Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Genesis 49:10,24 – Two Verses of the Day

Chapter 49 has Jacob’s blessings to his 12 sons. Though if you read them closely some don’t really sound like blessings, more like summary assessments of who they are. Two to Judah and Joseph have another purpose. Pointing forward in time to Jesus Christ.

We are all pretty familiar with v10 which speaks of the ruling line of the tribe of Judah and leads into the Office of King that Jesus would 1,400 years later fulfill.

Genesis 49:10  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

But this verse in the Blessing of Joseph speaks of another Office, I think one can link this into Jesus’ Priestly Office, where he becomes our ultimate Shepherd, Savior and Rock.

Genesis 49:24  But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

Gill writes:
from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel; from Jacob descended Joseph; or from the God of Jacob it was that Joseph through divine Providence was sent into Egypt to be as a shepherd, to feed his father’s family, and as a stone to uphold and support it; in which he was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd of the flock, and the stone that is laid in Zion, on which the whole spiritual Israel of God is built; the foundation stone on which they are laid, and are safe, and the corner stone which knits them together. And some think that Christ is principally meant, who in his office capacity was from the mighty God of Jacob, a Shepherd of his providing and appointing, and a stone of his laying; and so Nachmahides says, the stone here made mention of is the same as in Psa 118:22.

Psalms 118:22  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Psalms 118:22

The stone which the builders refused,…. This is not Zerubabel, according to the sense of some Jews, as Theodoret suggests; nor the people of Israel, as Jarchi and Kimchi; nor David, as the Targum, which paraphrases the words,

“the child the builders despised was among the sons of Jesse, and deserved to be appointed a king and a governor.”

He doubtless was a type of Christ, and there was some shadow of what is here said in him: he was refused by all the tribes but Judah; Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, was set upon the throne, though afterwards all Israel and Judah united in making David king, 2Sa 2:8. But the Messiah is intended, as some ancient Jewish writers (e) own, and Jarchi himself elsewhere (f) confesses; and which is certain from the quotation and application of this passage to Christ, in Mat 21:42, Act 4:11; who is compared to a stone for his strength and duration; and because of his usefulness in the spiritual building of the church, as a foundation and corner stone; See Gill on Mat 21:42. Him the Jewish builders refused; their political ones, their rulers, that believed not on him; the princes of this world, that rose up against him and crucified him; even those who were the support of their civil state, and the maintainers of it: but more especially their ecclesiastical builders, the chief priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, who built the people, or directed them to build on their carnal privileges, the traditions of the elders, and their own legal righteousness. These refused to receive Jesus as the Messiah, and to believe in him; they refused to own and honour him as King of Zion; they refused his doctrines and ordinances; they refused to hear him preach, or suffer others to hear him; they refused to make use of him in the spiritual building, either to preach him themselves, or allow others to do it; they rejected him with contempt; they set him at nought, and preferred a thief and a robber to him;

is become the head stone of the corner; Christ is the corner stone, that unites elect angels and elect men together, Jews and Gentiles, Old and New Testament saints, saints above and below, saints in all ages and places; and he is the head stone, or chief corner stone, for strength and beauty, and the head of the corner; or of persons most eminent, who are sometimes called the corner, Jdg 20:2. Christ is exalted above all; he is the head of principalities and powers, the angels; he is made higher than the kings of the earth; and is the head of the body, the church, an head both of eminence and influence.

(e) Zohar in Exod. fol. 93. 3. Vid. Tikkune Zohar, Correct. 5. fol. 15. 2. (f) Comment. in Mic. v. 2.

Matthew 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Matthew 21:42

Jesus saith unto them, did ye never read the Scriptures,…. The passage which stands in Psa 118:22.

The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Very appropriately is this Scripture cited, and applied to the present case; which expresses the rejection of the Messiah by the Jewish builders, priests, and scribes: the whole Psalm may be understood of the Messiah. R. David Kimchi owns (z), that there is a division among their Rabbins about it: some say that the Psalm is spoken of David, and others, that it is spoken of the days of the Messiah; and these are certainly in the right; and as for this particular passage, it is applied by some of them to the Messiah: so on mentioning Hos 3:5 they (a) say,

“David was king in this world, and David shall be king in the time to come: wherefore it is said, the stone which the builders refused, &c.

And one of their noted commentators (b) on those words, “though thou be little among the thousands of Judah”, has this note:

“It is fit thou shouldest be little among the families of Judah, because of the impurity of Ruth the Moabitess, which is in thee: out of thee shall come forth unto me, Messiah, the son of David; for so he saith, “the stone which the builders refused”, &c.

Christ is often in Scripture compared to a stone, and is called the stone of Israel; is said to be a stone of stumbling to some, and a precious tried stone to others: is represented as a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and on which are seven eyes: and is fitly compared to one, for his usefulness in the spiritual building the church, where he is as both the foundation and corner stone, and for his strength and duration. Christ is the sure, firm, and everlasting foundation, which God has laid in Zion, and the only one of any avail; nor can any other be laid to any purpose; and if he is neglected, and laid aside, in the ministration of the word, the building which men endeavour to rear, or exhort unto, will come to nothing. Whoever build on him are safe, and on nothing else: Christ is the foundation, on which the church, and every believer, are built, and therefore will abide; for the gates of hell cannot prevail against them: the covenant of grace is immoveable, being established in him; its mercies are sure, and its promises yea and amen: the salvation of immortal souls is certain, resting upon him; the faith and hope of the saints fail not, being directed to, and settled on him: the house not made with hands, which is in heaven, is an eternal one; and the city, which has foundations, is a continuing one, because of the concern that Christ has in it; and though he is of such eminent use and importance in the building, yet, as such, the “builders rejected” him: by the builders are meant, the Jewish rulers, both political and ecclesiastical, especially the latter, who pretended to instruct, and build up the people in knowledge and understanding; but in a very bad way did they do it, and upon a very sandy foundation, upon their fleshly privileges, their moral righteousness, and the observance of the ceremonial law, and the traditions of the elders. The Jews used to call their doctors and their scholars “builders” (c): says R. Jochanan,

“the disciples of the wise men are called בנאין, “builders”, because they study in the building of the world all their days, which is the law.

These rejected the Messiah, refused to receive, and acknowledge him as such: they disallowed and disapproved of him, as base and vile, and the most contemptible of mortals, and set him at nought, and had him in the utmost scorn and derision. And so he is rejected by some who bear the characters of builders among Christians: as when his proper deity, and eternal sonship are denied, and he is treated as a mere creature; when his satisfaction and atoning sacrifice are either wholly rejected, or little regarded, lessened, and depreciated, and repentance and good works are put in the room of them; when his imputed righteousness is opposed, and laid aside, and the righteousness of men preferred unto it, and cried up as the matter of justification in the sight of God; when his efficacious grace is represented as unnecessary to regeneration, conversion, and sanctification, and to the performance of good works; and when he is left out of public ministrations, as the way of life and salvation, as the fountain of all grace, and foundation of all happiness, and human power, free will, and moral righteousness are put in his room. But notwithstanding the former and present rejection, and ill treatment of him, he is

become the head of the corner: he is the corner stone in the building which knits and cements it together, angels and men, Jews and Gentiles; Old and New Testament saints; saints above, and saints below, and in all ages and places, all meet, and are united together in this corner stone; which also strengthens and supports the building, and holds it together, and is the ornament and beauty of it: he is the chief corner stone; he is higher than the kings of the earth; he is superior to angels, and the chiefest among ten thousands of his saints; he is exalted above all creatures, angels, and men, who, by the Jewish builders, was despised and rejected, and scarce allowed to be worthy the name of a man:

this is the Lord’s doing; this stone is laid in the building by him: the rejection of him is according to his determinate counsel and foreknowledge; and the exaltation of him, above every name, is owing to him, and he is by, and at his own right hand: and

is marvellous in our eyes; in the eyes of all the saints; there being in all this such, a wonderful display of the wisdom, grace, mercy, power, and faithfulness of God,

(z) In Psal. cxviii. 1. (a) Zohar in Exod. fol. 93. 3. (b) Jarchi in Mic. v. 2. (c) T. Bab. Subbut, fol. 114. 1. Vid. En Israel, fol. 64. 3. & Juchasin, fol. 80. 2. & 81. 1.

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