Almost every line from “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” could be developed into an individual blog post, sermon, or book. The lyrics are poetic, encouraging, and (for the most part) biblical.

I’ve been looking forward to examining this hymn against Scripture—I think this one was the most fun to work with. I’m sure you’ll see why.

Before we jump into the lyrics, though, let’s clarify: “Hark” is not the name of a herald angel.hark-the-herald-angels-sing-lyrics

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing lyrics

Hark! The herald angels sing
‘Glory to the newborn King;’

There’s no record of these angels singing, but they did herald the coming of the Christ, God’s anointed King of Israel (Lk 2:11).

The angels actually said, “Glory to God in the highest,” that is, God the Father (Lk 2:14).

Peace on earth and mercy mild;
God and sinners reconciled.’

The angels proclaim peace on earth, and that God is pleased with men (Lk 2:14).

God reconciled us to Himself through Jesus (2 Co 5:18).

Joyful, all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with angelic host proclaim,
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem!’

The wise men from foreign lands discovered the star of Bethlehem after Jesus’ birth, and they rejoiced (Mt 2:10).

Hark the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King.’

Christ by highest heav’n adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord:
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.

Christ is the everlasting King, who, in these last days, brought us the word of God (Heb 1:2). Paul says that “when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4).

Jesus was born of the virgin Mary (Lk 1:34).

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail th’incarnate Deity!

Yes, in Christ, “all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col 2:9). This was an important thing Paul wanted to communicate in his letter to the Colossians.

Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel.

The angel told Joseph that Jesus would be called “Emmanuel” (or “Immanuel”), which means “God with us” (Mt 1:23).

Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King.’

Hail the heav’n born Prince of Peace!

Jesus is the Prince of Peace the prophet Isaiah foresaw, and there will be no end to His government or of the peace He brings. He will rule in justice and righteousness forevermore (Is 9:6–7).

Hail the Sun of righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.

The prophet Malachi promised that, for the Jews who fear God’s name, “the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings” (Mal 4:2). The Bible doesn’t specifically tells us that this sun refers to Jesus, but to be fair, we know that Jesus and the Father will provide light in the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:23).

Mild He lays His glory by,

Indeed, Jesus “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men” (Php 2:7).

Born that man no more may die,

Jesus Himself says that “everyone who believes in Me will never die” (Jn 11:26).

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Indeed, the Bread of Life says, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (Jn 6:54).

Born to give them second birth

And we have been born again through the living and enduring word of God: the gospel of Jesus Christ, the King (1 Pe 1:23–25).

Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the newborn King.’

Conclusion: strongly biblical

This hymn explores so many important concepts:

  • Christ’s deity
  • Christ’s humanity
  • Christ’s kingship
  • Christ’s work of reconciliation
  • Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy
  • Everlasting life in the Lord Jesus Christ

This hymn is fantastic. Sing it as a church, sing it as a prayer. Preach it as a sermon—preach it as a dozen sermons. Read it as a devotional. But don’t stop at the lyrics: use this hymn as a springboard into Bible study. Look up these references and explore what the Word says about the King born long ago.

And although the Bible doesn’t explicitly say so, I don’t think it hurts to imagine that the angels sang that night.

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