18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, a The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?
(a) The people murmured at the chastising of the
Lord, and therefore used this proverb meaning that their fathers had sinned
and their children were punished for their transgressions. See Jeremiah
[And] hath not eaten b upon the
mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel,
neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a
(b) If he has not eaten flesh that has been
offered up to idols, to honour them by it.
Hath given forth upon interest, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he
shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; c
he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.
(c) He shows how the son is punished for his
father's sin: that is, if he is wicked as his father was and does not
repent, he will be punished as his father was, or else not.
But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep
all my d statutes, and do that which is
lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
(d) He joins the observation of the commandments
with repentance; for none can repent indeed, unless he labour to keep the Law.
18:22 All his transgressions that he hath
committed, they shall not be mentioned to him: in his e
righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
(e) That is, in the fruit of his faith which
declares that God accepts him.
Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: [and]
not that he should return from his ways, and live?
(f) He speaks this to commend God's mercy to
poor sinners, who rather is ready to pardon than to punish, as his long
suffering declares, (Ezekiel
33:11). Though God in his eternal counsel appointed the death and
damnation of the reprobate, yet the end of his counsel was not their death
only, but chiefly his own glory. Also because he does not approve sin,
therefore it is here said that he would have them turn away from it that they
18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his
righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the
abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his g
righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he
hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
(g) That is, the false opinion that the
hypocrites have of their righteousness.
18:25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not h
equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways
(h) In punishing the father with the children.
Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which ye have transgressed; and
make i you a new heart and a new spirit:
for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
(i) He shows that man cannot forsake his
wickedness, till his heart is changed which is only the work of God.