Handel used the lyrics from a preacher Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.
9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
60:1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
We usually associate Messiah
with Christmas, but Handel composed it to be performed at Easter.
“Handel used the lyrics from a preacher Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.
In some cases Jennens copied verses from the King James Version of the Bible directly, and in other cases he abridged or modified the wording of the Bible verses somewhat to fit into something that could be set to music and sung. He also decided to change the “point of view” in a couple of places.
Rather than quoting Jesus’ words about himself directly, for instance, he made a few changes so that the singers are singing about Jesus rather than portraying the role of Jesus.”
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“Georg Handel was a barber-surgeon in northern Germany in the 17th century. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe who only performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.”
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