Merry Christmas! I pray that the Lord is showing you his amazing grace during this holiday season. As we continue through the holiday, I wanted to present you with a few songs that are usually done during the Christmas season and have been for centuries. One of my favorite songs is ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’.
- O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
2. O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, Who orderest all things mightily; To us the path of knowledge show, And teach us in her ways to go.
3. O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan’s tyranny; From depths of hell Thy people save, And give them victory over the grave.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree, An ensign of Thy people be; Before Thee rulers silent fall; All peoples on Thy mercy call.
7. O come, O come, great Lord of might, Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height In ancient times once gave the law In cloud and majesty and awe.Refrain
For a brief history, this song was known to be a song of the “Great Antiphons”. Originally written in Latin, it was translated by John M. Neale, translated as ‘Draw Nigh, Draw Nigh, Emmanuel. The original version was sang on the last 7 octaves, or days, before Christmas, singing one verse per day (December 17-23 with Christmas eve being the final day). The verses were to paint a series of biblical prophecies that were continually fulfilled when Christ was born.
In the first verse, you see Isaiah 7:14 as well as Matthew 1:23 mirrored in this verse. This verse defines the idea of Emmanuel, God with us, and showing Israel being held captive, awaiting their Messiah.
In verse two you see the wisdom of God adored. In verse three, you see the mirror of Isaiah 11, talking about the righteous reign of the branch, and this rod is a representation of Christ. In this chapter, as mirrored through verse 3 of the song, it shows that Christ is the ruler, and He is the only one that can defeat Satan and grant eternal life. The next verse you see shadowed in Malachi 4:2, “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings…” Just as the sun comes and brings day light to night darkness, so will the Son come that we may not be left in darkness and gloom, but bring us to his eternal light. We move to the next verse, speaking of the Key of David, tying with Isaiah 22:22. “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and no one shall shut, and he shall shut, and no one shall open.” This verse exclaims that this Messiah holds the key to the Kingdom and no one can access it but through Him. In singing these verses, we see the multiple prophecies that were fulfilled! Each verse is another fulfilled prophecy!
In conclusion, the song was taken, as mentioned earlier, from “O Antiphons” also known as “The 7 O’s”. Again, this song was sung the 7 days before Christmas Eve. Here are the 7 O’s, with Latin word with them:
- WISDOM, (Sapientia)
- LORD (Adonai) AND RULER
- ROOT (Radix) OF JESSE,
- KEY (Clavis) OF DAVID,
- DAWN/LIGHT FROM THE EAST (Oriens),
- KING (Rex) OF THE GENTILES
- EMMANUEL, (Emmanuel)
In taking the first letter of each word backward, it spells “ERO CRAS”, meaning in Latin, “TOMORROW I WILL COME”. I urge you now family, rejoice, rejoice, for our Emmanuel has come! He is our wisdom, our Lord and Ruler, the Root of Jesse, the Key of David, the light from the east, the King of the Gentiles, He is God with us! He HAS come, born, the Son given. The government is on his shoulders! He rules it and it increases in peace. His Kingdom is established and upheld by Him. We call him Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. On this Christmas Eve, let us rejoice in these truths, in these prophecies that were fulfilled through his birth, and the truth that remains and stands today.
Trevor & Melissa Chin