God reproveth the unjust parable of sour grapes.
Ezekiel 18:1 The worde of the Lord came vnto me againe, saying, Ezekiel 18:2 What meane ye that ye speake this prouerbe, concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers haue eaten sowre grapes, and the childrens teeth are set on edge? Ezekiel 18:3 As I liue, sayth the Lord God, ye shall vse this prouerbe no more in Israel. Ezekiel 18:4 Beholde, all soules are mine, both the soule of the father, and also the soule of the sonne are mine: the soule that sinneth, it shall die.
He sheweth how he dealeth with a just father:
Ezekiel 18:5 But if a man be iust, and doe that which is lawfull, and right, Ezekiel 18:6 And hath not eaten vpon the mountaines, neither hath lift vp his eyes to the idoles of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbours wife, neither hath lyen with a menstruous woman, Ezekiel 18:7 Neither hath oppressed any, but hath restored the pledge to his dettour: he that hath spoyled none by violence, but hath giuen his bread to the hungry, and hath couered the naked with a garment, Ezekiel 18:8 And hath not giuen foorth vpon vsurie, neither hath taken any increase, but hath withdrawen his hand from iniquitie, and hath executed true iudgement betweene man and man, Ezekiel 18:9 And hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my iudgements to deale truely, he is iust, he shall surely liue, sayth the Lord God.
with a wicked son of a just father:
Ezekiel 18:10 If he beget a sonne, that is a thiefe, or a sheader of blood, if he do any one of these things, Ezekiel 18:11 Though he doe not all these things, but either hath eaten vpon the mountaines, or defiled his neighbours wife, Ezekiel 18:12 Or hath oppressed the poore and needy, or hath spoyled by violence, or hath not restored the pledge, or hath lift vp his eyes vnto the idoles, or hath committed abomination, Ezekiel 18:13 Or hath giuen forth vpon vsurie, or hath taken increase, shal he liue? he shal not liue: seeing he hath done all these abominations, he shal die the death, and his blood shall be vpon him.
with a just son of a wicked father:
Ezekiel 18:14 But if he beget a sonne, that seeth all his fathers sinnes, which he hath done, and feareth, neither doeth such like, Ezekiel 18:15 That hath not eaten vpon the mountaines, neither hath lift vp his eyes to the idols of ye house of Israel, nor hath defiled his neighbours wife, Ezekiel 18:16 Neither hath oppressed any, nor hath withholden the pledge, neither hath spoyled by violence, but hath giuen his bread to the hungry, and hath couered the naked with a garment, Ezekiel 18:17 Neither hath withdrawen his hand from the afflicted, nor receiued vsurie nor increase, but hath executed my iudgements, and hath walked in my statutes, he shall not die in the iniquitie of his father, but he shal surely liue. Ezekiel 18:18 His father, because he cruelly oppressed and spoyled his brother by violence, and hath not done good among his people, loe, euen he dyeth in his iniquitie.
with a wicked man repenting:
Ezekiel 18:19 Yet say ye, Wherefore shall not the sonne beare the iniquitie of the father? because ye sonne hath executed iudgement & iustice, and hath kept all my statutes, and done them, he shal surely liue, Ezekiel 18:20 The same soule that sinneth, shal die: the sonne shall not beare the iniquitie of the father, neither shall the father beare the iniquitie of the sonne, but the righteousnes of the righteous shall be vpon him, and the wickednesse of the wicked shall be vpon him selfe. Ezekiel 18:21 But if the wicked will returne from all his sinnes that he hath committed, and keepe all my statutes, and doe that which is lawfull & right, he shall surely liue, and shall not die. Ezekiel 18:22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shal not be mentioned vnto him, but in his righteousnes that he hath done, he shall liue. Ezekiel 18:23 Haue I any desire that the wicked should die, sayth the Lord God? or shall he not liue, if he returne from his wayes?
with a just man revolting.
Ezekiel 18:24 But if the righteous turne away from his righteousnes, & commit iniquitie, and doe according to all the abominations, that the wicked man doeth, shall he liue? all his righteousnes that he hath done, shall not be mentioned: but in his transgression that he hath committed, and in his sinne that he hath sinned, in them shal he die.
He defendeth his justice,
Ezekiel 18:25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lorde is not equall: heare now, O house of Israel. Is not my way equall? or are not your wayes vnequall? Ezekiel 18:26 For when a righteous man turneth away from his righteousnes, and committeth iniquitie, he shall euen die for the same, he shal euen die for his iniquitie, that he hath done. Ezekiel 18:27 Againe when the wicked turneth away from his wickednes that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawfull and right, he shal saue his soule aliue. Ezekiel 18:28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that hee hath committed, he shall surely liue and shall not die. Ezekiel 18:29 Yet saith ye house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equall. O house of Israel, are not my wayes equall? or are not your wayes vnequall? Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will iudge you, O house of Israel, euery one according to his wayes, sayth the Lord God: returne therefore and cause others to turne away from all your transgressions: so iniquitie shall not be your destruction.
and exhorteth to repentance.
Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye haue transgressed, and make you a newe heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezekiel 18:32 For I desire not the death of him that dyeth, sayth the Lord God: cause therefore one another to returne, and liue ye.