There are many fascinating current and historical facets of Great Britain, the British monarchy, and its peoples’ customs, beliefs, and blessings that find their precedents in the ancient nation of Israel. One of these was witnessed at King Charles’ recent coronation. As millions watched, they also heard a powerful piece of music during his anointing that referenced the biblical figures of Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, and Solomon the king.
The coronation of King Charles III took place on May 6, 2023 in the elaborate setting of Westminster Abbey, where monarchs have been crowned since 1066. The building, furnishings, décor, and royal clothing were exquisite, befitting what was meant to be a grand and historic event. Part of the grandeur was the song that played as the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed the king with oil. This famous song carries great biblical and prophetic significance. As a Reuters article noted on May 7, “The explosive crescendo of ‘Zadok the Priest,’ Handel’s soaring anthem composed nearly 300 years ago for the crowning of King George [II], marked the most sacred moment of Charles’ coronation on Saturday.” The Encyclopedia Britannica describes Handel’s beautiful piece:
Zadok the Priest, in full Zadok the Priest: The Coronation Anthem, [is] the most popular of George Frideric Handel’s four coronation anthems for George II; the others of which are “Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened,” “The King Shall Rejoice,” and “My Heart Is Inditing.” All the anthems, including “Zadok the Priest,” premiered on October 11, 1727, when George II was coronated in London’s Westminster Abbey. Although less widely famed abroad than Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, “Zadok the Priest,” using texts from the King James Bible, blends voices and instruments into a potent musical statement. The anthem’s majesty is such that it has been used for every English coronation since that of George II (“Zadok the Priest,” Britannica.com, May 6, 2023).
Handel’s work is based on scriptures in the Bible such as 1 Kings 1:34–35, 39, where King David’s instructions were carried out to anoint his son Solomon as king: “There let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne, and he shall be king in my place. For I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah….’ Then Zadok the priest took a horn of oil from the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they blew the horn, and all the people said, ‘Long live King Solomon!’”
Notice how lyrics of Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” reference Zadok, Nathan, and Solomon:
Zadok the priest
And Nathan the prophet
Anointed Solomon king
And all the people rejoiced, rejoiced, rejoiced….
God save the king
Long live the king
God save the king
May the king live forever
Amen, amen, alleluia, alleluia, amen, amen….
This piece of music is one of the many connections between the biblical nation of Israel and the modern nation of Great Britain. As Tomorrow’s World often emphasizes, there is much evidence, biblical and historical, that shows how many of the people of Great Britain are descendants of the ancient Israelites, specifically Israel’s grandson Ephraim (through Joseph). This brief article doesn’t have the space to go into those details, so please see the three resources listed at the end.
The connection between today’s Great Britain and ancient Israel runs deeper than many realize, and its implications are vital. Yet as British society and Western culture in general become less religious and more secular, how much of the pomp and ceremony of the coronation is merely that—included more out of tradition than conviction? As we increasingly see signs of what Bible prophecy warns are the end-times (Matthew 24, Mark 13) these matters are more important to consider than ever. The new king, other leaders, and the people of Great Britain at large should not merely refer to ancient Israel and Bible passages out of tradition and ceremony but should take serious heed to the lessons that Israel failed to learn millennia ago.
Charles III has been anointed king, as King Solomon was about 3,000 years ago. Perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from these observations is summarized by some of the final words that King Solomon wrote as part of the Holy Scriptures—words that contain a lesson for the new king, his subjects, and all of us. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
If you’re interested in reading about the incredible link between Great Britain and the biblical nation of Israel, please order our free booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. You may also enjoy reading our recent article “The Coronation of King Charles III” and watching our recent telecast “The Real History of the British Monarchy.”