Bible Verses to Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Bible Verses for the Christmas carol Hark the Herald Sing | scriptureand.blogspot.com

Not many songs are more familiar for Christmas than Hark the Herald Angels Sing. My son calls it the Charlie Brown Christmas carol because the kids sing it at the end of the iconic Christmas program.



Charles Wesley, the author, wrote over 6,000 hymns, including the familiar “And Can It Be That I Should Gain”, “Christ The Lord Is Risen Today”, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”, and “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing.” In the first verse of “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” he calls all nations to join in with the angels in giving “glory to the newborn King.” The second verse looks into the doctrine of the incarnation and the final verse looks at the purpose behind Jesus' birth*.

While I love this song, I do want to point out that in Luke 2 it does say that the angels spoke "Glory to God in the highest," and did not sing it. In fact, angels are never mentioned as singing in the Bible (with the possible exception of Job 38:7). Ironically, the original hymn did not mention angels singing. Charles Wesley wrote, "Hark how all the welkin rings." The welkin is the heavens, so he was speaking of all creation or all the heavens singing praise to the newly born King. This idea fits well with Psalm 19:1 where the "heavens are telling of the glory of God." George Whitefield later changed the text to the now-familiar "Hark! The herald angels sing." However, don't let that one traditional presumption stop you from taking in all of the excellent biblical truth of this hymn. 





Hark the Herald Angels Sing

by Charles Wesley

Verse 1:
Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Luke 2:13-14 (NKJV) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Luke 2:10-12 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Verse 2:
Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Philippians 2:9-11 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Speaking of Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Late in time behold Him come
Speaking of Jesus in 1 Peter 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
Hebrews 1:1-2 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Matthew 1:22-25 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
Speaking of Jesus in John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Hail the incarnate Deity
Speaking of Jesus Christ in Colossians 2:9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Speaking of Jesus in John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear A Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Verse 3:
Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Prophesying of Jesus in Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”
Light and life to all He brings
Prophesying about Jesus' ministry in Galilee, Isaiah 9:1-2 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Prophesying of Jesus in Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”
Mild He lays His glory by
Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Philippians 2:5-7 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
Born that man no more may die
Speaking of Jesus in Hebrews 2:14-15 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 
Born to raise the sons of earth
2 Corinthians 4:14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.
Born to give them second birth
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"


*Notice that the third verse talks repeatedly of why Jesus was born. If you want to study more about what the Bible has to say about why Jesus was born, try this printable Bible study.

Comments

  1. I am blessed to learn these verses...thank you.

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  2. The original lines were 'Hark how all the welkin rings/Glory to the King of Kings.' Angels singing is a more recent alteration.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I learned something new today. It looks like George Whitefield altered it to "Hark the Herald Angels sing" since Wesley's clever allusion to another poem with all "the welkin rings" didn't resonate with others. Probably "Hark how all the heaven rings" would have been a better alternative that would have avoided the angels singing myth. I will edit the blog to include this information.

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