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Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein
Text and Translation of Chorale

Author: Martin Luther (1523/24)
Chorale Melody: Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein | Composer: Anon (c 1410)

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

1

BWV 2

Mvt. 1

1724

-

-

-

-

A98:1

Chorus [S, A, T, B]

 

6

BWV 2

Mvt. 6

1724

-

7

262

26

A98:6

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 
 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh' darein
Und lass' dich des erbarmen,
Wie wenig sind der Heil'gen dein,
Verlassen sind wir Armen:
Dein Wort man laesst nicht haben wahr,
Der Glaub' ist auch verloschen gar
Bei allen Menschenkindern.

Ah God, look down from heaven
and still have mercy on us,
how few are the saints that belong to you,
we poor wretches are forsaken.
People simply will not accept your word as truth,
faith is also fading away
among all mankind.

2

Sie lehren eitel falsche List,
Was eigner Witz erfindet;
Ihr Herz nicht eines Sinnes ist,
In Gottes Wort gegründet.
Der wählet dies, der andre das,
Sie trennen uns ohn' alle Mass'
Und gleißen schön von außen.

They teach vain, false cunning,
the invention of their own wit.
Their hearts are not of one mind,
based on God’s word.
One choooses this, another that,
they cause endless divisions amongst us
and have a fine outward gleam.

3

Gott woll' ausrotten alle Lehr'r,
Die falschen Schein uns lehren,
Dazu ihr' Zung' stolz offenbar
Spricht Trotz, wer will's uns wehren?
Wir haben Recht und Macht allein,
Was wir setzen, das gilt gemein;
Wer ist, der uns soll meistern?

May it be God’s will to root out all the teachers
who teach us false appearances.
For this purpose their tongues arrogantly and openly
speak defiance: “Who will oppose us ?
We alone have right and power.
What we set up is commonly accepted.
Who is there who should be master over us?”

4

Darum spricht Gott: Ich muß auf sein,
Die Armen sind verstöret,
Ihr Seufzen dringt zu mir herein,
Ich hab' ihr' Klag' erhöret.
Mein heilsam Wort soll auf den Plan,
Getrost und frisch sie greifen an
Und sein die Kraft der Armen.

Therefore God speaks: “I must take action,
the poor are bewildered.
Their sighs pierce through to me,
I have heard their lamentation.
My healing word shall according to my plan
bring them consolation and relief
and be the strength of the poor.

5

Das Silber durch's Feuer siebenmal
Bewaehrt, wird lauter funden:
Am Gottes Wort man warten soll
Desgleichen alle Stunden:
Es will durch's Kreuz bewaehret sein,
Da wird sein' Kraft erkannt und Schein
Und leucht't stark in die Lande.

Silver by fire seven times tested
is found to be pure.
We should in the same way wait for God’s word
at all times:
through the cross it will be tested,
in this way its power
and glory will be known and it shine strongly.

6

Das wollst du, Gott, bewahren rein
Fuer deisem argen G'schlechte,
Und lass uns dir befohlen sein,
Das sich's in uns nicht flechte,
Der gottlos' Hauf' sich umher findt,
Wo diese lose Leute sind
In deinem Volk erhaben.

May you , God, keep pure that [Word]
in the face of this evil generation
that we may entrust ourselves to you,
so that nothing in us may twist it.
The godless crowd surounds us
where such mischievous characters
are exalted among your people.

--

English Translation by Francis Browne (September 2005)
Contributed by Francis Browne (September 2005)

Cantata BWV 2: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2
German Text | German-2 | Translations: Chinese-1 | Dutch-1 | Dutch-2 | English-1 | English-3 | English-6 | French-1 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-4 | Portuguese-2 | Russian-1 | Spanish-1 | Spanish-2

Chorales BWV 250-438
Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
Texts & English Translations of Chorales:
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The Origin of the Texts of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [A. Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [A. Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [C.S. Terry] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bach’s Four-Part Chorales [T. Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [T. Braatz]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites on the Chorales

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Last update: ýSeptember 15, 2008 ý12:29:25