Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD
In order to show what is the true foundation of hope and trust for security from death and hell, and to convince men of their vain and false confidence, as well as to comfort the people of God, such as truly feared him in Jerusalem; who, bearing the judgment denounced, might conclude that they were going to be cut off from being a nation, and that the family and kingdom of David would be at an end, and then where was the promise of the Messiah? wherefore, to relieve the minds of such, a promise of him is delivered out in the midst of a denunciation of judgment upon the wicked: Behold,
(a note of attention and admiration, as well as asseveration,) I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone;
which the Targum interprets of a king; and Jarchi of the King Messiah, who undoubtedly is meant, as is clear from ( Romans 9:33 ) ( 1 Peter 2:6 ) and not Hezekiah, as Kimchi, and others, who was now king, when this prophecy was made, and therefore cannot respect him; but Christ, who is frequently spoken of, under the simile of a stone, ( Genesis 49:24 ) ( Psalms 118:22 ) ( Daniel 2:45 ) ( Zechariah 3:9 ) and may be compared to one for his usefulness in the spiritual building, being both foundation and cornerstone, and for his great strength and durableness; and this is a stone of the Lord's laying, which he had been laying in his eternal purposes and decrees, as the Mediator, Saviour, and Redeemer of his people; and whom he was about to lay, by sending him forth, in the fulness of time, to be incarnate, suffer, and die for them: and whom he lays as the foundation in the effectual calling of his people, to build their faith and hope upon; and this is done in Zion, in the church, which is built upon him, and where he is revealed and made known to be what he is, and as here described: a tried stone;
by the Old Testament saints, and by saints in all ages, who have ventured their souls on him, and laid the whole stress of their salvation upon him, and have been saved by him; and by Satan, and his principalities and powers, by his temptations of him in the wilderness, and by his attacks upon him in the garden, and on the cross, and found him to be an immovable stone, and were broken by him; and by his divine Father, who tried his faithfulness by trusting him with all his elect, and the salvation of them; and his great strength, by laying upon him all their sins, and the punishment due unto them. Some render it, "a stone of trial", or "a trying stone" F20; by which men are tried, and discovered to be what they are, whether believers or unbelievers, sincere Christians or hypocrites; which may be known by their conduct and behaviour to Christ; if they come to him as a living stone, and he is precious to them, they are true believers; but if he is to them a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, they are unbelievers, and reprobate persons, ( 1 Peter 2:4 1 Peter 2:7 1 Peter 2:8 ) : a precious corner [stone];
which, as it is both for the beauty and strength of the building, so it knits, cements, and keeps the parts together; and of this use is Christ in the spiritual building; angels and men are knit together in him, Jews and Gentiles, Old and New Testament saints, saints above and saints below, saints in all ages, times, and places: and a "precious" stone he is, a pearl of great price; precious to his Father, who loves him, and delights in him, and has chosen and laid him as the foundation of his church, and of every true believer; to whom also he is precious, his person, names, offices, and relations, his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, his word, ordinances, and people, and everything belonging to him: a sure foundation;
a well founded one F21; which will never give way; a rock on which the church is built, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it; a sure foundation of faith and hope, of peace, joy, and comfort, and of eternal happiness, to all that build upon it; a foundation firm and strong, immovable and everlasting; and so is every thing that is laid or depends upon it, the covenant of grace, and the promises of it, the persons of the Lord's people, and their salvation: he that believeth;
either those things, as the Targum adds, this promise and prophecy, and the things contained therein; or in Christ, the foundation laid, the tried and precious cornerstone, so it is explained in ( 1 Peter 2:6 ) : shall not make haste;
or be impatient for the fulfilment of this prophecy, but patiently wait for it, knowing that it is for an appointed time, and will not tarry; and that God will hasten it in his own time; or will not make haste to lay any other foundation, being satisfied with this that is laid; nor make haste to a strange god, to another Saviour, knowing there is salvation in him, and in no other. The Targum is,
``shall not be moved when trouble comes;''being founded upon this Rock of ages, which is proof against all storms and tempests; see ( Matthew 7:24 Matthew 7:25 ) . The Apostles Paul and Peter, agreeably to the Septuagint version, render it, "shall not be ashamed", or "confounded"; (See Gill on Romans 9:33) (See Gill on 1 Peter 2:6).
F20 (Nxb Nba) "lapidem probationis", Junius & Tremellius, Calvin, Vitringa.
F21 (dowm dowm) "fundamentum fundatum"; so some in Vatablus; "fundationem fundatissimam", Junius & Tremellius; "fundamentum solidum", Calvin; "solidissimum" Tigurine version; So Ben Melech interprets it a strong foundation.