There are occasions in Scripture when whole groups of people are guilty of complicity in the crime committed by the father and thus all die, but where there is no complicity, there is no guilt, and punishment is inappropriate. Achan's family doubtless knew of his crime and helped him conceal it (Josh. 7:1ff.). When Korah rebelled against God, his family distanced themselves from him, and did not die with him (Num. 26:10, 11). When David numbered the people, he sinfully did not collect the atonement money, so that the blood of war was not covered, and the Angel of Death attacked the people; yet the people were involved in the sin, for they had not paid the required money (2 Sam. 24; cf. Exo. 30:11-16). Regarding 2 Sam. 21:1-14, verse 1 states that Saul's house was involved in Saul’s crime. Deut. 24:16 says that "Fathers shall not be put to death for sons, nor shall sons be put to death for fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin." The same is taught in Exo. 21:31. When a son or daughter is killed by an ox that has gored before, the ox’s owner is put to death, not the owner’s son or daughter. When Reuben said, “You may put my two sons to death if I do not bring him [your son] back to you . . .” (Gen. 42:37), he was following pagan custom, not God’s law.
God threatened to kill Pharaoh's son if Pharaoh did not let God's son go (Exo. 4:23). This seems to contradict the thesis. But first, God has delegated to human governments only the right to punish individuals; God alone takes care of whole cultures. Second, God's judgment against children is based on the fact that they have the sin of Adam, and deserve to die. God's judgment of Egypt at the exodus was not simply designed to illustrate principles of human legal justice, but to display His wrath against sin (Exo. 9:16). All children deserve to die; it is of the mercy of God that He spares most.
- James Jordan, The Law of the Covenant 126-27 (1984), at http://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/: HTML, DjVu.