What does the New Testament say about generational curses?

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Question / Comment -  What does the New Testament say about generational curses?


I have a bible study group for men and we speak about generational curses, rejections, arrested development. I’m seeking more information about these topics.

Thank you


JPN Reply:

Hi Heath,

thanks for the email.

Generational Curses

If you are seeking more information about generational curses then here is a list of verses about it from the New Testament.



Ok, that's all I could find! Not trying to be provocative but generational curses is not a topic in the New Testament and the New Covenant. Which should make any believer question why they are speaking about it. Think about it... The Apostle is writing to new believers in Corinth, Ephesus, Rome etc. All these places were full of false gods, idols and practices. They offered sacrifices to idols and worshiped false gods. Their parents and parents' parents, going all the way back, did the same. If generational curses were relevant to New Testament believers then these believers in these cities would need to know about it and be delivered from them. The Apostles would teach and write about them. We would find it throughout the New Testament. But there is no mention of it in any epistle. None. In fact there is the opposite. When some bad things happened and Jesus' disciples asked if it was because of the person's sin or their father, Jesus said neither.

Joh 9:1-3 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. (2) And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" (3) Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

The teaching of generational curses comes from a wrong interpretation of Exodus 20:5. Even Israel, it seems, mis-interpreted this verse because in Ezekiel the Lord spoke out very clearly AGAINST such teaching. Listen to what the Lord said:

Eze 18:1-4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, (2) "What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, 'The fathers eat the sour grapes, But the children's teeth are set on edge'? (3) "As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore. (4) "Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die.

They had a proverb that said that the fathers eat sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge. The application of this was that the children are being held responsible for their fathers sins. The Lord made is clear that He did not like the people saying that the sons will be held accountable for their fathers sins. Each would be held responsible for their own sin

Eze 18:19-20 "Yet you say, 'Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity?' When the son has practiced justice and righteousness and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live. (20) "The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

As a side note this verse is also mentioned in Jer 31:29 and seems to be connected with the promise of the New Covenant in Jer 31:31.

Personally, I believe teaching about generational curses is a trick of the enemy to get the believers focus OFF the finished work of Christ and not only onto themselves but on on the possible countless sins or evil dabbling of their previous generations. Think about it... if a believer is cursed by a sin of their parents going back four generations then you would have to examine the lives of 30 people! (2 parents + 4 grandparents + 8 great grandparents + 16 great great grandparents!) That is crazy and so like the enemy to try get a believers focus off the victory won by Christ. If you want to talk about curses, then speak about this one -

Gal 3:13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us--for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"-- (14) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

He took the entire curse of the law (which none of us could keep) so that we may receive the blessing of Abraham (that is being declared righteous/perfect/not guilty in His sight, because of our faith in Christ!) 


Rejection is obviously very real and common to many, if not all at some stage (or many stages) of their life while living on planet earth. Many children are rejected by parents and peers even from a young age. Even more incredible is that God became a man and was rejected! Jesus knew all about it. Look at these verses:

1Pe 2:4 And coming to Him (the Lord Jesus) as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God.

Isa 53:3 He (the Lord Jesus) was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Joh 1:11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

His home town rejected Him (Luke 4:14-24). Even his own brothers did not believe Him (John 7:5).

Rejection, unfortunately, is part of this life in this current age. But Jesus knows all about it and the only solution that I know of is for a person to find their identity and acceptance in Christ. Jesus will never reject someone that comes humbly to the throne of grace (Heb 4:15-16) because He can sympathize with our rejection and need. And the only true acceptance that we will ever find is 'in Christ'. I have written a study about what that means which, when truly meditated upon, is amazing (not the study as such - the place that God has given us in Christ). Have a look here:


I'll leave it there though lots more could be said. I know the 'generational curses' answer is probably not what you were expecting or wanting. But it is true. The old saying when it comes to Bible study is 'major on the majors and minor on the minors.' And if it isn't clearly taught in scripture don't waste your time trying to focus on it. As I said before, the enemy hates the victory of the cross and gets us to focus of everything but. It isn't profitable. Teach people about what Christ has done and not what their great grandfather may have done and victory comes.

Hope this helps. God Bless,

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