(1) What does Ezekiel 18:20 mean?
(2) Is, this statement meant only of the ancient Jews in biblical times?
(3) Is this statement a prophecy for a future time? If, so when?
(4) In this statement applicable to Christian and or a New Covenant age?
We all suffer for the sins of our family members, but we will never be condemned for the sins of our parents or saved by their faithfulness. We all must stand before God alone. I think this verse is actually quite clear. What makes it seem difficult?
You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them who hate Me, Exodus 20:5
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the punishment of the iniquity of the father, nor shall the father bear the punishment of the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:20
Can you find the tripartite division of the law before the middle ages?
Old Testament Law was primarily civil.
And we know that the law is not given for a righteous person, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and the profane, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for sodomites, for slave traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for anything else that is contrary to sound doctrine, 1 Timothy 1:9–10
To me it says, everybody is responsible for their own salvation. You can not blame anyone for your actions and you can not blame your self if you raised a bad offspring.
I think it is applicable to 2,3 and 4
I always say it is hard to take one verse out of scripture, and try to guess what it means, but I know you just want to throw this verse out for comments, to get thoughts on it.
The first few verses tell us there was a old proverb, the father ate the sour grapes, but the son got the results of eating them, YHWH said that will never be taught in Israel again.
Then it goes on to talk about the father sinning/not sinning and the son sinning/not sinning, each will get their just reward.
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.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Eze 18:4). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
The answer to how we get this reward is in verse 9
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.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Eze 18:8–9). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Then goes on to say, if you do abominations, you will surely die! Do we teach any abominations today? Yes, we do, will we surely live according to these verses? No
I read a book a long time ago called "Finishing Strong" now I can say I understand why the book was written!
The most important way to finish life is to finish it strong!!
After reading this chapter, we see how important it is to "keep my statutes and do what is lawful and right".
How many times is that repeated in this chapter?
Thanks for bringing this up BK, also through this I found another verse I have been looking for, for a long time, it was in a foot note in this chapter!!!! Thanks
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, hthat wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; mbut thou hast delivered thy soul.
The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Eze 33:7–9). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.