Handel’s Advent Messiah

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The Advent portions of Handel’s Messiah.  The above video is the Overture.

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Next we have “Comfort Ye” which is a messianic text from Isaiah 40.

“Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to
Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her
iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight in the desert a highway for
our God. ”

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“Every Valley” carries on with the fourth verse of Isaiah 40:

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:

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“And the Glory of the Lord” is the fifth and final verse of Isaiah 40 that Handel uses.

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.

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“Thus saith the Lord” shifts to the messianic verses 5 and 6 of Haggai 2:

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;
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
.

and concludes with the messianic Malachi 3, verse 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.

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But Who May Abide The Day of His Coming which repeats the messianic words of Malachi 3, verse 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:

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And He Shall Purify concludes Handel’s use of Malachi with Malachi 3, verse 3:

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.

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Behold a Virgin Shall Conceive shifts our focus to great messianic prophecies of Isaiah, beginning with Isaiah Chapter 7, verse 14:

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el

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O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion repeats the text of Isaiah 40, verse 9:

O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

And concludes with Isaiah 60, verse 1:

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

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For Behold Darkness Shall Cover the Earth continues with Isaiah 60, verses 2 and 3:

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 thee.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

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The People That Walked in Darkness relates the great messianic message, a text that I have always found profoundly moving, of Isaiah Chapter 9, verse 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.

We have one more section, and that we will reserve for Christmas Eve.


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