~ M E S S I A H ~
From the Prophcies of the Old Testament to the Fulfillments of the New
Testiment, from the very scriptures of the prophets of God, comes the words
of MESSIAH. They were collected by the 'libretto'of Charles Jennens and set
to the inspired music of George Frideric Handel. And once heard and
understood, how could one say that JESUS was not the CHRIST?
The artistry of the Fine Arts combine to produce a wonder of words and music.
The only thing yet to add is the vision of sight. And therein would lie a
greater composition. The sight of the visionary screen further enhancing
what words and music have already heightened. Why hasn't a film company already
gobbled it up?
But perhaps the silent comtemplation of the mind concerning the matter at
hand is just as majestic. The silence of comtemplation of the written word
of God. When was the last time, if ever, has one browse, studying and read
in concert the very words of those scriptures upon which the MESSIAH is
has been created? This page is so created to that end.
Now consider, with all the earthly credits given, whether, Handel, Jennens,
Isaiah, Psalms, Malachi, Matthew, Luke, Paul and others, as to the words
of insight and praise; in thruth there is but one to whom credit belongs
and that is unto God. So Glory to God be given.
The Scriptures of MESSIAH
PART ONE:The prophesy and realization of God's plan
to redeem mankind by the coming of the Messiah5
(i) The prophesy of Salvation
2. Accompagnato -
1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she
hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for
~ Isaiah 40:1-3
3. Air -
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and
the rough places plain:
~ Isaiah 40:4
4. Chorus –
And the Glory of the Lord
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it
together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
~ Isaiah 40:5
(ii) the prophecy of the coming of Messiah and the question, despite
(i), of what this may portend for the World
5. Accompagnato –
Thus Saith the Lord
6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I
will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come:
and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:
and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the
messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith
the LORD of hosts.
~ Haggai 2:6-7; Malachi 3:1
4 “Let us sing of great things.”
5 The headings used in this document come from a wordbook published for a
1743 performance of Messiah. There is evidence that Jennens had a hand in
the publication of this wordbook. In this wordbook the three parts (or acts)
of the oratorio are divided into 16 scenes: five for Part One, seven for
Part Two, and four for Part Three.
6. Air –
But Who May Abide
2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he
appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
~ Malachi 3:2
7. Chorus –
And He Shall Purify
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify
the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer
unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
~ Malachi 3:3
(iii) the prophecy of the Virgin Birth
8. Recitative –
Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceived
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall
conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and
they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
~ Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23
9. Air and Chorus –
O Thou That Tellest
9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings,6 get thee up into the high
mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,7 lift up thy
voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God!
1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen
~ Isaiah 40:9; 60:1
10. Accompagnato –
For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover the Earth
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the
people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of
~ Isaiah 60:2-3
11. Air –
The People that Walked in Darkness
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell
in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
~ Isaiah 9:2
12. Chorus –
For Unto Us a Child is Born
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government
shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
~ Isaiah 9:6
(iv) the appearance of the Angels to the Shepherds
13. Interlude: Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
14a. Recitative –
There Were Shepherds
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping
watch over their flock by night.
~ Luke 2:8
6 In the margin to the 1611 King James Version, an
alternative translation is provided for this phrase: “O thou that tellest
good tidings to Zion” (see
This phrase was chosen for the Messiah libretto.
7 In the margin to the 1611 King James Version, an alternative translation is
provided for this phrase: “O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem”
This phrase was chosen for the Messiah libretto.
14b. Accompagnato –
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
~ Luke 2:9
15. Recitative –
And the Angel Said Unto Them
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good
tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is
Christ the Lord.
~ Luke 2:10-11
16. Accompagnato –
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying,
~ Luke 2:13
17. Chorus –
Glory to God
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
~ Luke 2:14
(v) Christ’s redemptive miracles on earth
18. Air –
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation;8
lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the
heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river
even to the ends of the earth.
~ Zechariah 9:9-10
19. Recitative –
Then the Eyes of the Blind
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall
6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing:
for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
~ Isaiah 35:5-6
20. Air –
He Shall Feed His Flock
11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with
his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.9
~ Isaiah 40:11; Matthew 11:28-29
21. Chorus –
His Yoke is Easy
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.10
~ Matthew 11:30
8 The Messiah libretto recasts “he is just, and
having salvation” as “He is the righteous Saviour.”
9 The Messiah libretto places these verses in third person and recasts
“lowly in heart” as “lowly of heart”.
10 The Messiah libretto places this verse in third person.
PART TWO : The accomplishment of redemption by the sacrifice of Jesus,
mankind’s rejection of God’s offer, and mankind’s utter defeat when trying to
oppose the power of the Almighty
(i) The redemptive sacrifice, the scourging and the agony on the cross
22. Chorus –
Behold, the Lamb of God
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb
of God, which11 taketh away the sin of the world.
~ John 1:29
23. Air –
He Was Despised
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with
grief:12 and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was
despised, and we esteemed him not.
6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the
hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.13
~ Isaiah 53:3; 50:6
24. Chorus –
Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem
him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him;
~ Isaiah 53:4-5a
25. Chorus –
And With His Stripes
5 and with his stripes we are healed.
~ Isaiah 53:5b
26. Chorus –
All We Like Sheep
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own
way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
~ Isaiah 53:6
27. Accompagnato –
All They That See Him
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying,14
~ Psalm 22:7
28. Chorus –
He Trusted in God
8 He trusted in God that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, if he
will have him.15
~ Psalm 22:8
29. Recitative –
20 Thy rebuke hath broken my heart; I am full of heaviness: I looked for
some to take pity on me, but there was no man, neither found I any to
~ Psalm 69:20
11 The Messiah libretto replaces “which” with
12 The Messiah libretto places this phrase in past tense.
13 The Messiah libretto places this verse in third person and recast “the
hair” as “his hair”.
14 This verse is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Messiah
libretto places it in third person.
15 This verse is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Messiah
libretto places it in third person and changes the last three words to
“delight in him.”
16 This verse is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Messiah
libretto places it in third person and replaces “pity on me” with “pity on
30. Arioso –
Behold and See
12 Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow,17 which is done unto
me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
~ Lamentations 1:12
(ii) His sacrificial death, His passage through Hell and Resurrection
31. Accompagnato –
He Was Cut Off
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his
generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the
transgression of my people was he stricken.18
~ Isaiah 53:8
32. Air –
But Thou Didst Not Leave
11 For why? thou shalt not leave my soul in hell: neither shalt thou suffer
thy Holy One to see corruption.19
~ Psalm 16:10
(iii) His Ascension
33. Chorus –
Lift Up Your Heads
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors:
and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is the King of glory;20 it is the Lord strong and mighty, even the
Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors:
and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is the King of glory:21 even the Lord of hosts, he is the
King of glory.22
~ Psalm 24:7-10
(iv) God discloses his identity in Heaven
34. Recitative –
Unto Which of the Angels
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to
him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
~ Hebrew 1:5
35. Chorus –
Let All the Angels
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith,
And let all the angels of God worship him.
~ Hebrews 1:6
(v) Whitsun,23 the gift of tongues, the beginning of evangelism
36. Air –
Thou Art Gone Up on High
18 Thou art gone up on high, thou hast led captivity captive, and received
gifts for men: yea, even for thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell
~ Psalm 68:18
17 The Messiah libretto places this phrase in third person.
18 The Messiah libretto places the last phrase of this verse in third
19 This verse is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer where it is
Psalm 16:11. The Messiah libretto places it in third person and recasts it
as follows: “But thou didst not leave his soul in hell; nor didst thou suffer
thy Holy One to see corruption.” St. Peter quotes this passage in his
Pentecost Day sermon (see Acts 2:27).
20 The Messiah libretto recasts this statement of “the King of glory” as
“this King of glory”.
22 These verses are taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
23 Whitsun is he name given in the United Kingdom to the Day of Pentecost.
24 This verse is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Messiah libretto recasts “even for thine enemies” as “even
from thine enemies.”
37. Chorus –
The Lord Gave the Word
11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of the preachers.25
~ Psalm 68:11
38. Air –
How Beautiful Are the Feet
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How
beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring
glad tidings of good things!26
~ Romans 10:15
39. Chorus –
Their Sound Is Gone Out
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the
earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.27
~ Romans 10:18
(vi) the world and its rulers reject the Gospel
40. Air –
Why Do the Nations
1 Why do the heathen so furiously rage together; and why do the people
imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together:
against the Lord, and against his Anointed.28
~ Psalm 2:1-2
41. Chorus –
Let Us Break Their Bands Asunder
3 Let us break their bands asunder: and cast away their cords from us.29
~ Psalm 2:3
42. Recitative –
He That Dwelleth in Heaven
4 He that dwelleth in the heaven shall laugh them to scorn: the Lord shall
have them in derision.30
~ Psalm 2:4
(vii) God’s triumph
43. Air –
Thou Shalt Break Them
9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces
like a potter’s vessel.
~ Psalm 2:9
44. Chorus –
6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of
many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for
the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven,
saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our
Lord,31 and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS,
AND LORD OF LORDS.
~ Revelation 19:6; 11:15; 19:16
25 This verse is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
26 This quotation is from Isaiah 52:7.
27 The Messiah libretto recasts this verse as follows: “Their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of
the world.” Compare with Psalm 19:4, which begins as follows: “Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words
to the end of the world.”
28 These verses are taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The Messiah libretto replaces “heathen” with “nations”
and “stand up” with “rise up”.
29 This verse is identical in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the King James Version. The Messiah libretto replaces
“cords” with “yokes”.
30 This verse is taken from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
31 The Messiah libretto recasts this phrase as “The kingdom of this world is
become the kingdom of our Lord”.
PART THREE : A Hymn of Thanksgiving for the
final overthrow of Death
(i) The promise of bodily resurrection and redemption from Adam’s fall
45. Air –
I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter
day upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them
~ Job 19:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:20
46. Chorus –
Since By Man Came Death
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
(ii) the Day of Judgement and general Resurrection
47. Accompagnato –
Behold, I Tell You a Mystery
51 Behold, I shew33 you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we
shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:34
~ 1 Corinthians 15:51-52a
48. Air –
The Trumpet Shall Sound
52 for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.
53 for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put
~ 1 Corinthians 15:52b-53
(iii) the victory over death and sin
49. Recitative –
Then Shall Be Brought to Pass
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal
shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that
is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:54
50. Duet –
O Death, Where is Thy Sting?
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:55-56
51. Chorus –
But Thanks Be to God
57 But thanks be to God, which35 giveth us the victory through our Lord
~ 1 Corinthians 15:57
32 The Messiah libretto replaces “But” with “For”
and “slept” with “sleep”.
33 The Messiah libretto replaces this “shew” with “tell”.
34 The Messiah libretto replaces “trump” with “trumpet”.
35 The Messiah libretto replaces “which” with “who”.
52. Air –
If God Be For Us
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall
he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is
risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who
also maketh36 intercession for us.
~ Romans 8:31-34
(iv) the glorification of the Messianic victim
53. Chorus –
Worthy is the Lamb
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to
open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by
thy blood37 out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne
and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times
ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive
power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and
13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the
earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,
Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the
throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down
and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
~ Revelation 5:9-14
36 The Messiah libretto replaces “maketh” with
37 The Messiah libretto recasts this phrase as “and hath redeemed us to God
by his blood” and inserts it in verse 12 after the word “slain”.