See also Cornerstone
ston (pinnah, zawith; akrogoniaios): Part of the public or imposing buildings, to which importance has been attached in all ages and in many nations, both on account of its actual service and its figurative meaning. Ordinarily its use in the Bible is figurative, or symbolical. No doubt the original meaning was some important stone, which was laid at the foundation of a building.
(1) With the Canaanites, who preceded Israel in the possession of Palestine, corner-stone laying seems to have been a most sacred and impressive ceremonial. Under this important stone of temples, or other great structures, bodies of children or older persons would be laid, consecrating the building by such human sacrifice (see FORTIFICATION, II, 1). This was one of many hideous rites and practices which Israel was to extirpate. It may throw light on the curse pronounced upon the rebuilding of Jericho (
(2) Old Testament references.--The Hebrew word pinnah, "corner," is found or implied in every occurrence of this idea. Derived from a root signifying "to turn," it means "turning," and therefore "edge" or "corner." Ordinarily it is used with ’ebhen, "stone" (
While all the passages indicate the stone at the corner, there appear to be two conceptions:
(a) the foundation-stone upon which the structure rested (
(b) the topmost or cap-stone, which linked the last tier together (
See also HOUSE.