In the Old Testament there are passages included as though they came from God, while they were really thoughts of someone who came along later. That was true of what we read as verses 5 and 6 of Chapter Twenty of Exodus. They say:
“I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
In time the Israelites paraphrased those words with their own popular saying that said, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of their children are set on edge.”
When Ezekiel came along seven hundred years after Moses he set people straight about the descendents of good and bad men. As God’s true prophet he said that if a man turns away from wickedness, doing what is right and just, he shall live. While if a virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil he shall die.
It is like the old saying, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Whatever evil doings you have behind you, leave them behind you, and live as God’s dear child from now on.