Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
1. “Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law…”
a. Wherefore [Strong: 1302 diati dee-at-ee' from 1223 and 5101; through what cause ?, i.e. why?:--wherefore, why.]
b. Because [Strong: 3754 hoti hot'-ee neuter of 3748 as conjunction; demonstrative, that (sometimes redundant); causative, because:--as concerning that, as though, because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that, though, why.]
c. [they sought it] not [Strong: 3756 ou oo, also (before a vowel) ouk ook, and (before an aspirate) ouch ookh a primary word; the absolute negative (compare 3361) adverb; no or not:--+ long, nay, neither, never, no (X man), none, (can-)not, + nothing, + special, un(-worthy), when, + without, + yet but.]
d. by [Strong: 1537 ek ek or ex ex a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; direct or remote):--after, among, X are, at, betwixt(-yond), by (the means of), exceedingly, (+ abundantly above), for(- th), from (among, forth, up), + grudgingly, + heartily, X heavenly, X hereby, + very highly, in, ...ly, (because, by reason) of, off (from), on, out among (from, of), over, since, X thenceforth, through, X unto, X vehemently, with(-out). Often used in composition, with the same general import; often of completion.]
e. faith [Strong: 4102 pistis pis'-tis from 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:--assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.]
f. but [Strong: 235 alla al-lah' neuter plural of 243; properly, other things, i.e. (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations):--and, but (even), howbeit, indeed, nay, nevertheless, no, notwithstanding, save, therefore, yea, yet.]
g. as [Strong: 5613 hos hoce probably adverb of comparative from 3739; which how, i.e. in that manner (very variously used, as follows):--about, after (that), (according) as (it had been, it were), as soon (as), even as (like), for, how (greatly), like (as, unto), since, so (that), that, to wit, unto, when(-soever), while, X with all speed.]
h. it were by [Strong: 1537 ek ek or ex ex a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; direct or remote):--after, among, X are, at, betwixt(-yond), by (the means of), exceedingly, (+ abundantly above), for(- th), from (among, forth, up), + grudgingly, + heartily, X heavenly, X hereby, + very highly, in, ...ly, (because, by reason) of, off (from), on, out among (from, of), over, since, X thenceforth, through, X unto, X vehemently, with(-out). Often used in composition, with the same general import; often of completion.]
i. [the] works [Strong: 2041 ergon er'-gon from a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication, an act:--deed, doing, labour, work.]
j. [of the] law [Strong: 3551 nomos nom'-os from a primary nemo (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), genitive case (regulation), specially, (of Moses (including the volume); also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle):--law.]
2. “…For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;”
a. For [Strong: 1063 gar gar a primary particle; properly, assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles):--and, as, because (that), but, even, for, indeed, no doubt, seeing, then, therefore, verily, what, why, yet.]
b. they stumbled [Strong: 4350 proskopto pros-kop'-to from 4314 and 2875; to strike at, i.e. surge against (as water); specially, to stub on, i.e. trip up (literally or figuratively):--beat upon, dash, stumble (at).]
c. [at] that [Strong: 3588 ho ho, including the feminine he hay, and the neuter to to in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom):--the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.]
d. [Strong: 3037 lithos lee'-thos apparently a primary word; a stone (literally or figuratively):--(mill-, stumbling-)stone.]
e. stumblingstone [Strong: 4348 proskomma pros'-kom-mah from 4350; a stub, i.e. (figuratively) occasion of apostasy:--offence, stumbling(-block, (-stone)).]
1). The Old Testament references are both found in Isaiah.
a). Isaiah 8:13-15 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone 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.
8:15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
b). Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
2). The Apostle Peter also gives some explanation of the phrase.
a). 1 Peter 2:5-8 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.