Ezekiel 18-20 World English Bible

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The Soul That Sins Shall Die

18 1  The word of Yahweh came to me again, saying, 2  What do you mean, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge? 3  As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, you shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4  Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins, he shall die. 5  But if a man is just, and does that which is lawful and right, 6  and has not eaten on the mountains, neither has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither has defiled his neighbor’s wife, neither has come near to a woman in her impurity, 7  and has not wronged any, but has restored to the debtor his pledge, has taken nothing by robbery, has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment; 8  he who has not given forth on interest, neither has taken any increase, who has withdrawn his hand from iniquity, has executed true justice between man and man, 9  has walked in my statutes, and has kept my ordinances, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, says the Lord Yahweh.

10  If he fathers a son who is a robber, a shedder of blood, and who does any one of these things, 11  and who does not any of those duties, but even has eaten on the mountains, and defiled his neighbor’s wife, 12  has wronged the poor and needy, has taken by robbery, has not restored the pledge, and has lifted up his eyes to the idols, has committed abomination, 13  has given forth on interest, and has taken increase; shall he then live? he shall not live: he has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be on him. 14  Now, behold, if he fathers a son, who sees all his father’s sins, which he has done, and fears, and does not such like; 15  who has not eaten on the mountains, neither has lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, has not defiled his neighbor’s wife, 16  neither has wronged any, has not taken anything to pledge, neither has taken by robbery, but has given his bread to the hungry, and has covered the naked with a garment; 17  who has withdrawn his hand from the poor, who has not received interest nor increase, has executed my ordinances, has walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. 18  As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, robbed his brother, and did that which is not good among his people, behold, he shall die in his iniquity. 19  Yet you say, Why doesn’t the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son has done that which is lawful and right, and has kept all my statutes, and has done them, he shall surely live. 20  The soul who sins, he 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 on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.

God's Way Is Just

21  But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22  None of his transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23  Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord Yahweh; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live? 24  But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of his righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die. 25  Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, house of Israel: Is my way not equal? Aren’t your ways unequal? 26  When the righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies therein; in his iniquity that he has done shall he die. 27  Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28  Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29  Yet says the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. house of Israel, are not my ways equal? Aren’t your ways unequal?

30  Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, everyone according to his ways, says the Lord Yahweh. Return, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31  Cast away from you all your transgressions, in which you have transgressed; and make yourself a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, house of Israel? 32  For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord Yahweh: therefore turn yourselves, and live.

A Lamentation for the Princes of Israel

19 1  Moreover, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2  and say, What was your mother? A lioness: she couched among lions, in the midst of the young lions she nourished her cubs. 3  She brought up one of her cubs: he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 4  The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit; and they brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt. 5  Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her cubs, and made him a young lion. 6  He went up and down among the lions; he became a young lion, and he learned to catch the prey; he devoured men. 7  He knew their palaces, and laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and its fullness, because of the noise of his roaring. 8  Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces; and they spread their net over him; he was taken in their pit. 9  They put him in a cage with hooks, and brought him to the king of Babylon; they brought him into strongholds, that his voice should no more be heard on the mountains of Israel.

10  Your mother was like a vine, in your blood, planted by the waters: it was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11  It had strong rods for the scepters of those who bore rule, and their stature was exalted among the thick boughs, and they were seen in their height with the multitude of their 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 off and withered; the fire consumed them. 13  Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. 14  Fire is gone out of the rods of its branches, it has devoured its fruit, so that there is in it no strong rod to be a scepter to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.

God's Dealing with Israel

20 1  It happened in the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, that certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of Yahweh, and sat before me. 2  The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 3  Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Is it to inquire of me that you have come? As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will not be inquired of by you. 4  Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers;

5  and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day when I chose Israel, and swore to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am Yahweh your God; 6  in that day I swore to them, to bring them forth out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. 7  I said to them, Cast away every man the abominations of his eyes, and don’t defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God. 8  But they rebelled against me, and would not listen to me; they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. 9  But I worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, among which they were, in whose sight I made myself known to them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.

10  So I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 11  I gave them my statutes, and showed them my ordinances, which if a man does, he shall live in them. 12  Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies them. 13  But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they didn’t walk in my statutes, and they rejected my ordinances, which if a man keep, he shall live in them; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14  But I worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out. 15  Moreover also I swore to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; 16  because they rejected my ordinances, and didn’t walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. 17  Nevertheless my eye spared them, and I didn’t destroy them, neither did I make a full end of them in the wilderness. 18  I said to their children in the wilderness, Don’t walk in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19  I am Yahweh your God: walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them; 20  and make my Sabbaths holy; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God. 21  But the children rebelled against me; they didn’t walk in my statutes, neither kept my ordinances to do them, which if a man do, he shall live in them; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. 22  Nevertheless I withdrew my hand, and worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them forth. 23  Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse them through the countries; 24  because they had not executed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes, and had profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. 25  Moreover also I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances in which they should not live; 26  and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that opens the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Yahweh.

27  Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In this moreover have your fathers blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me. 28  For when I had brought them into the land, which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill, and every thick tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there also they made their pleasant aroma, and they poured out there their drink offerings. 29  Then I said to them, What does the high place where you go mean? So its name is called Bamah to this day. 30  Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Do you pollute yourselves after the manner of your fathers? and do you play the prostitute after their abominations? 31  and when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons to pass through the fire, do you pollute yourselves with all your idols to this day? and shall I be inquired of by you, house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will not be inquired of by you; 32  and that which comes into your mind shall not be at all, in that you say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.

33  As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, will I be king over you: 34  and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out; 35  and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I enter into judgment with you face to face. 36  Like as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you, says the Lord Yahweh. 37  I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38  and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and those who disobey against me; I will bring them forth out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 39  As for you, house of Israel, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Go, serve everyone his idols, and hereafter also, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts, and with your idols. 40  For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them, serve me in the land: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your offerings, with all your holy things. 41  As a pleasant aroma will I accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries in which you have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you in the sight of the nations. 42  You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country which I swore to give to your fathers. 43  There you shall remember your ways, and all your doings, in which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed. 44  You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have dealt with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, you house of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh.

The Prophecy against the South

45  The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 46  Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop your word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the field in the South; 47  and tell the forest of the South, Hear the word of Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt thereby. 48  All flesh shall see that I, Yahweh, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched. 49  Then said I, Ah Lord Yahweh! they say of me, Isn’t he a speaker of parables?

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