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 <<  Yehezkiel 18 >> 

1THIS word of the LORD came to me:

2“What do you all mean by repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: Parents eat sour grapes, and their children's teeth are set on edge?

3“As I live, says the Lord GOD, this proverb will never again be used by you in Israel.

4Every living soul belongs to me; parent and child alike are mine. It is the person who sins that will die.

5“Consider the man who is righteous and does what is just and right.

6He never feasts at mountain shrines, never looks up to idols worshipped in Israel, never dishonours another man's wife, never approaches a menstruous woman;

7he oppresses no one, he returns the debtor's pledge, he never commits robbery; he gives his food to the hungry and clothes to those who have none.

8He never lends either at discount or at interest, but shuns injustice and deals fairly between one person and another.

9He conforms to my statutes and loyally observes my laws. Such a one is righteous: he will live, says the Lord GOD.

10“He may have a son who is given to violence and bloodshed, one who turns his back on these commandments;

11obeying none of them, he feasts at mountain shrines, dishonours another man's wife,

12oppresses the poor in their need; he commits robbery, he does not return the debtor's pledge, he looks up to idols, and joins in abominable rites;

13he lends both at discount and at interest. Such a one will not live; because he has committed all these abominations he must die. His blood be on his own head!

14“This person in turn may have a son who sees all his father's sins, but in spite of seeing them commits none of them.

15He never feasts at mountain shrines, never looks up to the idols worshipped in Israel, never dishonours another man's wife,

16oppresses no one, takes no pledge, does not rob; he gives his food to the hungry and clothes to those who have none;

17he shuns injustice and never lends either at discount or at interest. He keeps my laws and conforms to my statutes. Such a one is not to die for his father's wrongdoing; he will live.

18“If his father has been guilty of oppression and robbery and lived an evil life in the community, and died because of his iniquity,

19you may ask, ‘Why is the son not punished for his father's iniquity?’ Because he has always done what is just and right and has been careful to obey all my laws, he will live.

20It is the person who sins that will die; a son will not bear responsibility for his father's guilt, nor a father for his son's. The righteous person will have his own righteousness placed to his account, and the wicked person his own wickedness.

21“If someone who is wicked renounces all his sinful ways and keeps all my laws, doing what is just and right, he will live; he will not die.

22None of the offences he has committed will be remembered against him; because of his righteous conduct he will live.

23Have I any desire for the death of a wicked person? says the Lord GOD. Is not my desire rather that he should mend his ways and live?

24“If someone who is righteous turns from his righteous ways and commits every kind of abomination that the wicked practise, is he to do this and live? No, none of his former righteousness will be remembered in his favour; because he has been faithless and has sinned, he must die.

25“You say that the Lord acts without principle? Listen, you Israelites! It is not I who act without principle; it is you.

26If a righteous man turns from his righteousness, takes to evil ways, and dies, it is because of these evil ways that he dies.

27Again, if a wicked man gives up his wicked ways and does what is just and right, he preserves his life;

28he has seen his offences and turned his back on them all, and so he will not die; he will live.

29‘The Lord acts without principle,’ say the Israelites. No, it is you, Israel, that acts without principle, not I.

30“Therefore I shall judge every one of you Israelites on his record, says the Lord GOD. Repent, renounce all your offences, or your iniquity will be your downfall.

31Throw off the load of your past misdeeds; get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you Israelites die?

32I have no desire for the death of anyone. This is the word of the Lord GOD.


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