18 The Lord’s message came to me: 2 “What do you mean by quoting this proverb concerning the land of Israel:
“‘The fathers eat sour grapes,
And the children’s teeth become numb?’[a]
3 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord,[b] you will not quote this proverb in Israel anymore! 4 Indeed! All lives are mine—the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one[c] who sins will die.
5 “Suppose a man is righteous. He practices what is just and right, 6 does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains[d] or pray to the idols[e] of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not approach a woman for marital relations[f] during her period, 7 does not oppress anyone, but gives the debtor back whatever was given in pledge,[g] does not commit robbery,[h] but gives his bread to the hungry and clothes the naked, 8 does not engage in usury or charge interest,[i] but refrains[j] from wrongdoing, promotes true justice[k] between men, 9 and follows my statutes and observes my regulations by carrying them out.[l] That man[m] is righteous; he will certainly live,[n] declares the Sovereign Lord.
10 “Suppose such a man has[o] a violent son who sheds blood and does any of these things[p] mentioned previously 11 (though the father did not do any of them).[q] He eats pagan sacrifices on the mountains,[r] defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and the needy,[s] commits robbery, does not give back what was given in pledge, prays to[t] idols, performs abominable acts, 13 engages in usury, and charges interest. Will he live? He will not! Because he has done all these abominable deeds he will certainly die.[u] He will bear the responsibility for his own death.[v]
14 “But suppose he in turn has a son who notices all the sins his father commits, considers them, and does not follow his father’s example.[w] 15 He does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains, does not pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, 16 does not oppress anyone or keep what has been given in pledge, does not commit robbery, gives his food to the hungry and clothes the naked, 17 refrains from wrongdoing,[x] does not engage in usury or charge interest, carries out my regulations, and follows my statutes. He will not die for his father’s iniquity;[y] he will surely live. 18 As for his father, because he practices extortion, robs his brother, and does what is not good among his people, he will die for his iniquity.
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not suffer[z] for his father’s iniquity?’ When the son does what is just and right, and observes all my statutes and carries them out, he will surely live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son will not suffer[aa] for his father’s iniquity, and a father will not suffer[ab] for his son’s iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness, and the wicked person according to his wickedness.[ac]
21 “But if the wicked person turns from all the sin he has committed and observes all my statutes and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 22 None of the sins he has committed will be held[ad] against him; because of the righteousness he has done, he will live. 23 Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the Sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?
24 “But if a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing according to all the abominable practices the wicked carry out, will he live? All his righteous acts will not be remembered; because of the unfaithful acts he has done and the sin he has committed, he will die.[ae]
25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s conduct[af] is unjust!’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my conduct unjust? Is it not your conduct that is unjust? 26 When a righteous person turns back from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing, he will die for it;[ag] because of the wrongdoing he has done, he will die. 27 When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. 28 Because he considered[ah] and turned from all the sins he had done, he will surely live; he will not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Is my conduct unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your conduct that is unjust?
30 “Therefore, I will judge each person according to his conduct,[ai] O house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent[aj] and turn from all your wickedness; then it will not be an obstacle leading to iniquity.[ak] 31 Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit![al] Why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I take no delight in the death of anyone,[am] declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
Lament for the Princes of Israel
19 “And you, sing[an] a lament for the princes of Israel, 2 and say:
“‘What a lioness was your mother among the lions!
She lay among young lions;[ao] she reared her cubs.
3 She reared one of her cubs; he became a young lion.
He learned to tear prey; he devoured people.[ap]
4 The nations heard about him; he was trapped in their pit.
They brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt.[aq]
5 “‘When she realized that she waited in vain, her hope was lost.
She took another of her cubs[ar] and made him a young lion.
6 He walked about among the lions; he became a young lion.
He learned to tear prey; he devoured people.
7 He broke down[as] their strongholds[at] and devastated their cities.
The land and everything in it was frightened at the sound of his roaring.
8 The nations—the surrounding regions—attacked him.
They threw their net over him; he was caught in their pit.
9 They put him in a collar with hooks;[au]
they brought him to the king of Babylon;
they brought him to prison[av]
so that his voice would not be heard
any longer on the mountains of Israel.
10 “‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard,[aw] planted by water.
It was fruitful and full of branches because it was well-watered.
11 Its boughs were strong, fit[ax] for rulers’ scepters; it reached up into the clouds.
It stood out because of its height and its many branches.[ay]
12 But it was plucked up in anger; it was thrown down to the ground.
The east wind[az] dried up its fruit;
its strong branches broke off and withered—
a fire consumed them.
13 Now it is planted in the wilderness,
in a dry and thirsty land.[ba]
14 A fire has gone out from its branch; it has consumed its shoot and its fruit.[bb]
No strong branch was left in it, nor a scepter to rule.’
“This is a lament song, and has become a lament song.”
- Ezekiel 18:2 tn This word occurs three times, in the Qal stem here and the parallel passage in Jer 31:29-30, and in the Piel stem at Eccl 10:10. In the latter passage it refers to the bluntness of an ax that has not been sharpened. Here the “bluntness” of the teeth is not due to grinding them down because of the bitter taste of sour grapes but to the fact that they have lost their “edge,” “bite,” or “sharpness” because they are numb from the sour taste. For this meaning for the word, see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:197.
- Ezekiel 18:3 tn This expression occurs often in Ezekiel (5:11; 14:16, 18, 20; 16:48; 17:16, 19; 20:3, 31, 33; 33:11, 27; 34:8; 35:6, 11).
- Ezekiel 18:4 tn Heb “life.”
- Ezekiel 18:6 tn Heb “on the mountains he does not eat.” The mountains are often mentioned as the place where idolatrous sacrifices were eaten (Ezek 20:28; 22:9; 34:6).
- Ezekiel 18:6 tn Heb “does not lift up his eyes.” This refers to looking to idols for help.
- Ezekiel 18:6 tn The expression קָרַב אֶל (qarav ʾel) means “draw near to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for the intended purpose of sexual relations (Lev 18:14; Deut 22:14; Isa 8:3).
- Ezekiel 18:7 tn Heb “restores to the debtor his pledge.” The root occurs in Exod 22:25 in reference to restoring a man’s garment as a pledge before nightfall.
- Ezekiel 18:7 tn The Hebrew term refers to seizure of property, usually by the rich (Isa 3:14; 10:2; Mic 2:2; see Lev 5:21, 22 HT [6:2, 3 ET]).
- Ezekiel 18:8 sn This law was given in Lev 25:36.
- Ezekiel 18:8 tn Heb, “turns back his hand.”
- Ezekiel 18:8 tn Heb “justice of truth.”
- Ezekiel 18:9 tc The MT reads לַעֲשׂוֹת אֱמֶת (laʿasot ʾemet, “to do with integrity”), while the LXX reads “to do them,” presupposing לַעֲשׂוֹת אֹתָם (laʿasot ʾotam). The ם (mem) and ת (tav) have been reversed in the MT. The LXX reflects the original, supported by similar phrasing in Ezekiel 11:20; 20:19.
- Ezekiel 18:9 tn Heb “he.”
- Ezekiel 18:9 tn Heb “living, he will live.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.
- Ezekiel 18:10 tn Heb “begets.”
- Ezekiel 18:10 tn Heb “and he does, a brother, from one of these.” If “brother” is retained, it may be an adverbial accusative: “against a brother” (i.e., fellow Israelite). But the form is likely dittographic, as the consonants that spell “brother” אח (alef-het) occur in the following word).
- Ezekiel 18:11 tn Heb “and he all of these did not do.” The parenthetical note refers back to the father described in the preceding verses.
- Ezekiel 18:11 sn See note on “mountains” in v. 6.
- Ezekiel 18:12 sn The poor and needy are often mentioned together in the OT (Deut 24:14; Jer 22:16; Ezek 16:49; Pss 12:6; 35:10; 37:14).
- Ezekiel 18:12 tn Heb “lifts up his eyes.”
- Ezekiel 18:13 tn Heb “be put to death.” The translation follows an alternative reading that appears in several ancient textual witnesses.
- Ezekiel 18:13 tn Heb “his blood will be upon him.”
- Ezekiel 18:14 tn Heb “and he sees and does not do likewise.”
- Ezekiel 18:17 tc This translation follows the LXX. The MT reads: “restrains his hand from the poor,” which makes no sense here.
- Ezekiel 18:17 tn Or “in his father’s punishment.” The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity/punishment” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here and in vv. 18, 19, 20; 3:18, 19; 4:17; 7:13, 16; 24:23; 33:6, 8, 9; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment for iniquity.”
- Ezekiel 18:19 tn Heb “lift up, bear.”
- Ezekiel 18:20 tn Heb “lift up, bear.”
- Ezekiel 18:20 tn Heb “lift up, bear.”
- Ezekiel 18:20 tn Heb “the righteousness of the righteous one will be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked one will be upon him.”
- Ezekiel 18:22 tn Heb “remembered.”
- Ezekiel 18:24 tn Heb “because of them he will die.”
- Ezekiel 18:25 tn Heb “way.”
- Ezekiel 18:26 tn Heb “for them” or “because of them.”
- Ezekiel 18:28 tn Heb “he saw.”
- Ezekiel 18:30 tn Heb “ways.”
- Ezekiel 18:30 tn The verbs and persons in this verse are plural whereas the individual has been the subject of the chapter.
- Ezekiel 18:30 tn Or “leading to punishment.”
- Ezekiel 18:31 sn In Ezek 11:19 and 36:26 the new heart and new spirit are promised as future blessings.
- Ezekiel 18:32 tn Heb “the death of the one dying.”
- Ezekiel 19:1 tn Heb “lift up.”
- Ezekiel 19:2 sn Lions probably refer to Judahite royalty and/or nobility. The lioness appears to symbolize the Davidic dynasty, though some see the referent as Hamutal, the wife of Josiah and mother of Jehoahaz and Zedekiah. The background for Judah being compared to lions seems to be Gen 49:9.
- Ezekiel 19:3 tn Heb “a man.”
- Ezekiel 19:4 sn The description applies to King Jehoahaz (2 Kgs 23:31-34; Jer 22:10-12).
- Ezekiel 19:5 sn The identity of this second lion is unclear; the referent is probably Jehoiakim or Zedekiah. If the lioness is Hamutal, then Zedekiah is the lion described here.
- Ezekiel 19:7 tc The Hebrew text reads “knew” but is apparently the result of a ד/ר (dalet/resh) confusion. For a defense of the emendation, see L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:284. However, Allen retains the reading “widows” as the object of the verb, which he understands in the sense of “do harm to,” and translates the line: “He did harm to women by making them widows” (p. 282). The line also appears to be lacking a beat for the meter of the poem.
- Ezekiel 19:7 tc The Hebrew text reads “widows” instead of “strongholds,” apparently due to a confusion of ר (resh) and ל (lamed). L. C. Allen (Ezekiel [WBC], 1:284) favors the traditional text, understanding “widows” in the sense of “women made widows.” D. I. Block, (Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:602) also defends the Hebrew text, arguing that the image is that of a dominant male lion who takes over the pride and by copulating with the females lays claim to his predecessor’s “widows.”
- Ezekiel 19:9 tn Or “They put him in a neck stock with hooks.” The noun סּוּגַר (sugar), translated “collar,” occurs only here in the Bible. L. C. Allen and D. I. Block point out a Babylonian cognate that refers to a device for transporting prisoners of war that held them by their necks (D. I. Block, Ezekiel [NICOT], 1:597, n. 35; L. C. Allen, Ezekiel [WBC], 1:284). Based on the Hebrew root, the traditional rendering had been “cage” (cf. ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).
- Ezekiel 19:9 tc The term in the MT occurs only here and in Eccl 9:12, where it refers to a net for catching fish. The LXX translates this as “prison,” which assumes a confusion of dalet and resh took place in the MT.
- Ezekiel 19:10 tc The Hebrew text reads “in your blood,” but most emend to “in your vineyard,” assuming a ב/כ (beth/kaph) confusion. See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 1:284. Another attractive emendation assumes a faulty word division and yields the reading “like a vine full of tendrils, which/because…”; see D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:607, n. 68.
- Ezekiel 19:11 tn The word “fit” does not occur in the Hebrew text.
- Ezekiel 19:11 tn Heb “and it was seen by its height and by the abundance of its branches.”
- Ezekiel 19:12 sn The east wind symbolizes the Babylonians.
- Ezekiel 19:13 sn This metaphor depicts the Babylonian exile of the Davidic dynasty.
- Ezekiel 19:14 tn The verse uses language similar to that in Judg 9:20.
The Arrangement and Ritual of the Earthly Sanctuary
9 Now the first covenant,[a] in fact, had regulations for worship and its earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tent was prepared, the outer one,[b] which contained[c] the lampstand, the table, and the presentation of the loaves; this[d] is called the Holy Place. 3 And after the second curtain there was a tent called the holy of holies. 4 It contained the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. In this ark[e] were the golden urn containing the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 And above the ark[f] were the cherubim[g] of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Now is not the time to speak of these things in detail. 6 So with these things prepared like this, the priests enter continually into the outer tent[h] as they perform their duties. 7 But only the high priest enters once a year into the inner tent,[i] and not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.[j] 8 The Holy Spirit is making clear that the way into the Holy Place had not yet appeared as long as the old tabernacle[k] was standing. 9 This was a symbol for the time then present, when gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They served only for matters of food and drink[l] and various ritual washings; they are external regulations[m] imposed until the new order came.[n]
- Hebrews 9:1 tn Grk “the first” (referring to the covenant described in Heb 8:7, 13). In the translation the referent (covenant) has been specified for clarity.
- Hebrews 9:2 tn Grk “the first,” in order of approach in the ritual.
- Hebrews 9:2 tn Grk “in which [were].”
- Hebrews 9:2 tn Grk “which,” describing the outer tent.
- Hebrews 9:4 tn Grk “in which”; in the translation the referent (the ark) has been specified for clarity.
- Hebrews 9:5 tn Grk “above it”; in the translation the referent (the ark) has been specified for clarity.
- Hebrews 9:5 sn The cherubim (pl.) were an order of angels mentioned repeatedly in the OT but only here in the NT. They were associated with God’s presence, glory, and holiness. Their images that sat on top of the ark of the covenant are described in Exod 25:18-20.
- Hebrews 9:6 tn Grk “the first tent.”
- Hebrews 9:7 tn Grk “the second tent.”
- Hebrews 9:7 tn Or perhaps “the unintentional sins of the people”; Grk “the ignorances of the people.” Cf. BDAG 13 s.v. ἀγνόημα, “sin committed in ignorance/unintentionally.” This term seems to be simply a synonym for “sins” (cf. Heb 5:2) and does not pick up the distinction made in Num 15:22-31 between unwitting sin and “high-handed” sin. The Day of Atonement ritual in Lev 16 covered all the sins of the people, not just the unwitting ones.
- Hebrews 9:8 tn Grk “the first tent.” The literal phrase “the first tent” refers to either (1) the outer chamber of the tabernacle in the wilderness (as in vv. 2, 6) or (2) the entire tabernacle as a symbol of the OT system of approaching God. The second is more likely given the contrast that follows in vv. 11-12.
- Hebrews 9:10 tn Grk “only for foods and drinks.”
- Hebrews 9:10 tc Most witnesses (D1 M) have “various washings, and external regulations” (βαπτισμοῖς καὶ δικαιώμασιν, baptismois kai dikaiōmasin), with both nouns in the dative. The translation “washings; they are…regulations” renders βαπτισμοῖς, δικαιώματα (baptismois, dikaiōmata; found in such significant mss as P46 א* A I P 0278 33 1739 1881 al sa) in which case δικαιώματα is taken as the nominative subject of the participle ἐπικείμενα (epikeimena). It seems far more likely that scribes would conform δικαιώματα to the immediately preceding datives and join it to them by καί than they would to the following nominative participle. Both on external and internal evidence the text is thus secure as reading βαπτισμοῖς, δικαιώματα.
- Hebrews 9:10 tn Grk “until the time of setting things right.”
32 They made him angry by the waters of Meribah,
and Moses suffered[a] because of them,
33 for they aroused[b] his temper,[c]
and he spoke rashly.[d]
34 They did not destroy the nations,[e]
as the Lord had commanded them to do.
35 They mixed in with the nations
and learned their ways.[f]
36 They worshiped[g] their idols,
which became a snare to them.[h]
37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.[i]
38 They shed innocent blood—
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.
The land was polluted by bloodshed.[j]
39 They were defiled by their deeds,
and unfaithful in their actions.[k]
40 So the Lord was angry with his people[l]
and despised the people who belonged to him.[m]
41 He handed them over to[n] the nations,
and those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them;
they were subject to their authority.[o]
43 Many times he delivered[p] them,
but they had a rebellious attitude,[q]
and degraded themselves[r] by their sin.
44 Yet he took notice of their distress,
when he heard their cry for help.
45 He remembered his covenant with them,
and relented[s] because of his great loyal love.
46 He caused all their conquerors[t]
to have pity on them.
47 Deliver us, O Lord, our God.
Gather us from among the nations.
Then we will give thanks[u] to your holy name,
and boast about your praiseworthy deeds.[v]
48 The Lord God of Israel deserves praise,[w]
in the future and forevermore.[x]
Let all the people say, “We agree![y] Praise the Lord!”[z]
- Psalm 106:32 tn Heb “there was harm to Moses.”
- Psalm 106:33 tn The Hebrew text vocalizes the form as הִמְרוּ (himru), a Hiphil from מָרָה (marah, “to behave rebelliously”), but the verb fits better with the object (“his spirit”) if it is revocalized as הֵמֵרוּ (hemeru), a Hiphil from מָרַר (marar, “to be bitter”). The Israelites “embittered” Moses’ “spirit” in the sense that they aroused his temper with their complaints.
- Psalm 106:33 tn Heb “his spirit.”
- Psalm 106:33 tn The Hebrew text adds “with his lips,” but this has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.sn Verses 32-33 allude to the events of Num 20:1-13.
- Psalm 106:34 tn That is, the nations of Canaan.
- Psalm 106:35 tn Heb “their deeds.”
- Psalm 106:36 tn Or “served.”
- Psalm 106:36 sn Became a snare. See Exod 23:33; Judg 2:3.
- Psalm 106:37 tn The Hebrew term שֵׁדִים (shedim, “demons”) occurs only here and in Deut 32:17. Some type of lesser deity is probably in view.
- Psalm 106:38 sn Num 35:33-34 explains that bloodshed defiles a land.
- Psalm 106:39 tn Heb “and they committed adultery in their actions.” This means that they were unfaithful to the Lord (see Ps 73:27).
- Psalm 106:40 tn Heb “the anger of the Lord burned against his people.”
- Psalm 106:40 tn Heb “his inheritance.”
- Psalm 106:41 tn Heb “gave them into the hand of.”
- Psalm 106:42 tn Heb “they were subdued under their hand.”
- Psalm 106:43 tn The prefixed verbal form is either preterite or imperfect, in which case it is customary, describing repeated action in past time (“he would deliver”).
- Psalm 106:43 tn Heb “but they rebelled in their counsel.” The prefixed verbal form is either preterite or imperfect, in which case it is customary, describing repeated action in past time (“they would have a rebellious attitude”).
- Psalm 106:43 tn Heb “they sank down.” The Hebrew verb מָכַךְ (makhakh, “to lower; to sink”) occurs only here in the Qal.
- Psalm 106:45 tn The Niphal of נָחַם (nakham) refers here to God relenting from a punishment already underway.
- Psalm 106:46 tn Or “captors.”
- Psalm 106:47 tn Heb “to give thanks.” The infinitive construct indicates result after the imperative.
- Psalm 106:47 tn Heb “to boast in your praise.”
- Psalm 106:48 tn Heb “[be] blessed.” See Pss 18:46; 28:6; 31:21.
- Psalm 106:48 tn Heb “from everlasting to everlasting.”
- Psalm 106:48 tn Heb “surely” (אָמֵן,ʾamen), traditionally transliterated “amen.”
- Psalm 106:48 sn The final verse (v. 48) is a conclusion to this fourth “book” (or major editorial division) of the Psalter. Similar statements appear at or near the end of each of the first, second and third “books” of the Psalter (see Pss 41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52, respectively).
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not enter your brother’s house in the day of your disaster;
a neighbor nearby is better than a brother far away.[a]
- Proverbs 27:10 sn The meaning of the verse is very difficult, although the translation is rather straightforward. It may simply be saying that people should retain family relationships but will discover that a friend who is available is better than a relative who is not. But C. H. Toy thinks that the verse is made up of three lines that have no connection: 10a instructs people to maintain relationships, 10b says not to go to a brother’s house [only?] when disaster strikes, and 10c observes that a nearby friend is better than a far-away relative. C. H. Toy suggests a connection may have been there, but has been lost (Proverbs [ICC], 485-86). The conflict between 17:17 and 10b may be another example of presenting two sides of the issue, a fairly frequent occurrence in the book of Proverbs.