Ch. 16 was long yesterday. I got through the reading, but didn’t read much of the commentary. I have always wondered about 16:3 though: “By origin and birth you are from the land of the Canaanites – your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.” The story of Genesis preaches against that concept, at least from a biological point of view. I suppose Ezekiel (and by extension God) means that the people of Israel and Judah have so adopted the ways of the Canaanite inhabitants of the land that they have become ideological descendants of those peoples.
I also noted that the story of Israel as an adulterous wife ends with Israel being restored to her position, but only in a state of shame. God will honor His covenant with his bride, but the shame of her indiscretions will remain with her, and even in a public way.
Ch. 18 goes into detail about the moral responsibility of the individual rather than the group, i.e. nation, community, or even family unit. In the Levitical law we see God visiting the guilt of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. Here, though, the sins of the father do not transfer to his children, nor does the righteousness of the father imbue to the next generation. He even goes so far as to speak of repentance in an individual, stating that past actions don’t dictate a person’s fate if that person indeed repents of those former ways. However, I wonder how that last bit gets applied in practice: If a person sins, then repents, then sins again, then repents again, will he “live?” What exactly does “live” mean in this context? Ezekiel never clearly speaks of life after death in the sense of individuals (other than the allegorical story of the dry bones). Does this imply life as in Job’s story, or Life as in Jesus’?