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So wahr ich lebe, spricht dein Gott
Text and Translation of Chorale

EKG: 169
Author: Johann Heermann (1630)
Chorale Melody: Vater unser im Himmelreich | Composer: Anon/Martin Luther

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

6 & 7

BWV 102

Mvt. 7

1726

110

320

110

 

A119.7

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 
 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

So wahr ich lebe, spricht dein Gott :
mir ist nicht lieb des Sünders Tod ;
vielmehr ist dies mein Wunsch und Will,
daß er von Sünden halte still,
von seiner Bosheit kehre sich,
und lebe mit mir ewiglich.

As truly as I live, says your God:
I take no pleasure in the death of a sinner;

it is rather my wish and will
that he should always keep away from sin,

turn from his evil
and live with me forever

2

Dies Wort bedenk, o Menschenkind,
verzweifle nicht in deiner Sünd :
hier findest du Trost, Heil und Gnad,
die Gott dir zugesaget hat,
und zwar mit einem theuren Eid.
O selig, dem die Sünd ist leid !

Think about this word, human child,
do not despair in your sins:

here you shall find consolation, salvation and grace
which God has promised to you
and indeed confirmed with a precious oath,

O blessed is the person who is sorry for his sins.

3

Doch hüte dich für Sicherheit,
denk nicht : zur Buß ist noch wohl Zeit ;
ich will noch frölich seyn auf Erd ;
wenn ich des Lebens müde werd,
alsdann will ich bekehren mich,
Gott will wohl mein erbarmen sich

But guard yourself against confidence,
do not think: there is still time enough for repentance ;
I still want to be joyful on earth;

when I am weary of this life
then I shall be converted,

God will of course have mercy on me.

4

Wahr ists : Gott ist wohl stets bereit
dem Sünder mit Barmherzigkeit ;
doch, wer auf Gnade sündigt hin,
fährt fort in seinem bösen Sinn,
und seiner Seele selbst nicht schont,
dem wird mit Undank [Ungnad?]abgelohnt.

It is true: God is indeed always ready
with compassion for the sinner .

But anyone who uses grace to go on sinning
is continuing in his evil mind.
and does not care for his soul,
he will be dismissed without grace.

5

Gnad hat dir zugesaget Gott,
von wegen Christi Blut und Tod :
zu sagen hat er nicht gewollt,
ob du bis Morgen leben sollt.
Daß du must sterben, ist dir kund ;
verborgen ist die Todesstund.

Grace has been promised you by God
for the sake of Christ's blood and death:

he has not wished to tell you
if you will live till tomorrow,

you have been informed that you must die:
but your hour of death is hidden from you

6

Heut lebst du : heut bekehre dich,
eh Morgen kommt, kanns ändern sich.
Wer heut ist frisch, gesund und roth,
ist morgen krank, ja wol gar todt.
So du nun stirbest ohne Buß,
dein Seel und Leib dort leiden muß.

Today you live, today be converted,
before tomorrow comes, things could change.

The person who today is vigorous, healthy,ruddy,
tomorrow is ill, or even dead.
If you die now without repentance
your body and soul must burn there.

7

Hilf, o Herr Jesu, hilf du mir,
daß ich noch heute komm zu dir,
und Busse thu den Augenblick,
eh mich der schnelle Tod hinrück,
auf daß ich heut und jederzeit
zu meiner Heimfahrt sey bereit!

Help, oh Lord Jesus,help me
so this day I may come to you
and in a moment do penance
before swift death overtakes me,

so that in this way today and at all times
I may be ready for my journey home.

--

English Translation by Francis Browne (November 2007)
Contributed by Francis Browne (November 2007)

Cantata BWV 102: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions
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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
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Last update: ýSeptember 21, 2008 ý21:54:06