Blessed be the God of Israel

Blessed be the God of Israel. Carl P. Daw, Jr.* (1944- ). Written in 1985 for an Advent hymn competition of the Hymn Society of America. It is a paraphrase of the Benedictus* from Luke 1: 68-79, the song that marvellously breaks the silence of Zecharias, or Zechariah, as he contemplates his son John, who will become St John the Baptist (‘My child, as prophet of the Lord/ you will prepare the way’, verse 3 lines 1-2). Other texts employed include Isaiah 11: 1 (‘a Branch from David’s tree’) and Genesis 22: 16-17 (‘the oath once sworn to Abraham’). Daw has noted that ‘the language is kept deliberately simple’ (A Year of Grace, Carol Stream, 1990, p. 16). It was submitted for the competition...

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