New Defender's Study Bible Notes
18:2 this proverb. This was a familiar proverb (e.g., Jeremiah 31:29), based on a misunderstanding of Exodus 20:5. It portrays the unfortunate impact a father’s sin will have on his descendants.
18:3 shall not have occasion. Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel emphasize that this proverb should never be used to undermine the doctrine of individual responsibility.
18:4 the soul that sinneth. The soul of a sinner is headed for death because of his own sins, not those of his father or grandfather.
18:20 bear the iniquity. No matter how much influence the father may have on his son, or vice versa, each one is responsible before God for himself (Romans 14:12).
18:23 Have I any pleasure. God is “not willing that any should perish” (II Peter 3:9), but the holiness and justice of God demand death for sin (Romans 6:23). The saving gospel of God in Christ—implicit in the Old Testament, explicit in the New—provides life on the basis of true repentance and true faith in the substitutionary death of Christ for the sin of the world.
18:25 Yet ye say. Men have no right to question God’s judgments. Whether we understand or not, what God does is right, by definition. “All His works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4).