The following chapter (Ezekiel 18) has little directly connected to
Israelite national identity.It does however contain moral and philosophical
directions of great importance.
[Ezekiel 18:1] THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME UNTO ME AGAIN, SAYING,
[Ezekiel 18:2] WHAT MEAN YE, THAT YE USE THIS PROVERB CONCERNING THE LAND
OF ISRAEL, SAYING, THE FATHERS HAVE EATEN SOUR GRAPES, AND THE CHILDREN'S
TEETH ARE SET ON EDGE?
[Ezekiel 18:3] AS I LIVE, SAITH THE LORD GOD, YE SHALL NOT HAVE OCCASION ANY MORE TO USE THIS PROVERB IN ISRAEL.
[Ezekiel 18:4] BEHOLD, ALL SOULS ARE MINE; AS THE SOUL OF THE FATHER, SO
ALSO THE SOUL OF THE SON IS MINE: THE SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL DIE.
[Ezekiel 18:5] BUT IF A MAN BE JUST, AND DO THAT WHICH IS LAWFUL AND RIGHT,
Exekiel is saying that we cannot always blame our parents or upbringing
or environment for our faults. Sometime, we have to break away from the negative
inhibitions that constrict us that we have grown up with or placed ourselves
in. We can be good and being good is for our own good.
[Ezekiel 18:6] AND HATH NOT EATEN 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 MENSTRUOUS
<<THE IDOLS OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL>>: We have to free ourselves
from the negative influences imposed upon us by our own society. We should
open our eyes to our own faults and those of our own people.
[Ezekiel 18:7] AND HATH NOT OPPRESSED ANY, BUT HATH
RESTORED TO THE DEBTOR HIS PLEDGE, HATH SPOILED NONE BY VIOLENCE, HATH GIVEN
HIS BREAD TO THE HUNGRY, AND HATH COVERED THE NAKED WITH A GARMENT;
<<THE DEBTOR HIS PLEDGE>>: Being in debt can break a person,
ruin his self-respect and disrupt his family and whole existence. When other
people are in debt to us we should be careful not to go against the will
[Ezekiel 18:8] HE THAT HATH NOT GIVEN FORTH UPON USURY,
NEITHER HATH TAKEN ANY INCREASE, THAT HATH WITHDRAWN HIS HAND FROM INIQUITY,
HATH EXECUTED TRUE JUDGMENT BETWEEN MAN AND MAN,
[Ezekiel 18:9] HATH WALKED IN MY STATUTES, AND HATH KEPT MY JUDGMENTS, TO
DEAL TRULY; HE IS JUST, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, SAITH THE LORD GOD.
<<HE SHALL SURELY LIVE>>: do the will of God and God will help you.
[Ezekiel 18:10] IF HE BEGET A SON THAT IS A ROBBER, A SHEDDER OF BLOOD, AND THAT DOETH THE LIKE TO ANY ONE OF THESE THINGS,
We have an obligation to educate our children as well as we can to
go in the right path. We may fail however, and not necessarily through any
fault of our own. Again, we all have to take responsibility for ourselves
at some stage and should avoid consciously or sub-consciously putting the
blame on others. Some people go to psychiatrists and so on to solve their
problems. We all must do what we can. I personally work out in a gym. It
keeps me healthy, helps me release superfluous tensions and negative energies,
and enables me to function well on behalf of Brit-Am.
<EVERY PURPOSE IS ESTABLISHED BY COUNSEL: AND WITH GOOD ADVICE MAKE WAR>
[Proverbs 20:18] . The word translated as "GOOD ADVICE" in Hebrew is "tachbulot"
i.e. stratagems: Do what you can, to do the best you can, however you can.
[Ezekiel 18:11] AND THAT DOETH NOT ANY OF THOSE DUTIES,
BUT EVEN HATH EATEN UPON THE MOUNTAINS, AND DEFILED HIS NEIGHBOUR'S WIFE,
[Ezekiel 18:12] HATH OPPRESSED THE POOR AND NEEDY, HATH SPOILED BY VIOLENCE,
HATH NOT RESTORED THE PLEDGE, AND HATH LIFTED UP HIS EYES TO THE IDOLS, HATH
[Ezekiel 18:13] HATH GIVEN FORTH UPON USURY, AND HATH TAKEN INCREASE: SHALL
HE THEN LIVE? HE SHALL NOT LIVE: HE HATH DONE ALL THESE ABOMINATIONS; HE
SHALL SURELY DIE; HIS BLOOD SHALL BE UPON HIM.
[Ezekiel 18:14] NOW, LO, IF HE BEGET A SON, THAT SEETH ALL HIS FATHER'S
SINS WHICH HE HATH DONE, AND CONSIDERETH, AND DOETH NOT SUCH LIKE,
[Ezekiel 18:15] THAT HATH NOT EATEN UPON THE MOUNTAINS,
NEITHER HATH LIFTED UP HIS EYES TO THE IDOLS OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, HATH
NOT DEFILED HIS NEIGHBOUR'S WIFE,
[Ezekiel 18:16] NEITHER HATH OPPRESSED ANY, HATH NOT WITHHOLDEN THE PLEDGE,
NEITHER HATH SPOILED BY VIOLENCE, BUT HATH GIVEN HIS BREAD TO THE HUNGRY,
AND HATH COVERED THE NAKED WITH A GARMENT,
[Ezekiel 18:17] THAT HATH TAKEN OFF HIS HAND FROM THE POOR, THAT HATH NOT
RECEIVED USURY NOR INCREASE, HATH EXECUTED MY JUDGMENTS, HATH WALKED IN MY
STATUTES; HE SHALL NOT DIE FOR THE INIQUITY OF HIS FATHER, HE SHALL SURELY
Even if your parents were bad people, you can still make things better and are obligated to do so.
[Ezekiel 18:18] AS FOR HIS FATHER, BECAUSE HE CRUELLY
OPPRESSED, SPOILED HIS BROTHER BY VIOLENCE, AND DID THAT WHICH IS NOT GOOD
AMONG HIS PEOPLE, LO, EVEN HE SHALL DIE IN HIS INIQUITY.
<<SPOILED HIS BROTHER BY VIOLENCE>>: This expression encompasses two principles:
1. We should respect our family and kin, country and people.
2. Avoid violence as much as possible. I had a trainer once who used to say, "Nobody really wins in a fight".
[Ezekiel 18:19] YET SAY YE, WHY? DOTH NOT THE SON
BEAR THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHER? WHEN THE SON HATH DONE THAT WHICH IS LAWFUL
AND RIGHT, AND HATH KEPT ALL MY STATUTES, AND HATH DONE THEM, HE SHALL SURELY
[Ezekiel 18:20] THE SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL DIE. THE SON SHALL NOT BEAR
THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHER, NEITHER SHALL THE FATHER BEAR THE INIQUITY OF
THE SON: THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL BE UPON HIM, AND THE WICKEDNESS
OF THE WICKED SHALL BE UPON HIM.
[Ezekiel 18:21] BUT IF THE WICKED WILL TURN FROM ALL
HIS SINS THAT HE HATH COMMITTED, AND KEEP ALL MY STATUTES, AND DO THAT WHICH
IS LAWFUL AND RIGHT, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, HE SHALL NOT DIE.
[Ezekiel 18:22] ALL HIS TRANSGRESSIONS THAT HE HATH
COMMITTED, THEY SHALL NOT BE MENTIONED UNTO HIM: IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT
HE HATH DONE HE SHALL LIVE.
[Ezekiel 18:23] 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?
[Ezekiel 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 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.
[Ezekiel 18:25] YET YE SAY, THE WAY OF THE LORD IS
NOT EQUAL. HEAR NOW, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL; IS NOT MY WAY EQUAL? ARE NOT YOUR
[Ezekiel 18:26] WHEN A RIGHTEOUS MAN TURNETH AWAY FROM HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS,
AND COMMITTETH INIQUITY, AND DIETH IN THEM; FOR HIS INIQUITY THAT HE HATH
DONE SHALL HE DIE.
[Ezekiel 18:27] AGAIN, WHEN THE WICKED MAN TURNETH AWAY FROM HIS WICKEDNESS
THAT HE HATH COMMITTED, AND DOETH THAT WHICH IS LAWFUL AND RIGHT, HE SHALL
SAVE HIS SOUL ALIVE.
[Ezekiel 18:28] BECAUSE HE CONSIDERETH, AND TURNETH
AWAY FROM ALL HIS TRANSGRESSIONS THAT HE HATH COMMITTED, HE SHALL SURELY
LIVE, HE SHALL NOT DIE.
[Ezekiel 18:29] YET SAITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, THE WAY OF THE LORD IS NOT
EQUAL. O HOUSE OF ISRAEL, ARE NOT MY WAYS EQUAL? ARE NOT YOUR WAYS UNEQUAL?
[Ezekiel 18:30] THEREFORE I WILL JUDGE YOU, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL, EVERY ONE
ACCORDING TO HIS WAYS, SAITH THE LORD GOD. REPENT, AND TURN YOURSELVES FROM
ALL YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS; SO INIQUITY SHALL NOT BE YOUR RUIN.
[Ezekiel 18:31] CAST AWAY FROM YOU ALL YOUR TRANSGRESSIONS,
WHEREBY YE HAVE TRANSGRESSED; AND MAKE YOU A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT:
FOR WHY WILL YE DIE, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL?
<<WHY WILL YE DIE, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL?>>: Another important
principle is found here: The individual is responsible not only for himself
but for his whole nation. By reforming ourselves on the individual level
we can elevate the whole House of Israel. Everyone should consider himself/herself
like a soldier in the front line. The salvation of the whole House of Israel may be dependent upon our individual behavior.
[Ezekiel 18:32] FOR I HAVE NO PLEASURE IN THE
DEATH OF HIM THAT DIETH, SAITH THE LORD GOD: WHEREFORE TURN YOURSELVES, AND
God wants our good. The need to do good is for our own good.