18:1–32 The Exile was not the result of the sins of a single generation. Rather, the continued disobedience of Israel through many generations, “since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day” (2 Kin. 21:15), finally brought judgment on Judah. The cumulative guilt of the nation was being judged by God in the events that led up to the destruction of Jerusalem. The response of the exiles was to question the justice of God. The popular proverb (v. 2; cf. Jer. 31:29) in effect said, “It’s not our fault—we are being punished for what we did not do. Our fathers sinned, and we are the ones who are paying the price.” Ezekiel replies by emphasizing that God responds according to the acts of each individual and generation. The exiles cannot evade their guilt; they were suffering for their own sins as well.
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