1. When Pharoah and his army came,
    Horse and chariot, prince and slave,
His spear and bowmen, all of fame,
    Hurried down to dare the wave.
Helmets gleam’d, trumpets sounded:
Grief and joy rose confounded:
Horses pranc’d, chariots jump’d and bounded.

2. All night their horses onward spurr’d:
    On they came with scoff and boast:
Till God look’d down, and wrath was pour’d
    On the bravest of their host.
Then the strong met the Stronger;
Vengeance then slept no longer;
Then the Wrong’d triumph’d o’er the wronger.

3. True Moses of the Christian band;
    Your renown and hard-won fame,
When on the cross, by mighty hand,
    Sin and death were brought to shame:
Victor o’er pow’rs internal,
King amidst foes infernal,
Lead us on, up to joys eternal.


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The tune is taken from the old Finnish Protestant hymn collection, Piae Cantiones (“Devout Songs”). The original was called “In stadio laboris” (“in athletic strife”).

I’ve modified the text a bit, but the original words were written/translated by D.M Neale, a minister in the Church of England in the 1800’s who was keenly interested in the medieval and eastern church. He was an active poet and translator as well, and almost finished a 4-volume commentary on the Psalms (it was completed after his death), which was drawn from many early church and medieval sources. In these books the Psalms are interpreted as prophecies of Christ.

This song is much in the same tradition. It treats the story of Moses’ victory over the Egyptians as a prophecy or symbol of Christ’s victory over sin and death. This is a valid comparison, since Egypt was the enslaver of the Israelites, and sin/death are the enslavers of the human race.

As well, this story gains new significance in light of the statement in the book of Revelation that the 144,000 sing the “song of Moses and the Lamb” (Revelation 15:3) This prophecy tells us that there is yet to be another experience of mighty victory for God’s church: the victory over the beast and his image, or otherwise called “Babylon the Great.” This mighty victory will usher in the return of Christ in the clouds of heaven and the end of the kingdoms of this world. It will be a combination of both of the previous victories:

  • the victory of Moses and the children of Israel over their outward oppressors—this corresponds to the deliverance of God’s children from the persecuting power of Babylon the Great
  • the victory of Christ over sin and death—this corresponds to the victory of God’s children over the fierce temptations that Satan brings upon them during the time of “Jacob’s trouble” during which, along with the outward persecution, they will be plunged into a time of much internal distress, similar to Christ’s experience in the garden of Gethsemane. Just as Job’s experience of suffering made his beautiful faith shine more brightly, so will this last trial do the same for those waiting saints.

When Christ finally appears, and turns their mortal bodies into immortal ones, their victory over sin and death will be as complete and triumphant as was Moses’ victory over his enemies, and Christ’s victory over the same. It will be a complete inward and outward victory, and so is called the song of “Moses and the Lamb.”

To understand this last battle more clearly, I highly recommend the book, The Seven Angels.

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