325. Bethlehem, a noble city

1 Bethlehem, a noble city,
has been blessed beyond compare,
for the gracious God of heaven
once became incarnate there.

2 Fairer than the sun at morning
was the star that told his birth,
to the world its God announcing,
seen in human form on earth.

3 From the east came men of wisdom
bringing treasures prized of old,
tributes to a greater wisdom,
gifts of incense, myrrh, and gold.

4 Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
incense shows that God has come,
gold proclaims him king of nations,
myrrh foretells his saving tomb.

5 Holy Jesus, in your brightness
to the gentile world displayed,
with the Father and the Spirit
endless praise to you be paid.

Text Information
First Line: Bethlehem, a noble city
Latin Title: O sola magnarum urbium
Author: Prudentius (348-c. 413)
Translator: Edward Caswall (1814-1878) (alt.)
Meter: 87 87
Language: English
Publication Date: 2008
Topic: Life in Christ: Christ Incarnate - Christmas and Epiphany; Christian Year: Season of Epiphany
Tune Information
Meter: 87 87
Key: G Major
Source: Adapted from a melody in Christian Friedrich Witt's Psalmodia Sacra, Gotha, 1715; Harm.: compilers of Church Hymnary, 1898

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