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Cantata BWV 168
Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort
English Translation in Parallel Format
Cantata BWV 168 - Give an account of yourself! Word of thunder

Event: Solo Cantata for the 9th Sunday after Trinity
Readings: Epistle: 1 Corinthians 10: 6-13; Gospel: Luke 16: 1-9
Text: Salomo Franck (Mvts. 1-5); Bartholomäus Ringwaldt (Mvt. 6)
Chorale Text: Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut

Biblical quotations in green font, chorales in purple

 

Original German Text

 

English Translation

1

Aria B

1

Aria [Bass]

 

Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo

   
 

Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort,
Das die Felsen selbst zerspaltet,
Wort, wovon mein Blut erkaltet!
Tue Rechnung! Seele, fort!
Ach, du musst Gott wiedergeben
Seine Güter, Leib und Leben.
Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort!

 

Give an account of yourself! Word of thunder
that splits apart the very rocks,
word, at which my blood runs cold!
Give an account of yourself! My soul, go forward!
Ah, you must give back to God
his belongings, body and life,
Give an account of yourself! Word of thunder!

       

2

Recitativo T

2

Recitative [Tenor]

 

Oboe d'amore I/II, Continuo

   
 

Es ist nur fremdes Gut,
Was ich in diesem Leben habe;
Geist, Leben, Mut und Blut
Und Amt und Stand ist meines Gottes Gabe,
Es ist mir zum Verwalten
Und treulich damit hauszuhalten
Von hohen Händen anvertraut.
Ach! aber ach! mir graut,
Wenn ich in mein Gewissen gehe
Und meine Rechnungen so voll Defekte sehe!
Ich habe Tag und Nacht
Die Güter, die mir Gott verliehen,
Kaltsinnig durchgebracht!
Wie kann ich dir, gerechter Gott, entfliehen?
Ich rufe flehentlich:
Ihr Berge fallt! ihr Hügel decket mich
Vor Gottes Zorngerichte
Und vor dem Blitz von seinem Angesichte!

 

It is only the property of someone else,
what I have in this life;
spirit, life, courage and blood
and office and rank are the gift of my God.
They are mine to manage
and faithfully to look after
what has been entrusted to me by lofty hands.
Ah , but alas! I shudder with horror
when I look into my conscience
and see that my accounts are so full of faults !
Day and night
the things that God has lent to me
I have wasted with cold thoughtlessness.
How can I, righteous God, flee from you ?
I cry aloud beseechingly :
You mountains, fall! You hills, cover me
from God's angry judgement
and from the lightning of his countenance!

       

3

Aria T

3

Aria [Tenor]

 

Oboe d'amore I/II all' unisono, Continuo

   
 

Kapital und Interessen,
Meine Schulden groß und klein
Müssen einst verrechnet sein.
Alles, was ich schuldig blieben,
Ist in Gottes Buch geschrieben
Als mit Stahl und Demantstein.

 

Capital and interest,
my debts great and small
must one day be settled.
Everything for which I remain in debt
is written in God's book
as with steel and diamond.

       

4

Recitativo B

4

Recitative [Bass]

 

Continuo

   
 

Jedoch, erschrocknes Herz, leb und verzage nicht!
Tritt freudig vor Gericht!
Und überführt dich dein Gewissen,
Du werdest hier verstummen müssen,
So schau den Bürgen an,
Der alle Schulden abgetan!
Es ist bezahlt und völlig abgeführt,
Was du, o Mensch, in Rechnung schuldig blieben;
Des Lammes Blut, o großes Lieben!
Hat deine Schuld durchstrichen
Und dich mit Gott verglichen.
Es ist bezahlt, du bist quittiert!
Indessen,
Weil du weißt,
Dass du Haushalter seist,
So sei bemüht und unvergessen,
Den Mammon klüglich anzuwenden,
Den Armen wohlzutun,
So wirst du, wenn sich Zeit und Leben enden,
In Himmelshütten sicher ruhn.

 

And yet, my frightened heart, live and do not despair!
Step jofully before the court !
And if your conscience overcomes you
and you have here to stay silent,
then look to your guarantor
who does away with all your debts!
It is paid and fully discharged,
what you, o Man, remain owing in your account;
Blood of the Lamb- o great love! -

has crossed out your debt
and made a settlement between God and you.
It is paid, you are cleared!
Meanwhile,
because you know
that you are a steward,
take care and do not forget
to use Mammon prudently,
to do good to the poor,
and then, when time and life come to an end,
you will rest safely in the shelter of heaven.

       

5

Aria (Duetto) S A

5

Aria (Duetto) [Soprano, Alto]

 

Continuo

   
 

Herz, zerreiß des Mammons Kette,
Hände, streuet Gutes aus!
Machet sanft mein Sterbebette,
Bauet mir ein festes Haus,
Das im Himmel ewig bleibet,
Wenn der Erde Gut zerstäubet.

 

Heart, tear apart the chains of Mammon,
Hands, scatter your goods !
Make my deathbed soft,

build for me a firm house
that remains for ever in heaven
when the earth's goods turn to dust.

       

6

Choral

6

Coral [S, C, T, B]

 

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

 

Stärk mich mit deinem Freudengeist,
Heil mich mit deinen Wunden,
Wasch mich mit deinem Todesschweiß
In meiner letzten Stunden;
Und nimm mich einst, wenn dirs gefällt,
In wahrem Glauben von der Welt
Zu deinen Auserwählten.

 

Strengthen me with your joyful spirit,
heal me with your wounds,
wash me with the sweat of your death
in my last hours;
and take me then, whenever it pleases you,
in true faith from this world
to be with those you have chosen.

       

This Translation in Interlinear Format + Note on the Text

English Translation by Francis Browne (June 2002, September 2011)

Contributed by Francis Browne (September 2011)

Cantata BWV 168: 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-3 | Spanish-7
Chorale Text:
Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut

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Last update: July 22, 2012 14:58:29