Scripture Verse

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. Psalm 2:1–3


William W. Gilchrist (1846–1916)

Words: From Bi­ble Songs (Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­van­ia: Unit­ed Pres­by­te­ri­an Board of Pub­li­ca­tion, 1891), num­ber 2.

Music: Ta­mau­li­pas Will­iam W. Gilc­hrist, in Bi­ble Songs (Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­van­ia: Unit­ed Pres­by­te­ri­an Board of Pub­li­ca­tion, 1901), num­ber 2 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:


Why do hea­then na­tions rage?
Why vain things do peo­ple mind?
Kings of earth in plots en­gage,
Rulers are in league com­bined.

Thus against the Lord they speak,
Thus against His Christ they say,
Let us join their bands to break,
Let us cast their cords away.

He shall laugh who sits above,
God Most High shall scorn them all;
Them in an­ger fierce re­prove;
Burning wrath shall on them fall.

Yet ac­cord­ing to My will,
Have I set My King to reign;
Him on Zi­on’s holy hill,
My An­oint­ed I’ll main­tain.

Thus hath said the Lord Most High,
“I will pub­lish the de­cree;
Thee I own My Son, for I
Have this day be­got­ten Thee.

“Ask, for he­ri­tage I’ll make
All the hea­then na­tions Thine;
Thou shalt in pos­ses­sion take
Earth to its re­mot­est line.

Let Thy rod of ir­on fall;
Break them with Thy scep­ter’s sway;
Dash them in­to piec­es small,
Like the pot­ter’s brit­tle clay.

Therefore, kings, be wise, give ear;
Hearken, judg­es of the earth;
Learn to serve the Lord with fear,
Mingle trem­bling with your mirth.

Fear His wrath, and kiss the Son,
Lest ye per­ish from the way,
When His wrath is but be­gun,
Blest are all that on Him stay.