The Story Behind O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
"O come, O come, Emmanuel" is a Christian hymn for Advent and Christmas. It is a translation of a Latin hymn, "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel." The 1861 translation, by John Mason Neale, from Hymns Ancient and Modern is the most notable in the English-speaking realm, but other English translations also endure. Adaptations into other modern languages (particularly German) are also in broad use.
The lyrics and the melody for "O come, O come, Emmanuel" emerged independently. The Latin text is first documented in Germany in 1710, whereas the melody most commonly associated in the English-speaking world has its origins in 15th-century France.
The Biblical Origin of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"
In Scripture, the name "Emmanuel" first appears in Isaiah 7:14, which says, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign; The virgin will conceive, and give birth to a Son, and will call Him Emmanuel” (NIV). The original meaning of the name is: “with us is God,” or “God with us.”
Although it says in Isaiah 7:14 “thou shalt call his name Immanuel,” Mary and Joseph didn’t give their son that name. Instead, they followed the directions given specifically to them in Matthew 1:21 (Joseph in a dream) and Luke 1:31 (Mary by the angel Gabriel) to name Him Jesus.
As seen in Matthew 1:23 above, the meaning of Emmanuel is “God with us.” The promised child was given the name of Jesus but was also Emmanuel, God in the flesh.
Our Favorite Cover of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"
Collection of Popular Christmas Hymns and Carols:
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
The First Noel
Joy To The World
O Holy Night
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
O Come All Ye Faithful
Go Tell It On The Mountain
What Child Is This
O Little Town of Bethlehem
We Three Kings of Orient Are