1. The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,
2. 'Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: The parents have eaten unripe grapes; and the children's teeth are set on edge?
3. 'As I live -- declares the Lord Yahweh -- you will have no further cause to repeat this proverb in Israel.
4. Look, all life belongs to me; the father's life and the son's life, both alike belong to me. The one who has sinned is the one to die.
5. 'But if a man is upright, his actions law-abiding and upright,
6. and he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the foul idols of the House of Israel, does not defile his neighbour's wife or touch a woman during her periods,
7. oppresses no one, returns the pledge on a debt, does not rob, gives his own food to the hungry, his clothes to those who lack clothing,
8. does not lend for profit, does not charge interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between one person and another,
9. keeps my laws and sincerely respects my judgements -- someone like this is truly upright and will live -- declares the Lord Yahweh.
10. 'But if he has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, who commits one of these misdeeds-
11. even though the father never has -- a son who dares to eat on the mountains, who defiles his neighbour's wife,
12. who oppresses the poor and needy, robs, fails to return pledges, raises his eyes to foul idols, engages in loathsome practices,
13. lends for profit, or charges interest, such a person will by no means live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will die, and his blood be on his own head.
14. 'But if he in turn has a son who, in spite of seeing all the sins that his father has committed, does not imitate him,
15. does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the foul idols of the House of Israel, does not defile his neighbour's wife,
16. oppresses no one, takes no pledges, does not rob, gives his own food to the hungry, his clothes to those who lack clothing,
17. abstains from evil, does not lend for profit or charge interest, respects my judgements and keeps my laws, he will not die for his father's sins: he will most certainly live.
18. But his father, because he was violent, robbed others and never did good among his people, will most certainly die in his guilt.
19. 'Now, you say, "Why doesn't the son bear his father's guilt?" If the son has been law-abiding and upright, has kept all my laws and followed them, most certainly he will live.
20. The one who has sinned is the one who must die; a son is not to bear his father's guilt, nor a father his son's guilt. The upright will be credited with his uprightness, and the wicked with his wickedness.
21. 'If the wicked, however, renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and upright, he will most certainly live; he will not die.
22. None of the crimes he committed will be remembered against him from then on; he will most certainly live because of his upright actions.
23. Would I take pleasure in the death of the wicked -- declares the Lord Yahweh -- and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?
24. 'But if the upright abandons uprightness and does wrong by copying all the loathsome practices of the wicked, is he to live? All his upright actions will be forgotten from then on; for the infidelity of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, he will most certainly die.
25. 'Now, you say, "What the Lord does is unjust." Now listen, House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust?
26. When the upright abandons uprightness and does wrong and dies, he dies because of the wrong which he himself has done.
27. Similarly, when the wicked abandons wickedness to become law-abiding and upright, he saves his own life.
28. Having chosen to renounce all his previous crimes, he will most certainly live: he will not die.
29. And yet the House of Israel says, "What the Lord does is unjust." Is what I do unjust, House of Israel? Is it not what you do that is unjust?
30. So in future, House of Israel, I shall judge each of you by what that person does -- declares the Lord Yahweh. Repent, renounce all your crimes, avoid all occasions for guilt.
31. Shake off all the crimes you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why die, House of Israel?
32. I take no pleasure in the death of anyone -- declares the Lord Yahweh -- so repent and live!'