Exegesis of Chapter 18 of Term Paper

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The term conversion would be etymologically closer (Blenkinsopp 84)

By the charge of acting without principle (verses 25 and 29), the Israelites accused God of punishing the innocent along with the guilty. Implicit in his rejection of the charge is Ezekiel's belief that all deserved the punishment that had come upon the nation. The opportunity for each generation to live or die according to its own behavior is now extended to each individual within his life time. The possibility of the righteous dying because they turn to sin may seem harsh; but the opportunity for the wicked to leave past guilt behind is all the more significant for Ezekiel's sweeping condemnation of Israel elsewhere. The oracle of verses 30-32 is the climax of the chapter, commanding response to the possibility of attaining life that had just been declared.

In contract to the earlier promise of the people's spontaneous renewal by God, they are now told: get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit." A contract between exhortations to repentance and the belief in the necessity of divine action to make repentance possible can be seen in words of other prophets as well (NASB, Hosea. 14: 1-3; Jer. 3:19) the command here emphasizes the need for men to accept the new God-given possibility of renewal.

What lead Israel astray is its misunderstanding of God's judgment. They have misunderstood the basic fundamentals. As so much the prophet's moral teaching seeks to restore the balance in the minds of those who have taken a simple truth and warped it beyond recognition. To recognize responsibility may necessitate the recognition of fault, and that in turn may require courage followed by repentance. Yet we can never fully be free unless we are willing to shoulder the responsibility for our actions. And in growing into acceptance of responsibility,
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we may know that the One to whom we are responsible acts fully in accord with justice. Yet still, responsibility for all our action may become too heavy a burden to bear; it remains possible throughout life only with the knowledge of the divine forgiveness which lies at the heart of the gospel (Craigie 134).

As human beings, we often tally God's judgment or wrath on a tally sheet. We are gravely mistaken. We think in the concept that our number of good deeds outweighs the number of bad deeds, so this particular individual should be okay and the other had a villainous totally out of balance life and a few final moments of repentance so this one is done for. In truth, justice is not a simple outweigh of deeds; the knowledge of divine justice must be balanced with the knowledge of divine forgiveness. And the crux of the whole matter is not deeds, but the relationship of a person to God. This is primary. The good person who acknowledges God accepts responsibility for actions and pursues the good, albeit imperfectly. The evil person who turns from God shuns (or at least tries to shun) responsibility, and lives in evil. The good person may turn from the good and the evil person may turn from the evil. But at the end of the day, all must know God if they are to know life. And to Know God, one must pursue good, but most of all, one must seek forgiveness. For whatever the past life has been, there will be need of forgiveness and repentance which is the spring that releases the flood of divine forgiveness (Craigie 136)

Work cited

Allen, Leslie C Word Biblical Commentary: Ezekiel 1-19 vol 28. Nashville: Nelson Thomas Inc. Print.

Blenkinsopp, Joseph .Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: Ezekiel. Louisville:Westminster John Press. Print Block, Daniel I . The New International Bible Commentary: Book of Ezekiel chapters 1-24. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company. Print Craigie, Peter C. The…

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Work cited

Allen, Leslie C Word Biblical Commentary: Ezekiel 1-19 vol 28. Nashville: Nelson Thomas Inc. Print.

Blenkinsopp, Joseph .Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching: Ezekiel. Louisville:Westminster John Press. Print Block, Daniel I . The New International Bible Commentary: Book of Ezekiel chapters 1-24. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company. Print Craigie, Peter C. The Daily Study Bible Studies: Ezekiel. Westminster Press. Print New American Standard Bible. St. Joseph Edition.

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