This article is about the gospel hymn by Edgar Page Stites. For the Southern gospel song by Squire Parsons, see Sweet Beulah Land.
Beulah Land is a well-known gospel hymn written by Edgar Page Stites (1836–1921) in either 1875 or 1876. The hymn, Stites’ most popular, is set to music written by John R. Sweney (1837–1899). The hymn concludes with the 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.
The hymn derives from the King James Version of Isaiah 62:4; “Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzibah and thy land Beulah; for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.”
The verse is in reference to the return of the Hebrew from their exile in Babylon in which the Hebrew shall no longer be called Forsaken, but Hephzibah (My Delight Is in Her), and Jerusalem shall no longer be called Desolate, but Beulah (Married). This implies that the Hebrews have turned back to the worship of God.
The idea the hymn presents that Heaven can be seen from Beulah land comes from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress in which 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].”
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