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16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord, says:

“Look, I am laying[a] a stone in Zion,
an approved[b] stone,
set in place as a precious cornerstone for the foundation.[c]
The one who maintains his faith will not panic.[d]
17 I will make justice the measuring line,
fairness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away the unreliable refuge,[e]
the floodwaters will overwhelm the hiding place.
18 Your treaty with death will be dissolved;[f]
your agreement[g] with Sheol will not last.[h]
When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by,[i]
you will be overrun by it.[j]

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  1. Isaiah 28:16 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. Isaiah 28:16 tn Traditionally “tested,” but the implication is that it has passed the test and stands approved.
  3. Isaiah 28:16 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. Isaiah 28:16 tn Heb “will not hurry,” i.e., act in panic.
  5. Isaiah 28:17 tn Heb “[the] refuge, [the] lie.” See v. 15.
  6. Isaiah 28:18 tn On the meaning of כָּפַר (kafar) in this context, see HALOT 494 s.v. I כפר and J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:515, n. 9.
  7. Isaiah 28:18 tn Normally the noun חָזוּת (khazut) means “vision.” See the note at v. 15.
  8. Isaiah 28:18 tn Or “will not stand” (NIV, NRSV).
  9. Isaiah 28:18 tn See the note at v. 15.
  10. Isaiah 28:18 tn Heb “you will become a trampling place for it.”