As surely as I live, says the Lord God, you will not use this ·saying [proverb] in Israel anymore. 4 Every ·living thing [soul] belongs to me. The ·life [soul] of the ·parent [father] is mine, and the ·life [soul] of the child is mine. The ·person [soul] who sins is the one who will die.
5 “Suppose a ·person [man] is good and does what is ·fair [just] and right. 6 He does not eat ·at the mountain places of worship [L upon the mountains; C at pagan worship sites]. He does not ·look for help [L lift his eyes] to the idols of [L the house of] Israel. He does not ·have sexual relations with [L defile] his neighbor’s wife or ·with [L come near; C a euphemism for sexual relations] a woman during her time of ·monthly bleeding [impurity; Lev. 18:19]. 7 He does not ·mistreat [oppress] anyone but returns what was given ·as a promise for a loan [in pledge; as collateral]. He does not rob other people. He gives bread to the hungry and ·clothes to those who have none [L covers the naked with clothing]. 8 He does not lend money for interest or profit [Ex. 22:25; Ps. 15:5]. He keeps his hand from doing wrong. He ·judges fairly [practices true justice] between one person and another. 9 He ·lives by [L walks in] my ·rules [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and obeys my ·laws [judgments] faithfully. Whoever does these things is ·good [righteous] and will surely live, says the Lord God.
10 “But suppose this person ·has [bears; begets] a ·wild [violent] son who ·murders people [L sheds blood] and who does any of these other things. 11 (But the father himself has not done any of these things.) This son eats ·at the mountain places of worship [upon the mountains; v. 6]. He ·has sexual relations with [L defiles] his neighbor’s wife. 12 He ·mistreats [oppresses] the poor and needy. He steals and refuses to return what was ·promised for a loan [given in pledge/as collateral; v. 7]. He ·looks for help [L lifts up his eyes] to idols. He does ·things which I hate [detestable/abominable things]. 13 He lends money for interest and profit [v. 8]. Will this son live? No, he will not live! He has done all these ·hateful [detestable; abominable] things, so he will surely be put to death. ·He will be responsible for his own death [L His blood will be upon himself].
14 “Now suppose this son has a son who has seen all his father’s sins, but after seeing them does not do those things. 15 He does not eat ·at the mountain places of worship [L upon the mountains; v. 6]. He does not ·look for help [L lift his eyes] to the idols of [L the house of] Israel. He does not ·have sexual relations with [L defile] his neighbor’s wife [v. 6]. 16 He does not ·mistreat [oppress] anyone or keep something promised ·for a loan [in pledge; as collateral] or steal. He gives bread to the hungry and ·clothes to those who have none [L covers the naked with clothing; v. 7]. 17 He keeps his hand from doing wrong. He does not take interest or profit when he lends money [v. 8]. He obeys my ·laws [rules; judgments] and ·lives by [walks in] my ·rules [statutes]. He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father ·took other people’s money unfairly [practiced extortion/fraud] and robbed his ·brother [or countryman] and did what was wrong among his people. So he will die for his own sin.
19 “But you ask, ‘Why is the son not punished for the father’s ·sin [iniquity; guilt]?’ The son has done what is ·fair [just] and right. He obeys all my ·rules [statutes; ordinances; requirements], so he will surely live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A ·child [son] will not be punished for a ·parent’s [father’s] ·sin [iniquity; guilt], and a ·parent [father] will not be punished for a ·child’s [son’s] ·sin [iniquity; guilt]. ·Those who do right [The righteous] will enjoy the results of their ·own goodness [righteousness]; ·evil people [the wicked] will suffer the results of their ·own evil [wickedness].
21 “But suppose the wicked ·stop doing all [turn away from] the sins they have done and obey all my ·rules [statutes; ordinances; requirements] and do what is ·fair [just] and right. Then they will surely live; they will not die. 22 None of their ·sins [transgressions] will be ·held [L remembered] against them. Because they have done what is ·right [righteous], they will live. 23 ·I do not really want the wicked to die [L Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked…?], says the Lord God. ·I [Do I not…?] want them to ·stop [turn from] their ·bad ways [L ways] and live.
24 “But suppose ·good people [the righteous] ·stop doing good [turn from righteousness] and do wrong and do the same ·hateful [detestable; abominable] things the wicked do. Will they live? All their ·good [righteous] acts will ·be forgotten [L not be remembered], because they became unfaithful. They have sinned, so they will die because of their sins.
25 “But you say, ‘·What the Lord does [L The way of the Lord] isn’t ·fair [just].’ Listen, ·people [L house] of Israel. ·I am fair [L Is my way unjust?]. It is what you do that is not ·fair [just]! 26 When ·good people [the righteous] ·stop [turn from] doing good and do wrong, they will die because of it. They will die, because they did wrong. 27 When the wicked ·stop being wicked [turn from wickedness] and do what is ·fair [just] and right, they will save their ·lives [souls]. 28 Because they thought about it and ·stopped [turned from] doing all the sins they had done, they will surely live; they will not die. 29 But the ·people [L house] of Israel still say, ‘·What the Lord does [L The way of the Lord] isn’t ·fair [just].’ ·People [L House] of Israel. ·I am fair [L Is my way unjust?]. It is what you do that is not ·fair [just].
30 “So I will judge you, ·people [L house] of Israel; I will judge each of you ·by what you do [L according to your ways], says the Lord God. ·Change your hearts [Repent] and ·stop all [turn from] your ·sinning [transgressions] so sin will not ·bring your ruin [be your downfall/stumbling block]. 31 ·Get rid of [Throw away] all the ·sins [transgressions; offenses] you have done, and ·get [make] for yourselves a new heart and a new ·way of thinking [spirit]. Why ·do you want to [should you] die, ·people [L house] of Israel? 32 I ·do not want anyone to die [L take no pleasure/delight in anyone’s death], says the Lord God, so ·change your hearts and lives so you may [L repent and] live.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the New Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.