Scripture Verse

There were shepherds living out in the fields…keeping watch over their flocks at night. Luke 2:8–9


Nahum Tate (1652–1715)

Words: Na­hum Tate (1652–1715), alt. The first known pub­li­ca­tion of the words be­low was in the Scot­tish Psal­ter and Pa­ra­phras­es, 1800, page 452.

Music: Beth­le­hem (Fink) Gott­fried W. Fink, 1842 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Gottfried W. Fink (1783–1846)


While hum­ble shep­herds watched their flocks
In Beth­l’hem’s plains by night,
An an­gel sent from Heav’n ap­peared,
And filled the plains with light.
Fear not, he said (for sud­den dread
Had seized their trou­bled mind);
“Glad tid­ings of great joy I bring
To you, and all man­kind.

To you, in Da­vid’s town, this day
Is born, of Da­vid’s line,
The Sav­ior, who is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign:
The heav’n­ly Babe you there shall find
To hu­man view dis­played,
All mean­ly wrapt in swad­dling-bands,
And in a man­ger laid.

Thus spake the se­raph; and forth­with
Appeared a shin­ing throng
Of an­gels, prais­ing God; and thus
Addressed their joy­ful song:
All glo­ry be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Good-will is shown by Heav’n to men,
And ne­ver more shall cease.