1 Peter 2:6
Why also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Wherefore also.—The mention of Jesus Christ brings the writer back again to his theme, viz., that the whole system to which his readers belong has undergone a radical change, and is based on Jesus and His fulfilment of the sufferings and glories of the Messiah. The right reading here is not “wherefore also,” but becausei.e., the quotations are introduced in the same way as in 1Peter 1:16; 1Peter 1:24, as justifying the foregoing expressions.

It is contained in the scripture.—In the original the phrase is a curious one. “The scripture” never means the Old Testament as a whole, which would be called “the Scriptures,” but is always the particular book or passage of the Old Testament. Literally, then, our present phrase runs, because it encloses or contains in that passage. Thus attention is drawn to the context of the quotation, and in this context we shall again find what made St. Peter quote the text.

Behold, I lay.—The sentence is taken from Isaiah 28:16, and, like the last, is adapted to the occasion out of both Hebrew and LXX. Gesenius on that passage gives evidence to show that the early Jewish explanation, current in our Lord’s time, referred it to the Messiah; the later Rabbinical expositors, probably by way of opposition to the Christians, explained it to mean Hezekiah. In order to gain a clear conception of St. Peter’s aim in the quotation, it is necessary to glance over the whole section contained in the 28th and 29th chapters of Isaiah. “The prophecy here cited,” says Archbishop Leighton, “if we look upon it in its own place, we shall find inserted in the middle of a very sad denunciation of judgment against the Jews.” Besides our present text, which is quoted also in Romans 9:33, our Lord’s prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem is an amplification of Isaiah 29:3-4; His sharp censure of the corrupt traditions which had superseded the law of God (Matthew 15:7-9) is taken from Isaiah 29:13; St. Paul’s image of the potter changing his purpose with the lump of clay (Romans 9:21), comes from Isaiah 29:16. Like one bright spot in the sad picture appears our verse, but only as serving to heighten the general gloom. St. Peter’s quotation here, therefore, calling attention as it does to the context, is at least as much intended to show his Hebrew readers the sweeping away of the carnal Israel as to encourage them in their Christian allegiance. In the original passage the sure foundation is contrasted with the refuge of lies which the Jewish rulers had constructed for themselves against Assyria, “scorning” this sure foundation as a piece of antiquated and unpractical religionism. Nägelsbach (in his new commentary on Isaiah) seems to be right in interpreting the “refuge of lies” to mean the diplomatic skill with which Ahaz and the Jewish authorities flattered themselves their treaty with Egypt was drawn up, and the “sure foundation” opposed to it is primarily God’s plighted promise to the house of David, in which all who trusted would have no cause for flight. In the Messianic fulfilment, those promises are all summed up in the one person of Jesus Christ (Acts 13:33; 2Corinthians 1:20); and the “refuge of lies” in which the Jewish rulers had trusted was the wicked policy by which they had tried to secure their “place and nation” against the Romans (John 11:48).

In Sion.—In Isaiah it means that the people have not to look for any distant external aid, such as that of Pharaoh: all that they need is to be found in the city of David itself. Here, it seems to impress upon the Hebrew Christians that they are not abandoning their position as Hebrews by attaching themselves to Jesus Christ. It is they who are really clinging to Sion when the other Jews are abandoning her.

Shall not be confounded (or, ashamed).—Our version of Isaiah translates the Hebrew original by the unintelligible “shall not make haste.” It really means, shall not flee. While all the Jewish rulers, who had turned faithless and trusted in their finesse with Egypt, would have to flee from the face of the Assyrians, those who preserved their faith in God would be able to stand their ground. This, of course, did not come literally true in the first instance, where a common temporal overthrow came upon faithful and faithless alike, from Babylon, though not from Assyria. In the Messianic fulfilment, however, the faith or unbelief of the individual makes all the difference to him: the overthrow of the many does not affect the few. St. Peter adds to “believe” the words “on Him” or “on it.” which are found in neither the Hebrew nor the Greek of Isaiah, such an addition being quite in keeping with the Rabbinic method of quotation, which frequently alters words (comp. Matthew 2:6) to bring out the concealed intention more fully. The general quality of “faith” of which the prophet spoke, i.e., reliance on the promises of God, becomes faith in Him in whom the promises are fulfilled. For a like cause St. Peter prefers the LXX. “be ashamed” to the Hebrew “flee away,” there being (except at the Fall of Jerusalem) no opportunity for actual flight. It comes to the same thing in the end: “shall not find his confidence misplaced.”

1 Peter 2:6-8. Wherefore also — To which purpose; it is contained in the Scripture — In Isaiah 28:16, the passage before referred to. Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone — To support and hold together the whole building. This, as explained Ephesians 2:21, signifies the union of Jews and Gentiles in one faith, baptism, and hope, so as to form one church or temple for the worship of God through the mediation of Christ. And he that believeth on him — With a lively faith, a faith productive of love and obedience; shall not be confounded — In time or in eternity. To you therefore who believe — With such a faith; he is precious — Highly esteemed by you, and of infinite advantage to you. Or, as we read in the margin, he is an honour. The clause may also be rendered, To you who believe in this honour; the honour of being built on Christ, the foundation, or chief corner-stone of the new temple of God. But unto them which be disobedient — Who disbelieve and disobey the gospel, the words of the psalmist are accomplished; the stone which the builders disallowed — Namely, the Jewish chief-priests, elders, and scribes, called builders, because it was their office to build up the church of God among the Jews. See on Psalm 118:22. But they rejected the stone here spoken of, and would give it no place in the building; the same is made the head of the corner — And all their opposition to it is vain. It is not only placed at the foot of the corner, to support the two sides of the building erected upon it, but at the head of the corner, to fall upon and grind to powder those that reject it; and, as the same prophet elsewhere speaks, a stone of stumbling, and rock of offence — Namely, to the unbelieving and disobedient. Thus Simeon, (Luke 2:34;) This child is set for the fall as well as the rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be spoken against; a prediction awfully fulfilled. Even to them which stumble, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed — This translation of the clause seems to imply that those who are disobedient were appointed to be so; but the original does not convey that sense, but is literally rendered, Who, disobeying the word, stumble, to which also they were appointed: that is, those who disobey the word are appointed to stumble, namely, at the stone of stumbling here spoken of, according to the prediction of Isaiah, Isaiah 8:14-15; He shall be for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling, &c., to both the houses of Israel; that is, to those that are unbelieving and disobedient; and many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and snared, and taken. This is what God has appointed, that they who reject Christ shall stumble at him, and fall into misery and ruin: or, that he who believeth not shall be damned: the unalterable decree of the God of heaven. Or the words may, with equal propriety, be rendered, Unto which stumbling they were disposed; those who disbelieve and disobey the gospel; being, through blindness of mind and perverseness of will, disposed to reject Christ, stumble at him, and fall into eternal ruin.2:1-10 Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart; and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace. But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is, nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces, that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle, and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture - Isaiah 28:16. The quotation is substantially as it is found in the Septuagint.

Behold, I lay in Sion - See the Isaiah 28:16 note, and Romans 9:33 note.

A chief cornerstone - The principal stone on which the corner of the edifice rests. A stone is selected for this which is large and solid, and, usually, one which is squared, and worked with care; and as such a stone is commonly laid with solemn ceremonies, so, perhaps, in allusion to this, it is here said by God that he would lay this stone at the foundation. The solemnities attending this were those which accompanied the great work of the Redeemer. See the word explained in the notes at Ephesians 2:20.

Elect - Chosen of God, or selected for this purpose, 1 Peter 2:4.

And he that believeth on him shall not be confounded - Shall not be ashamed. The Hebrew is, "shall not make haste." See it explained in the notes at Romans 9:33.

6. Wherefore also—The oldest manuscripts read, "Because that." The statement above is so "because it is contained in Scripture."

Behold—calling attention to the glorious announcement of His eternal counsel.

elect—so also believers (1Pe 2:9, "chosen," Greek, "elect generation").

precious—in Hebrew, Isa 28:16, "a corner-stone of preciousness." See on [2615]Isa 28:16. So in 1Pe 2:7, Christ is said to be, to believers, "precious," Greek, "preciousness."

confounded—same Greek as in Ro 9:33 (Peter here as elsewhere confirming Paul's teaching. See [2616]Introduction; also Ro 10:11), "ashamed." In Isa 28:16, "make haste," that is, flee in sudden panic, covered with the shame of confounded hopes.

Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture: the Greek word being of an active form, makes great difference among expositors about these words; not to trouble the reader with variety, the plainest way of understanding them seems to be, either:

1. That God be understood here, and supplied out of the former verse: Wherefore God contains it in the Scripture: or:

2. That the word, though of an active termination, be yet taken in a passive signification, contains, for is contained; so our translators do, and this way of speaking is not unusual with other writers.

Behold, I; I the Lord, not man, Psalm 118:23.

Lay in Sion; viz. by the preaching of the gospel, wherein Christ was declared to be the only foundation of the church, and whereby faith was wrought in the hearts of men, who were thereby actually built on Christ, as their foundation, and so the spiritual house, 1 Peter 2:5, erected.

Sion; either by synecdoche, Jerusalem, (whereof Sion was a part), where by the preaching of Christ first, and the apostles after his ascension, and sending the Spirit, this foundation stone was first laid, and God’s temple begun to be built, Psalm 110:2 Isaiah 2:3 Micah 4:2 Luke 24:47. Or rather, Sion here is to be understood of the gospel church, whereof Sion was a type.

A chief corner-stone; or, Head of the corner, Psalm 118:22; that which both supports the building, and unites the parts; Christ being the foundation not of a part only, but of the whole church; all the parts of which, Gentile, as well as Jew, are jointly built on him, and upheld by him, Ephesians 2:20.

Elect, precious: see 1 Peter 2:5.

And he that believeth on him shall not be confounded; shall not be disappointed of his expected salvation, and so shall have no cause to be ashamed of his hope. This is according to the LXX., the Hebrew hath it, shall not make haste, i.e. he that believes in Christ shall not through haste, or distrust, or unwillingness to wait God’s time and way, seek after any other way of salvation than by Christ; and so (as before) not being disappointed, shall have no cause to be ashamed; whereas they that do not believe, but make haste, coming short of their expectation, are at last filled with confusion. {See Isaiah 28:16 Romans 9:33} Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture,.... Isaiah 28:16. This is produced as a proof of the excellency of Christ, as compared to a stone; and of his usefulness in the spiritual building; and of his being chosen of God, and precious, though rejected by men; and of the happiness, comfort, and safety of those that believe in him. That this prophecy belongs to the Messiah, is the sense of some of the Jewish writers: the Targum on it applies it to a mighty king; it does not mention the King Messiah, as Galatinus (u) cites it; but Jarchi expressly names him, and interprets it of him:

behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; Christ is here called a chief corner stone, as in Ephesians 2:20 because he not only adorns and strengthens the building, but unites the parts, and keeps them together, even all the saints, Jews or Gentiles, in all ages and places, whether in heaven or earth; and he, as such, is chosen of God for that purpose, and is precious both to God and man, on that account; and is a stone, not of men's laying, but of God's laying in his council, covenant, promises, and prophecies, in the mission of him into this world, and in the Gospel ministry; the place where he is laid is in Sion, the Gospel church, of which he is both the foundation and corner stone: and this account is introduced with a "behold", it being something very wonderful, and worthy of attention: to which is added,

he that believeth on him shall not be confounded: or "ashamed"; of the foundation and cornerstone Christ, nor of his faith in him; and he shall not be confounded by men or devils, neither in this world, nor in that to come; he shall have confidence before Christ, and not be ashamed at his coming; he shall be safe now, being laid on this stone; nor shall he be removed from it, or intimidated by any enemy, so as to flee from it; nor shall he make haste, as it is in Isaiah 28:16 to lay another foundation; and he shall be found upon this hereafter; so that his person and state will be safe, though many of his works may be burnt up,

(u) De Aroan. Cathol. Ver. l. 3. c. 21.

{6} Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

(6) He proves it by the testimony of the prophet Isaiah.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Peter 2:6 gives the ground for the exhortation contained in 1 Peter 2:4-5 by a quotation of the passage, Isaiah 28:16, to which reference was already made in 1 Peter 2:4.

διότι] cf. 1 Peter 1:24.

περιέχει ἐν τῇ γραφῇ] an uncommon construction, yet not without parallel, see Joseph. Antt. xi. 7: βούλομαι γίνεσθαι πάντα, καθὼς ἐν αὐτῇ (i.e. ἐπιστολῇ) περιέχει; indeed περιέχειν is more than once used to denote the contents of a writing, see Acts 23:25; Joseph. Antt. xi. 9: καὶ ἡ μὲν ἐπιστολὴ ταῦτα περιεῖχεν. Either ἡ περιοχή (or ὁ τόπος) must, with Wahl, be supplied here as subject; or better, περιέχει must be taken impersonally as equal to, continetur; cf. Winer, p. 237 [E. T. 316]; Buttmann, p. 126.

The words of the passage in the O. T. (Isaiah 28:16) are quoted neither literally from the LXX. nor exactly according to the Hebrew text. In the LXX. it is: ἰδού, ἐγὼ ἐμβάλλω εἰς τὰ θεμέλια Σιὼν (instead of which we have here, exactly as in Romans 9:33 : ἰδού, τίθημι ἐν Σιὼν) λίθον πολυτελῆ (this adject. here omitted) ἐκλεκτὸν ἀκρογωνιαῖον (these two words here transposed) ἔντιμον εἰς τὰ θεμέλια αὐτῆς (the last two words εἰςαὐτῆς here left out) καὶ ὁ πιστεύων (ἐπʼ αὐτῷ added) οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ (Romans 9:33 : καὶ πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων ἐπʼ αὐτῷ οὐ καταισχυνθήσεται). Whatever may be understood by the stone in Zion, whether the theocracy, or the temple, or the house of David, or the promise given to David, 2 Samuel 7:12; 2 Samuel 7:16 (Hofmann), this passage, which certainly has a Messianic character,—inasmuch as the thought expressed in it should find, and has found, its fulfilment in Christ,—is not here only, but by Paul and the Rabbis (see Vitringa, ad Jes. I. p. 217), taken to refer directly to the Messiah, who also, according to Delitzsch (cf. in loc.), is directly meant by the stone (“this stone is the true seed of David, manifested in Christ”). Luther, following Oecumenius and Theophylactus, assumes that Christ is called λίθος ἀκρογων. because He has united Jew and Gentile together, and out of both collected the one church; this Calvin, not entirely without reason, calls a subtilius philosophari. In the words: καὶ ὁ πιστεύων κ.τ.λ., πιστεύων corresponds to προσερχόμενοι, 1 Peter 2:4. οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ does not refer to the glory which consists for the believer in this, “that he, as a λίθος ζῶν, will form part of the οἶκος πν.” (Wiesinger), but to “the final glory of salvation which is the aim of the present πιστεύειν” (Schott); cf. 1 Peter 2:2 : εἰς σωτηρίαν.[120]

[120] Hofmann is wrong in asserting that it is here said “that οὐ μὴ καταισχύνθῃ is meant to call back to mind the εἰς σωτηρίαν in ver. 2.”1 Peter 2:6. περιέχει ἐν γραφῇ, it is contained in Scripture. The formula occurs in Josephus (Ant. xi. 7, βούλομαι γενέσθαι πάντα καθὼς ἐν [τῇ ἐπιστολῇ] περιέχει) and is chosen for its comprehensiveness.—περιέχει is intransitive as the simple verb and other compounds often are; cf. περιοχή, contents, Acts 8:32.—γραφῇ. being a technical term, has no article.—ἰδοὺκαταισχυνθῇ, formal quotation of Isaiah 28:16, preceding quotation from Psalms, as prophets always precede the writings. The LXX has ἰδοὺ ἐμβάλλω ἐγὼ εἰς τὰ θεμέλια (unique expansion of normal θεμελιῶ = יסד of Heb., cf. εἰς τὰ θ. below; Targum, ממני I will appoint) Σειὼν λίθον πολυτελῆ (π. duplicate of ἔντιμον; Heb., a stone a stone; Targum, a king a king; pointing to Jewish Messianic interpretation) ἐκλεκτὸν ἀκρ. ἔντ. εἰς τὰ θεμέλια αὐτῆς (a foundation a foundation, Heb.) καὶ ὁ πιστεύων (+ ἐπʼ αὐτῷ [148] AQ) οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ (= יבוש for יחיש of Heb. = shall not make haste; Targum, when tribulation come shall not be moved). The chief difference is that St. Peter omits all reference to the foundation, and substitutes τίθημι; LXX is conflate, ἐμβάλλω εἰς being the original reading and τὰ θεμ. added by some purist to preserve the meaning of the Hebrew root. This omission may be due to the fact that Christians emphasised the idea that the stone was a corner stone binding the two wings of the Church together (Ephesians 2:20) and regarded this as inconsistent with εἰς κεφ.

[148] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.6. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture] As the words are not quoted in exact accordance either with the LXX. or with the Hebrew, it is natural to see in them a citation from Isaiah 28:16, freely made from memory.

a chief corner stone] The words, as in Psalm 118:22, Ephesians 2:20, point to the stone at the corner where two walls met, and resting on which they were bonded together and made firm.

elect, precious] Better, to maintain the identity of phrase, chosen, precious (or, held in honour).

he that believeth on him shall not be confounded] The meaning of the Hebrew is fairly expressed by the English version, “He that believeth shall not make haste,” i.e. shall go on his way calmly and trustfully, shall not be put to a hurried or hasty flight. Here St Peter follows the LXX. which expresses substantially the same thought.1 Peter 2:6. Περιέχει, it is contained) Used here as an impersonal verb.—ἰδοὺ, behold) See Romans 9:33, note.—ἐκλεκτὸν, ἔντιμον, elect, precious) Elect, has special reference to the stone; precious, to the chief corner-stone. In Hebrew אבן, a stone בחן פנת יקרת מוסד מוסד of searching out, a corner-stone of preciousness, most firmly laid. The term elect is also used of believers, 1 Peter 2:9. From the word precious is derived the word ἡ τιμὴ, the preciousness, the price, 1 Peter 2:7.—ὁ πιστεύων, he that believeth) From this is derived the word believing [unto you who believe], 1 Peter 2:7οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ, shall not be put to shame) He shall experience that the preciousness of Christ abounds towards him (whilst) believing.Verse 6. - Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture; literally, because it contains in Scripture. There is no article according to the best manuscripts; and the verb (περιέχει) is impersonal; it is similarly used in Josephus, 'Ant.,' 11:07. Compare the use of the substantive περιοχή in Acts 8:32. St. Peter proceeds to quote the prophecy (Isaiah 28:16) to which he has already referred. Behold, I lay in Zion a chief Cornerstone, elect, precious. The passage is taken from the Septuagint, with the emission of some words not important for the present purpose. St. Paul quotes the same prophecy still more freely (Romans 9:33). The rabbinical writers understand it of Hezekiah, but the earlier Jewish interpreters regarded it as Messianic. And he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. The Hebrew words literally mean "shall not be in haste;" the Septuagint appears to give the general meaning. He that believeth (the Hebrew word הֶךאמִין, means "to lean upon, to build upon," and so "to trust, to confide") shall not be flurried and excited with vain fears and trepidation; his mind is stayed on the Lord. It is contained (περιέχει)

From περί, round about, and ἔχω, to hold. Hence, to contain or comprehend. So Luke 5:9, he was astonished (θάμβος αὐτὸν περιέσχεν) ; lit., astonishment held him, encompassed. Also, Acts 23:25, "He wrote a letter after this manner (περιέχουσαν τὸν τύπον τοῦτον) ; lit., containing this form. The verb here is impersonal. The kindred word περιοχή occurs only in Acts 8:32, rendered place; i.e., the passage of scripture: either the contents of the passage or the section of the book circumscribed or marked off.

In the scripture (ἐν γραφῇ)

The best texts reject the article. Γραφή means a passage of scripture. See on Mark 12:10. Hence Rev., in scripture; margin, in a scripture.

Behold I lay, etc

See Romans 9:33.

Precious

See on 1 Peter 2:4.

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