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Beulah Land

Updated on June 30, 2013
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I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.

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The Biblical Understanding versus the Songs

Beulah Land is a Christian hymn written by Edgar Page Stites in either 1875 or 1876. This is not to be confused with the hymn written much later by Squire Parsons in 1973 entitled Sweet Beulah Land. Many Christians have heard one or both of these hymns, yet few know where this term is found in Scripture, or to what the Bible is referring when it speaks of it.


I. The Restoration and Future Glory of Zion

The truth is, the word Beulah is found in the King James version of the Old Testament in Isaiah 62:4. If we read the first five verses of this chapter, we will quickly see that the context is the future return of the Jews from their exile in Babylon. And as we see this chapter and Scripture as a whole, it sees beyond this to the future Millennial glory of the people and their holy city, Zion or Jerusalem. The chapter begins:

"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shalt thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah (i.e. My delight is in her), and thy land Beulah (i.e. Married). For the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall they sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee" (62:1-5).


II. Stite's View of Beulah Land

The ideas for the song that Edgar Page Stites wrote are based upon John Bunyan's book Pilgrim's Progress. In the book Bunyan depicts Heaven as the place that can be seen from Beulah land. He states: " "Therefore it is, I say, that the Enchanted ground is placed so nigh to the land Beulah and so near the end of their race [i.e. Heaven]." Elsewhere, this same book gives the definition of the Land of Beulah. It is said to be "the peaceful land in which the pilgrim awaits the call to the Celestial City". We see Bunyan's influence in the concluding chorus:

"O Beulah land, sweet Beulah land! As on thy highest mount I stand, I look away across the sea, Where mansions are prepared for me. And view the shining glory shore. My heaven, my home forever more."


III. Parsons' View of Beulah Land

The popular Southern Gospel song, written by Squire Parsons, entitled Sweet Beulah Land seems to see this land as Heaven itself. The song is from the perspective of one who is weary with this life and longs to be in that beautiful eternal land where there are no sad goodbyes and faith will then be site. Here are the lyrics:

I'm kind of homesick for a country

to which I've never been before.

No sad goodbyes will there be spoken,

And time won't matter anymore.

Beulah Land I'm longing for you,

and someday on thee I'll stand.

There my home shall be eternal.

Beulah Land... sweet Beulah Land.

I'm looking now across that river

to where my faith is gonna end in sight.

There's just a few more days to labor,

Then I'll take, my heavenly flight.

Beulah Land I'm longing for you,

and someday on thee I'll stand.

There my home shall be eternal.

Beulah Land, Sweet Beulah land.


Conclusion

Whether it be the original biblical meaning of the word, or the acquired meanings over time, the term Beulah Land has come to mean a lot to the people of God. It represents a land and a time where the relationship between God and man is fully restored. It represents the end of the struggles and hardships of this present earth, caused by sin and rebellion. And it is a time where faith is rewarded by actual experience and sight. It is a beautiful picture of the Millennial reign of Christ and finally the eternal state of all true believers in Heaven. It's no wonder that these songs, sung so sweetly, have become so beloved to all who hear and sing them. As we go through this life, let us never forget that land that is fairer than day. But instead, let us use our longing for that land to cause us to desire to live lives worthy of being citizens of it. And by our actions, may we draw many others to desire God's Beulah Land.

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      Jeff Shirley 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks for dropping by MsDora.

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      I know and like both songs, and John Stamos is one of my favorite tenors. Just thinking of the lyrics make me joyful. Thanks for these happy, heavenly thoughts.

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      Jeff Shirley 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      You are quite welcome. And God bless.

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      It's true that an old Christian can learn something new. I didn't know there were two meanings. I always though it always referred to Heaven. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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      Jeff Shirley 3 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thank you shofarcall and lifegate for your comments. And yes lifegate, I am familiar with that hymn. It is another fine song that uses the term from that Old Testament passage.

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      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi GodTalk,

      Thanks for the information. Backgrounds always help to bring things to life. Are you familiar with the hymn, Dwelling in Beulah Land?

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      shofarcall 3 years ago

      Very interesting and inspiring hub. Thank you. Loved the music. God Bless

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