Ezekiel 18-19 English Standard Version

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The Soul That Sins Shall Die

18 The word of the Lord came to me: 2  "What do you[1] mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? 3  As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4  Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die. 5  "If a man is righteous and does what is just and right-- 6  if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife or approach a woman in her time of menstrual impurity, 7  does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 8  does not lend at interest or take any profit,[2] withholds his hand from injustice, executes true justice between man and man, 9  walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully--he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.

10  "If he fathers a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, who does any of these things 11  (though he himself did none of these things), who even eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbor's wife, 12  oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, 13  lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. 14  "Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: 15  he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor's wife, 16  does not oppress anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 17  withholds his hand from iniquity,[3] takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, and walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live. 18  As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. 19  "Yet you say, 'Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?' When the son has done what is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20  The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

God's Way Is Just

21  "But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is just and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22  None of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23  Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? 24  But when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die. 25  "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 26  When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. 27  Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. 28  Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29  Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?

30  "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.[4] 31  Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32  For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live."

A Lamentation for the Princes of Israel

19 And you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2  and say: What was your mother? A lioness! Among lions she crouched; in the midst of young lions she reared her cubs. 3  And she brought up one of her cubs; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch prey; he devoured men. 4  The nations heard about him; he was caught in their pit, and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. 5  When she saw that she waited in vain, that her hope was lost, she took another of her cubs and made him a young lion. 6  He prowled among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch prey; he devoured men, 7  and seized[5] their widows. He laid waste their cities, and the land was appalled and all who were in it at the sound of his roaring. 8  Then the nations set against him from provinces on every side; they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. 9  With hooks they put him in a cage[6] and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into custody, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.

10  Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard[7] planted by the water, fruitful and full of branches by reason of abundant water. 11  Its strong stems became rulers' scepters; it towered aloft among the thick boughs;[8] it was seen in its height with the mass of its branches. 12  But the vine was plucked up in fury, cast down to the ground; the east wind dried up its fruit; they were stripped off and withered. As for its strong stem, fire consumed it. 13  Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. 14  And fire has gone out from the stem of its shoots, has consumed its fruit, so that there remains in it no strong stem, no scepter for ruling.This is a lamentation and has become a lamentation.

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Footnotes

[1] 18:2 The Hebrew for you is plural

[2] 18:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor; also verses 13, 17 (compare Leviticus 25:36)

[3] 18:17 Septuagint; Hebrew from the poor

[4] 18:30 Or lest iniquity be your stumbling block

[5] 19:7 Hebrew knew

[6] 19:9 Or in a wooden collar

[7] 19:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts in your blood

[8] 19:11 Or the clouds

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