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.
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