Ezekiel 18:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: "'The parents eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'?

New Living Translation
"Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel: 'The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children's mouths pucker at the taste'?

English Standard Version
“What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

New American Standard Bible
"What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, 'The fathers eat the sour grapes, But the children's teeth are set on edge '?

King James Bible
What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel: The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

International Standard Version
"Why do you cite this proverb when you talk about Israel's land: 'The fathers eat sour grapes but it's their children's teeth that have become numb.'

NET Bible
"What do you mean by quoting this proverb concerning the land of Israel, "'The fathers eat sour grapes And the children's teeth become numb?'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"What do you mean when you use this proverb about the land of Israel: 'Fathers have eaten sour grapes, and their children's teeth are set on edge'?

Jubilee Bible 2000
What mean ye, that ye use this saying concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge?

King James 2000 Bible
What mean you, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

American King James Version
What mean you, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

American Standard Version
What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

Douay-Rheims Bible
That you use among you this parable as a proverb in the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the teeth of the children are set on edge.

Darby Bible Translation
What mean ye, ye who use this proverb of the land of Israel, saying, [The] fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

English Revised Version
What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

Webster's Bible Translation
What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

World English Bible
What do you mean, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

Young's Literal Translation
'What -- to you, ye -- using this simile Concerning the ground of Israel, saying: Fathers do eat unripe fruit, And the sons' teeth are blunted?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:1-20 The soul that sinneth it shall die. As to eternity, every man was, is, and will be dealt with, as his conduct shows him to have been under the old covenant of works, or the new covenant of grace. Whatever outward sufferings come upon men through the sins of others, they deserve for their own sins all they suffer; and the Lord overrules every event for the eternal good of believers. All souls are in the hand of the great Creator: he will deal with them in justice or mercy; nor will any perish for the sins of another, who is not in some sense worthy of death for his own. We all have sinned, and our souls must be lost, if God deal with us according to his holy law; but we are invited to come to Christ. If a man who had shown his faith by his works, had a wicked son, whose character and conduct were the reverse of his parent's, could it be expected he should escape the Divine vengeance on account of his father's piety? Surely not. And should a wicked man have a son who walked before God as righteous, this man would not perish for his father's sins. If the son was not free from evils in this life, still he should be partaker of salvation. The question here is not about the meritorious ground of justification, but about the Lord's dealings with the righteous and the wicked.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel,.... This is spoken to the Jews in Babylon, who used the following proverb concerning the land of Israel; not the ten tribes, but the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, concerning the desolation of the land, and the hardships the Jews laboured under, since the captivity of Jeconiah, and they became subject to the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar: this expostulation with them suggests that they had no just cause, or true reason, to make use of the proverb; that it was impious, impudent, and insolent in them, and daring and dangerous; and that they did not surely well consider what they said. The proverb follows:

saying, the fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? that is, as the Targum explains it,

"the fathers have sinned, and the children are smitten,''

or punished, as the ten tribes for the sins of Jeroboam, and the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin for the sins of Manasseh; hereby wiping themselves clean; and as if they were innocent persons, and free from sin, and were only punished for their forefathers' sins, and so charging God with injustice and cruelty; whereas, though the Lord threatened to visit the iniquity of parents upon their children, and sometimes did so, to deter parents from sinning, lest they should entail a curse, and bring ruin upon their posterity; yet he never did this but when children followed their fathers' practices, and committed the same sins, or worse; so that this was no act of unrighteousness in God, but rather an instance of his patience and long suffering; see Jeremiah 31:29.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. fathers … eaten sour grapes, … children's teeth … set on edge—Their unbelieving calumnies on God's justice had become so common as to have assumed a proverbial form. The sin of Adam in eating the forbidden fruit, visited on his posterity, seems to have suggested the peculiar form; noticed also by Jeremiah (Jer 31:29); and explained in La 5:7, "Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities." They mean by "the children" themselves, as though they were innocent, whereas they were far from being so. The partial reformation effected since Manasseh's wicked reign, especially among the exiles at Chebar, was their ground for thinking so; but the improvement was only superficial and only fostered their self-righteous spirit, which sought anywhere but in themselves the cause of their calamities; just as the modern Jews attribute their present dispersion, not to their own sins, but to those of their forefathers. It is a universal mark of corrupt nature to lay the blame, which belongs to ourselves, on others and to arraign the justice of God. Compare Ge 3:12, where Adam transfers the blame of his sin to Eve, and even to God, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat."

Ezekiel 18:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
An Old Proverb about Israel
1Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2"What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, 'The fathers eat the sour grapes, But the children's teeth are set on edge '? 3"As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore.…
Cross References
Job 21:19
It is said, 'God stores up the punishment of the wicked for their children.' Let him repay the wicked, so that they themselves will experience it!

Isaiah 3:15
What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?" declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

Jeremiah 31:29
"In those days people will no longer say, 'The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.'

Lamentations 5:7
Our ancestors sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment.

Ezekiel 12:22
"Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: 'The days go by and every vision comes to nothing'?

Ezekiel 16:44
"'Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: "Like mother, like daughter."

Ezekiel 18:1
The word of the LORD came to me:

Ezekiel 18:3
"As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel.

Ezekiel 18:19
"Yet you ask, 'Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?' Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live.
Treasury of Scripture

What mean you, that you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?

mean

Ezekiel 17:12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know you not what these things mean? …

Isaiah 3:15 What mean you that you beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces …

Romans 9:20 No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing …

the land

Ezekiel 6:2,3 Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy …

Ezekiel 7:2 Also, you son of man, thus said the Lord GOD to the land of Israel; …

Ezekiel 25:3 And say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus said …

Ezekiel 36:1-6 Also, you son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, …

Ezekiel 37:11,19,25 Then he said to me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of …

The fathers

Jeremiah 15:4 And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, …

Jeremiah 31:29,30 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour …

Lamentations 5:7 Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.

Matthew 23:36 Truly I say to you, All these things shall come on this generation.

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