This hymn is based on Psalm 72:17: "May his name endure forever; may his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy."
Isaac Watts took on a massive project of adapting the Book of Psalms for Christian worship. He explained, "Where he talks of sacrificing goats or bullock, I rather choose to mention the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God."
Eric Liddell, a Scottish Olympic hero of the 1924 games of Paris, later became a missionary with the London Missionary Society. His departure from Edinburgh was never-to-be-forgotten. Great crowds gathered to see him off. In his departure speech he said that he was going abroad to do his part in trying to unify the countries of the world under Christ. Then he led two verses of "Jesus Shall Reign." (Credits to Robert J. Morgan)
"Jesus Shall Reign," ELW 434
Jesus shall reign Where-ev'r the sun does its successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore. 'Til moons shall wax and wane no
To Him shall endless prayer be made, and endless praises crown his head. His name like sweet perfume shall rise with every morning sacrifice.
People and realms of every tongue dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim their early blessing on his name.
Blessings abound where'er He reigns; the prisoner leaps to loose his chains; The weary find eternal rest, and all the sons of want are blest.
Let every creature rise and bring his grateful honors to our king;
Angels descend with songs again, and earth repeat the loud "Amen."