The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers…
We desire to notice this interesting direction. It is a contrast to the second commandment. There, God represents himself as "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children." We see it also in the law of heredity operating in nature. But it is a weapon which God retains in his own hand. We may for wise purposes treat men in the lump, and blend in common consequences the innocent and guilty. But man in his judgments must be particular to execute only the guilty.
I. HUMAN JUDGMENTS MUST BE FINAL IN THIS WORLD SO FAR AS THE JUDGING IS CONCERNED. Men do not get the chance of setting matters right in another world. They judge once for all, and if they execute the innocent, they have no reparation in their power.
II. GOD'S IMPERFECT JUSTICE IN THE PRESENT WORLD IS THE CLEAREST INDICATION TO CONSCIENCE THAT THERE WILL BE A JUDGMENT IN THE OTHER WORLD. Were his justice here perfect, or were there no judgment at all, men would say there is nothing to arrange in another world. But now there is enough to show God reigns, and enough left over to indicate a judgment to come.
III. GOD'S PREROGATIVE OF TRANSFERRING RESPONSIBILITY IS THE SECRET OF OUR SALVATION. For he has laid on Jesus, the Innocent One, the iniquity of us all. He has visited the iniquity of the children upon him who is called our "Everlasting Father." The consequence is we are saved, and in salvation there is ample compensation for all who have to all appearance suffered unjustly here. - R.M.E.
Parallel VersesKJV: The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.