O Flower of Jesse’s stem,
you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples;
kings stand silent in your presence;
the nations bow down in worship before you.
Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.
If O’Adonai was the God of the Old Testament, who’s works were known yet who remained unseen and in a distant heaven; Radix Jesse is here on earth as flesh and blood, fully visible and of a known genealogy. Radix Jesse is a king feared by Herod and worshiped by the Magi. His is the promise to David that his descendant would sit on the throne of the Kingdom of Israel. His rule is to usher in peace, yet it also had a common expectation among the people. They expected a King in the style of David who was a military commander and they expected a kingdom as was David’s with fixed borders. What was expected and who Jesus is are two different things. Jesus was not the military commander, and his kingdom was not simply of this world. His is the kingdom of heaven and earth all that is seen and unseen. His is the message that the Kingdom of God is at hand, in our midst, and within our reach.
If O’ Adonai is the God that crushes the enemies of Israel and the God who brings low those who are unfaithful to his laws and decrees; Jesus is the one who binds their wounds, offers forgiveness of sins and leads them back towards the father. Radix Jesse is the word made flesh that dwells among us.
O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
from ev’ry foe deliver them
that trust Thy mighty power to save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.