hymns on the Nativity - saint Ephrem
- These are a few words which are extracted from the works of saint Ephrem who has written a lot of hymns on the Nativity. His complete works can now be downloaded from the Internet.
This is the day that gladdened them, the Prophets, Kings, and Priests, for in it were their words fulfilled, and thus were the whole of them indeed performed! For the Virgin this day brought forth Immanuel in Bethlehem. The voice that of old Isaiah spake,1 to-day became reality. He was born there who in writing should tell the Gentiles' number! The Psalm that David once sang, by its fulfillment came to-day!2 The word that Micah once spake,3 to-day was come indeed to pass! For there came from Ephrata a Shepherd, and His staff swayed over souls. Lo! From Jacob shone the Star,4 and from Israel rose the Head.5 The prophecy that Balaam spake had its interpreting to-day! Down also came the hidden Light, and from the Body rose His beauty! The light that spake in Zachary, to-day shined in Bethlehem!
Risen is the Light of the kingdom, in Ephrata the city of the King. The blessing wherewith Jacob blessed, to its fulfillment came to-day! That tree likewise, [the tree] of life, brings hope to mortal men! Solomon's hidden proverb6 had to-day its explanation! To-day was born the Child, and His name was called Wonder!7 For a wonder it is that God as a Babe should show Himself.