Welcome to the HistoricHymns.com Hymn Details Page!

The Church Hymnal Revised and Enlarged, 1892054
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by NightNahum Tate, 1703

Hymn NumberTuneComposer or SourceMeter
054aGabrielTraditionalCommon Meter Double (8.6.8.6.D.)
054bSt. Martin’sWilliam Tans’ur, 1736Common Meter (8.6.8.6.)

1While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
2“Fear not,” said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind;
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.
3“To you, in David’s town, this day
Is born of David’s line,
The Savior, Who is Christ the Lord;
And this shall be the sign:
4“The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
And in a manger laid.”
5Thus spake the seraph; and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God, who thus
Addressed their joyful song:
6“All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth from heaven to men
Begin and never cease.” Amen.
Psalm103:20Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
Isaiah7:14Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah7:14-1614 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
Luke2:7-157 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Luke2:8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke2:8-148 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke2:8-178 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Luke2:9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
Luke2:10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
Luke2:11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke2:13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luke2:14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke2:15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Luke2:20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Luke15:7-107 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
John7:42Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
Titus2:11For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Hebrews1:14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Hebrews7:14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

Text Sources:

Musical Sources: