The Soul That Sins Shall Die
18 1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 2 What mean ye, ye who use this proverb of the land of Israel, saying, [The] fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? 3 [As] I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, ye shall not have any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4 Behold, all the souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. 5 And if a man be righteous, and do judgment and justice: 6 —he hath not eaten upon the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, nor come near to a woman in her separation, 7 and hath not oppressed any; he hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath not exercised robbery, hath given his bread to the hungry, and covered the naked with a garment; 8 he hath not given forth upon usury, nor taken increase; he hath withdrawn his hand from unrighteousness, hath executed true judgment between man and man, 9 hath walked in my statutes, and kept mine ordinances, to deal faithfully: he is righteous, he shall certainly live, saith the Lord Jehovah.
10 And if he have begotten a son that is violent, a shedder of blood, and that doeth only one of any of these [things], 11 and that doeth not any of those [duties], but also hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife, 12 hath oppressed the poor and needy, exercised robbery, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, committed abomination, 13 given forth upon usury, and taken increase; shall he then live? He shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall certainly die; his blood shall be upon him. 14 But lo, if he have begotten a son that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like: 15 —he hath not eaten upon the mountains, nor lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel; he hath not defiled his neighbour's wife, 16 and hath not oppressed any, nor withholden the pledge, neither hath exercised robbery; he hath given his bread to the hungry, and covered the naked with a garment; 17 he hath withdrawn his hand from the poor, hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, [and] walked in my statutes: he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall certainly live. 18 As for his father, because he practised oppression, exercised robbery upon his brother, and did what was not good among his people, behold, he shall die in his iniquity. 19 And ye say, Why doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? But the son hath done judgment and justice, hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them; he shall certainly live. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
God's Way Is Just
21 And the wicked, if he turn from all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do judgment and justice, he shall certainly live, he shall not die. 22 None of his transgressions which he hath committed shall be remembered against him; in his righteousness which he hath done shall he live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all in the death of the wicked? saith the Lord Jehovah; is it not in his turning from his way, that he may live? 24 And when the righteous turneth from his righteousness and practiseth what is wrong, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked doeth, shall he live? None of his righteous acts which he hath done shall be remembered: in his unfaithfulness which he hath wrought, and in his sin which he hath sinned, in them shall he die. 25 And ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear then, house of Israel. Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26 When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and practiseth what is wrong, and dieth for it; in his wrong that he hath done shall he die. 27 And when the wicked turneth from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doeth judgment and justice, he shall keep his soul alive. 28 Because he considereth, and turneth from all his transgressions which he hath committed, he shall certainly live, he shall not die. 29 But the house of Israel say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? Is it not your ways that are unequal?
30 Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord Jehovah. Return ye, and turn from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your snare. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions wherewith ye have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit: why then will ye die, house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah; therefore turn ye and live.
A Lamentation for the Princes of Israel
19 1 And thou, take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2 and say, What was thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps in the midst of the young lions. 3 And she brought up one of her whelps; it became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 4 And the nations heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with nose-rings into the land of Egypt. 5 And when she saw that she had waited [and] her hope was lost, she took another of her whelps, [and] made him a young lion. 6 And he went up and down among the lions; he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 7 And he knew their [desolate] palaces, and he laid waste their cities, so that the land was desolate, and all it contained, by the noise of his roaring. 8 Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. 9 And they put him in a cage with nose-rings, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into strongholds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.
10 Thy mother was as a vine, in thy rest, planted by the waters: it was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11 And it had strong rods for sceptres of them that bear rule, and its stature was exalted between the thick boughs; and it was conspicuous by its height with the multitude of its branches. 12 But it was plucked up in fury, it was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit; its strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. 13 And now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground: 14 and a fire is gone out of a rod of its branches, [which] hath devoured its fruit; so that it hath no strong rod to be a sceptre for ruling. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
Friendship with the World
4 1 Whence [come] wars and whence fightings among you? [Is it] not thence,—from your pleasures, which war in your members? 2 Ye lust and have not: ye kill and are full of envy, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war; ye have not because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask evilly, that ye may consume [it] in your pleasures. 4 Adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore is minded to be [the] friend of the world is constituted enemy of God. 5 Think ye that the scripture speaks in vain? Does the Spirit which has taken his abode in us desire enviously? 6 But he gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God sets himself against [the] proud, but gives grace to [the] lowly. 7 Subject yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse [your] hands, sinners, and purify [your] hearts, ye double-minded. 9 Be wretched, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves before [the] Lord, and he shall exalt you.
Judging a Brother
11 Speak not against one another, brethren. He that speaks against [his] brother, or judges his brother, speaks against [the] law and judges [the] law. But if thou judgest [the] law, thou art not doer of [the] law, but judge. 12 One is the lawgiver and judge, who is able to save and to destroy: but who art thou who judgest thy neighbour?
Boast Not of Tomorrow
13 Go to now, ye who say, To-day or to-morrow will we go into such a city and spend a year there, and traffic and make gain, 14 ye who do not know what will be on the morrow, ([for] what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, appearing for a little while, and then disappearing,) 15 instead of your saying, If the Lord should [so] will and we should live, we will also do this or that. 16 But now ye glory in your vauntings: all such glorying is evil. 17 To him therefore who knows how to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin.