The Soul Who Sins Shall Die
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you1 mean sby repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, t‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 uAs I live, declares the Lord God, vthis proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: wthe soul who sins shall die.
5 “If a man is righteous and does xwhat is just and right— 6 if he ydoes not eat upon the mountains or zlift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, adoes not defile his neighbor’s wife bor approach ca woman in her time of menstrual impurity, 7 ddoes not oppress anyone, but erestores to the debtor his pledge, fcommits no robbery, ggives his bread to the hungry gand covers the naked with a garment, 8 hdoes not lend at interest hor take any profit,2 withholds his hand from injustice, iexecutes true justice between man and man, 9 jwalks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; khe shall surely live, declares the Lord God.
10 “If he fathers a son who is violent, la shedder of blood, who does any of these things 11 (though he himself did none of these things), mwho even eats upon the mountains, ndefiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, ocommits robbery, odoes not restore the pledge, plifts up his eyes to the idols, qcommits abomination, 13 rlends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; shis blood shall be upon himself.
14 “Now suppose this man fathers a son who sees all the sins that his father has done; he sees, and does not do likewise: 15 he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, 16 does not oppress anyone, texacts no pledge, ucommits no robbery, vbut gives his bread to the hungry vand covers the naked with a garment, 17 withholds his hand from iniquity,3 takes no interest or profit, obeys my rules, wand walks in my statutes; he shall not die for his father’s iniquity; xhe shall surely live. 18 As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, ybehold, he shall die for his iniquity.
19 “Yet you say, z‘Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done awhat is just and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, bhe shall surely live. 20 cThe soul who sins shall die. dThe son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. eThe righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, fand the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
21 g“But if a wicked person turns away from all his sins that he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does hwhat is just and right, ihe shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 jNone of the transgressions that he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done he shall live. 23 kHave I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? 24 lBut when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice and does the same abominations that the wicked person does, shall he live? mNone of the righteous deeds that he has done shall be remembered; for nthe treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, for them he shall die.
25 o“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? 26 lWhen a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die. 27 Again, pwhen a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. 28 Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
30 “Therefore qI will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. rRepent and turn from all your transgressions, slest iniquity be your ruin.4 31 tCast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and umake yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! vWhy will you die, O house of Israel? 32 wFor I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; rso turn, and live.”
A Lament for the Princes of Israel
19 And you, xtake up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2 and say:
What was your mother? yA lioness!
Among lions she crouched;
in the midst of young lions
she reared her cubs.
3 And she brought up one of her cubs;
zhe became a young lion,
aand he learned to catch prey;
he devoured men.
4 The nations heard about him;
bhe was caught in their pit,
cand they brought him with hooks
to the land of Egypt.
5 When she saw that she waited in vain,
that her hope was lost,
dshe took another of her cubs
and made him a young lion.
6 He prowled among the lions;
he became a young lion,
and he learned to catch prey;
he devoured men,
7 and seized5 their widows.
He laid waste their cities,
and the land was appalled and all who were in it
at the sound of his roaring.
8 eThen the nations set against him
from provinces on every side;
fthey spread their net over him;
bhe was taken in their pit.
and gbrought him to the king of Babylon;
they brought him into custody,
that his voice should no more be heard
on hthe mountains of Israel.
planted by the water,
jfruitful and full of branches
kby reason of abundant water.
11 Its strong stems became
it towered aloft
among the thick boughs;8
it was seen in its height
with the mass of its branches.
12 But the vine was plucked up in fury,
cast down to the ground;
lthe east wind dried up its fruit;
they were stripped off and withered.
As for its strong stem,
fire consumed it.
13 mNow it is planted in the wilderness,
in a dry and thirsty land.
14 nAnd fire has gone out from the stem of its shoots,
has consumed its fruit,
oso that there remains in it no strong stem,
no scepter for ruling.
This is pa lamentation and has become a lamentation.
Warning Against Worldliness
4 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are yat war within you?2 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask zwrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 aYou adulterous people!3 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? bTherefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit cthat he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But dhe gives more grace. Therefore it says, e“God opposes the proud but dgives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. fResist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 gDraw near to God, and he will draw near to you. hCleanse your hands, you sinners, and ipurify your hearts, jyou double-minded. 9 kBe wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 lHumble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
11 mDo not speak evil against one another, brothers.4 The one who speaks against a brother or njudges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only oone lawgiver and pjudge, he who is able to save and qto destroy. But rwho are you to judge your neighbor?
Boasting About Tomorrow
13 Come now, you who say, s“Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For tyou are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, u“If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. vAll such boasting is evil. 17 wSo whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.