This study takes a brief look at the Cap essay to buy and foundation stones mentioned in Matt. 21:42-46.
“Yehshua said to them, ‘Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner. This was from יְהֹוָה. It is marvelous in our eyes?’” (v42). The Master asked the rhetorical question about the Stone. This passage is taken from Psa. 118:22, 23 that forms part of the Hallel sung continuously throughout the Passover celebrations. “The stone (‘eben ) which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner (pinnah). This is יְהֹוָה ‘s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psa. 118: 22, 23). #H3988 1.A.i מָאַס ma’ac rejected is more commonly translated as1.A.ii. despise, abhor or become loathsome.
“therefore thus says the יְהֹוָה `Elohiym, Behold, I lay in Tziyon for a foundation a stone (‘eben), a tried stone (‘eben), a precious corner –stone (pinnah) of sure foundation: he who believes shall not be in haste.” (Isa. 28:16). The odd cut stone #H68 1.B.i. אֶבֶן ‘eben was rejected for the foundation. The builders later realise that it is, in fact, a perfect fit for the major part of the arch, the capstone #H6438 פִּנָּה pinnah corner. The word ‘stone’ is inferred in the above verse and can be used to describe a chieftain, ruler or bulwark.
“I am the Alep and the Taw, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Completion” (Rev. 22:13 AENT). The ת Alep (Aleph)/ אֵ Taw (Tav) can be found inserted throughout Scripture but never translated from Gen. 1:1 right up to virtually the end as found in this verse from Revealations. It is deemed to represent the Messiah (Sanford). Therefore consider:
ת Alep (Aleph)/ ‘eben/Foundation/Beginning;
אֵ Taw (Tav)/ pinnah/Capstone/Completion.
The ‘eben was identified as King David. Here, his father and brothers did not consider him when Samuel came to anoint the new king. However, he was never despised. Only when Samuel anointed David did his family accept him. As with all types, David was a shadow of and fell short of the anti-type, Messiah.
The term ‘builders’ came to be applied by and to the religious authorities themselves. Hence, when the authorities and more importantly, the people heard this, they would know to whom the Master was referring. However, the Master was also referring to יְהֹוָה and that He was prophesising His own rejection (Isa. 53:3) and His exaltation (Isa. 53:12).
“And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone (‘eben) of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.” (Isa. 8:14, 15). Again all who heard the Master would recall Isaiah’s words.
“You saw until a stone (‘eben) was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.” (Dan.2:34). The amalgam of iron and clay referred to the collaboration between the Roman and Jewish authorities and
the ‘eben would smash this alliance. This was accomplished when יְהֹוָה removed His protection from the Jewish leadership for their (and not the people’s) rejection of Messiah. It was not יְהֹוָה turning His back upon the whole Nation of Israel.
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch on behalf of your souls, as those who will give account, that they may do this with joy, and not with groaning, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Heb. 13:17). The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews calls all Believers to follow the instructions of their leaders. This must always be taken in conjunction with the Word of יְהֹוָה. The problem that the people of Israel had in the Master’s day was that the authorities were also the same group that the people turned to for interpretation of the Word. If the leaders are obviously leading the people into sin (advocating adultery, theft, murder etc) then the people must turn away from the leaders. However, if the leaders want the people to follow a particular path that does not seem to be sin, the people are to follow the leadership. The people will not be judged by the course their action if they follow the leadership. The leaders will be judged on the course of action that they called the people to follow.
This was the situation in the Master’s day. His method of interpretation of scripture was one of the major reasons why the authorities wanted to get rid of Him. Although many followed the authorities’ leadership, many thousands rejected their teachings and followed Messiah. Therefore, the Nation of Israel will not be judged on the rejection of the Messiah but the leaders certainly will be so judged.
“Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of יְהֹוָה will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruits.” (v43). Thus was the ‘Time of the Gentiles’ ushered in. “He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whoever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust.” (v44). This is one of those verses that are so common that many consider the second part to be a parallelism of the first part. That would infer a reading of the stone completely obliterating those it falls upon. However, the ‘but’ separates the second part from the first. In the second part the object inferred (stone) crushes the subject (whoever/he) so finely that it is blown away.
In the first part the subject is ‘he’ and the object is ‘stone’. Here, the stone causes a person to be broken in order that repentance may take place (cf Psa. 51:1-19) but it is the action of the person in casting himself upon the Stone that brings about salvation.
“When the chief Kohanim (priests) and the Perushim (Pharisees) heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them.” (v45). Was this the occasion when the religious leaders realised that it was not to be them who were to be responsible (builders) for the Kingdom?
“When they (leaders) sought to seize him, they (leaders) feared the multitudes, because they (people) considered him to be a prophet.” (v46). From the leaders’ reactions it would seem that this was the case.
Roth A.G. (2011) The Aramaic English New Testament, 4th ed., Netzari Press, USA.
Sandford W.H. (2015) The Messianic Aleph Tav Interlinear Scriptures; Vol. One Torah, CCB Publishing, British Columbia, Canada.
Strong J. (1994) Strong’s New Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, World Bible Publishers Inc., Madison.
Strong J. (1996) The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson, Nashville.
AENT “Scripture taken from the Aramaic English New Testament Copyright 2008. Used by permission of Netzari Press.”
HNV The Hebrew Names Version is based off the World English Bible, an update of the American Standard Version of 1901. This version of the Bible is in the public domain. All Scripture quotes are from this version except were stated and taken from www.blueletterbible.org