16-21 The Prophet's Responsibility—
Ezechiel is re- l markable for his teaching on personal responsibility.
The subject is discussed here from the point of view of the prophet,
compared to a watchman, and subsequently more fully, 14:12-23; 18:1-32;
33:1-20. Both prophet and sinner are responsible if no warning is
given. Only the sinner is responsible if the warning is unheeded. The
punishment contemplated is death. Prolongation of life is the reward of
the prophet's fldelity and of the sinner's conversion. The habitual
sinner is first considered, then the just man who sins. Conversion is
equally necessary and salutary in both cases. 20. (After 'iniquity'): 'And I lay', etc. 'He shall die' is the apodosis of the first conditional clause. 'Because' begins the second clause. MT detaches 16a, date of the vision in 22 ff., from 16b, thus suggesting that this passage is a later but not inappropriate addition.