‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes
and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?
3“As I live,” says the Lord Yahweh, “you will not have any more occasion to use this proverb in Israel.
4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins will die.
5“But if a man is righteous, and does what is lawful and righteous,
6and 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,
7and 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,
8he who has not given forth on interest, neither has taken any increase, who has withdrawn his hand from iniquity, has executed true justice between man and man,
9has walked in my statutes and has kept my ordinances to deal truly–he is just, he will 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,
11and who does not any of those duties, but even has eaten on the mountains and defiled his neighbor’s wife,
12has 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,
13has given forth on interest and has taken increase, will he then live? He will not live: he has done all these abominations; he will surely die, his blood will be on him.
14“Now, behold, if he fathers a son, who sees all his father’s sins that he has done, and fears, and does not such like–
15who 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,
16neither 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,
17who has withdrawn his hand from the poor, who has not received interest nor increase, has executed my ordinances, has walked in my statutes–he will not die for the iniquity of his father, he will surely live.
18“As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he will die in his iniquity.
19Yet you say, ‘Why doesn’t the son bear the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all my statutes and has done them, he will surely live.
20The soul who sins will die. The son is not to bear the iniquity of the father, nor is the father to bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous will be on himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be on himself.
21“But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes and do what is lawful and right, he will surely live, he will not die.
22None of his transgressions that he has committed will be remembered against him; in his righteousness that he has done he will live.
23Have 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?
24But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, will he live? None of his righteous deeds that he has done will be remembered; in his trespass that he has trespassed and in his sin that he has sinned, in them will 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?
26When the righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and dies in it, in his iniquity that he has done will he die.
27Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he will save his soul alive.
28Because he considers and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he will surely live, he will not die.
29Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ House of Israel, aren’t my ways fair? Aren’t your ways unfair?
30“Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, everyone according to his ways,” says the Lord Yahweh. “Repent and turn yourselves from all your transgressions, so iniquity will not be your ruin.
31Cast 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?
32For I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies,” says the Lord Yahweh; “therefore turn yourselves, and live.”