¶ The word of the LORD came unto me, on this manner: what mean ye by this common proverb, that ye use in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? As truly as I live, sayeth the Lord GOD, ye shall use this byword no more in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine. Like as the father is mine, so is the son mine also. The soul that sinneth, shall die. If a man be godly, and do the thing that is equal and right, he eateth not upon the hills: he lifteth not his eyes up to the Idols of Israel, he defileth not his neighbour's wife: he meddleth with no menstruous woman: he grieveth nobody: he giveth his debtor his pledge again, he raketh none other man's goods by violence: he parteth his mete with the hungry: he clotheth the naked: he lendeth nothing upon usury: he taketh nothing over: he withdraweth his hand from doing wrong: he handleth faithfully betwixt man and man: he walketh in my commandments, and keepeth my laws, and performeth them faithfully: This is a righteous man, he shall surly live, sayeth the Lord GOD.
¶ If he now get a son, that is a murderer, a shedder of blood: if he do one of these things (though he do not all) he eateth upon the hills: he defileth his neighbour's wife: he grieveth the poor and needy: he robbeth and spoileth: he giveth not the debtor his pledge again, he lifteth up his eyes unto Idols, and meddle with abominable things: he lendeth upon usury, and taketh moreover. Shall this man live? He shall not live. Seeing he hath done all these abominations, he shall die: his blood shall be upon him. Now if this man get a son also, that seeth all his father's sins, which he hath done: and feareth, neither doth such like: Namely, he eateth not upon the mountains: he lifteth not his eyes up to the Idols of Israel: he defileth not his neighbour's wife: he vexeth no man: he keepeth no man's pledge, he neither spoileth, nor robbeth any man: he dealeth his meat with the hungry: he clotheth the naked: he opresseth not the poor: he receiveth no usury, nor anything over: he keepeth my laws, and walketh in my comandments: this man shall not die in his father's sin, but shall live without fail. As for his father: because he oppressed and spoiled his brother, and did wickedly among his people: Lo, he is dead in his own sin. And yet say ye: Wherefore then should not this son bear his father's sin? Therefore: because the son hath done equity and right, hath kept all my commandments, and done them: therefore, shall he live in deed. The same soul that sinneth, shall die. The son shall not bear the father's offense, neither shall the father bear the son's offence. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him self also.
¶ But if the ungodly will turn away from all his sins that he hath done, and keep all my comandments, and do the thing that is equal and right: doubtless he shall live, and not die. As for all his sins that he did before, they shall not be thought upon: but in his righteousness that he hath done, he shall live. For have I any pleasure in the death of a sinner? sayeth the Lord GOD: but rather that he convert and live. Again: If the righteous turn away from his righteousness, and do iniquity, according to all the abominations, that the wicked man doth, shall he live? All the righteousness that he hath done, shall not be thought upon: but in the fault that he offended withal and in the sin that he hath done, he shall die. And yet ye say: Tush, the way of the Lord is not indifferent. Hear therefore ye house of Israel: Is not my way right? Or, are not your ways rather wicked? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and meddleth with ungodliness: he must die therein: Yea for the unrighteousness that he hath done, must he die. Again: when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, that he hath done, and doth the thing which is equal and right: he shall save his soul alive. For in so much as he remembereth himself, and turneth him from all the ungodliness, that he had used, he shall live, and not die. And yet sayeth the house of Israel: Tush, the way of the Lord is not equal. Are my ways unright, O ye house of Israel: Are not your ways rather unequal?
¶ As for me, I will judge every man, according to his ways, O ye house of Israel, sayeth the Lord GOD. Wherefore be converted, and turn you clean from all your wickedness, so shall there no sin do you harm. Cast away from you all your ungodliness, that ye have done: make you new hearts and a new spirit. Wherefore will ye die, O ye house of Israel? seeing I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, sayeth the Lord GOD. Turn you then, and ye shall live.