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Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby, [1857-62], at

Ezekiel Chapter 18

The following commentary covers Chapters 18 and 19.

Chapter 18 contains an important principle of the dealings of God, unfolded at that period. God would judge the individual according to his own conduct; the wicked nation was judged as such. Neither was it, in fact, judged for the iniquity of the fathers. The present iniquities of the people made the judgment which their fathers had merited suitable to their own actions. But now, with respect to His land of Israel, the principle of government laid down in Exo 34:7 was set aside, and souls belonging, as they did individually, to Jehovah, would individually bear the judgment of their own sins. God would pardon the repenting sinner. For He has no pleasure in the sinner's death. The government of Israel on earth is still the subject. Every one shall be judged according to his ways [See Note #1]. Chapter 19 describes the captivity of Jehoiakim, afterwards that of Jeconiah, and finally the complete decay of the house of David.

Note #1

It is important to remark that it is temporal judgment in death which is spoken of here. The question treated of is the allegation of Israel that they, according to the principle laid down in Exodus, were suffering for their fathers' sins. The prophet declares that this principle is not that on which God will act with them, that the soul or life of every one belonged to God, one as another, and that in judgment He would deal with each for his own sins, not the son for the father's; and then proceeds to lay down the principles on which He would deal in mercy and judgment; but the judgments are temporal judgments, and the death physical death in this world. If the wicked turned from his ways, he would live and not die-not be cut off for the sins he repented of; so of the wicked, he shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him. So the soul that sinneth, it shall die. It is not the father, nor the son because of a father's sins; the soul or person himself that sins shall die, each for his own. The emphasis is on "it."

Next: Ezekiel Chapter 19