18The word of the Lord came to me: 2What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the childrens teeth are set on edge? 3As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.
5 If a man is righteous and does what is lawful and right 6if he does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbours wife or approach a woman during her menstrual period, 7does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 8does not take advance or accrued interest, withholds his hand from iniquity, executes true justice between contending parties, 9follows my statutes, and is careful to observe my ordinances, acting faithfullysuch a one is righteous; he shall surely live, says the Lord God.
10 If he has a son who is violent, a shedder of blood, 11who does any of these things (though his father does none of them), who eats upon the mountains, defiles his neighbours wife, 12oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, 13takes advance or accrued interest; shall he then live? He shall not. He has done all these abominable things; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself.
14 But if this man has a son who sees all the sins that his father has done, considers, and does not do likewise, 15who does not eat upon the mountains or lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbours wife, 16does not wrong anyone, exacts no pledge, commits no robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment, 17withholds his hand from iniquity, takes no advance or accrued interest, observes my ordinances, and follows my statutes; he shall not die for his fathers iniquity; he shall surely live. 18As for his father, because he practised extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, he dies for his iniquity.
19 Yet you say, Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father? When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. 20The person who sins shall die. A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent, nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of a child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own.