Visiting The Iniquity Of The Fathers Upon The Children

Q. Re: Exodus 34:5-7.  Could you explain what it means about God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and fourth generation?

A. First of all let’s clarify that He’s speaking only of the guilty.  In Exodus 20:6 He said He shows His love to 1000 generations of those who love Him.   I think He’s referring to the huge impact fathers have on forming the beliefs of their children. Social scientists call this environmental conditioning.  It’s the process by which children learn to emulate the habits and attitudes of the role models around them.  Our most influential role model for good or evil is our earthly father. Some even believe the sin nature is passed through the father only, which is why Jesus could have a human mother but not possess a sin nature.

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