O Rex Gentium
LATIN: O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.
ENGLISH: O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.
There are many references to Christ as King in both the New and Old Testaments. Here are but a few:
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:7)
He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)
And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages! (Revelation 15:3)
Who would not fear thee, O King of the nations? For this is thy due; for among all the wise ones of the nations and in all their kingdoms there is none like thee. They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood! (Jeremiah 10:7-8)
He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)
The antiphons so far have already alluded to the coming Messiah arriving not only for Israel but also for the purpose of converting the gentile nations and redeeming them as His own. He did so, coming to all nations once as a babe and man and we long for His coming again in glory. Men and women have many gods and kings; we see the result of this every day. Whether its King Pride, King Government or King Possessions, we set up for ourselves many kings and slavishly grovel before them and serve them while at the same time indignantly turning away from the One King to whom we owe our allegiance. The cornerstone, still rejected by men.
The sixth O Antiphon is referred to in the following verse of O Come O Come Emmanuel:
Veni, Veni, Rex Gentium, Veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos peccati sibi conscios.
O Come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven’s peace.