Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Singing Nehemiah

A Metrical Paraphrase of Nehemiah 8:9-12

Bill, Jeremy, Derek and I have been writing metrical versions of passages in the Psalms, Isaiah and other Scriptural readings of late, for use in congregational singing. We've done another one for this coming Sunday evening service. Sunday night Derek is going to be preaching from the great passage in the middle of Nehemiah 8 that goes like this:

Nehemiah 8:9-12 "And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep." For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, "Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved." And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them."

Here's how we put that into verse.

Nehemiah 8:9-12 (To Winchester Old)
[Duncan, Wymond and Thomas]

The preachers taught the Word of God,
And all the people feared
So overcome by truth were they,
their eyes filled up with tears.

They wept at hearing God’s own Word
–His precious, holy, Law–
Yes, all were sobered by the truth
and listened, filled with awe.

Their pastors comforted them and said:
“dear friends, this day’s for joy!”
“Don’t cry or weep or mourn or grieve,
but hymns to Him employ.”

“Today’s a day of joy and strength,
of feasting and of mirth.”
“Go eat and drink and feed the poor.
Declare God’s matchless worth.”

“Be still, this day’s for holy joy,”
their priests said unto to them.
The people held a festival
and praised the Lord of heav’n.

It was the Word of God, that day,
that caused their joy and awe.
So, Christians ever ought to say:
“O Lord, I love Your Law.”

1 comment:

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