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41. Are we punished for the sins of others?
Yes, God often punishes innocent people for the actions of others.
God punishes children for things that their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and
great-great grandfathers did. He is so proud of this that he repeated it four times in the Bible.
Here are some examples from the Bible:
I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Exodus 20:5 ,
"Bastards" don't choose to be bastards. And yet God punishes them by excluding them from his
congregation. And not just them, but all of their descendants for ten generations.
Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the
children's children unto the third and to the fourth generation. Exodus 34:7
Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the
third and fourth generation. Numbers 14:18
A bastard shall not
enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation
shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:2
If you fail to follow all of God's commandments, God will curse your children.
If thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God,
to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day ...
Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body. Deuteronomy 28:15-18
For walking after, serving, or worshiping other gods; forsaking Yahweh, not obeying his laws, etc.
Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity?
or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God? Then shalt thou say unto them, Because
your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them,
and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law. Jeremiah 16:10-11
And sometimes God slaughters children for the unspecified sins of their fathers.
Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers.
The Great and Mighty God shows lovingkinndness to thousands, but punishes children for the iniquities of their fathers.
Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children
after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name. Jeremiah 32:18
- When Ham saw his father Noah drunk and naked, Noah cursed Ham's son Caanan and all of Caanan's
descendants with slavery. This curse punished a son (and perhaps an entire race) for something
(God knows what) his father supposedly did.
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father ....
And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done
unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan [Ham's son]; a servant of
servants shall he be unto his brethren. Genesis 9:21-25
- God "closed up all the wombs" of the women in King Abimelech's court to punish him for believing
Abraham's cowardly (half)lie about his half sister and wife, Sarah. So God punished the women for whatever it was
that Abraham and Abimelech did.
The LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of
Sarah Abraham's wife. Genesis 20:18
- God punished all of Eli's descendants for the behavior of Eli's sons.
I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house ... I will judge
his house for ever ... because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
1 Samuel 3:12-13
- God was angry at David for having Uriah killed. As a punishment, God had David's wives raped by
his neighbor while everyone else watched. (The "neighbor" that God chose to do his dirty work
for him was David's own son, Absalom.)
Thou [David] hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife ...
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy
wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he
shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 2 Samuel 12:9-12
And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house ...
So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
2 Samuel 16:21-22
- To punish David for having Uriah killed and causing others to blaspheme, God killed Bathsheba's
Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to
blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. ...
And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. ...
on the seventh day, that the child died.
2 Samuel 12:14-18
- God sent a three-year famine on David's kingdom. When David asks God why, God answers:
"It is for Saul, and his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites."
So God sent a famine to punish a kingdom for something that a former king had done.
There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David
enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered,
It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
2 Samuel 21:1
- To appease God and end the famine that was caused by his predecessor (Saul), David agrees
to have two of Saul's sons and five of his grandsons killed and hung up "unto the Lord."
God stopped the famine after Saul's sons and grandsons were killed and hung up for him.
Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang
them up unto the LORD .... And he delivered them into the hands of the
Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD. ...
And after that God was intreated for the land.
2 Samuel 21:6-14
- To punish David for a census that he (and/or) Satan inspired, God killed 70,000 men (and 200,000 or so
women and children) in a pestilsence.
And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say,
Go, number Israel and Judah. ... So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even
to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.
2 Samuel 24:1-15
And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. ...
So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
2 Samuel 24:1-15
- God was angry with Solomon, but decided to punish Solomon's son rather than Solomon himself, because he liked Solomon's
father (David) so darned much.
Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of
thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have
commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give
it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for
David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.
1 Kings 11:11-12
- Since Ahab humbles himself before the Lord, God decides not to bring evil on him; he'll bring it on Ahab's son instead.
Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days:
but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house. 1 Kings 21:29
- Elisha makes his servant (Gehazi) and all his descendants lepers forever.
Elisha said unto him ... The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy
seed for ever. 2 Kings 5:25-27
- God will punish the children of Shemaiah because their father taught rebellion against the Lord.
Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the
Nehelamite, and his seed ... because he hath taught rebellion against the LORD.
- And in the ultimate injustice, God punishes everyone for someone else's sin, and then saves them all by killing an innocent victim.
Justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath. ... We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.
... By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation ... By one man's disobedience
many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:9-19
No, God doesn't punish people for the actions of others.
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.
But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the
book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put
to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man
shall be put to death for his own sin. 2 Kings 14:6
In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's
teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity.
The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither
shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him,
and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. Ezekiel 18:20
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