Joy to the World

Although this is a favourite Christmas carol, surprisingly, this hymn was not written for Christmas. Rather, Isaac Watts wrote the hymn as a paraphrase of the last five verses in Psalm 98 for his 1719 publication, The Psalms of David Imitated. In this hymnal, Watts rewrites many of the psalms using a Christological lens. His versification of Psalm 98 is no different. Verse nine of the psalm reads, “…let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.” Watts unapologetically interprets this as a reference to Christ. The theme of “Christ coming” made it an apt hymn to be sung at Christmastime, and it has since become one of the most beloved Christmas carols1. I haven’t included a video below as there are so many! Perhaps post your favourite 🙂 Have a blessed Christmas and Lord’s Day!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
let ev’ry heart prepare him room
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n and nature sing,
and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

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

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.

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.


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