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Ezekiel 18; Ezekiel 19; James 4

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 "What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel: The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? 3 As I live"-[this is] the declaration of the Lord God -"you will no longer use this proverb in Israel. 4 Look, every life belongs to Me. The life of the father is like the life of the son-both belong to Me. The person who sins is the one who will die. 5 "Now suppose a man is righteous and does what is just and right: 6 He does not eat at the mountain [shrines] or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor's wife or come near a woman during her menstrual impurity. 7 He doesn't oppress anyone but returns his collateral to the debtor. He does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing. 8 He doesn't lend at interest or for profit but keeps his hand from wrongdoing and carries out true justice between men. 9 He follows My statutes and keeps My ordinances, acting faithfully. Such a person is righteous; he will certainly live." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God . 10 "Now suppose the man has a violent son, who sheds blood and does any of these [things], 11 though the father has done none of them. Indeed, when the son eats at the mountain [shrines] and defiles his neighbor's wife, 12 and [when] he oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, and does not return collateral, and [when] he raises his eyes to the idols, commits abominations, 13 and lends at interest or for profit, will he live? He will not live! Since he has committed all these abominations, he will certainly die. His blood will be on him. 14 "Now suppose he has a son who sees all the sins his father has committed, and though he sees them, he does not do likewise. 15 He does not eat at the mountain [shrines] or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor's wife. 16 He doesn't oppress anyone, hold collateral, or commit robbery. He gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing. 17 He keeps his hand from [harming] the poor, not taking interest or profit [on a loan]. He practices My ordinances and follows My statutes. Such a person will not die for his father's iniquity. He will certainly live. 18 "As for his father, he will die for his own iniquity because he practiced fraud, robbed [his] brother, and did what was wrong among his people. 19 But you may ask: Why doesn't the son suffer punishment for the father's iniquity? Since the son has done what is just and right, carefully observing all My statutes, he will certainly live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won't suffer punishment for the father's iniquity, and a father won't suffer punishment for the son's iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him. 21 "Now if the wicked person turns from all the sins he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is just and right, he will certainly live; he will not die. 22 None of the transgressions he has committed will be held against him. He will live because of the righteousness he has practiced. 23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?" [This is] the declaration of the Lord God . "Instead, don't I [take pleasure] when he turns from his ways and lives? 24 But when a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, committing the same abominations that the wicked do, will he live? None of the righteous acts he did will be remembered. He will die because of the treachery he has engaged in and the sin he has committed. 25 "But you say: The Lord's way isn't fair. Now listen, house of Israel: Is it My way that is unfair? Instead, isn't it your ways that are unfair? 26 When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and practices iniquity, he will die for this. He will die because of the iniquity he has practiced. 27 But if a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. 28 He will certainly live because he thought it over and turned from all the transgressions he had committed; he will not die. 29 But the house of Israel says: The Lord's way isn't fair. Is it My ways that are unfair, house of Israel? Instead, isn't it your ways that are unfair? 30 "Therefore, house of Israel, I will judge each one of you according to his ways." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God . "Repent and turn from all your transgressions, so they will not be a stumbling block that causes your punishment. 31 Throw off all the transgressions you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die, house of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in anyone's death." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God . "So repent and live!
1 "Now, lament for the princes of Israel 2 and say: What was your mother? A lioness! She lay down among the lions; she reared her cubs among the young lions. 3 She brought up one of her cubs, and he became a young lion. After he learned to tear prey, he devoured people. 4 When the nations heard about him, he was caught in their pit. Then they led him away with hooks to the land of Egypt. 5 When she saw that she waited [in vain], that her hope was lost, she took another of her cubs and made him a young lion. 6 He prowled among the lions, and he became a young lion. After he learned to tear prey, he devoured people. 7 He devastated their strongholds and destroyed their cities. The land and everything in it shuddered at the sound of his roaring. 8 Then the nations from the surrounding provinces set out against him. They spread their net over him; he was caught in their pit. 9 They put a wooden yoke on him with hooks and led him away to the king of Babylon. They brought him into the fortresses so his roar could no longer be heard on the mountains of Israel. 10 Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard, planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of plentiful waters. 11 It had strong branches, [fit] for the scepters of rulers; its height towered among the clouds. So it was conspicuous for its height as well as its many branches. 12 But it was uprooted in fury, thrown to the ground, and the east wind dried up its fruit. Its strong branches were torn off and dried up; fire consumed them. 13 Now it is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty land. 14 Fire has gone out from its main branch and has devoured its fruit, so that it no longer has a strong branch, a scepter for ruling. This is a lament and should be used as a lament."
1 What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don't they come from the cravings that are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don't receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure. 4 Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy. 5 Or do you think it's without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit He has caused to live in us yearns jealously? 6 But He gives greater grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 7 Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. 11 Don't criticize one another, brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes 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 one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? 13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit." 14 You don't even know what tomorrow will bring-what your life will be! For you are a bit of smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 15 Instead, you should say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So, for the person who knows to do good and doesn't do it, it is a sin.
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