18 And Jehovah’s word came to me 2* “What is the matter, that you quote this proverb among the sons of Israel, ‘Fathers ate green grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 By my life, quoth the Lord Jehovah, you shall not have any more quoting of this proverb in Israel. 4 Here, all souls belong to me; the father’s soul and the son’s alike, to me they belong; the soul that sins, that one shall die.
5 “And when a man is righteous and does the lawful and right thing, 6* has not eaten on the mountains nor raised his eyes to the fetishes of the house of Israel nor defiled another’s wife nor come near a menstruating woman, 7* and does not ill-treat any man, gives back what is pawned to him, steals nothing, gives his bread to a hungry man and clothes a naked man with a garment, 8 does not lend at interest nor take a bonus, draws back his hand from foul play and does justice truly between man and man, 9 has gone by my usages and kept my laws, doing the loyal thing, he is a righteous man; he shall live, quoth the Lord Jehovah.
10 “And he has a lawless son who sheds blood and commits sin, 11* has not gone in his father’s righteous course but has eaten on the mountains and defiled another’s wife, 12 has ill-treated a needy and unfortunate man, has stolen things, does not give back a pawn, and has raised his eyes to the fetishes, has done what is abominable, 13 has lent at interest and taken a bonus, and is he to live? he is not; he has done all these abominable things, he shall come to his death, his blood will be on himself.
14 “And here he has a son, and he has seen all his father’s sins that he has committed and is afraid and does not commit the like, 15* has not eaten on the mountains nor raised his eyes to the fetishes of the house of Israel, has not defiled another’s wife 16 nor ill-treated any man, takes no pawn and steals nothing, gives his bread to a hungry man and clothes a naked man with a garment, 17 draws back his hand from foul play, does not take interest and bonus, lives up to my laws and goes by my usages; he shall not die for his father’s guilt, he shall live. 18* Because his father defrauded and stole and did what was not good among his kinsfolk, he died for his guilt. 19 And you say ‘How is it the son does not carry a share in the father’s guilt?’ and the son did the lawful and right thing, kept all my usages and lived up to them—he shall live. 20* The soul that sins, that one shall die; a son shall carry no share in his father’s guilt and a father none in his son’s guilt; the righteous man’s righteousness will be on him and the wicked man’s wickedness on him.
21 “And when the wicked man turns back from all his sin that he has committed and keeps all my usages and does the lawful and right thing he shall live, not die. 22* All his crimes that he has committed shall not be remembered against him; for his righteousness that he has practiced he shall live. 23 Do I take pleasure in a wicked man’s dying? quoth the Lord Jehovah; do I not take pleasure in his turning back from his course and living? 24* And when the righteous man turns back from his righteousness and practices foul play, does the like of all the abominable things the wicked man did, will he live? all his righteousness that he had practiced will not be remembered; for his unfaithfulness and sin that he has committed, for them he shall die. 25 And you say ‘The Lord’s course does not balance.’ Listen, house of Israel: is it my course that does not balance? is it not yours? 26* By a righteous man’s turning back from his righteousness and practicing foul play, he shall die therefor; for his foul play that he has practiced he shall die; 27 and by a wicked man’s turning back from his wickedness that he has practiced and doing the lawful and right thing he shall keep his soul alive. 28 He has turned back from all his crimes that he had been committing; he shall live, not die. 29 And the house of Israel say ‘The Lord’s course does not balance’; is it my course that does not balance? is it not yours?
30* “So I will judge you each in accordance with his courses, house of Israel, quoth the Lord Jehovah. Come back and face about away from all your crimes, and they will not become a stumbling-block to bring you to guilt. 31 Throw off all your crimes that you have committed against me and make yourselves new hearts and new spirits: why should you die, house of Israel? 32 For I take no pleasure in the death of the one who dies, quoth the Lord Jehovah: face about and live.