Ezekiel 18:25-32

25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die.
27 But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life.
28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die.
29 Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.
31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?
32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!

Ezekiel 18:25 in Other Translations

KJV
25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
ESV
25 "Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not just.' Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?
NLT
25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you?
MSG
25 "Do I hear you saying, 'That's not fair! God's not fair!'?
CSB
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?

Ezekiel 18:25-32 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EZEKIEL 18

This chapter contains an answer to an objection of the Jews to the dealings of God with them in a providential way. The objection is expressed in a proverb of common use among them, and complained of as being without cause, Eze 18:1,2; however, for the future, no occasion should be given them to use it; for, though God could justify his proceedings upon the foot of his sovereignty, all souls being his; yet he was determined none but the sinner himself should suffer, Eze 18:3,4; and puts various cases for the illustration and vindication of his proceedings; as that a just man, who is described by his proper characters, as abstaining from several sins specified, and doing what is right and good, should surely live, Eze 18:5-9; but that the son of such a just man, being the reverse of his father's character, should surely die, Eze 18:10-13; and again, the son of such a wicked man, observing the heinousness of his father's sins, and abstaining from them, though his father should die in his iniquities, he should not die for them, but live, Eze 18:14-18; by which it appears that the dealings of God with the Jews were not according to the proverb used by them, but quite agreeable to his resolution; that the sinner, be he a father or a son, shall die for his own sins; and that the righteous man's righteousness shall be upon him, and the wicked man's sin upon him, and accordingly both shall be dealt with, Eze 18:19,20; which is further illustrated by a wicked man's turning from his sinful course, and doing righteousness, and living in that righteousness he has done; which is more agreeable to God that he should live, and not die in sin, Eze 18:21-23; and by a righteous man turning from his righteousness, and living a vicious life, and dying in it, Eze 18:24; from both which instances this conclusion follows, that God is to be justified; and that his ways are equal, and the Jews' ways were unequal, and their complaint unjust, Eze 18:25; and the same instances are repeated in a different order, and the same conclusion formed, Eze 18:26-29; upon which the Lord determines to judge them according to their own ways, their personal actions, good or bad; and exhorts them to repentance and reformation; and closes with a pathetic expostulation, with them, Eze 18:30-32.

Ezekiel 18:25-32 In-Context

23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24 “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, you Israelites: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
26 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die.
27 But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life.
28 Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die.
29 Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust?
30 “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall.
31 Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?
32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!

Cross References 12

  • 1. Jeremiah 2:29
  • 2. S Genesis 18:25; Jeremiah 12:1; Ezekiel 33:17; Zephaniah 3:5; Malachi 2:17; Malachi 3:13-15
  • 3. S Isaiah 1:18; S Ezekiel 13:22
  • 4. S Isaiah 55:7
  • 5. S Isaiah 1:27; S Jeremiah 35:15; Matthew 3:2
  • 6. Ezekiel 7:3; Ezekiel 24:14; Ezekiel 33:20; Hosea 12:6; 1 Peter 1:17
  • 7. S Judges 6:8
  • 8. Psalms 51:10
  • 9. Jeremiah 27:13
  • 10. S Isaiah 1:16-17; S Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:26
  • 11. S Job 22:23; Isaiah 55:7; Malachi 3:7
  • 12. S 2 Chronicles 7:14; S Job 37:23; S Ezekiel 16:6; Ezekiel 33:11
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