Ezek 18: 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him.
1 Kings 11:11 Then the Lord said to Solomon, “Since you have done this and did not keep My covenant and My statutes, which I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. 12 However, I will not do it during your lifetime because of your father David; I will tear it out of your son’s hand.
1 Kings 21:29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? I will not bring the disaster during his lifetime, because he has humbled himself before Me. I will bring the disaster on his house during his son’s lifetime.”
The LORD says clearly in Ezekiel that the sons won’t suffer the punishment of the father’s sins and vice versa. So was the son of Solomon and the son of Ahab an exception to this rule?
The Ezekiel passage is about God’s judgment being held accountable for a person’s personal sin. Nobody stands before the throne of God and holds guilt upon their life for someone else’s sins, only their own. The context of Ezekiel is salvific in nature.
But the consequences of judgment and the fruit of blessing does affect the next generations. As we read in the Ten Commandments, blessing flows down to a thousand generations and the results of sin to the third and fourth generation (Ex 20:4-6).
We see this all the time. When a family is righteous and healthy, they raise their kids the same, who in turn raise their children the same, and the blessing continues. But the person who does evil, has many addictions, is abusive and more, their children suffer. Then they raise their children in similar suffering and brokenness, and it continues for several generations.
In the case of Solomon and Ahab, their sons weren’t being held accountable for the sins of their father. But the fruit and the timing of the judgment was to come during their son’s lifetime. Their sons weren’t being judged for their behavior, but they were experiencing the fruit of their father’s bad choices.