Scripture Verse

The Rock of Israel said to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 2 Samuel 23:3

Introduction

portrait
Philip Doddridge
1702–1751

Words: Phi­lip Dodd­ridge (1702–1751). Pub­lished post­hu­mous­ly in Hymns Found­ed on Va­ri­ous Texts in the Ho­ly Scrip­tures, by Job Or­ton (Shrop­shire, Eng­land: Jo­shua Ed­dowes & John Cot­ton, 1755), num­ber 365, alt. The last words of Da­vid.

Music: Jo­se­phine Er­nest R. Kroe­ger, 1901 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tune:

portrait
Ernest R. Kroeger
1862–1934

Lyrics

Thus hath the son of Jes­se said,
When Is­ra­el’s God had raised his head
To high im­pe­ri­al sway:
Struck with his last po­et­ic fire,
Then Zi­on’s psalm­ist tuned his lyre
To this har­mo­ni­ous lay.

Thus dic­tates Is­ra­el’s sacr­ed Rock:
Thus hath the God of Ja­cob spoke
By my re­spon­sive tongue:
Behold the just one ov­er men
Commencing his re­li­gious reign!
Great sub­ject of my song.

So gent­ly shines with ge­ni­al ray
Th’un­cloud­ed lamp of ris­ing day,
And cheers the ten­der flow­ers,
When mid­night’s soft dif­fu­sive rain
Hath blessed the gar­dens and the plain
With kind re­fresh­ing show­ers.

Shall not my house this hon­or boast?
My soul th’eter­nal co­ve­nant trust,
Well or­dered still and sure?
There all my hopes and wish­es meet;
In death I call its bless­ings sweet,
And feel its bond se­cure.

The sons of Be­li­al shall not spring,
Who spurn at Heav’n’s ap­point­ed king,
And scorn his high com­mand:
Tho’ wide the bri­ars in­fest the ground,
And all the sharp­est thorns around
Defy a ten­der hand.

A dread­ful war­ri­or shall ap­pear
With ir­on arms, and mas­sy spear,
And tear them from their place:
Touched with the light­ning of his ire,
At once they kin­dle in­to fire,
And van­ish in the blaze.