There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel. Numbers 24:17
Words: Paul Gerhardt, in Johann Ebeling’s edition of his Geistliche Andachten, Fünfte Dutzet, 1667 (Kommt, und lasst uns Christum ehren). Translated from German to English by John Kelly, Paul Gerhardt’s Spiritual Songs (London: Alexander Strahan, 1867), pages 24–25.
Come, and Christ the Lord be praising,
Heart and mind to Him be raising,
Celebrate His love amazing,
Worthy folk of Christendom.
Sin, death, hell, may all be grieving,
Satan shame feel to him cleaving;
We salvation free receiving,
Cast our every care away.
See what God for us provideth,
Life that in His Son abideth,
And our weary steps He guideth
From earth’s woe to heav’nly joy.
His soul deeply for us feeleth,
He His love to us revealeth,
He who is in the heavens dwelleth
Came to save us from our foe.
Jacob’s star His advent maketh,
Soothes the longing heart that acheth,
And the serpent’s head He breaketh,
Scattering the powers of hell.
Op’d hath He and freedom gained us
From the prison that contained us,
Where much grief and sorrow pained us,
And our hearts were bowed with woe.
O blest hour when we receivèd
From the foe who us deceivèd
Liberty, when we believèd,
And Thee, gracious Spirit, praised.
Beauteous Infant in the manger,
O befriend us! beyond danger
Bring us where is turned God’s anger
Where with angel hosts we’ll praise.