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Ezekiel 3:17-21

Context
3:17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman 1  for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you must give them a warning from me. 3:18 When I say to the wicked, “You will certainly die,” 2  and you do not warn him – you do not speak out to warn the wicked to turn from his wicked deed and wicked lifestyle so that he may live – that wicked person will die for his iniquity, 3  but I will hold you accountable for his death. 4  3:19 But as for you, if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wicked deed and from his wicked lifestyle, he will die for his iniquity but you will have saved your own life. 5 

3:20 “When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle 6  before him, he will die. If you have not warned him, he will die for his sin. The righteous deeds he performed will not be considered, but I will hold you accountable for his death. 3:21 However, if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he 7  does not sin, he will certainly live because he was warned, and you will have saved your own life.”

1 tn The literal role of a watchman is described in 2 Sam 18:24; 2 Kgs 9:17.

2 sn Even though the infinitive absolute is used to emphasize the warning, the warning is still implicitly conditional, as the following context makes clear.

3 tn Or “in his punishment.” The phrase “in/for [a person’s] iniquity” occurs fourteen times in Ezekiel: here and v. 19; 4:17; 7:13, 16; 18: 17, 18, 19, 20; 24:23; 33:6, 8, 9; 39:23. The Hebrew word for “iniquity” may also mean the “punishment for iniquity.”

4 tn Heb “his blood I will seek from your hand.” The expression “seek blood from the hand” is equivalent to requiring the death penalty (2 Sam 4:11-12).

5 tn Verses 17-19 are repeated in Ezek 33:7-9.

6 tn Or “stumbling block.” The Hebrew term refers to an obstacle in the road in Lev 19:14.

7 tn Heb “the righteous man.”



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