From Heaven Came the Angel Band

Tune: Vom Himmel hoch

  1. From heaven came the angel choir,
    And to the shepherds did appear;
    “Behold the tender Babe,” they said,
    “In yonder lowly manger bed.

  2. “At Bethlehem, in David’s town,
    As Micah did of old make known;
    ’Tis Jesus Christ, your Lord and King,
    Who doth to all salvation bring.

  3. “Oh, then rejoice that through His Son
    God is with sinners now at one;
    Made like yourselves of flesh and blood,
    Your brother is th’ eternal God.

  4. “What harm can sin and death then do?
    The true God now abides with you.
    Let hell and Satan rage and chafe,
    Christ is your Brother—ye are safe.

  5. “Not one He will or can forsake
    Who Him his confidence doth make.
    Let all his wiles the Tempter try,
    You may his utmost pow’rs defy.

  6. “Ye shall and must at last prevail;
    God’s own ye are, ye cannot fail.
    To God forever sing your praise
    With joy and patience all your days.”

Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schar
Martin Luther, 1543
Tr. Richard Massie, 1854, alt.
Source: The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, alt.

German Text

Tune: Vom Himmel hoch

  1. Von Himel kam der Engel schar
    Erschein den Hirten offenbar/
    Sie sagten jn / Ein kindlein zart.
    Das ligt dort in der Krippen hart

  2. Zu Bethlehem in Davids Stat/
    Wie Micha das verkündet hat.
    Es ist der HErre Jhesus Christ/
    Der ewer aller Heiland ist.

  3. Des solt ir billich frölich sein
    Das Gott mit euch ist worden ein.
    Er ist geborn ewr Fleisch und Blut/
    Ewr Bruder ist das ewig Gut

  4. Was kan euch thun die Sünd und Tod /
    Jr habt mit euch den waren Gott.
    Last zürnen Teuffel und die Hell/
    Gotts Son ist worden ewr Gesel

  5. Er wil und kan euch lassen nicht/
    Setzt jr auff jn ewr zuuersicht/
    Es mögen euch viel fechten an/
    Dem sey trotz ders nicht lassen kan

  6. Zu letzt müst jr doch haben recht/
    Jr seid nu worden Gotts geschlecht/
    Des dancket Gott in ewigkeit
    Gedüldig /frölich alle zeit.

Martin Luther, 1543

Literal Translation
  1. From heaven came the angel host,
    Appeared to the shepherds openly,
    They said to them, “A little child tender,
    It lies there in the manger rough.

  2. At Bethlehem in David’s city
    As Micah thus proclaimèd hath,
    It is the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Who is the Savior of you all.

  3. Thus shall ye be right joyful
    That God with you is become one,
    He is born your flesh and blood,
    Your brother is the eternal Good.

  4. What can sin and death do to you?
    Ye have with you the true God.
    Let the devil and hell rage!
    God’s Son is become your equal [Gesell; cf. Grimm Wörterbuch, “Geselle,” 13.a.].

  5. He will not and cannot leave you,
    Set ye on Him your confidence,
    There may be many that afflict you,
    Bid him defiance who cannot cease.

  6. At the last must ye still have the right,
    Ye are now become God’s family,
    For which thank God to eternity,
    Patient, joyful all the time.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther, 1483–1546, portrait by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1533

Author: Martin Luther
Source: Geistliche Lieder zu Wittemberg, Wittenberg: Joseph Klug, 1543, page 11v