Calvinism and Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11 - Peter Martyr Vermigli

Peter Martyr Vermigli answers the argument that Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11 disproves Calvinism because it teaches that God doesn't desire the death of the wicked.
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Introduction

Some argue that Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11 disproves Calvinism because it teaches that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather wants the wicked to turn and live. If this is true, then the argument is that God would not predestine some to salvation and others to hell.

Here are the relevant verses:

18:23 Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

32:11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Below is reformer Peter Martyr Vermigli's (1499–1562) exegesis of these verses.

Source: Predestination and Justification [Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2003], p. 46

Peter Martyr Vermigli on Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11

Therefore, by this will, which we call the signified will, he does not will the sinner's death. Rather he provokes them to repentance [Eze. 33:11]. As to the other will, which they call the will of his good pleasure (beneplacitus), if by it he wills that no one perish, then surely no one would perish. As Augustine says, there is no will so perverse that if he wishes to, God cannot make it good. According to this will he has done all things he wished. This is a simple and plain interpretation. If our adversaries will not accept it, but insist on contending that the prophet's words are to be understood of the absolute will of God, and the will of his good pleasure, then we answer that the statement does not relate to all sinners universally, only to those who repent. They are the elect and predestined, to whom God, according to his purpose, gives faith and calling, and repentance

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