Sunday 17 October 2010

Shout of the King

The shout of the King is among us
God lives here in our praises
The shout of the King is among us
Praise Him, praise Him
Praise Him in everything
Shout of the King, Blessed 2002 (Hillsong)
The shout of the King, the Son of God
Your presence now here with us
The sound of praise all in a name
Jesus Christ, the one who saves
Shout of the King, Matt Maher
I think I got a little hot under the collar (assuming I was wearing one) at the implication in a not-so-recent worship leader's meeting where someone said something to the effect that all song writers are theologically unsound. I'm probably exaggerating. The fact remains that he DID say something to that effect and the way the senior pastor responded, it sounded like he agreed. (If you think that way, why are you a worship leader and why do you bother with worship in song? I mean, it's all "EMOTIONAL" AND "ARTISTIC" isn't it?)

One such song he brought up was Hillsong's The Shout of the King. He said that 'shout to the Lord' makes perfect sense because we lift up shouts of praise to God. But where does God shout? Why would God shout? Two things that irritated me was the fact that I know that all Hillsongs songs ARE vetted by the senior pastor (or at least the pastoral team) before they are approved and sung, which means that this can't be very far off, even if it was in someways made more "artistic". Secondly, I was relatively sure that I had read this somewhere in the Bible before because I really loved this song and had searched a lot of stuff about it.

Well, it appears in Numbers 23:21:
"He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him, And the shout of a King is among them."
Bible study tools has this to say:
He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob-Many sins were observed and punished in this people. But no such universal and hopeless apostasy had as yet appeared, to induce God to abandon or destroy them.
the Lord his God is with him-has a favor for them.
and the shout of a king is among them-such joyful acclamations as of a people rejoicing in the presence of a victorious prince.
With Gill's exposition as follows:
and the shout of a king is among them;
of God their King, the Shechinah of their King, as the Targum of Onkelos; his glorious Majesty, to whom they make their joyful acclamations, upon his appearing among them, and on the account of the victories he gives them over their enemies: or of the King Messiah, as the Targum of Jonathan, the King of kings, the Lord of lords; and so, in an ancient writing of the Jews, this passage is referred to the days of the Messiah: and this shout may respect the joyful sound of the Gospel, one part of which is, that Zion's King reigns, and which proclaims him to be King, and speaks of the things concerning his kingdom, both the kingdom of grace, and the kingdom of glory; some respect may be had to the sounding of the silver trumpets by the priests on various occasions in Israel; see Numbers 10:1-11.
And Matthew Henry's commentary:
The shout or alarm of a king is among them. They shout against their enemies, as sure of victory and success, glorying continually in God as their King and conqueror for them. They had had the experience of the benefit of God’s presence with them, and his power engaged for them; for God brought them out of Egypt
If you want something more 'traditional' try Wesley's notes:
The shout of a king - That is, such joyful and triumphant shouts as those wherewith a people congratulate the approach and presence of their King: when he appears among them upon some solemn occasion, or when he returns from battle with victory. This expression implies God's being their King and ruler, and their abundant security and confidence in him.

I don't know. It kind of makes you think that maybe you might want to do your own Biblical research before you call others' into question?
There's another whole post on this here, which mainly highlights the following:

Shout = terua – terua = Alarm (Joshua 6:5; Jeremiah 4:19), signal (Leviticus 25:9), sound of trumpet (Amos 2:2) and exultation of praise to God (Psalm 150:3)The “shout of a king”; therefore, refers to the jubilant sounds by which the presence of the Lord as their King among them was celebrated by Israel.
As a nation, Israel was instructed by signals from the priests blowing trumpets (Num. 10). The Feast of Trumpets illustrates the regathering or Rapture of the Church and the beginning of the regathering of Israel. Another of God's trumpets shall call Israel from the ends of the earth on the Day of Atonement. Isa. 27:12-13; Matt. 24:29-31; 1 Cor. 15:52ff; 1 Thes. 4:13-18
Therefore, The shout of the King must be understood as a militaristic threat, implying that the Lord is a Warrior who leads His hosts to victory. Josh. 6:5, 20; Ps. 47:5; Jer. 4:19; 49:2
So the phrase "shout of the King" is a Hebrew idiom meaning "praise to our warrior King" as noted in the following translations:
Num 23:21 (NLT) “No misfortune is in sight for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the LORD their God is with them; He has been proclaimed their king.”
Num 23:21 (GWT) “He doesn’t want any trouble for the descendants of Jacob. He sees no misfortune for the people of Israel. The LORD their God is with them, praised as their king.”

And not to forget this:

"The shout of a king is in their midst." As often happens, the Hebrew here is delightful for its variety of meaningful thought. The word for "shout" (Strong 8643, Harris 2135b) carries the meaning of sound or signal. It is used to mean the sound of trumpet, that is the silver trumpets or the curved horn shofar. In Leviticus 25:9, it is translated "jubilee" Elsewhere it is translated "alarm", and most frequently a jubilant and triumphant shout. Here the shout of the King in the midst of His people Israel is a beautiful reminder to us of the shout of triumph with which our Lord descended from heaven at His return. This is the trumpet signal the Lord's people now hear and recognise, and indeed, the same word is used in Psalm 89:15, "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound.." They recognise the triumphant shout of their King. It is the time of gathering of the church to Himself, gathering too of Israel, first to her land, then to her Lord... the Saviour out of Zion, Who will turn away iniquity from His people.

And yes, I am not quoting these two sites fully here so that no one can fault me and say 'but your research is only online and everyone knows that everything online is false', as also implied by some dumb politician. If you suspect that something has been "edited" online, you could always go back to the printed copies of the commentaries above.


  1. Haha I know this is a really backdated post, but it's interesting how you defended your opinion.

    With reference to those people who keep criticising what others do (just like the case of these people who nitpick about worship songs), sometimes I think it's a case of the tin that makes the most noise is really the emptiest :P

    I admit I haven't been visiting your blog also, but I shall try to as well from now on :)

  2. Haha.. I... is the chicken in real life.
    That's why I blog. :P
    But I DID e-mail most of this post (the research part, not the whiny parts) to them later.

  3. As a lead worshipper, this helped me to understand more about the song that I'm about to sing with the whole congregation.