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Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old

Full Text

1 Isaiah the prophet has written of old
how God's earthly kingdom shall come.
Instead of the thorn tree the fir tree shall grow;
the wolf shall lie down with the lamb.
The mountains and hills shall break forth into song,
the peoples be led forth in peace;
for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God
as the waters cover the seas.

2 Yet nations still prey on the meek of the world,
and conflict turns parent from child.
Your people despoil all the sweetness of earth;
the brier and the thorn grow wild.
Lord, hasten to bring in your kingdom on earth,
when no one shall hurt or destroy,
when wisdom and justice shall reign in the land
and your people shall go forth in joy.

Author: Joy F. Patterson

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Text Information

Notes

Scripture References: st. 1 = Isa. 11:6-9 st. 2 = Isa. 55:12-13 Written by Joy F. Patterson (b. Lansing, MI, 1931) in 1981, this text was one of seven winners in a hymn-writing contest for children's hymns sponsored jointly by the Choristers Guild and the Hymn Society of America. It was published in the Hymn Society leaflet "New Hymns for Children" (1982) and was first sung at the Society's convocation in Atlanta that same year. Patterson says of the text, "I have always loved the tune SAMANTHRA, and the images and words from Isaiah 11 seemed made for the tune. Thus scriptural language, a prayer for peace, and a good but little-used tune came together for me in this hymn." Based on biblical imagery found in Isaiah, the text skillfully contrasts the evil and Injustice in this world (st. 2a) with the vision of peace, harmony, and joy in the kingdom of God (st. 1). It concludes with a "Maranatha" prayer ("Lord, come quickly!") for Peace, wisdom, justice, and joy (st. 2b). Patterson grew up in LaGrange, Illinois, studied French language and literature at the University of Wisconsin, and spent a year at the University of Strasbourg, France, on a Fulbright scholarship. She taught French at the University of Wisconsin and worked as a homemaker and as a claims representative for the Social Security Administration. An elder in the Presbyterian Church, she was a member of the committee that prepared The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990). A writer of some thirty hymn texts and composer of hymn tunes, Patterson has also written choral music, including "On a Winter Night" (1974). A collection of her hymns, Come, You People of the Promise was published in 1994. Liturgical Use: Advent; other worship that emphasizes the qualities of the kingdom of God, both here and to come. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Timeline

Instances

Instances (1 - 12 of 12)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #241TextPage Scan
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #77Text InfoTextAudio
Moravian Book of Worship #682Text
New Hymns for Children #4
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #337TextPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #616Text InfoTune InfoAudio
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #774
The New Century Hymnal #108
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #663
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #680TextPage Scan
Wonder, Love, and Praise: a supplement to the Hymnal 1982 #723Text
Worship and Rejoice #532TextPage Scan
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