Ezekiel 3:20

Ezekiel 3:20

Again, when a righteous [man] doth turn from his
righteousness
This is to be understood not of one that is truly righteous, or is justified by the righteousness of Christ; for such can never turn from that righteousness, or be in an unjustified state; seeing that is the righteousness of God, and an everlasting one; but of one that is denominated righteous, from "his" own righteousness, from a righteousness "which he hath done", as is afterwards expressed; one that is outwardly righteous before men, that is outwardly reformed, that has a righteousness of his own, consisting of a little negative holiness, and a few moral performances; from such righteousness a man may apostatize, and go into a vicious course of life: and commit iniquity;
live in sin, make a trade of it; lead a life, the whole series and course of which is nothing else but sin; in this sense, one that is born of God, and has the righteousness of Christ revealed from faith to faith unto him, and lives by faith upon it, cannot commit sin, ( 1 John 3:9 ) ; and I lay a stumbling block before him;
the Targum renders it, "the stumbling block of sins"; which designs either an occasion of sinning, which God permits, leaving him to his own lusts, and suffering him to fall thereby; and by this means he is discovered to be what he is, not a truly righteous man, but only one in appearance; that looked like a righteous person, but secretly a sinner, and now the Lord by such means exposes him openly; so Jarchi and other Jewish Rabbins; but Kimchi's father interprets the stumbling block of prosperity in this world F21: or rather the punishment of sin is meant, as Kimchi himself observes; and the Septuagint renders it "torment"; since this follows up on his turning from righteousness, and committing sin; and seems to be explained by the next clause: he shall die;
the second death: because thou hast not given him warning:
of the dreadful evil of apostasy, and the sad estate of apostates, and the danger they are in, their last estate being worse than the first: he shall die in his sin;
of apostasy, and for it, being never to be recovered and brought to repentance: and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered;
according to the "Keri" or marginal reading it is, "his righteousnesses"; all his works of righteousness which he hath done; and which reading is followed by the Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and the eastern versions; these shall not be remembered, neither in this world nor in that to come; no account shall be taken of them, nor shall they be reckoned as a righteousness unto him: but his blood will I require at thine hand; (See Gill on Ezekiel 3:18).


FOOTNOTES:

F21 Vid. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 86. 2.
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