There are many fascinating current and historical facets of Great Britain, the British monarchy, and the customs, beliefs, and blessings of the peoples that find their precedents in the ancient nation of Israel. This was witnessed at King Charles III’s 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 a grand and historic event. Part of the grandeur was the song that was performed as the Archbishop of Canterbury anointed the king with oil—a song carrying 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.”
Handel’s anthem is based on Bible passages such as 1 Kings 1:34–35, 39, recounting the anointing of David’s 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!’”
The text of this piece of music is one of many connections between the biblical nation of Israel and the modern nation of the United Kingdom. We in the Living Church of God appreciate that many of the people of the British Isles are descendants of the ancient Israelites, including Israel’s grandson Ephraim (through Joseph). This brief piece doesn’t have the space to go into those details, but if you’re interested in the amazing link between Great Britain and the biblical nation of Israel, you can read our free booklet The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.
The connection between today’s United Kingdom and ancient Israel runs deeper than many realize, and its implications are vital. Yet as British society and Western culture in general become 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; Luke 21), these matters are more important to consider than ever. The new king, other leaders, and the people of the British Isles at large should not merely refer to Bible passages and ancient Israel 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 was King Solomon 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—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).