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Cantata BWV 153
Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind
English Translation in Interlinear Format
Cantata BWV 153 - Behold, dear God

Event: Solo Cantata for the Sunday after New Year [2nd Sunday after Christmas Day]
Readings: Epistle: 1 Peter 4: 12-19; Gospel: Matthew 2: 13-23
Text: David Denicke (Mvt. 1); Isaiah 41: 10 (Mvt. 3); Paul Gerhardt (Mvt. 5); Martin Moller (Mvt. 9): Anon (Mvts. 2, 4, 6, 8)
Chorale Texts: Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind | Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid | Befiehl du deine Wege

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

1

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind,
Behold, dear God, how my enemies,
Damit ich stets muß kämpfen,
with whom I must continually struggle,
So listig und so mächtig seind,
are so cunning and powerful
Daß sie mich leichtlich dämpfen!
that they easily overpower me!
Herr, wo mich deine Gnad nicht hält,
Lord, unless your grace sustains me,
So kann der Teufel, Fleisch und Welt
the devil, flesh and world can
Mich leicht in Unglück stürzen.
easily plunge me in misfortune.

2

Recitative [Alto]

Continuo

Mein liebster Gott, ach laß dichs doch erbarmen,
My dearest God, ah be moved with pity then,
Ach hilf doch, hilf mir Armen!
ah help, help me in my poverty!
Ich wohne hier bei lauter Löwen und bei Drachen,
I dwell here among nothing but lions and dragons
Und diese wollen mir durch Wut und Grimmigkeit
and through their rage and fury these are going to
In kurzer Zeit
Den Garaus völlig machen.
make an end of me very soon.

3

Aria [Bass]

Continuo

Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin mit dir.
Do not fear, I am with you.
Weiche nicht, ich bin dein Gott;
Do not give way, I am your God;
ich stärke dich, ich helfe dir auch durch die rechte Hand meiner Gerechtigkeit.
I strengthen you, I help you also through the right hand hand of my justice.

4

Recitative [Tenor]

Continuo

Du sprichst zwar, lieber Gott, zu meiner Seelen Ruh
You truly speak, dear God, peace to my soul,
Mir einen Trost in meinen Leiden zu.
a comfort to me in my sufferings.
Ach, aber meine Plage
Ah, but my torment
Vergrößert sich von Tag zu Tage,
grows greater from day to day,
Denn meiner Feinde sind so viel,
for my enemies are so many,
Mein Leben ist ihr Ziel,
my life is their target,
Ihr Bogen wird auf mich gespannt,
their bows are drawn against me,
Sie richten ihre Pfeile zum Verderben,
they aim their arrows to destroy me,
Ich soll von ihren Händen sterben;
I am about to die at their hands;
Gott! meine Not ist dir bekannt,
God! my distress is known to you,
Die ganze Welt wird mir zur Marterhöhle;
the whole world becomes a den of torture for me;
Hilf, Helfer, hilf! errette meine Seele!
help, my helper, help! rescue my soul!

5

Chorale [A, A, T, B]

Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

Und ob gleich alle Teufel
And even if all the devils
Dir wollten widerstehn,
wanted to stand against you,
So wird doch ohne Zweifel
there is still no doubt that
Gott nicht zurücke gehn;
God will not give way.
Was er ihm fürgenommen
What he has undertaken
Und was er haben will,
and what he wants to have
Das muß doch endlich kommen
must in the end come
Zu seinem Zweck und Ziel.
to his purpose and goal.

6

Aria [Tenor]

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Stürmt nur, stürmt, ihr Trübsalswetter,
Storm on, storm, you weather of affliction,
Wallt, ihr Fluten, auf mich los!
surge, you waves, over me!
Schlagt, ihr Unglücksflammen,
You flames of misfortune
Über mich zusammen,
engulf me,
Stört, ihr Feinde, meine Ruh,
disturb, you enemies, my peace -
Spricht mir doch Gott tröstlich zu:
yet God speaks to me in consolation:
Ich bin dein Hort und Erretter.
I am your stronghold and deliverer.

7

Recitative [Bass]

Continuo

Getrost! mein Herz,
Take comfort! my heart,
Erdulde deinen Schmerz,
endure your pain,
Laß dich dein Kreuz nicht unterdrücken!
do not be crushed by your cross!
Gott wird dich schon
God will soon
Zu rechter Zeit erquicken;
at the right time restore you.
Muß doch sein lieber Sohn,
His own dear son,
Dein Jesus, in noch zarten Jahren
your Jesus, even in his tender years,
Viel größre Not erfahren,
has to experience much greater distress,
Da ihm der Wüterich Herodes
when Herod in his rage
Die äußerste Gefahr des Todes
with extreme deadly danger
Mit mörderischen Fäusten droht!
threatens him with murderous fists!
Kaum kömmt er auf die Erden,
Scarcely has he come to earth,
So muß er schon ein Flüchtling werden!
but he must at once become a fugitive!
Wohlan, mit Jesu tröste dich
Well then, comfort yourself with Jesus
Und glaube festiglich:
and believe firmly:
Denjenigen, die hier mit Christo leiden,
whoever suffers here with Christ
Will er das Himmelreich bescheiden.
will be given by him a share in the kingdom of heaven.

8

Aria [Alto]

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

Soll ich meinen Lebenslauf
If I have to lead my life
Unter Kreuz und Trübsal führen,
beneath cross and affliction,
Hört es doch im Himmel auf.
yet that will cease in heaven.
Da ist lauter Jubilieren,
There is nothing but rejoicing,
Daselbsten verwechselt mein Jesus das Leiden
Jesus himself transforms my suffering
Mit seliger Wonne, mit ewigen Freuden.
with blessed delight, with everlasting joys.

9

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

Violino I col Soprano, Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo

Drum will ich, weil ich lebe noch,
Therefore I want, while I still live,
Das Kreuz dir fröhlich tragen nach;
to bear the cross joyfully after you;
Mein Gott, mach mich darzu bereit,
my God, make me ready to do this,
Es dient zum Besten allezeit!
it is always for the best!

Hilf mir mein Sach recht greifen an,
Help me to deal with my situation
Daß ich mein' Lauf vollenden kann,
so that I can accomplish my course,
Hilf mir auch zwingen Fleisch und Blut,
help me also to master my flesh and blood,
Für Sünd und Schanden mich behüt!
protect me from sin and shame!

Erhalt mein Herz im Glauben rein,
Keep my heart pure in faith,
So leb und sterb ich dir allein;
then I shall live and die for you alone;
Jesu, mein Trost, hör mein Begier,
Jesus, my comfort, hear my desire,
O mein Heiland, wär ich bei dir!
o my saviour, would that I were with you!

Note on the text

This cantata was performed on the 2nd January 1724, the Sunday after the New Year. The Epistle for the day was 1 Peter 4: 12-19 ( the sufferings of Christians) and the Gospel was Matthew 2: 13-23 (the flight to Egypt). The unknown author of the libretto has used the gospel reading about the flight to Egypt and Herod's slaughter of the innocents to talk in general about the enemies of Christians. This also echoes the thought of the epistle.

Movement 1 is the first strophe of David Denicke's hymn 'Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind' (1646). The third movement is a quotation from Isaiah 41:10. Movement 5 is the fifth strophe from Befiehl du deine Wege by Paul Gerhardt (1653) .The concluding chorale arranges as three verses strophes 11 and 12 of Ach Gott, wie manches Herzelied of Martin Moller (1587).

--

This Translation in Parallel Format

English Translation by Francis Browne (May 2003)
Contributed by Francis Browne (May 2003)

Cantata BWV 153: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
German Text | Translations: Catalan-1 | Dutch | English-1 | English-3I | English-3P | English-6 | French-4 | French-6 | Hebrew-1 | Indonesian | Italian-2 | Russian-1 | Spanish-2 | Spanish-3 | Spanish-7
Chorale Texts:
Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind | Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid | Befiehl du deine Wege

English Translations in Interlinear/Parallel Format (English-3): Sorted by BWV Number | Sorted by Title | Sorted by Event | Note on English Translations

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Last update: July 7, 2012 13:06:29