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52. When Israel Was in Egypt's Land

1 When Israel was in Egypt's land,
let my people go;
oppressed so hard they could not stand,
let my people go!

Go down, (go down,) Moses, (Moses,)
way down in Egypt's land;
tell old Pharaoh:
let my people go!

2 "Thus saith the Lord," bold Moses said,
"Let my people go!
If not, I'll smite your firstborn dead.
Let my people go!" [Refrain]

3 "No more shall they in bondage toil:
let my people go!
Let them come out with Egypt's spoil:
let my people go!" [Refrain]

4 O let us all from bondage flee;
let my people go!
And let us all in Christ be free:
let my people go! [Refrain]

Text Information
First Line: When Israel was in Egypt's land
Title: When Israel Was in Egypt's Land
Publication Date: 2013
Meter: with refrain
Scripture: Exodus 3:7-12; Exodus 5:1; Exodus 8:1; Exodus 11:4-5; Exodus 12:35-36
Topic: Freedom; God's Covenant with Israel
Source: African American spiritual
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Go down, (go down,) Moses (Moses)
Tune Information
Arranger: Melva Wilson Costen (1989)
Meter: with refrain
Key: f minor
Source: African American spiritual
Copyright: Arr. © 1990 Melva Wilson Costen

Text Information:

Nothing in Hebrew Scripture resonated more deeply with the experience of African Americans in North America than Israel’s slavery in Egypt. In this spiritual’s recurring line, “Let my people go,” past and present became one, as they still do for all who are oppressed.

Audio recording: Audio (MP3)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.