The following commentary covers Chapters 18 and 19.
one judged according to his own ways
Chapter 18 contains an
important principle of the dealings of God, unfolded at
that period. God would judge the individual according to
his own conduct; the wicked nation was judged as such.
Neither was it, in fact, judged for the iniquity of the
fathers. The present iniquities of the people made the
judgment which their fathers had merited suitable to
their own actions. But now, with respect to His land of
Israel, the principle of government laid down in Exodus
34: 7 was set aside, and souls belonging, as they did
individually, to Jehovah, would individually bear the
judgment of their own sins. God would pardon the
repenting sinner. For He has no pleasure in the sinner's
death. The government of Israel on earth is still the
subject. Every one shall be judged according to his ways .
Chapter 19 describes the
captivity of Jehoiakim, afterwards that of Jeconiah, and
finally the complete decay of the house of David.
It is important to remark that it is temporal judgment in
death which is spoken of here. The question treated of is
the allegation of Israel that they, according to the
principle laid down in Exodus, were suffering for their
fathers' sins. The prophet declares that this principle
is not that on which God will act with them, that the
soul or life of every one belonged to God, one as
another, and that in judgment He would deal with each for
his own sins, not the son for the father's; and then
proceeds to lay down the principles on which He would
deal in mercy and judgment; but the judgments are
temporal judgments, and the death physical death in this
world. If the wicked turned from his ways, he would live
and not dienot be cut off for the sins he repented
of; so of the wicked, he shall surely die, his blood
shall be upon him. So the soul that sinneth, it shall
die. It is not the father, nor the son because of a
father's sins; the soul or person himself that sins shall
die, each for his own. The emphasis is on "it."