Matthew relied heavily on Psalm 37:11 here, where the psalmist said that they should be patient with Yahweh. They were not to be angry. The meek (οἱ πραεῖς), the humble ones, those who wait patiently on Yahweh, their God, would inherit the earth (ὅτι αὐτοὶ κληρονομήσουσιν τὴν γῆν), the holy land of Israel. You have to wait a little bit, but the wicked would be no more. The meek, on the other hand, would inherit the holy land, where they would live in abundant prosperity, if only they waited. They would be the happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι).
Yahweh of hosts, via Malachi, said that the righteous would be his possession on the day when he acted. He would spare them, just as parents spare their children. Then on that day, they would once again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who served God and those who did not.
Habakkuk was going to wait for Yahweh to respond to his complaint about the wicked ones. He was going to stand at the watch post or guard shack. He would station himself at the ramparts to the town in the tower. He was going to watch to see if Yahweh was going to respond to his complaints.
Yahweh told Ezekiel, the son of man, to warn the righteous ones of his people. They cannot save themselves when they transgress the laws of Yahweh. However, if the wicked ones turn from their wickedness, they would not stumble. The righteous ones should not be so self-righteous. If they sin, they will not be able to live by their own righteousness. These righteous ones shall surely live, if they do not commit iniquity. Then they can trust in their righteousness. On the other hand, if they commit iniquity, none of their righteous deeds would be remembered. In fact, the committed iniquity would bring them death, so that they would die.
Yahweh gave explicit instructions to Ezekiel. He was to tell the house of Israel that Yahweh did not take any pleasure in the death of the wicked ones. He would rather have them turn away from their evil ways and thus live. Why would they want to die? The house of Israel could live, if they ended their wicked ways.
Yahweh told Ezekiel to tell the land of Israel that he was going to go against them with a drawn sword. He was going to take his sword out of its sheath or holder against both the righteous and the wicked. His sword was not going to go back into that sheath or holder. He was going to raise his sword against everyone from south to north. They all would know that Yahweh had drawn his sword from his sheath. Thus it would not be returned to its sheath again.
What happens if the righteous turn away from their righteousness, will they live? If they commit iniquity and do abominable things like the wicked do, will they live? None of their righteous deeds would be remembered. The guilty treacherous sins that they committed will bring them death.
The question was about consequences of actions. Does the son suffer for the iniquities of his father? If the son has done what is lawful and right, should he be punished? If he has been careful to observe all the statutes of Yahweh, he would surely live. The person who sinned would die. A child will not suffer for the iniquity of a parent. Neither should a parent suffer for the iniquity of their children. Both the righteous and the wicked shall suffer the consequences of their own actions, not that of someone else.
Ezekiel concludes this little section on the false prophetesses with Yahweh condemning them. Strangely enough, it is not a death sentence. He merely chastised them for disheartening the righteous ones falsely. These prophetesses had not encouraged the wicked to turn away from their wicked ways. They made no attempt to save the lives of the wicked ones. Their punishment was rather simple. They would no longer have any visions or be allowed to practice divination. By the way, who would stop them? Yahweh would save his people from them. Once again, they would know that he was Yahweh, the God of Israel.
What was true about the wicked was also true about the righteous. If these righteous ones would turn away from their righteousness, it they committed iniquity, Yahweh was going to lay a stumbling block before them. They would die. If Ezekiel had not warned them, they would die for their sins anyway. Any righteous deeds that they had done would be forgotten. However, the blood of these fallen away righteous one would be on the hands of Ezekiel. On the other hand, if Ezekiel had warned the righteous ones not to sin, and then they did not sin, they would live. They had taken the warning words from Ezekiel seriously. On top of that, Ezekiel’s life would be saved.