|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
118:22,23, may refer to David's preferment; but principally to Christ. 1. His humiliation; he is the Stone which the builders refused: they would go on in their building without him. This proved the ruin of those who thus made light of him. Rejecters of Christ are rejected of God. 2. His exaltation; he is the chief Cornerstone in the foundation. He is the chief Top-stone, in whom the building is completed, who must, in all things, have the pre-eminence. Christ's name is Wonderful; and the redemption he wrought out is the most amazing of all God's wondrous works. We will rejoice and be glad in the Lord's day; not only that such a day is appointed, but in the occasion of it, Christ's becoming the Head. Sabbath days ought to be rejoicing days, then they are to us as the days of heaven. Let this Saviour be my Saviour, my Ruler. Let my soul prosper and be in health, in that peace and righteousness which his government brings. Let me have victory over the lusts that war against my soul; and let Divine grace subdue my heart. The duty which the Lord has made, brings light with it, true light. The duty this privilege calls for, is here set forth; the sacrifices we are to offer to God in gratitude for redeeming love, are ourselves; not to be slain upon the altar, but living sacrifices, to be bound to the altar; spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, in which our hearts must be engaged. The psalmist praises God, and calls upon all about him to give thanks to God for the glad tidings of great joy to all people, that there is a Redeemer, even Christ the Lord. In him the covenant of grace is made sure and everlasting.
Verse 22. - The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. The primary and literal meaning seems to be - " Israel, which the great of the world, those who think to arrange the world ac cording to their own ideas, have rejected and would fain have cast aside, has, nevertheless, despite their rejection, attained to eminence, and been advanced, by the course of events, into such a position, that it may be regarded as the head corner-stone - the most important of all the nations of the world." Any Messianic reference is secondary and subordinate.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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. But the Messiah is intended, as some ancient Jewish writers (e) own, and Jarchi himself elsewhere (f) confesses; and which is certain from the quotation and application of this passage to Christ, in Matthew 21:42, Acts 4:11; 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. 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.
(e) Zohar in Exod. fol. 93. 3. Vid. Tikkune Zohar, Correct. 5. fol. 15. 2.((f) Comment. in Mic. v. 2.
The Treasury of David
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
27 God is the Lord, which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
This passage will appear to be a mixture of the expressions of the people and of the hero himself.
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner." Here the people magnify God for bringing his chosen servant into the honourable office, which had been allotted to him by divine decree. A wise king and valiant leader is a stone by which the national fabric is built up. David had been rejected by those in authority, but God had placed him in a position of the highest honour and the greatest usefulness, making him the chief corner-stone of the state. In the case of many others whose early life has been spent in conflict, the Lord has been pleased to accomplish his divine purposes in like manner; but to none is this text so applicable as to the Lord Jesus himself- he is the living stone, the tried stone, elect, precious, which God himself appointed from of old. The Jewish builders, scribe, priest, Pharisee, and Herodian, rejected him with disdain. They could see no excellence in him that they should build upon him; he could not be made to fit in with their ideal of a national church, he was a stone of another quarry from themselves, and not after their mind nor according to their taste; therefore they cast him away and poured contempt upon him, even as Peter said, "This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders": they reckoned him to be as nothing, though he is Lord of all. In raising him from the dead the Lord God exalted him to be the head of his church, the very pinnacle of her glory and beauty. Since then he has become the confidence of the Gentiles, even of them that are afar off upon the sea, and thus he has joined the two walls of Jew and Gentile into one stately temple, and is seen to be the binding corner-stone, making both one. This is a delightful subject for contemplation.
Jesus in all things hath the pre-eminence, he is the principal stone of the whole house of God. We are accustomed to lay some one stone of a public building with solemn ceremony, and to deposit in it any precious things which may have been selected as a memorial of the occasion: henceforth that corner-stone is looked upon as peculiarly honourable, and joyful memories are associated with it. All this is in a very emphatic sense true of our blessed Lord, "The Shepherd, the Stone of Israel." God himself laid him where he is, and hid within him all the precious things of the eternal covenant; and there he shall for ever remain, the foundation of all our hopes, the glory of all our joys, the uniting bond of all our fellowship. He is "the head over all things to the church," and by him the church is fitly framed together, and groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. Still do the builders refuse him: even to this day the professional teachers of the gospel are far too apt to fly to any and every new philosophy sooner than maintain the simple gospel, which is the essence of Christ: nevertheless, he holds his true position amongst his people, and the foolish builders shall see to their utter confusion that his truth shall be exalted over all. Those who reject the chosen stone will stumble against him to their own hurt, and ere long will come his second advent, when he will fall upon them from the heights of heaven, and grind them to powder.
"This is the Lord's doing." The exalted position of Christ in his church is not the work of man, and does not depend for its continuation upon any builders or ministers; God himself has wrought the exaltation of our Lord Jesus. Considering the opposition which comes from the wisdom, the power, and the authority of this world, it is manifest that if the kingdom of Christ be indeed set up and maintained in the world it must be by supernatural power. Indeed, it is so even in the smallest detail. Every grain of true faith in this world is a divine creation, and every hour in which the true church subsists is a prolonged miracle. It is not the goodness of human nature, nor the force of reasoning, which exalts Christ, and builds up the church, but a power from above. This staggers the adversary, for he cannot understand what it is which baffles him: of the Holy Ghost he knows nothing. "It is marvellous in our eyes." We actually see it; it is not in our thoughts and hopes and prayers alone, but the astonishing work is actually before our eyes. Jesus reigns, his power is felt, and we perceive that it is so. Faith sees our great Master, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; she sees and marvels. It never ceases to astonish us, as we see, even here below, God by means of weakness defeating power, by the simplicity of his word baffling the craft of men, and by the invisible influence of his Spirit exalting his Son in human hearts in the teeth of open and determined opposition. It is indeed "marvellous in our eyes," as all God's works must be if men care to study them. In the Hebrew the passage reads, "It is wonderfully done" : not only is the exaltation of Jesus of Nazareth itself wonderful, but the way in which it is brought about is marvellous' it is wonderfully done. The more we study the history of Christ and his church the more fully shall we agree with this declaration.
"This is the day which the Lord hath made." A new era has commenced. The day of David's enthronement was the beginning of better times for Israel; and in a far higher sense the day of our Lord's resurrection is a new day of God's own making, for it is the dawn of a blessed dispensation. No doubt the Israelitish nation celebrated the victory of its champion with a day of feasting, music and song; and surely it is but meet that we should reverently keep the feast of the triumph of the Son of David. We observe the Lord's-day as henceforth our true Sabbath, a day made and ordained of God, for the perpetual remembrance of the achievements of our Redeemer. Whenever the soft Sabbath light of the first day of the week breaks upon the earth, let us sing,
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22, 23. These words are applied by Christ (Mt 21:42) to Himself, as the foundation of the Church (compare Ac 4:11; Eph 2:20; 1Pe 2:4, 7). It may here denote God's wondrous exaltation to power and influence of him whom the rulers of the nation despised. Whether (see on Ps 118:1) David or Zerubbabel (compare Hag 2:2; Zec 4:7-10) be primarily meant, there is here typically represented God's more wonderful doings in exalting Christ, crucified as an impostor, to be the Prince and Saviour and Head of His Church.
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