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Re: Sins of the fathers

Posted by ESC on August 24, 2003

In Reply to: The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons posted by Soulsellerman on August 24, 2003

: Hi everyone,
: I'm looking for the origin of the phrase 'The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons.' I found a reference to 'The sins of the fathers' part in the old testament--Lamentations 5--but I can find no trace of the 'Shall be visited upon the sons' part.
: I was hoping someone out there knows the origin of this entire phrase. Thanks in advance!

SINS OF THE FATHERS -- Euripides (c. 485-406 B.C.), Phrixus, fragment 970: "The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children."

Also: "For the sins of your fathers you, though guiltless, must suffer." - Horace, "Odes," III, 6, l. 1. "The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children." - Shakespeare, "The Merchant of Venice," act III, sc. V, l. 1

From "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations," seventeenth edition, by John Barlett and Justin Kaplan, general editor (Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 2002).