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Ezekiel 18:24

Ezekiel 18:24

But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness,
&c.] This is to be understood, not of a truly righteous man; for no man can be so denominated from his own righteousness; but from the righteousness and obedience of Christ; and such a man cannot turn from his righteousness; for that is the righteousness of God, and can never be lost; and is an everlasting one, and will always endure; and with which eternal life is inseparably connected: but this is to be interpreted of one that is reckoned so from his own righteousness, what he himself has done, and not from another, from the righteousness of Christ, which he has wrought out; he is one that is righteous in his own esteem, and in the account of others; who is outwardly righteous before men; who trusts in himself that he is righteous, and trusts to his own righteousness; see ( Ezekiel 33:13 ) ; whose righteousness is not an evangelical one, but either a ceremonial righteousness, or at most a mere moral one, consisting of some negative holiness, and a few moral performances, as appears from ( Ezekiel 18:5-9 ) ; and from such a righteousness as this a man may turn, commit iniquity, sin and die; see ( 2 Peter 2:20 2 Peter 2:21 ) ; and is no proof or instance of the apostasy of real saints, true believers, or truly righteous men; besides, this man is represented as a transgressor, or "prevaricator", as the word signifies; a hypocrite, a man destitute of the truth of grace, and of true righteousness: and committeth iniquity;
makes a trade of sinning; goes into a vicious course of life, and continues in it; which a truly gracious man, one that is born again, and has true faith in Christ's righteousness, by which he is justified, can never do, ( 1 John 3:8 1 John 3:9 ) ; [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man]
doeth;
such as theft, murder, adultery, idolatry, oppression of the poor, and giving upon usury, ( Ezekiel 18:10-13 ) ; shall he live?
in his own land, in peace and prosperity, enjoying all manner of good things? he shall not; much less shall he live an eternal life, so living and dying: all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned:
or, "all his righteousnesses" F11; all the good works which he has done will never come into any account, or be of any avail; as they merited nothing, they will meet with no reward; they will not preserve him from present calamity, which his now sinful life exposes him to, nor secure him from eternal ruin; these may be mentioned and pleaded by himself, but to no purpose; God will not mention them, nor take any notice of them, nor the Judge at the great day of account, ( Matthew 7:22 Matthew 7:23 ) ; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath
sinned, in them shall he die;
or, for his hypocrisy, "prevarication" {l}, and vicious course of life he now lives in, a death of affliction shall come upon him; great calamities and distresses in this world; and, if grace prevent not, eternal death in the other; if he dies in his trespasses and sins, he will die the second death.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 (wytwqdu lk) "omnes justitiae ejus", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius.
F12 (wlemb) "propter prvevaricationem ipsius, [vel] suam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus.
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