Psalms 118:22

22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

Psalms 118:22 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 118:22

The stone [which] the builders refused
This is not Zerubabel, according to the sense of some Jews, as Theodoret suggests; nor the people of Israel, as Jarchi and Kimchi; nor David, as the Targum, which paraphrases the words,

``the child the builders despised was among the sons of Jesse, and deserved to be appointed a king and a governor.''

He doubtless was a type of Christ, and there was some shadow of what is here said in him: he was refused by all the tribes but Judah; Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, was set upon the throne, though afterwards all Israel and Judah united in making David king, ( 2 Samuel 2:8-10 ) ( 5:3 ) . But the Messiah is intended, as some ancient Jewish writers F5 own, and Jarchi himself elsewhere F6 confesses; and which is certain from the quotation and application of this passage to Christ, in ( Matthew 21:42 ) ( Acts 4:11 Acts 4:12 ) ; who is compared to a stone for his strength and duration; and because of his usefulness in the spiritual building of the church, as a foundation and corner stone; (See Gill on Matthew 21:42). Him the Jewish builders refused; their political ones, their rulers, that believed not on him; the princes of this world, that rose up against him and crucified him; even those who were the support of their civil state, and the maintainers of it: but more especially their ecclesiastical builders, the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, who built the people, or directed them to build on their carnal privileges, the traditions of the elders, and their own legal righteousness. These refused to receive Jesus as the Messiah, and to believe in him; they refused to own and honour him as King of Zion; they refused his doctrines and ordinances; they refused to hear him preach, or suffer others to hear him; they refused to make use of him in the spiritual building, either to preach him themselves, or allow others to do it; they rejected him with contempt; they set him at nought, and preferred a thief and a robber to him;

is become the head [stone] of the corner;
Christ is the corner stone, that unites elect angels and elect men together, Jews and Gentiles, Old and New Testament saints, saints above and below, saints in all ages and places; and he is the head stone, or chief corner stone, for strength and beauty, and the head of the corner; or of persons most eminent, who are sometimes called the corner, ( Judges 20:2 ) ( Zechariah 10:4 ) . Christ is exalted above all; he is the head of principalities and powers, the angels; he is made higher than the kings of the earth; and is the head of the body, the church, an head both of eminence and influence.


F5 Zohar in Exod. fol. 93. 3. Vid. Tikkune Zohar, Correct. 5. fol. 15. 2.
F6 Comment. in Mic. v. 2.

Psalms 118:22 In-Context

20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

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New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.