A Songwriter's Analysis of "Joy To The World!" by John Bennett

A Songwriter's Analysis of "Joy To The World!" by John Bennett

Blog Link: https://storehousepro.blogspot.com/2020/12/a-songwriters-study-of-hymn-to-world-by.html

Joy To The World! originally title The Messiah's Coming and Kingdom was written by Isaac Watts in 1719. His words were inspired by Psalm 98 in the Bible and is actually a song collaboration of over 100 years. The music was adapted by Lowell Mason an American church musician who used musical phrases from Handel's The Messiah within the song. ( I've heard of modern day songwriters lifting parts of other classical songs like in Dan Folgelburg's "Same Old Lang Syne" Listen to the first verse and compare the music to the 1812 Overture.) The overall theme of Joy To The World is all about the first and second triumphant coming to the Earth of Jesus Christ, God personally revealing Himself to the World! Let's take a look at the lyrics:

Joy to the world, the Lord is come 

There was great joy at Jesus' first coming but at His second  coming not everyone will be joyful.  Only those who have accepted His offer of eternal life by His grace.  

Let earth receive her King 

He was declared King of the Jews by Pontious Pilate and given a crown of thorns. On His second coming He  will be declared the KING OF KINGS

Let every heart prepare Him room 

This is asking; Have you received Jesus into your heart? Have you made preparations of where you'll spend eternity?

The next 3 lines repeat to drive home that all of nature and Worship Jesus:

And Heaven and nature sing 
And Heaven and nature sing 
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing

Angels in heaven worship the Lord Jesus. The Bible tells us that this worship has lasted from the beginning and will through all of eternity.


Joy to the World, the Savior reigns! 

The Bible tells us that when Jesus returns after the Tribulation  He will rule over all the nations of the whole World

Let men their songs employ 

I like this line. Our purpose as Christian songwriters is the mission to put our songs to work for the Kingdom of God! 

While fields and floods, 

Again we see that all of nature Worships God. The Bible 

rocks, hills and plains 

tells us that if we didn't worship Him that the rocks will.

Repeat the sounding joy 
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy

Even all of nature is joyful and will repeat joy for eternity.


No more let sins and sorrows grow, 

As Christians we are to grow spiritually and not carnally 

Nor thorns infest the ground; 

Jesus' parable of the sower of seeds Matthew 13:3-8 The seeds represent God's Word the thorns choke it out.

He comes to make His blessings flow 

As God's Word grows so do the blessings you receive.

Far as the curse is found, 
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed  our sins from us. (when we receive Christ)


He rules the world with truth and grace, 

On His second coming He will rule over all the Earth. His judgment will be righteous and true. His grace will  forgive the sins of all those who accepted Him into their hearts.

And makes the nations prove 

We will prove our acceptance of Jesus by what's in our Hearts. We will bow down and worship who He is.

The glories of His righteousness, 

In Heaven and on Earth Jesus is Gloriously worshipped and is Worthy to receive all the Honor due to Him.

And wonders of His love, 
And wonders of His love, HALLELUJAH!
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

We cannot fathom the depths of His love for us. God  so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (to suffer death on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins) so that none would perish but have everlasting LIFE!


Analysis of Joy To The World!

John, thanks very much for your line-by-line analysis. Helps to give us a fuller appreciation of this wonderful traditional Christmas hymn.

I had to reformat your layout because it did not look good on a smartphone screen – way too many spacebars.

Merry Christmas!

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music | www.schletty.com


Thank you for sharing this little devotional.  I was encouraged!
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