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Reference: Foundation


Great importance was attached to the laying of the foundation. It was accompanied by human sacrifice, as may be seen in the Babylonian records; a possible trace occurs in the story of Hiel (1Ki 16:34). Hence the stress on the size and splendour of the foundation, as in Solomon's Temple (1Ki 7:9). It is a natural metaphor for the ultimate basis on which a thing rests (Job 4:19; Eze 13:14; Lu 6:48). Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of God's throne (Ps 89:14; 97:2 RV). 'The city that hath, the foundations' is the type of the real and eternal (Heb 11:10). The Apostles themselves are the foundation of the New Jerusalem, formed of all manner of precious stones (Re 21:14,19). 'The Apostolic Church is conditioned through the ages by the preaching and work of the Apostolate' (Swete, ad loc.; cf. Isa 28:16; Mt 16:18; Eph 2:20). In 1Co 3:10 the metaphor is slightly different, the preaching of Jesus Christ being the one foundation (cf. Isa 19:10 Revised Version margin, where the word is used of the chief men of the State). In the frequent phrase 'from the foundation of the world,' the word is active, meaning 'founding.' 'Foundations' occurs similarly in a passive sense, the earth being more or less literally conceived of as a huge building resting on pillars etc. (Ps 18:7,15; 24:2; Isa 24:18). In Ps 11:3; 75:3; 82:5; Eze 30:4, the idea is applied metaphorically to the 'fundamental' principles of law and justice on which the moral order rests. In 2Ch 3:3; Isa 6:4; 16:7; Jer 50:15, RV should be followed. In 2Ch 23:5 the 'gate of the foundation' is obscurs; possibly we should read 'the horse-gate.' See also House,

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