Romans 9:33

As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

As it is written,.... In Isaiah 8:14; for the beginning and end of this citation are out of the latter, and the middle of it out of the former. This is an instance of gldm, "skipping", from place to place, concerning which the rules with the Jews were {s}, that the reader

"might skip from text to text, but he might not skip from prophet to prophet, except only in the twelve prophets, only he might not skip from the end of the book to the beginning; also they might skip in the prophets, but not in the law;''

which rules are exactly complied with by the apostle. The beginning of this citation is out of Isaiah 28:16:

behold I lay in Zion. The "stone" said to be laid in Zion, is by the "Chaldee paraphrast" interpreted of a "king"; by R. David Kimchi, of King Hezekiah, and by Jarchi of the King Messiah; and is truly applied by the apostle to Jesus Christ: the layer of this stone is God the Father, who laid him as the foundation stone, in his eternal purposes and decrees, in his counsels and covenant, in promise and in prophecy, in the mission of him into this world, and in the preaching of the everlasting Gospel: the place where he is laid is Zion, meaning either literally Judea or Jerusalem, where the Messiah was to appear, whither he came, and from whence his Gospel went forth; or mystically the church, where he is laid as the foundation of it, and of the salvation of all the members thereof; though, through the sin and unbelief of others, he proves to be

a stumbling stone, and rock of offence; which phrases are to be seen in Isaiah 8:14, and are spoken of, and ascribed to a divine person, even to the Lord of hosts; and are by the Targumist thus paraphrased, "and if ye obey not", hyrmym, "his word shall be for revenge, and for a stone smiting, and a rock of offence", and in the Talmud {t}, it is said, that

"the son of David (the Messiah) shall not come until the two houses of the fathers are destroyed out of Israel; and these are the head of the captivity which is in Babylon, and the prince in the land of Israel, as it is said, Isaiah 8:14.''

So that, according to the ancient Jews, this passage belongs to the Messiah, and is properly made use of for this purpose by the apostle, who had seen the accomplishment of it in the Jews; who stumbled at the outward meanness of Jesus of Nazareth, at his parentage, the manner of his birth, his education, the mean appearance of himself and followers; at his company and audience, his ministry, miracles, death, and the manner of it; and so believed not in him, for righteousness, life, and salvation; and thus it came about that they did not attain, or come up to the law of righteousness, or the righteousness of the law: but

whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed; that is, who believes in Christ unto righteousness, who builds his faith, and hope of eternal salvation on him, the foundation God has laid in Zion, and at which the unbelieving Jews stumbled and fell; he shall neither be ashamed here nor hereafter: he shall not be ashamed of his faith and hope in Christ; nor of Christ, as the Lord his righteousness; nor shall he be ashamed or confounded at his appearing, but shall be justified before men and angels, and be received into his kingdom and glory. There is some difference between the passage as here cited, and as it stands in Isaiah 28:16, where it is read, "he that believeth shall not make haste": either to lay any other foundation, being fully satisfied with this, which is laid by God; or shall not make haste to flee away, through fear of any enemy, or of any danger, being safe as built on this foundation; and so shall never fall, be moved, or ashamed and confounded. Some have fancied a various reading, but without any reason. A very learned Oriental critic {u} of our own nation has observed, that the Arabic words "Haush" "Hish" answer to the Hebrew word, vwx, the prophet uses, and which have three significations in them, "hasten", to "fear", and be "ashamed"; the first of these is retained here by the Jewish commentators and modern versions; the second by the "Chaldee paraphrast", and Syriac translation; and the third by the Septuagint, and the apostle; and they may be all taken into sense, for he that is afraid runs about here and there, and at length is put to shame and confusion.

{s} T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 24. 1. Yoma, fol. 69. 2. Maimon. Tephilla, c. 12. sect. 14.
{t} T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 38. 1.
{u} Pocock. Not. Miscell. in Port. Mosis, p. 10, 11.