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~O Come, O Come, Immanuel

 

       “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is a prayer that anticipates the coming of Christ to this earth. His coming as the Messiah (“deliverer”) was first prophesied in the sixth century B.C., when the Jews were captive in Babylon. 

       For centuries thereafter, faithful Hebrews looked for their Messiah with great longing and expectation, echoing the prayer that he would “ransom captive Israel.”

       Jesus Christ the Redeemer—capstone of man’s longing through the ages—is addressed in the first stanza of this hymn as “Emmanuel.”

       From beginning to end, all the stanzas of the hymn remind us of Christ’s first advent, and project our attention to His second coming.

 

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O Come, O Come, Immanuel[1]

1           O Come, O come, Immanuel,

And ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! rejoice! Immanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel!

2           O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free

Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;

From depths of hell thy people save,

And give them victory o’er the grave.

Rejoice! rejoice! Immanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel!

3           O come, thou Day-spring, come and cheer

Our spirits by thine advent here;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Rejoice! rejoice! Immanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel!

4           O come, thou key of David, come,

And open wide our heavenly home;

Make safe the way that leads on high,

And close the path to misery.

Rejoice! rejoice! Immanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel!

5           O come, O come, thou Lord of might!

Who to thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,

In ancient times didst give the law

In cloud, and majesty, and awe.

Rejoice! rejoice! Immanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel!

 



[1]Eckert, Paul, Steve Green’s MIDI Hymnal, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1998.

 

 

 

 

 

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