|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:9-16 The prophet challenges the enemies of the Jews. Their efforts would be vain, and themselves broken to pieces. It concerns us, in time of trouble, to watch against all such fears as put us upon crooked courses for our own security. The believing fear of God preserves against the disquieting fear of man. If we thought rightly of the greatness and glory of God, we should see all the power of our enemies restrained. The Lord, who will be a Sanctuary to those who trust in him, will be a Stone of stumbling, and a Rock of offence, to those who make the creature their fear and their hope. If the things of God be an offence to us, they will undo us. The apostle quotes this as to all who persisted in unbelief of the gospel of Christ, 1Pe 2:8. The crucified Emmanuel, who was and is a Stumbling-stone and Rock of offence to unbelieving Jews, is no less so to thousands who are called Christians. The preaching of the cross is foolishness in their esteem; his doctrines and precepts offend them.
Verse 14. - He shall be for a Sanctuary (comp. Ezekiel 11:16, "Yet will I be to them as a little Sanctuary"). A sanctuary is "a refuge" (Psalm 90:1; Psalm 91:9), and something more. It is a holy refuge, a place which is a refuge because of its holiness. Its material counterpart in the Mosaic system is, not "the city of refuge," but the altar (1 Kings 1:50; 1 Kings 2:28). Both the houses of Israel; i.e. "the two reigning houses of Samaria and Judaea," both of which were Israelite. Both the "houses" would ultimately forsake Jehovah, and find in him a "Snare" and a "Rock of offense."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he shall be for a sanctuary,.... Not the king of Assyria, as Aben Ezra, but the Lord of hosts: the Targum rightly interprets it of the word of the Lord, the essential Word; of the Messiah, who is for a sanctuary, or asylum, a place of refuge for his people in all times of distress, and who is their dwelling place in all generations; he dwells in them, and they dwell in him; and where they dwell safely and securely, peaceably and quietly, comfortably and pleasantly, and that always; he is a sanctuary to worship in, in whom they draw nigh to the Father, and offer up the sacrifices of prayer and praise, and where the glory of God is seen by them, and they have communion with him; or "for sanctification", as the Septuagint version; this Christ is to his people, 1 Corinthians 1:30,
but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence, to both the houses of Israel: which Jarchi interprets of Pekah, the son of Remaliah, and his company, and of Shebna and his company; but Aben Ezra much better of the kingdoms of Israel and of Judah, especially when the twelve tribes were under one form of government in Christ's time. In the Talmud (u) it is explained of the two houses of the fathers of Israel; and these are they, the head of the captivity in Babylon, and the prince in the land of Israel; and the Nazarenes, as Jerom (w) reports, apply the words to the two houses or families of Hillel and Shammai, who were two heads of schools in Jerusalem, a little before the times of Christ, and were of the sect of the Pharisees; and to whom indeed Christ was a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, as he was to the Jews in common; who were offended and stumbled at his birth and parentage, he descending from poor parents; at his education and place of bringing up; at the mean appearance of himself and his followers; at the obscurity of his kingdom, it not being of this world, nor coming with observation; at the company he kept, and the audience that attended on him; at his doctrines and miracles; and at his death, and the manner of it; see Romans 9:32.
For a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; even the principal inhabitants of it, such as the elders of the people, priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, who sought to entangle Christ in his talk, and to ensnare him by questions they put unto him; but were themselves snared and taken, convicted, confounded, and silenced. See Matthew 22:15.
(u) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 38. 1.((w) In loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. sanctuary—inviolable asylum, like the altar of the temple (1Ki 1:50; 2:28; Eze 11:16; compare Pr 18:10); namely, to those who fear and trust in Him.
but … offence—that is, a rock over which they should fall to their hurt; namely those who would not believe.
both … houses—Israel and Judah. Here again the prophecy expands beyond the temporary application in Ahaz' time. The very stone, Immanuel, which would have been a sanctuary on belief, becomes a fatal stumbling-block through unbelief. Jesus Christ refers to this in Mt 21:44. (Compare De 32:4, 15, 18, 30, 31, 37; Da 2:34; Ro 9:33; 1Pe 2:8).
gin—trap, in which birds are unexpectedly caught (Lu 21:35; 1Th 5:2). So at the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus.
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