O Come - Lord

O come, O come, O Lord of might
Who to your tribes on Sinai's height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe
Latin 13th century translated by John M Neale (1818-1866)

The original Latin of this is:
O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.
Which Maggi Dawn translated as:
O Adonai and Ruler of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and on Mount Sinai gave him your law.
Come, and with outstretched arm redeem us
Maggi keeps the word Adonai in her translation of this verse of the old Advent hymn... The title which we are told was ascribed to God, and used in place of his sacred name of YHWH when the Jewish rabbis were reading from scripture, for fear that they would take God's actual name in vain, leading to the later mix up of the consonants from YHWH and the vowels from Adonai, to produce the composite "Jehovah."
Makes me wonder how many times a pernickety approach to God's law and getting things mixed up have led to a misapprehension, not only of the name or title of God, but his entire character?
I suppose in some ways that is why God in his grace had to reveal himself as the incarnate Word... to flesh out and fulfil the law... And save us, not just from the penalty of the Law, but our tendency to get everything confused...
But 2 millenia on and we're still elevating law over grace... trying to legislate the coming of God's kingdom on earth, whereas we know that his kingdom comes when we bow the knee before Christ as King, as the shepherds and wise men did before the baby of Bethlehem, and then get back off our knees and live out Christ's loving lordship in our everyday lives.

As it says in the last book of the Bible:
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus...


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