Joy to the world! the Lord is come!

Full Text

1 Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her king;
let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

2 Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let all their songs employ,
while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat the sounding joy,
repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

3 No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
he comes to make his blessings flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

4 He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders of his love,
and wonders of his love,
and wonders, wonders of his love.

Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #134

Author: Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >

Notes

Scripture References:
st. 1-3 = Ps. 98
st. 2 = Ps. 96:11-12
st. 3 = Gen. 3:17-18

Isaac Watts (PHH 155) wrote this text as a paraphrase of Psalm 98. He published it in his Psalms of David Imitated (1719) under the heading “The Messiah's Coming and Kingdom.” The paraphrase is Watts' Christological interpretation.

Consequently, he does not emphasize with equal weight the various themes of Psalm 98. In stanzas 1 and 2 Watts writes of heaven and earth rejoicing at the coming of the king. An interlude that depends more on Watts' interpretation than the psalm text, stanza 3 speaks of Christ's blessings extending victoriously over the realm of sin. The cheerful repetition of the non-psalm phrase "far as the curse is found" has caused this stanza to be omitted from some hymnals. But the line makes joyful sense when understood from the New Testament eyes through which Watts interprets the psalm. Stanza 4 celebrates Christ's rule over the nations.

Liturgical Use
Christmas Day, but also at any other time of year in relation to Psalm 98. Raised eyebrows at singing "Joy to the World!" in July will lower as soon as the relationship to Psalm 98 becomes clear.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
================
Joy to the world, the Lord is come [nigh]. I. Watts. [Ps. xcviii.] First published in his Psalms of David, &c, 1719, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, as the 2nd pt. of his version of Psalm 98. T. Cotterill gave, in the first edition of his Selection, 1810, a much altered version of text, which was repeated in the authorized edition of 1820 with the repetition of stanza i. as stanza v. This arrangement is known by st. ii., which reads, "Ye saints, rejoice, the Saviour reigns," &c. Bickersteth's arrangement in his Christian Psalmody, 1833, also in 5 stanzas; but the added stanza (iii.) is from Watts's version of the first part of the same Psalm. Both of these texts have been repeated in later collections. In addition there are also the following: (1) "The Lord is come; let heaven rejoice," in Hall's Mitre Hymn Book, 1836; and (2) "Joy to the world, the Lord is nigh," in the Irvingite Hymns for the Use of the Churches, 1864. In its various forms, but principally in the original, it is in use in most English-speaking countries. It has also been translated into several languages, including Latin, in E. Bingham's Hymnologia Christiana Latina, 1870, "Laetitia in mundo! Dominus nam venit Iesus!"

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Timeline

Media

Baptist Hymnal 1991 #87
The Cyber Hymnal #3419
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #337
Timeless Truths #305
The United Methodist Hymnal #246
Worship and Rejoice #179

Instances

Instances (52)TextImageAudioScoreFlexscore
African American Heritage Hymnal #197Image
An American Christmas Harp #70
An American Christmas Harp #81
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #87TextImageAudioScore
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #181TextImage
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #102Image
Celebration Hymnal #270Image
Chalice Hymnal #143Text
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #62Text
Christmas Favorites #1
Church Family Worship #664
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #166
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #320Text
Common Praise (1998) #154Text
Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New #378
Complete Mission Praise #393
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #138Text
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #267Image
Gather (3rd ed.) #437Image
Gather Comprehensive #343Text
Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #353
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #134TextImageAudioFlexscore
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #266TextImageAudioFlexscore
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #100TextImage
Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #197
Hymns of Faith #117TextImage
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #283
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #249
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #92ImageAudioFlexscore
Lutheran Service Book #387Text
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #40TextImage
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #98DImage
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #337TextImageAudioScore
Rejoice in the Lord #198Text
Revival Hymns and Choruses #152
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #125
Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #340
Sing Joyfully #194TextImage
Sing With Me #94Text
Songs for Life #137Text
The Christian Life Hymnal #92
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #146
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #125
The New Century Hymnal #132Image
The United Methodist Hymnal #246TextImageAudioScore
The United Methodist Hymnal #818bTextImage
The Worshiping Church #146TextImage
Together in Song: Australian Hymn Book II #268
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #195TextImage
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #59Text
Worship and Rejoice #179TextImageAudioScore
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #85



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