28:16 Therefore, this is what the sovereign master, the Lord, says:
“Look, I am laying 1 a stone in Zion,
an approved 2 stone,
set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation. 3
The one who maintains his faith will not panic. 4
but a stone that makes a person trip,
and a rock that makes one stumble –
to the two houses of Israel. 6
He will become 7 a trap and a snare
to the residents of Jerusalem. 8
1 tc The Hebrew text has a third person verb form, which does not agree with the first person suffix that precedes. The form should be emended to יֹסֵד (yosed), a Qal active participle used in a present progressive or imminent future sense.
2 tn Traditionally “tested,” but the implication is that it has passed the test and stands approved.
3 sn The reality behind the metaphor is not entirely clear from the context. The stone appears to represent someone or something that gives Zion stability. Perhaps the ideal Davidic ruler is in view (see 32:1). Another option is that the image of beginning a building project by laying a precious cornerstone suggests that God is about to transform Zion through judgment and begin a new covenant community that will experience his protection (see 4:3-6; 31:5; 33:20-24; 35:10).
4 tn Heb “will not hurry,” i.e., act in panic.
5 tn Because the metaphor of protection (“sanctuary”) does not fit the negative mood that follows in vv. 14b-15, some contend that מִקְדָּשׁ (miqdash, “sanctuary”) is probably a corruption of an original מוֹקֵשׁ (moqesh, “snare”), a word that appears in the next line (cf. NAB and H. Wildberger, Isaiah, 1:355-56). If the MT reading is retained (as in the above translation), the fact that Yahweh is a sanctuary wraps up the point of v. 13 and stands in contrast to God’s treatment of those who rebel against him (the rest of v. 14).
6 sn The two “houses” of Israel (= the patriarch Jacob) are the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.
7 tn These words are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. וְהָיָה (vÿhayah, “and he will be”) does double duty in the parallel structure of the verse.