The libretto was compiled by the composer and is drawn as directly as possible, given the limitations of English translation and the musical setting itself, from Biblical texts – texts which are both historical and prophetic, full of archetypes and resonances, and are at the same time about real people with their dreams, tragedies, and hopes. All the words come from the Tanakh or Old Testament, with the addition of names in brackets from New Testament accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam...
The King of Salem
[Genesis 5 / 1 Chronicles 1:1-4]
[Genesis 11 / 1 Chronicles 1:24-27]
Leave your country and your people, and your father’s house to a land I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you... I will bless them that bless you, I will curse them that curse you, in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed. [Genesis 12:1-3]
Lift your eyes and look around you north, south, east, west, all this land I will give to you and your seed. I will make your seed as the dust, so if a man can number the dust, then your seed can also be numbered. Walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.
Blessed be Avram by El-Elyon, (the most high God,) maker of heaven and earth: And blessed be El-Elyon (the most high God,) who delivered your enemies into your hands. [Genesis 14:19-20]
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision...
On Mount Moriah
(Abraham & Isaac)
ADONAI Elohim, what will you give me? See you have given me no child and so another shall be my heir.
This man shall not be your heir, but rather one from your own body shall be your heir. Look now towards heaven and count the stars if you can number them, so shall be your seed.
I am ADONAI who brought you out of Ur-Kasdim to give you this land.
I am El-Shaddai. Walk before Me and be perfect... Your name no longer shall be Avram, but your name shall be Avraham; I have made you father of many nations, kings shall come from you, and to your seed I give this land.
How can a man have a child when he is an hundred? Shall Sarah bear a child when she is ninety years old?
Sarah shall bear you a son: you shall call him Yitz’chak!
Here I am.
Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, go to Moriyah, and offer him there as a burnt sacrifice on a mountain I shall show you.
Here I am, my father,
Oh, my son,
I see the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb?
Oh my son, God will give Himself a Lamb.
Here I am.
Do not lay your hand on the boy, for now I know that you fear God, for you have not withheld your son, your only son.
I by Myself have sworn, says ADONAI,
for you have not withheld your only son,
as you have done this I will bless you now,
and multiply you as the stars of heaven,
and in your seed shall all nations be blessed,
for you have listened and obeyed My voice.
Ya‘akov – Isra’el
Arni [Ram], Admin
[1 Chronicles 1:34, 2:1,4-5,9-10]
And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.
Blessing and Cursing
(Moses & the children of Israel)
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy lasts for ever; [Psalm 136:1]
You shall not oppress a stranger: you know how it feels to be a stranger.
O give thanks to the God of gods, for His mercy lasts for ever;
Six years you shall sow and gather in; But the seventh year the land must rest...
O give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His mercy lasts for ever.
Blessed in the city, blessed in the field, blessed when you come in, blessed when you go out. [Deuteronomy 28:3,6]
To Him who alone has done great wonders, for His mercy lasts for ever; To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, for His mercy lasts for ever; To Him who spread out the earth on waters, for His mercy lasts for ever; To Him who made great lights, for His mercy lasts for ever; The sun to rule the day, for His mercy lasts for ever; The moon and stars to rule the night, for His mercy lasts for ever; [Psalm 136:4-9]
If you will not listen: Cursed in the city, cursed in the field, cursed when you come in, cursed when you go out. ADONAI will bring you and your king to a nation which you nor your fathers have known, And you shall become a byword to the nations... And you shall be few once again...
Just as He rejoiced, so will He destroy... ADONAI will scatter you among the nations... And there you shall find no rest...
To Him who struck down Egypt’s firstborn, for His mercy lasts for ever; and brought Isra’el out from among them, for His mercy lasts for ever; With mighty hand and outstretched arm, for His mercy lasts for ever; To Him who split apart the Red Sea, for His mercy lasts for ever; And made Isra’el pass through the middle, for His mercy lasts for ever; But drowned the Pharaoh with his army, for His mercy lasts for ever; [Psalm 136:10-15]
When these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse, and you return: ADONAI will bring you out of all nations...
To Him who led His people through the desert, His mercy lasts for ever; To Him who struck down great kings, His mercy lasts for ever; Yes, He who killed powerful for kings, His mercy lasts for ever; Sichon, the Amorite king, His mercy lasts for ever; And ‘Og the king of Bashan, His mercy lasts for ever; And gave their land a portion, His mercy lasts for ever; To Isra’el His servant, His mercy lasts for ever;
See, on one hand, life and good, on the other, death and evil... blessing, cursing, therefore choose life! that you may love the LORD... that you may live in the land... [Deuteronomy 30:15,19-20]
Who remembers our misery, for His mercy lasts for ever; Rescues us from our enemies, for His mercy lasts for ever; Who gives food to all things that breathe, for His mercy lasts for ever; [Psalm 136:23-25]
As an eagle opens out her wings... As an eagle carries her young... As an eagle carries on her wings... [Deuteronomy 32:11]
O give thanks to the God of heaven, for His mercy lasts for ever.
[1 Chronicles 15:3]
And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
[2 Samuel 6:14-15]
A House for the Lord
[1 Chronicles 2:11-12,15 / Ruth 4:13,20-22]
Give thanks to ADONAI, call on His Name... His word to a thousand generations!
I will not go home, nor go to my bed – until I find a place for ADONAI; I will not sleep, nor will I close my eyes – until I find a house for the Mighty God of Ya‘akov. [Psalm 132:3-5]
Give thanks to ADONAI, for He is good, His mercy endures for ever, Amen!
[1 Chronicles 16:34,36]
See, now I live in a palace of cedar, but the Ark of God is kept in a tent!
Will you build an house for Me? I took you from tending sheep. I will establish your son, I will establish his kingdom, he will build Me an house, I will establish his throne for ever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
Who am I, ADONAI? and what is my family? yet this is a small thing to You, You speak of a great while to come... What more can I say to You, LORD? for You know Your servant David!
[2 Samuel 7:2,5,8,12-14,18-20]
Great is ADONAI and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, holy mountain, Fair in elevation, joy of the whole earth! Northwards, Mount Tziyon, city of the great King! [Psalm 48:1-2]
They that trust in Him shall be as Mount Tziyon, which cannot be shaken, but will always stay! As the mountains are about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about His people always!
I have greatly sinned, (the people numbering,) please put away my sin, I did a foolish thing.
Three years’ famine? Three months’ war? Or three days’ plague from the LORD?
Let me fall into the hand of the LORD, but not the hand of man.
Enough! stay your hand!
Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered, but they, what have they done? I have sinned.
Let me have this threshing-floor that I may build an altar for the LORD. I will buy it for the full price, I will not take what is yours, nor make burnt offering without cost.
This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar for Israel!
[1 Chronicles 21:8,12,13,15,17,22,24, 22:1]
Shout for joy to ADONAI, all the earth, Serve the LORD with gladness, come to Him, singing, Know that ADONAI is God, He made us, We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter with thanksgiving, into His gates, Go into His courts with praise, and bless His Name: ADONAI is good, His mercy endures, And His faithfulness to all generations!
Give thanks to ADONAI, call on His Name... His word to a thousand generations!
Give thanks to ADONAI, for He is good, His mercy endures for ever. Amen!
[1 Kings 6:1]
Called by My Name
I was glad when they said unto me: We will go into the house of the LORD.
ADONAI said He would live in thick darkness, but I have built a house for You.
I have chosen Yerushalayim that My Name shall be there.
[2 Chronicles 6:1-2,6]
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem... [Psalm 122:6]
But will God live with men on earth? for the heavens cannot hold Him! how much less this house I have built!
If the stranger come and pray in this house, then hear and do: that all people may know Your Name.
Arise, O LORD...
[2 Chronicles 6:18,32-33,41]
Give thanks to ADONAI for He is good, for His mercy lasts for ever! [Psalm 118:29 / 2 Chronicles 7:3]
If My people, called by My Name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from wickedness, Then will I hear from heaven, and forgive, and heal their land.
I have chosen this house, that My Name may be there for ever.
But if you turn away... then this house I will cast aside.
[2 Chronicles 7:14,16,19-20]
[2 Kings 23:36-24:1]
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months... And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done. At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it... And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon... And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem... And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah... that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
[2 Kings 24:8-25:2]
The King of Babylon and the Desolations of Jerusalem
(Jeremiah & Ezekiel)
[Jeremiah 3:1 – see also Isaiah 44:22 / Jeremiah 3:22 / Jeremiah 4:1 / Hosea 14:1 / Malachi 3:7]
I remember you, the kindness of your youth, you followed Me into the wilderness...
If you make your oppression cease – shedding innocent blood, and following other gods – I will make you live in this place, in the land I gave to your fathers for ever,
Is this house which bears My Name become for you a den of thieves?
[1 Chronicles 3:5,10]
If you will not listen to Me, walk in the Torah which I have set before you, I will make this house like Shiloh, I will make this city a curse among the nations,
You shall die for you have said this city shall be desolate!
– Then you will bring innocent blood on you!
You have not listened, so I shall send for N’vukhadretzar the king of Bavel, and I will destroy you,
no sound of laughter
turn you to ruin,
no voice of bridegroom
and you shall serve him
no noise of millstone
Jerusalem, return to Me!
Jerusalem, O Yerushalayim!
When you were born, you were not washed or dressed, no one pitied you, you were thrown into the field. When I passed, I saw you lying in your blood, “Live” I said to you, you shall grow and grow and grow,
[1 Chronicles 3:10-13]
Now when I passed again it was the time of love, a covenant with you then I made, and you were Mine, I washed away the blood, anointed you, clothed and crowned you, and you were very beautiful!
But you trusted in your beauty, played the harlot, woe to you!
So I will bring your lovers against you. [Ezekiel 16:8-13,15,37]
This is the day:
no sound of gladness
the king of Babylon
no voice of bride
is come against
no light of candle
[Ezekiel 24:2 & Jeremiah 25:10]
[1 Chronicles 3:13-15]
How alone! widow, alone! [Lamentations 1:1]
When the seventy years are done at Babylon, I will bring you home. [Jeremiah 29:10]
(Daniel & Gabriel)
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, “Where is your God?”
O Lord, great God, keeping covenant and showing mercy to them that love Him, to them that keep His Word; we have sinned, and rebelled, neither have we listened to Your prophets, who spoke to us our kings, our fathers, all the people: O Lord, hear, O Lord, forgive, O Lord, listen and act!
O Lord, ADONAI, righteousness belongs to You, but shame belongs to all of us; we have sinned against You, men of Y’hudah, Yerushalayim, all Isra’el, wherever scattered by You, O Lord, hear, O Lord, forgive, O Lord, listen and act!
As in the Torah of Moshe, all this evil is come on us, O Lord, we have done wrong, let Your anger turn from Jerusalem
O Lord, hear, O Lord, forgive, O Lord, listen and act!
O God, hear me, cause Your face to shine upon Your sanctuary; see our desolations, we plead with You for Your great mercy, delay not, for Your city and Your people bear Your Name.
[from Daniel 9:4-19]
Seventy ‘sevens’ for your people and your city to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, and atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting good, seal vision and prophecy, to anoint the Most Holy.
Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Yerushalayim unto Mashiach the Prince shall be seven ‘sevens’, and sixty-two ‘sevens’: the street and the wall shall be built again, even in troubled times. After sixty-two ‘sevens’ shall Messiah be cut off (with nothing) and the city and sanctuary shall be destroyed by people of a prince to come, and its end shall be with a flood, desolation to the end of war. And he shall strengthen the covenant for many, one ‘seven’, and in the middle of the ‘seven’ he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering; abomination shall cause desolation...
[2 Chronicles 36:22]
The Walls of Jerusalem (Cyrus to Nehemiah)
[2 Chronicles 36:23, Ezra 1:2-3]
Run to this young man, say that Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls, for the multitude of men and animals, I will be a wall of fire, and I will be the glory within her! [Zechariah 2:4-5]
Be strong, build the house!
[Haggai 1:8, 2:4]
My house shall be built! I will return to Yerushalayim with mercies.
I, Daryavesh, have made a decree. [Ezra 6:12]
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a contrite heart, God, You will not despise. In Your good pleasure make Tziyon prosper, rebuild the walls of Yerushalayim!
Artach’shashta, king of kings, to ‘Ezra the cohen, I make a decree that all they that are minded to go to Jerusalem: they shall go with you; silver and gold they shall bring to make offering.
Why do you look sad? You are not sick; this is sorrow of heart.
Why should I not look sad? when the city of my fathers lies waste, and the gates are burnt up with fire?
What is your desire?
O send me to the city of my fathers, that I may build it!
You see our distress: how Jerusalem lies waste, and the gates burnt up with fire; come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem! Let us rise and build! [Nehemiah 2:17-18]
They that sow in tears...
When the LORD brought home exiles of Tziyon, Then were we just like a people dreaming, Then our mouths were filled with our all laughing, And our tongues with singing,
Then went out the word among the nations, “Look! the LORD has done for them such great things!” Yes! for us ADONAI has done great things! And we are rejoicing.
[1 Chronicles 3:17-19 / Ezra 3:2 / Nehemiah 12:1 / Haggai 1:1]
Bring us home, LORD, like a desert streaming, They that sow in tears, in joy are reaping, They, who carrying precious seed, went, weeping, joyful, sheaves home shall bring. [Psalm 126]
...Take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set [them] upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name [is] The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Break into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted His people and redeemed Yerushalayim, All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God!
Behold My servant, He shall be exalted. So disfigured was He to see.
Listen to Me, you that seek the LORD, look to Avraham your father, and Sarah, For the the LORD will comfort Tziyon and make her wilderness like Eden, joy and gladness, and the voice of of melody.
Awake, awake, put on your strength, put on your beauty, O Yerushalayim, Shake yourself from the dust, arise, sit down, set yourself free, O daughter of Tziyon, for you have sold yourselves for nothing, you shall be redeemed without money!
He will cover, cover you with His feathers, under His wings...
Rejoice, o Daughter of Zion and shout O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your King coming to you lowly, riding on an ass, and on a colt, an ass’s foal, He comes to you, just, and with salvation.
Open to me the gates of salvation.
See the stone which the builders refused is become the chief cornerstone.
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD.
Baruch haba b’shem ADONAI.
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter but He opened not His mouth. He was cut off from the land of the living.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, in You I put my trust, in the shadow of Your wings, [Psalm 57:1]
He will deliver you from snare and from calamity, He will cover you with feathers, refuge under His wings
O give thanks to the LORD for He is good, for His mercy lasts for ever [Psalm 118:29]
My righteous servant shall justify many, He has poured out His soul unto death...
O give thanks to the LORD for He is good, for His mercy lasts for ever.
Therefore My people shall know My Name, that I who speak, here I am!
For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Many days without a king
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, O let my right hand wither away!
They cast fire into Your sanctuary. We see no signs: how long?
If I do not remember you, O Yerushalayim, O let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. [Psalm 137:6]
And the mountain of the Temple a hill of woods.
Woe! woe! woe!
Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him for He is my Deliverer, and my God!
They have defiled Your holy Temple, and turned Jerusalem into rubble.
Hope in God, for I will yet praise Him for He is my Deliverer, and my God!
O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me unto Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy, yes, upon the harp will I praise You, O God my God!
O LORD, how long?
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.
In the Valley of Dry Bones
Yes, she may forget, it’s true, yet will I remember you.
Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we are cut off!
Prophesy to these bones: Hear the Word of the LORD! I will make breath enter you, you shall live so that you know I am ADONAI, I will put sinews and flesh and skin on you so that you know I am ADONAI.
Prophesy to the wind: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these dead, that they live!
I will open up your graves and bring you to the land of Is’rael. You shall know that I am ADONAI.
When Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by what they did... so I scattered them among the nations: so was profaned My holy Name! I do this for My holy Name’s sake, so the nations shall know that I am the LORD. I will gather you from all nations. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be cleansed... a new heart I will give you... a heart of flesh, and I will put My spirit in you... and you shall live in the land I gave your fathers...
There shall yet old men and old women live in the streets of Yerushalayim; and the city shall be full of boys and girls playing...
I will bring My people from the East and from the West... [Zechariah 8:4-5,7]
O how good it is to sing praises to our God; It is sweet and right to praise Him: Halleluyah! ADONAI is building up Yerushalayim; He is gathering in the outcasts of Is’rael.
Halleluyah! He is healing the broken heart; He is binding up their wounds, oh, Halleluyah! ADONAI is counting up, one by one, the stars; He is calling them all by name: Halleluyah!
O give thanks to ADONAI, the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy lasts for ever and ever. Halleluyah! [Psalm 107:1]
A House of Prayer for all people
LORD, God of Avraham, Yitzchak, and [Y’]israel, let it be known this day: that You are God in Israel, and I am Your servant and have done all this at Your Word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me that this people may know: You are the LORD God and have turned back their hearts to You!
[1 Kings 18:36-37]
The fig tree puts forth its green figs. [Song of Songs 2:13]
As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will live among you. And many nations... shall be my people:... the LORD shall choose Jerusalem again.
See, I make Jerusalem a cup of trembling, a heavy stone, though all the nations of the earth be gathered against her…
I will pour on the house of David and those who live in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace; they will look on Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as for a son. [Zechariah 12:2-3,10]
And on that day His feet shall stand upon the Mount of Olives. [Zechariah 14:4]
You will arise, and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favour her; yes, the time is come.
When ADONAI builds up Tziyon, then He will appear in His glory: oh, Halleluyah! [Psalm 102:13,16]
He sends the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills: there’s water for the animals, and a place for the birds to sing. He makes the grass to grow for cattle, and crops for you and me: here’s wine for gladness, oil for healing, and bread to make us live!
How many are Your works, O Lord, in wisdom You made them all. Your riches are throughout the earth and in the deep blue sea. The glory of the Lord endures, He delights in all His works. And I will sing unto the Lord, and praise Him while I live!
Shout for joy and sing to the Lord!
You who thirst... and you without money... come...
I will bring them to My holy mountain.
My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.
Come, buy wine and milk for nothing! Come, buy, and eat! [Isaiah 55:1 & 56:7]
Baruch haba b’shem ADONAI [Psalm 118:26]
Then shall living waters stream out from Yerushalayim,
Then shall ADONAI be king of all the earth, and only Him.
‘A city of truth’
Then Jerusalem shall they call the throne of ADONAI;
All the nations shall be gathered to Him, to Jerusalem.
‘The LORD our righteousness’ [Jeremiah 33:16]
O give thanks to ADONAI, for He is good,
for His mercy lasts for ever and ever. [Psalm 107:1]
Re‘uven, Y’hudah, Levi.
Yosef, Binyamin, & Dan.
Shim‘on, Yissakhar, Z’vulun.
Gad, Asher, & Naftali.
‘The LORD is there’
[from Ezekiel 48:31-35]
The Peace of Jerusalem
Yet My covenant of peace shall not leave you...
Sing, O barren... great shall be your children’s peace.
Jerusalem, the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, the voice of crying no more.
Comfort, comfort... Jerusalem, proclaim to her that her warfare is over...
The LORD upon this mountain will make a feast for all peoples...
ADONAI- Tzva’ot (the LORD of hosts)
I will lay foundations and your walls with precious stones... [Isaiah 54:11-12]
The shroud upon all nations here will the LORD destroy...
ADONAI ELOHIM (the Lord GOD)
I will walk among you, and My people you shall be.
He, swallowing death in victory, will wipe away all tears from all faces...
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw... They shall not hurt nor destroy on all My holy mountain...
Be glad in His salvation, our God, we will rejoice!
See, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us... we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.
I create new heavens, and a new earth...
And in Jerusalem I will rejoice! Yerushalayim!
[Isaiah 11:9 / 65:19]