1 Peter 2:7
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
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(7) He is precious.—Rather, Unto you therefore, the believers, belongs the honour. So said in reference to His being called “a stone elect, honoured,” taken in conjunction with “shall not be ashamed.” Both the Hebrew and the Greek word rendered “precious” may with equal propriety be translated “honoured,” and this contrasts better with the “shame” just spoken of. Thus Dr. Lightfoot takes it. The argument is this: “God has selected Jesus for special honour, and has promised that all who trust in Him, instead of scorning Him like the Jewish rulers, shall have no cause to blush. Now you do trust in Him, therefore to you belongs the promise, and the honour bestowed by God on Him reflects on you. You, like Him, are made parts of the divine imperishable architecture.”

Unto them which be disobedient.—The better reading is, Unto them which disbelieve; the other word being an importation from 1Peter 2:8. The true reading better preserves the contrast with “you that believe.”

The stone which the builders disallowed.—We should perhaps have rather expected the sentence to run more like this: “To you which believe belongs the honour, but to those who disbelieve belongs the shame from which you are secured.” But instead, the Apostle stops short, and inserts (by a quotation) the historical fact which brought the shame, viz., the disappointment of their own design, and the glorious completion of that which they opposed. The words which follow are quoted directly from the LXX., and properly represent the Hebrew. Almost all the best modern critics consider the Psalm from which this verse is cited to be a late Psalm, written subsequent to the return from Babylon, in which case it is most probable that the composer was directly thinking of the prophecy of Isaiah above quoted. The Messianic interpretation of the Psalm would be no novelty to the Hebrews who received this Epistle (see Matthew 21:9), though probably they had not perceived it in its fulness. In its first application the passage seems to mean as follows: The speaker is Israel, taken as a single person. He has been a despised captive. The great builders of the world—the Babylonian and Persian empires—had recognised no greatness in him, and had no intention of advancing him; they were engaged in aggrandisement of self alone. Yet, after all, Israel is firmly planted once more in Sion, to be the first stone of a new structure, a new empire. Thus this interpretation at once suggests the admission of the Gentiles, humanity at large, into the architecture. Israel is the corner-stone, but corner-stones are not laid to be left unbuilt upon. In the fulfilment Christ takes the place of Israel, as is the case with Isaiah 53. The builders are the rulers of the Jews. In Acts 4:11 our author had called the Sanhedrin to their face, “you builders.” They, like the kings of Babylon, had been intent on building a fabric of their own, and had despised Jesus, yet, without any intention of so doing, had been the means of advancing Him (Acts 4:27-28). He had been made the basis of a new spiritual structure, in which faith, not fleshly lineage, was the cement and bond; and the believing Israelites, united to Him in both ways, shared the honour of being corner-stone. A further point is given to the quotation if we suppose, with Hengstenberg, Delitzsch, and others, that the remembrance of Isaiah’s prophecy of the “corner-stone” was suggested to the original Psalmist by the works of the Second Temple, then begun, advancing, or fresh completed. It will then fit in more perfectly with the description of the “spiritual house.” Leighton well points out how sore a trial it was to the faith of Jewish Christians to see that their own chosen people, even the most learned of them, rejected Christ, and adds, “That they may know this makes nothing against Him, nor ought to invalidate their faith at all, but rather testifies with Christ, and so serves to confirm them in believing, the Apostle makes use of those prophetical scriptures that foretell the unbelief and contempt with which the most would entertain Christ.”

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.Unto you therefore which believe - Christians are often called simply "believers," because faith in the Saviour is one of the prominent characteristics by which they are distinguished from their fellow-men. It sufficiently describes any man, to say that he is a believer in the Lord Jesus.

He is precious - Margin, "an honor." That is, according to the margin, it is an honor to believe on him, and should be so regarded. This is true, but it is very doubtful whether this is the idea of Peter. The Greek is ἡ τιμὴ hē timē; literally, "esteem, honor, respect, reverence;" then "value or price." The noun is probably used in the place of the adjective, in the sense of honorable, valued, precious; and it is not incorrectly rendered in the text, "he is precious." The connection demands this interpretation. The apostle was not showing that it was an honor to believe on Christ, but was stating the estimate which was put on him by those who believe, as contrasted with the view taken of him by the world. The truth which is taught is, that while the Lord Jesus is rejected by the great mass of people, he is regarded by all Christians as of inestimable value:

I. Of the fact there can be no doubt. Somehow, Christians perceive a value in him which is seen in nothing else. This is evinced:

(a) in their avowed estimate of him as their best friend;

(b) in their being willing so far to honor him as to commit to him the keeping of their souls, resting the whole question of their salvation upon him alone;

(c) in their readiness to keep his commands, and to serve him, while the mass of people disobey him; and,

(d) in their being willing to die for him.

II. The reasons why he is so precious to them are such as these:

(1) They are brought into a condition where they can appreciate his worth. To see the value of food, we must be hungry; of clothing, we must be exposed to the winter's blast; of home, we must be wanderers without a dwelling-place; of medicine, we must be sick; of competence, we must be poor. So, to see the value of the Saviour, we must see that we are poor, helpless, dying sinners; that the soul is of inestimable worth; that we have no merit of our own; and that unless someone interpose, we must perish. Everyone who becomes a true Christian is brought to this condition; and in this state he can appreciate the worth of the Saviour. In this respect the condition of Christians is unlike that of the rest of mankind - for they are in no better state to appreciate the worth of the Saviour, than the man in health is to appreciate the value of the healing art, or than he who has never had a want unsupplied, the kindness of one who comes to us with an abundant supply of food.

(2) the Lord Jesus is in fact of more value to them than any other benefactor. We have had benefactors who have done us good, but none who have done us such good as he has. We have had parents, teachers, kind friends, who have provided for us, taught us, relieved us; but all that they have done for us is slight, compared with what he has done. The fruit of their kindness, for the most part, pertains to the present world; and they have not laid down their lives for us. What he has done pertains to our welfare to all eternity; it is the fruit of the sacrifice of his own life. How precious should the name and memory of one be who has laid down his own life to save us!

(3) we owe all our hopes of heaven to him; and in proportion to the value of such a hope, he is precious to us. We have no hope of salvation but in him. Take that away - blot out the name and the work of the Redeemer - and we see no way in which we could be saved; we have no prospect of being saved. As our hope of heaven, therefore, is valuable to us; as it supports us in trial; as it comforts us in the hour of death, so is the Saviour precious: and the estimate which we form of him is in proportion to the value of such a hope.

(4) there is an intrinsic value and excellency in the character of Christ, apart from his relation to us, which makes him precious to those who can appreciate his worth. In his character, abstractedly considered, there was more to attract, to interest, to love, than in that of any other one who ever lived in our world. There was more purity, more benevolence, more that was great in trying circumstances, more that was generous and self-denying, more that resembled God, than in any other one who ever appeared on earth. In the moral firmament, the character of Christ sustains a pre-eminence above all others who have lived, as great as the glory of the sun is superior to the feeble lights, though so numerous, which glimmer at midnight. With such views of him, it is not to be wondered at that, however he may be estimated by the world, "to them who believe, he is precious."

But unto them which be disobedient - Literally, "unwilling to be persuaded," (ἀπειθὴς apeithēs) that is, those who refused to believe; who were obstinate or contumacious, Luke 1:17; Romans 1:30. The meaning is, that to them he is made a stone against which they impinge, and ruin themselves. See the notes at 1 Peter 2:8.

The stone which the builders disallowed - Which they rejected, or refused to make a cornerstone. The allusion here, by the word "builders," is primarily to the Jews, represented as raising a temple of salvation, or building with reference to eternal life. They refused to lay this stone, which God had appointed, as the foundation of their hopes, but preferred some other foundation. See this passage explained in the Matthew 21:42 note; Acts 4:11 note; and Romans 9:33 note.


7. Application of the Scripture just quoted first to the believer, then to the unbeliever. On the opposite effects of the same Gospel on different classes, compare Joh 9:39; 2Co 2:15, 16.

precious—Greek, "THE preciousness" (1Pe 2:6). To you believers belongs the preciousness of Christ just mentioned.

disobedient—to the faith, and so disobedient in practice.

the stone which … head of … corner—(Ps 118:22). Those who rejected the STONE were all the while in spite of themselves unconsciously contributing to its becoming Head of the corner. The same magnet has two poles, the one repulsive, the other attractive; so the Gospel has opposite effects on believers and unbelievers respectively.

Precious; the margin reads it, according to the Greek, an honour; either the abstract is put for the concrete, an honour, for honourable, or precious, ( as the text hath it), and then the sense is plain, that Christ, as he is precious in himself, and to his Father, so he is to them that believe. Or, honour may be put for the cause of honour, and when it is opposed to shame and confusion before mentioned, and the sense is: Ye that believe, shall be so far from being ashamed, or having your faith frustrated, that ye shall be honoured, and saved by Christ. And this agrees well with what follows in this and 1 Peter 2:8.

Disobedient; unbelievers, who were disobedient to the great command of the gospel concerning faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The builders; the high priests, scribes, Pharisees, and rulers of the Jews, whose duty it was to build up the church, as having not only the name, but the power then residing in them.

Disallowed; rejected him, and would not acknowledge him for the promised Messiah, and the great foundation upon which the church of God was to be built.

The same is made the head of the corner:

Question. How is Christ to be made the Head of the corner to them that reject him?

Answer. Either:

1. Something is here to be understood, viz. this is said, or spoken, which follows, the stone which the builders, &c.: q.d. They despised him, but God hath honoured him; they would allow him no place in the building, but God hath given him the best, made him the Head-stone of the corner. Or:

2. Christ may be said to be made to the disobedient, in spite of their rejecting and opposing him, the Head of the corner; i.e. a King and a Judge to restrain and curb them in, seeing they would not be ruled by him.

Unto you therefore which believe,.... And such are not all they that can say their creed, or give their assent to the articles of it; nor all that believe a divine revelation, and that the Scriptures are the word of God, and give credit to all that is contained in the sacred oracles; or who believe the whole Gospel, and all the truths of it; as that there is one God; that there are three persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit; that Christ is the Son of God, and truly God; that he is the Mediator between God and man; that he is the Messiah, is become incarnate, has obeyed, suffered, and died for men, and is the Saviour of them: that he rose again, ascended to heaven, is set down at the right hand of God, intercedes for his people, and will come a second time to judge the world in righteousness; together with all other truths which arise from, depend upon, and are connected with these; nor all that say they believe, or profess to do so; but such who have seen themselves lost and undone by sin, their need of a Saviour, and Christ as the only one; who have seen the Son, the beauty of his person, the fulness of his grace, and the necessity and suitableness of salvation by him; who have beheld him as able to save them, as every way proper for them, and desirable by them, for faith is a sight of Christ; who also come to him under the drawings of efficacious grace, as perishing sinners, encouraged by his invitations and declarations, and venture on him; who likewise lay hold upon him, as their Saviour, and will have no other; give up themselves to him, and commit their all into his hands; who rely and stay themselves upon him, trust him with all they have, and for all they want, expecting grace and glory from him; who live upon him, and walk on in him, go on believing in him, till they receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls. Now to these, in proof of what is asserted in the above passage out of Isaiah, Christ is

precious; he is so in all his names and titles, as Immanuel, God with us, and that cluster of them in Isaiah 9:6 and particularly his name Jesus, a Saviour, which is as ointment poured forth, and draws the love of believers to him; and so he is in both his natures, divine and human; the perfections of deity in him, his being in the form of God, and equal to him, the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person, render him very amiable in the view of believers; who rightly conclude from hence, that all he has done, and does, must answer the purposes for which they are designed; and his having a perfect human nature, like to theirs, excepting sin, in which he wrought salvation for them on earth, and is now glorified in heaven, makes him a delightful object to them: he is also precious to them in all his offices; in his priestly office, his blood is precious, as it must needs be, since by it they are purchased and redeemed; they are justified and sanctified by it; through it they have the forgiveness of sin, and boldness to enter into the holiest of all: his righteousness is precious to them, it being the best robe, the wedding garment, fine linen, clean and white, every way suitable to them, and answerable to the demands of the law; is pure, perfect, and everlasting; that by which they are justified from all things, and which will answer for them in a time to come, and entitles them to eternal life. His sacrifice is precious, of a sweet smelling savour to them, as well as to God; by which their sins are fully expiated, put, and taken away; full satisfaction being made for them, and they themselves thereby perfected for ever. And so he is in his prophetic office. His word is precious, and all the truths of the Gospel, which are comparable to gold, silver, and precious stones; the promises of it are exceeding great and precious, being suited to the cases of all believers: and he is also precious in his kingly office; his commands are not grievous; his yoke is easy, and burden light; believers love his commandments above gold, yea; above fine gold, and esteem his precepts concerning all things to be right, and delight in his ways and ordinances: moreover, he is precious to them in all his relations, as he is the head of eminence and influence, their kind and loving husband, their everlasting Father, their affectionate brother, and faithful friend; his whole person, in every view, is precious to them that believe; the church of Christ, the members of his body, the sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, in these is all the delight of saints; everything that is in Christ, that is of him, or belongs to him, is precious to such souls: some read the words, "to you therefore that believe, he is honour"; as the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions; and so the word is rendered in Romans 13:7, he is both an honour to them, that they are related to him; and he is honoured by them, by believing in him, and obeying him; and he is the cause of all their true honour, both in this and the other world. The Syriac version renders it, "to therefore is this honour given"; namely, that such a stone is laid, and that they were built upon it, and should not be confounded or ashamed, either here or hereafter; connecting the words with the preceding. The Septuagint use the word the apostle here does, in Isaiah 11:10 where it is prophesied of the Messiah, that his rest shall be glorious; they render it "honour", or "precious". The Jewish writers have adopted the word into their language, and use it for profit and gain (w); in which sense it is applicable to Christ, who is gain to believers, both in life and in death; they being blessed with all spiritual blessings in him, and he being all in all to them: and also they use it, as denoting the intrinsic price and value of anything (x), and which is a right sense of the word; and to believers the price of wisdom, or Christ, is far above rubies, and all the things that can be desired; to them he is precious as a stone, as a foundation and corner stone, and more precious than the most precious stones or things in nature; this he is to them that believe: next follows, in this and the other verse, the account of what he is to them that believe not:

but unto them which be disobedient; who are not persuadable, unbelieving, and are children of disobedience; who neither obey God and his righteous law, nor Christ and his Gospel:

the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner; reference is manifestly had to Psalm 118:22 which is a passage that clearly belongs to the Messiah, and which is suggested by Christ himself; see Gill on Matthew 21:42; and is by our apostle, in Acts 4:11 applied unto him: by the builders are meant the rulers of the Jews, both civil and ecclesiastical, and especially the latter, the Scribes, Pharisees, and chief priests; who set up for builders of the church of God, but were miserable ones; they built themselves, and taught others to build, on the observance of the ceremonial law, and the traditions of the elders; on their carnal privileges, and moral righteousness; and these disallowed of Christ in the building, rejected him as the Messiah, refused him as the Saviour and Redeemer, and set him at nought, had him in the utmost derision, and reckoned him as a worm, and no man; but, to their great mortification, he is not only laid and retained as the foundation and cornerstone, but made the head of the building, and is exalted at God's right hand above angels and men; he is the head of the body, the church; he is higher than the kings of the earth, and angels are subject to him,

(w) Targum in Esther 3.8. & v. 13. & vii. 4. (x) Targum Hierosol. in Genesis 21.33. Targum Jon. in Genesis 23.15. Targum in Proverbs 31.10. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 2. 3. & sect. 11. fol. 9. 3.

{7} Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

(7) By setting the most blessed condition of the believers and triumphs over the other: and also prevents an offence which arises here, that none do more resist this doctrine of the gospel, than they who are chiefest among the people of God. In the time that Peter wrote these things, they were the priests, elders and scribes. Therefore he answers first of all, that there is no reason why any man should be astonished by their stubbornness, as though it were a strange matter, seeing as we have been foretold so long before, that it should so come to pass: and moreover, that it pleased God to create and make certain for this same purpose, that the Son of God might be glorified in their just condemnation. Thirdly, that the glory of Christ is hereby set forth greatly, whereas nonetheless Christ remains the sure head of his Church, and they that are offended by him, cast down and overthrow themselves, and not Christ. Fourthly, although they are created for this end and purpose, yet their fall and destruction is not to be attributed to God, but to their own obstinate stubbornness, which comes between God's decree, and the execution of it, or their condemnation, and is the true and proper cause of their destruction.

1 Peter 2:7. ὑμῖν οὖν ἡ τιμὴ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν] Conclusion, with special reference to the readers, ὑμῖν, drawn from 1 Peter 2:6 (οὖν), and in the first instance from the second half of the O. T. quotation, for τοῖς πιστεύουσιν evidently stands related to ὁ πιστεύων ἐπʼ αὐτῷ, hence the definite article. On the position of τοῖς πιστ., cf. Winer, p. 511 [E. T. 687]; only, with Winer, it must not be interpreted: “as believers, i.e. if ye are believers,” but: “ye who are believers.”

From the fact that ἡ τιμή echoes ἔντιμον, it must not be concluded that ἡ τιμή here is the worth which the stone possesses, and that the meaning is: “the worth which the stone has, it has for you who believe” (Wiesinger). The clause would then have read perhaps: ὑμῖν οὖν ὁ λίθος ἐστι ἡ τιμή, or the like. ἡ τιμή stands rather in antithesis to καταισχυνθῆναι, and takes up positively what had been expressed negatively in the verse immediately preceding. Gerhard: vobis, qui per fidem tanquam lapides vivi super eum aedificamini, est honor coram Deo (so, too, de Wette-Brückner, Weiss, Schott); ὑμῖν, sc. ἐστι: “yours therefore is the honour;” the article is not without significance here; the honour, namely, which in that word is awarded to believers (Steiger).

τοῖς πιστεύουσιν] an explanatory adjunct placed by way of emphasis at the end.

ἀπειθοῦσι [ἀπιστοῦσιν] δέ] antithesis to τοῖς πιστεύουσιν; ἀπειθεῖν denotes not only the simple not believing, but the resistance against belief; thus also ἀπιστοῦσιν here, if it be the true reading. Bengel wrongly explains the dative by: quod attinet; it is the dat. incommodi (Steiger, de Wette, etc.). The words: λίθος (λίθον) … γωνίας, are borrowed literally from Psalm 118:22, after the LXX. What is fatal for unbelievers in the fact that the stone is become the corner-stone (κεφ. γων. equals λιθ. ἀκρογ.) is stated in the following words, which are taken from Isaiah 8:14 : לְאֶבֶן נֶגֶף וּלְצוּר מִכְשׁוֹל.[121] In a manner similar though not quite identical, these passages of the O. T. are woven together by Paul in Romans 9:33. The words do not denote the subjective conduct of the unbelievers (according to Luther, the occasion of stumbling or offence which they find in the preaching of the cross), but the objective destruction which they bring upon themselves by their unbelief (Steiger, de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott, Fronmüller); cf. Luke 20:17-18, where the corner-stone is also characterized as a stone of destruction for unbelievers. It is therefore without any foundation that Hofmann asserts “the thought that, to the disobedient, Christ is become the corner-stone seems impossible,” if ἀπειθοῦσιν be taken as the dat. incommodi. So that it is in no way necessary to accept a construction so uncommon as that adopted by Hofmann, who considers the two clauses: ὑμῖνοἰκοδομοῦντες to be, with an omitted ὤν, in apposition to the following οὗτος, looking on ἡ τιμή as a kind of personal designation of the stone, and separating the three following expressions: εἰς κεφ. γων., λιθ. προκόμμ., and πέτρα σκανδ. in such a way as to refer the first to believers and the other two to unbelievers, although no such division is anywhere hinted at.

[121] Schott rightly observes that κεφαλὴ γωνίας, as the corner-stone, must not be understood, with Gerhard and Steiger, as one on which one stumbles and falls. This is not contained in the idea, corner-stone, in itself.

1 Peter 2:7 f. The second quotation is connected with the first by means of the parenthetic interpretation: The “precious”-ness of the stone is for you who believe but for the unbelievers it is … “a stone of stumbling”. It is a stereotyped conflation of Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14, which are so firmly cemented together that the whole is cited here where only the latter part is in point. The same idea of the two-fold aspect of Christ occurs in St. Paul more than once; e.g., Christ crucified to Jews a stumbling-block … but to you who believe1 Corinthians 1:23. The problem involved is discussed by Origen who adduces the different effects of the sun’s light.—ἡ τιμή, the τιμή involved in the use of the adjective ἔντιμον., or rather Heb. יקרה underlying it. The play on the peculiar sense thus required does not exclude the ordinary meaning honour (for which cf. 1 Peter 1:7; Romans 2:10).—λίθος ὃνγωνίας = Ps. l.c. (LXX)—the prophetic statement in scriptural phrase of the fact of their unbelief. The idea may be that the raising of the stone to be head of the corner makes it a stumbling-block but in any case λίθοςσκανδάλου is needed to explain this.—λίθος προσκόμματος κ. π. σκ. from Isaiah 8:14; LXX paraphrases the original, which St. Peter’s manual preserves, reading καὶ οὐχ ὡς λίθῳ προσκόμματι συναντήσεσθε οὐδὲ ὡς πετρας πτώματι (common confusion of construct, with Gen.).—οἱἀπειθοῦντες, description of the unbelieving in terms of the last quotation, who stumble at the word being disobedient. τῷ λόγῳ is probably to be taken with πρ. or both πρ. and . in spite of the stone being identified with the Lord. Stumbling at the word is an expression used by Jesus (Mark 4:17, διὰ τὸν λόγον σκανδαλίζονται; Matthew 15:12, ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον ἐσκανδαλίσθησαν; John 6:60, τοῦτοὁ λόγος οὗτοςὑμᾶς σκανδαλίζει). For . cf. 1 Peter 4:17, τῶν ἀπειθούντων τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ εὐαγγελίῳ.—εἰς ὃ καὶ ἐτέθησαν, whereunto also (actually) they were appointed. ἐτέθησαν comes from τίθημι (6); stone and stumbler alike were appointed by God to fulfil their functions in His Purpose. For the sake of the unlearned he only implies and does not assert in so many words that God appointed them to stumble and disobey; but his view is that of St. Paul (see Romans 9, 11, especially Romans 9:17; Romans 9:22); cf. Luke 2:34. Didymus distinguishes between their voluntary unbelief and their appointed fall. If any are tempted to adopt such ingenious evasions of the plain sense it is well to recall the words of Origen: “If in the reading of scripture you stumble at what is really a noble thought, the stone of stumbling and rock of offence, blame yourself. You must not despair of this stone … containing hidden thoughts so that the saying may come to pass, And the believer shall not be shamed. Believe first of all and you will find beneath this reputed stumbling-block much holy profit (in Jeremiah 44 (51):22, Hom. xxxix. = Philocalia x.).

7. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious] More accurately, Unto you therefore that believe there is the honour. The last words stand in direct connexion with the “shall not be ashamed” of the previous verse, and are not a predicate asserting what Christ is, but declare that honour, not shame, is the portion of those who believe on Him.

but unto them which be disobedient] The Greek word, like the English, expresses something more than the mere absence of belief and implies a deliberate resistance. To such as these, St Peter says, combining Isaiah 8:14-15 with the other passages in which the symbolism of the stone was prominent, much in the same way as St Paul combines them in Romans 9:33, the very corner-stone itself became “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.” Here again his language is an echo of our Lord’s (Matthew 21:44).

1 Peter 2:7. Ἡ τιμὴ, the preciousness or price) Supply ἐστὶν, exists, is well known; that is, He is precious towards (in the estimation of) you., that, refers to precious, 1 Peter 2:6, note. The abstract, preciousness or price, expresses the view in which the faithful regard Christ.—λίθονγωνίας, a stoneof the corner) See Matthew 21:42, note. Peter had quoted the same saying, Acts 4:11; and in this place he quotes it most appropriately. Λίθον, κ.τ.λ. The Syriac translator, or Greek copyist, before him, passing from λίθον to λίθος, omitted the intermediate words, as sometimes happens. But these plainly belong to the subject. Peter quotes three sayings in 1 Peter 2:6-7 : the first from Isaiah, the second from the Psalms, the third again from Isaiah. He makes allusion to the third in 1 Peter 2:8; but he alluded to the second and the first in 1 Peter 2:4, even then revolving them both in his mind. Therefore the words, ἀποδεδοκιμασμένον, rejected, and ἀπεδοκίμασαν, they rejected, in 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:7, have reference to each other. The dative, ἀπειθοῦσι, to them that are disobedient, as just before ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν, to you that believe, accords with the Hebrew prefix ל, with this meaning, as relates to those that believe not; and the remaining part of this verse coheres with this dative, and the construction is easy: ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας καὶ λίθος προσκόμματος, κ.τ.λ., was made the head of the corner and a stone of stumbling, etc.; the conjoining of the two sayings (Dicta) softening the disparity of the accusative and the nominative case, εἰς κεφαλὴνλίθος. The saying of the Psalm has a twofold agreement with this. For 1st, They who ἀπεδοκίμασαν, rejected the stone, were truly ἀπειθοῦντες, disobedient. 2d, The same persons, while they rejected the stone, were unconsciously contributing to its becoming κεφαλὴ γωνίας, the head of the corner; nor can they now prevent this, however much they may be grieved [lit. snarl at it], and they shall experience, to their great misery, that He is the head of the corner: Matthew 21:44.—κεφαλὴν, the head) Christ is the head of the corner, especially with reference to believers, who are built upon Him; yet unbelievers experience this in another way.

Verse 7. - Unto you therefore which believe he is precious; rather, unto you therefore which believe is the honor. The apostle applies the last clause of the prophecy to his readers: they believe, they are built up by faith upon the chief Cornerstone; therefore the honor implied in the words of the prophet, "He that believeth on him shall not be confounded" is theirs. There may also be in the word τιμή, honor, an echo of the ἔντιμος ("precious," literally, "held in honor") of ver. 6; and thus the further meaning may be implied, "The worth which the stone has it has for you who believe" (Wiesinger, quoted by Huther). But the first explanation is nearer to the Greek. But unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the Head of the corner; rather, as in the Revised Version, for such as disbelieve. St. Peter repeats the words of the hundred and eighteenth psalm, quoted by our Lord in Matthew 21:42, and by himself in Acts 4:11. The builders, the priests and teachers of the Jewish Church, rejected the living Stone; but it became, and indeed through that rejection, the Head of the corner. "He became obedient unto death ... therefore God also highly exalted him." If this psalm is post-Exilic, as most modern critics think, the cornerstone, in its first application, may be Israel regarded as a whole. The great builders, the rulers of Assyria, Babylon, Persia, had despised that stone; but it was chosen of God, and now it was set in Zion. It is possible, as Hengstenberg and Delitzsch suggest, that the building of the second temple may have recalled to the mind of the psalmist Isaiah's prophecy of the chief Corner-stone. 1 Peter 2:7He is precious (ἡ τιμὴ)

Wrong. Render, as Rev., For you therefore which believe is the preciousness (honor, in margin).

Is made the head of the corner (ἐγενήθη εἰς κεφαλὴν γωνίας)

Rev., correctly, "was made." The preposition εἰς, unto, carrying the idea of coming unto the place of honor, is not rendered in A. V. or Rev. Lit., it would be, was made or became unto the head, etc.

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