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Cantata BWV 136
Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz
English Translation in Parallel Format
Cantata BWV 136 - Search me, God, and know my heart

Event: Cantata for the 8th Sunday after Trinity
Readings:
Epistle: Romans 8: 12-17; Gospel: Matthew 7: 15-23
Text:
Psalm 139: 23 (Mvt. 1); Johann Heermann (Mvt. 6); Anon (Mvts. 2-5) [W. Murray Young suggests Christian Weiss, Sr.]
Chorale Text:
Wo soll ich fliehen hin

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

 

Original German Text

 

English Translation

1

Coro

1

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 

Corno, Oboe, Oboe d'amore, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

   
 

Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz;
prüfe mich und erfahre, wie ichs meine!

 

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know what I think!

       

2

Recitativo T

2

Recitative [Tenor]

 

Continuo

   
 

Ach, dass der Fluch, so dort die Erde schlägt
Auch derer Menschen Herz getrogen!
Wer kann auf gute Früchte hoffen,
Da dieser Fluch bis in die Seele dringet,
So dass sie Sündendornen bringet
Und Lasterdisteln trägt.
Doch wollen sich oftmals die Kinder der Höllen
In Engel des Lichtes verstellen;
Man soll bei dem verderbten Wesen
Von diesen Dornen Trauben lesen.
Ein Wolf will sich mit reiner Wolle decken,
Doch bricht ein Tag herein,
Der wird, ihr Heuchler, euch ein Schrecken,
Ja unerträglich sein.

 

Alas, how I wish that the curse that strikes the Earth
had struck also the hearts of men!
Who can hope for good fruit,
when this curse pierces as far as the soul

so that it brings forth the thorns of sin
and bears the thistles of vice?
Yet the children of hell often want to

present themselves as angels of light;
we should with our corrupted nature

gather tears from these thorns.
A wolf would like to cover himself in pure wool,
but the day dawns

which for, you hypocrites, will be terror
indeed truly unbearable.

       

3

Aria A

3

Aria [Alto]

 

Oboe d'amore, Continuo

   
 

Es kömmt ein Tag,
So das Verborgne richtet,
Vor dem die Heuchelei erzittern mag.
Denn seines Eifers Grimm vernichtet,
Was Heuchelei und List erdichtet.

 

A day will come
when what is hidden will be judged,
before which hypocrisy may tremble

for the fury of his jealousy brings to nothing
whatever hypocrisy and cunning have invented.

       

4

Recitativo B

4

Recitative [Bass]

 

Continuo

   
 

Die Himmel selber sind nicht rein,
Wie soll es nun ein Mensch vor diesem Richter sein?
Doch wer durch Jesu Blut gereinigt,
Im Glauben sich mit ihm vereinigt,
Weiß, dass er ihm kein hartes Urteil spricht.
Kränkt ihn die Sünde noch,
Der Mangel seiner Werke,
Er hat in Christo doch
Gerechtigkeit und Stärke.

 

The heavens themselves are not pure,
how then will it be for a man before this judge?
Yet whoever is purified through Jesus God,
united with him in faith,
knows
no harsh sentence would be pronounced against him.
If his sins still weaken him,
the lack of good deeds,
yet he still has in Christ

justice and might.

       

5

Aria (Duetto) T B

5

Aria (Duetto) [Tenor, Bass]

 

Violino I/II all' unisono, Continuo

   
 

Uns treffen zwar der Sünden Flecken,
So Adams Fall auf uns gebracht.
Allein, wer sich zu Jesu Wunden,
Dem großen Strom voll Blut gefunden,
Wird dadurch wieder rein gemacht.

 

Indeed, the marks of sin still are on us
which Adam's fall brought upon us.
But whoever has found the wounds of Jesus

and the great stream of blood
Will be once more purified by him.

       

6

Choral

6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

Violino I, Corno e Oboe e Oboe d'amore col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

 

Dein Blut, der edle Saft,
Hat solche Stärk und Kraft,
Dass auch ein Tröpflein kleine
Die ganze Welt kann reine,
Ja, gar aus Teufels Rachen
Frei, los und ledig machen.

 

Your blood, the noble liquid
has such force and might
that even one small drop
can make pure the whole world,
indeed, from the devil's jaws themselves

can make us free, released and unattached.

       

This Translation in Interlinear Format + Note on the Text

English Translation by Francis Browne (September 2008, August 2011)

Contributed by Francis Browne (August 2011)

Cantata BWV 136: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
German Text | Translations: Catalan-1 | Dutch-3 | English-1 | English-3I | English-3P | English-6 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-2 | Russian-1 | Spanish-3 | Spanish-7
Chorale Text:
Wo soll ich fliehen hin

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Last update: ýMay 15, 2012 ý14:44:35