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1 Peter 2:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 For it stands in Scripture: “Look, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in it will not be put to shame.”
For it stands in Scripture. Isa. 28:16. The quotation is substantially as it is found in the Septuagint.
Look, I am laying in Zion. See Notes, Isa. 28:16, and Rom. 9:33. Mount Sion was the hill or eminence in Jerusalem, over-against Mount Moriah, on which the temple was built. On this was the palace of David, and this was the residence of the court; 1 Chron. 11:5–8. Hence the whole city was often called by that name; Ps. 48:12; 69:35; 87:2. Hence also it came to signify the capital, the glory of the people of God, the place of solemnities; and hence also the church itself; Ps. 2:6; 51:18; 102:13; 137:3; Isa. 1:27; 52:1; 59:20, &c. In this place it means the church. God will place or establish in the midst of that church. A stumbling stone and rock of offense. Something over which men shall fall; see Note, Matt. 5:29. This is by Paul referred to the Messiah. He is called rock of stumbling, not because it was the design of sending him that men should fall, but because such would be the result. The application of the term rock to the Messiah is derived from the custom of building, as he is the corner-stone or the immovable foundation on which the church is to be built. It is not on human merits, but by the righteousness of the Savior, that the church is to be reared; see 1 Pet. 2:4, “I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone;” Ps. 118:22, “The stone which the builders rejected, is become the head stone of the corner;” Eph. 2:20, “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” This rock, designed as a corner stone to the church, became, by the wickedness of the Jews, the block over which they fall into ruin; 1 Pet. 2:8.
In Zion (see Note on ch. 1:8). Zion here is put for his empire, kingdom, or church in general on earth. To lay a corner-stone in Zion, means that his kingdom would be founded on a rock, and would be secure amidst all the storms that might beat upon it.
For a foundation a stone. That is, I lay a firm foundation which nothing can move; I build it on a rock so that the storms and tempests of calamity cannot sweep it away (comp. Matt. 7:24, 25). The Targum renders this, ‘Lo! I appoint in Zion a king, a strong, mighty, and terrible king.’ That the passage before us has reference to the Messiah there can be no doubt. The writers of the New Testament so understood and applied it. Thus it is applied by Peter (1 Pet. 2:6), ‘Wherefore, also, it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded’ (see Notes on Rom. 9:33; comp. Rom. 10:11; Matt. 21:42; Luke 20:17, 18; 2:34; Eph. 2:20). Such a reference also exactly suits the conection. The stability of the kingdom of God on earth rests on the Messiah. God had determined to send him; and, consequently, amidst all the agitations and revolutions that could take place among his ancient people, this promise was sure, and it was certain that he would come, and that his church would be preserved.
A tried stone. The word which is used here is applied commonly to metals that are tried in the fire to test their quality (see Job 23:10; Ps. 66:10; Jer 9:6; Zech. 13:9). The idea is, that God would lay for a foundation not a stone whose qualities are unknown, and whose stability might be doubtful, but one whose firmness and solidity were so fully known, that the foundation and the superstructure would be secure.
A precious corner-stone. The word ‘precious’ (LXX., and 1 Pet. 2:6, ἔντιμον) refers to the fact that the most solid stone would be used to sustain the corner of the edifice. The principal weight of the superstructure rests on the corners, and hence, in building, the largest and firmest blocks are selected and placed there.
A stone, a 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 wrought 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 on Eph. 2:20.
Chosen. Chosen of God, or selected for this purpose, ver. 4.
And whoever believes in it will not be put to shame. Shall not be ashamed. The Hebrew is, ‘shall not make haste.’ See Rom. 9:33. This is taken substantially from the Septuagint translation of Isa. 28:16, though with some variation. The Hebrew is, “shall not make haste,” as it is in our English version. This is the literal meaning of the Hebrew word, but it means also to be afraid; as one who makes haste often is; to be agitated with fear or fright, and hence it has a signification nearly similar to that of shame. It expresses the substance of the same thing, viz. failure of obtaining expected success and happiness. The meaning here is, that the man who believes shall not be agitated, or thrown into commotion, by fear of want or success; shall not be disappointed in his hopes; and, of course, he shall never be ashamed that he became a Christian. They who do not believe in Christ shall be agitated, fall, and sink into eternal shame and contempt. Dan. 12:2. They who do believe shall be confident; shall not be deceived, but shall obtain the object of their desires. It is clear that Paul regarded the passage in Isaiah as referring to the Messiah. The same also is the case with the other sacred writers who have quoted it; 1 Pet. 2:5–8; see also Matt. 21:42; Luke 20:17, 18; 2:34. The ancient Targum of Jonathan translates the passage, Isa. 28:16, “Lo, I will place in Zion a king, a king strong, mighty and terrible;” referring doubtless to the Messiah. Other Jewish writings also show that this interpretation was formerly given by the Jews to the passage in Isaiah.
In view of this argument of the apostle, we may remark, (1.) That God is a sovereign and has a right to dispose of men as he pleases. (2.) The doctrine of election was manifest in the case of the Jews as an established principle of the divine government and is therefore true. (3.) It argues great want of proper feeling to be opposed to this doctrine. It is saying, in other words, that we have not confidence in God; or that we do not believe that he is qualified to direct the affairs of his own universe as well as we. (4.) The doctrine of election is a doctrine that is not arbitrary; but which will yet be seen to be wise, just, and good. It is the source of all the blessings that any mortals enjoy, and in the case before us, it can be seen to be benevolent as well as just. It is better that God should cast off a part of the small nation of the Jews and extend these blessings to the Gentiles than that they should always have been confined to Jews. The world is better for it, and more good has come out of it. (5.) The fact that the gospel has been extended to all nations is proof that it is from heaven. To a Jew, there was no motive to attempt to break down all the existing institutions of his nation and make the blessings of religion common to all nations unless he knew that the gospel system was true. Yet the apostles were Jews, educated with all the prejudices of the Jewish people. (6.) The interests of Christians are safe. They shall not be ashamed or disappointed. God will keep them and bring them to his kingdom. (7.) Men still are offended at the cross of Christ. They contemn and despise him. He is to them as a root out of dry ground, and they reject him and fall into ruin. This is the cause why sinners perish, and this only. Thus as the ancient Jews brought ruin on themselves and their country, so do sinners bring condemnation and woe on their souls. And as the ancient despisers and crucifiers of the Lord Jesus perished, so will all those who work iniquity and despise him now.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews
 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Romans, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 219.
 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Isaiah, vol. 1 (London: Blackie & Son, 1851), 428–429.
 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Romans, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 219–220.