This week’s song is “Redeemer of Israel”. Click here for music
I picked this song because as we were singing this song in church today, I glanced down and saw verse 6. I had never really noticed this verse before, but I absolutely love the picture it brings to mind.
He looks! And ten thousands
Of angels rejoice,
And myriads wait for his word;
He speaks! And eternity,
Filled with his voice
Re-echoes the praise of the Lord.
There are not only ten thousands of angels rejoicing, but there are myriads waiting for his word. What’s a myriad? Looking it up, I found that it can mean a very great or indefinitely great number of persons or things. It can also mean ten thousand. Interesting! And, can you hear his voice, echoing again and again through eternity?
Scriptures for this song:
Exodus 13:21-22 Note the reference in the verses and in the song to a pillar.
1 Nephi 22:12 When you come out of darkness, you come into the light. The light spoken of here is the Redeemer of Israel.
Original text by Joseph Swain (1761-1796_
Text adapted by William W. Phelps (1792-1872)
Music by Freeman Lewis (1780-1859)
The story behind the song:
Joseph Swain was an English man who was converted to Christianity and became a Baptist minister. W.W. Phelps revised the text that Swain wrote, enhancing the imagery and adapting it to fit more soundly with LDS theology.
The song is a comparison between the Children of Israel and followers of Christ today. In the first verse, Christ is praised as our invincible redeemer, next as our shepherd and protector, and finally as the millennial Messiah. Note the grand vision portrayed of his heavenly glory in the sixth verse.
I am doing a little research online to find these things out. I also have a book entitled “Our Latter-day Hymns The Stories and the Messages” by Karen Lynn Davidson from which I am finding information on these songs. If you want more info, the aforementioned book and the internet search engines can get you much more than the little bit I shared.