Ezekiel 18:22
All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) Shall not be mentioned unto him.—A strong way of expressing the completeness of the Divine forgiveness. Here, again, at first sight, there seems to be an inconsistency between the Divine promise and the actual facts of the world. The penitent and forgiven sinner is continually seen to suffer through life from the consequences of his sin, as David’s whole reign was overclouded with trouble and sorrow after his great sin in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah. But here also it is the natural law continuing to work in subservience to a higher moral law. The natural consequences of any acts are not changed, or are only partially modified, by the subsequent moral state of him who has done them; but that moral state determines whether those consequences, however painful they may be in themselves, shall or shall not be really for his own highest gain. The absoluteness of the Divine forgiveness is seen by us, under the Christian dispensation, to be a necessary result of the ground on which it rests—the atonement of Christ. If the believer is truly united to Him by faith, he is a new creature (2Corinthians 5:17), and is looked upon no longer as a sinful son of Adam, but, as he is in reality, a member of the beloved and only-begotten Son of God. Hence his forgiveness must be complete, for his sins are atoned for, covered up, hidden from God’s sight.

18:21-29 The wicked man would be saved, if he turned from his evil ways. The true penitent is a true believer. None of his former transgressions shall be mentioned unto him, but in the righteousness which he has done, as the fruit of faith and the effect of conversion, he shall surely live. The question is not whether the truly righteous ever become apostates. It is certain that many who for a time were thought to be righteous, do so, while ver. 26,27 speaks the fulness of pardoning mercy: when sin is forgiven, it is blotted out, it is remembered no more. In their righteousness they shall live; not for their righteousness, as if that were an atonement for their sins, but in their righteousness, which is one of the blessings purchased by the Mediator. What encouragement a repenting, returning sinner has to hope for pardon and life according to this promise! In verse 28 is the beginning and progress of repentance. True believers watch and pray, and continue to the end, and they are saved. In all our disputes with God, he is in the right, and we are in the wrong.Why?... - Rather, "Why doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father?" 22. in his righteousness … he shah live—in it, not for it, as if that atoned for his former sins; but "in his righteousness" he shall live, as the evidence of his being already in favor with God through the merit of Messiah, who was to come. The Gospel clears up for us many such passages (1Pe 1:12), which were dimly understood at the time, while men, however, had light enough for salvation. All; not one of all, so the Hebraism is; every one shall be forgiven.

His transgressions; personal, actual sins, in which he was not accessary, but principal; though great sins.

That he hath committed; formerly did commit, but now repenteth for.

They shall not be mentioned unto him; not remembered, i.e. imputed to or punished on him. They shall be as forgotten. So when God promiseth to pardon, he promiseth that he will not remember our sins.

In his righteousness that he hath done he shall live; this penitent, whose last works are righteousness, proper fruits of repentance, shall live, be rewarded and blessed for his righteousness, yet without merit: life should be the fruit of his repentance and righteousness. All his transgressions that he hath committed,.... Before his repentance, conversion, and obedience:

they shall not be mentioned unto him; they shall not be charged upon his conscience, or brought against him in providence; he shall not be upbraided with them, or punished for them; but they shall be forgiven him, at least in such sense as to prevent temporal calamity and ruin:

in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live; he shall live "in" it, though not "for" it; this will be the fruit and consequence of his obedience and righteousness, that he shall live and not die, in the sense that has been already given, according to the tenor of the law, Leviticus 18:5.

All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned to him: in his {e} righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

(e) That is, in the fruit of his faith which declares that God accepts him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. mentioned unto him] Or, remembered in regard to him.The Righteous Man Shall Not Die

Ezekiel 18:5. If a man is righteous, and doeth right and righteousness, Ezekiel 18:6. And doth not eat upon the mountains, and doth not lift up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, and doth not defile his neighbour's wife, and doth not approach his wife in her uncleanness, Ezekiel 18:7. Oppresseth no one, restoreth his security (lit., debt-pledge), committeth no robbery, giveth his bread to the hungry, and covereth the naked with clothes, Ezekiel 18:8. Doth not give upon usury, and taketh not interest, withholdeth his hand from wrong, executeth judgment of truth between one and another, Ezekiel 18:9. Walketh in my statutes, and keepeth my rights to execute truth; he is righteous, he shall live, is the saying of the Lord "Jehovah." - The exposition of the assertion, that God only punishes the sinner, not the innocent, commences with a picture of the righteousness which has the promise of life. The righteousness consists in the fulfilment of the commandments of the law: viz., (1) those relating to religious duties, such as the avoidance of idolatry, whether of the grosser kind, such as eating upon the mountains, i.e., observing sacrificial festivals, and therefore sacrificing to idols (cf. Deuteronomy 12:2.), or of a more refined description, e.g., lifting up the eyes to idols, to look to them, or make them the object of trust, and offer supplication to them (cf. Psalm 121:1; Deuteronomy 4:19), as Israel had done, and was doing still (cf. Ezekiel 6:13); and (2) those relating to moral obligations, such as the avoidance of adultery (compare Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22; and for טמּא, Genesis 34:5), and of conjugal intercourse with a wife during menstruation, which was a defilement of the marriage relation (cf. Leviticus 18:19; Leviticus 20:18). All these sins were forbidden in the law on pain of death. To these there are appended duties to a neighbour (Ezekiel 18:7.), viz., to abstain from oppressing any one (Exodus 22:28; Leviticus 15:14, Leviticus 15:17), to restore the pledge to a debtor (Exodus 22:25; Deuteronomy 24:6, Deuteronomy 24:10.). חוב is hardly to be taken in any other sense than as in apposition to חבלתו, "his pledge, which is debt," equivalent to his debt-pledge or security, like דּרכּך זמּה in Ezekiel 16:27. The supposition of Hitzig, that חוב is a participle, like קום in 2 Kings 16:7, in the sense of debtor, is a far less natural one, and has no valid support in the free rendering of the lxx, ἐνεχυρασμὸν ὀφείλοντος. The further duties are to avoid taking unlawful possession of the property of another (cf. Leviticus 5:23); to feed the hungry, clothe the naked (cf. Isaiah 58:5; Matthew 25:26; James 2:15-16); to abstain from practising usury (Deuteronomy 23:20; cf. Exodus 22:24) and taking interest (Leviticus 25:36-37); in judicial sentences, to draw back the hand from wrong, and promote judgment of truth, - a sentence in accordance with the true nature of the case (see the comm. on Zechariah 7:9); and, lastly, to walk in the statutes and rights of the Lord, - an expression which embraces, in conclusion, all that is essential to the righteousness required by the law. - This definition of the idea of true righteousness, which preserves from death and destruction, and ensures life to the possessor, is followed in Ezekiel 18:10. by a discussion of the attitude which God sustains towards the sons.

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