Please give today to support during one of only two fund drives we run each year. Each month, Hymnary serves more than 1 million users from around the globe, thanks to the generous support of people like you, and we are so grateful. 

Tax-deductible donations can be made securely online using this link.

Alternatively, you may write a check to CCEL and mail it to:
Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old

Hymn on One License

Isaiah the prophet has written of old

Author: Joy F. Patterson (1982)
Published in 14 hymnals

Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Representative 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

Joy F. Patterson (b. 1931), of Wassau, Wisconsin, is an elder in the Presbyterian Church who has written many texts and tunes; twenty-nine are collected in Come, You People of the Promise (Hope Publishing, Co., 1994); another collection, Teach Our Eyes New Ways of Seeing, was published in 2005 (Selah). Patterson has enjoyed a varied career as a French professor, homemaker, and claim representative for the Social Security Administration. Sing! A New Creation Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Isaiah the prophet has written of old
Title: Isaiah the Prophet Has Written of Old
Author: Joy F. Patterson (1982)
Meter: Irregular
Language: English
Copyright: © 1982, The Hymn Society of America. Used by permission


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



Instances (1 - 14 of 14)
TextPage Scan

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #241

Text InfoTextAudio

Glory to God #77

TextPage Scan

Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #241


Moravian Book of Worship #682

New Hymns for Children #4

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #616

The Book of Praise #782

Page Scan

The Covenant Hymnal #774

The New Century Hymnal #108

TextPage Scan

The Presbyterian Hymnal #337

Together in Song #663


Voices United #680


Wonder, Love, and Praise #723


Worship and Rejoice #532

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us