In the first reading from Ezekiel we read that if a good man turns away from goodness to practice evil, he will be punished. While, if an evil man turns away rom evil to do good, he will be rewarded.
This Chapter Eighteen of the Prophet Ezekiel begins with quoting an old popular saying: “The father has eaten sour grapes, and his children’s teeth are set on edge.” That saying was saying that God punishes the children of evil-doers.
But here, Ezekiel says people have gotten that wrong. He says, God rewards those who turn from evil to do good, and he punishes only those who turn from doing good to doing evil. He does not punish their children.
That saying about the teeth of the children being put on edge seems to echo Chapter Twenty of Exodus where God, says, “You shall not have other gods beside me” following that up with saying he punishes the children of evil doers down to the third and fourth generation
So, we see that harsh sayings from the Old Testament can be done away with later. Like, Jesus said, you have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your friends, but hate your enemies,’ but I say to you love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you.”
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