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Befiehl du deine Wege
Text and Translation of Chorale

EKG:
Author: Paul Gerhardt (1653)
Chorale Melody: Befiehl du deine Wege (I) | Composer: Hans Leo Hassler (1601)

 

Vocal Works by J.S. Bach:

Ver

Work

Mvt.

Year

Br

RE

KE

Di

BC

Type

 

5

BWV 153

Mvt. 5

1724

21

160

21

-

F92:5, A25:5

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

1

BWV 244

Mvt. 44

1727 ?

87

159

80

-

 

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

-

BWV 270

-

?

285

157

286

62

F92.1

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

-

BWV 271

-

?

366

158

367

143

F92.2

Chorale [S, A, T, B]

 

BWV 153/5: Breitkopf 21 entitled Herzlich tut mich verlangen.
BWV 244/44: Breitkopf 87 entitled O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden.
BWV 270: Dietel 62 Befiehl du deine Wege, Breitkopf 285 Same Title.
BWV 271: Dietel 143 Befiehl du deine Wege, Breitkopf 366 Same Title.

 
 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Befiehl du deine Wege,
Und was dein Herze kränkt,
Der allertreusten Pflege
Des, der den Himmel lenkt!
Der Wolken, Luft und Winden,
Gibt Wege, Lauf und Bahn,
Der wird auch Wege finden,
Da dein Fuß gehen kann.

Entrust your way
and what grieves your heart
to the most faithful care
of him who governs heaven!
He who gives to the clouds, air and winds
their way,course and path
will also find a way
where your feet can go.

2

Dem Herren mußt du trauen,
Wenn dir's soll wohlergehn;
Auf sein Werk mußst du schauen,
Wenn dein Werk soll bestehn.
Mit Sorgen und mit Grämen
Und mit selbsteigner Pein
Läßt Gott sich gar nichts nehmen,
Es muß erbeten sein.

In the Lord you must trust,
if you are to prosper;
you must look to his work,
if your work is to stand firm.
God undertakes nothing
through the cares, grief and pain
you have for yourself,
he must be entreated in prayer.

3

Dein' ew'ge Treu' und Gnade,
O Vater, weiß und sieht,
Was gut sei oder schade
Dem sterblichen Geblüt;
Und was du dann erlesen,
Das treibst du, starker Held,
Und bringst zum Stand und Wesen,
Was deinem Rat gefällt.

Your eternal faith and mercy,
O Father, knows and sees
what is good or harmful
for the mortal race;
and what you have chosen
you promote, mighty hero,
and you bring to life and existence
what pleases your wisdom.

4

Weg' hast du allerwegen,
An Mitteln fehlt dir's nicht;
Dein Tun ist lauter Segen,
Dein Gang ist lauter Licht,
Dein Werk kann niemand hindern,
Dein' Arbeit darf nicht ruhn,
Wenn du, was deinen Kindern
Ersprießlich ist, willst tun.

In all ways you have a way,
you never lack the means;
your action is pure blessing,
your way is pure light,
no one can hinder what you do,
your activity never has to rest,
when you want to do
what is beneficial for your children.

5

Und ob gleich alle Teufel
Hier wollten widerstehn,
So wird doch ohne Zweifel
Gott nicht zurückegehn;
Was er sich vorgenommen,
Und was er haben will,
Das muß doch endlich kommen
Zu seinem Zweck und Ziel.

And even if all the devils
wanted here to withstand him,
there is still no doubt that
God will not give way.
What he has undertaken
and what he wants to have
must in the end come
to his purpose and goal.

6

Hoff, o du arme Seele,
Hoff und sei unverzagt!
Gott wird dich aus der Höhle,
Da dich der Kummer plagt,
Mit großen Gnaden rücken;
Erwarte nur die Zeit,
So wirst du schon erblicken
Die Sonn' der schönsten Freud'.

Hope, o you poor soul,
hope and be undismayed!
Out of the pit
where anxiety torments you
in his great mercy God will extricate you.
Just wait for the time,
then you will indeed behold
the sun of the most beautiful joy.

7

Auf, auf, gib deinem Schmerze
Und Sorgen gute Nacht!
Laß fahren, was dein Herze
Betrübt und traurig macht!
Bist du doch nicht Regente,
Der alles führen soll;
Gott sitzt im Regimente
Und führet alles wohl.

Up, up, and to your sorrows
and cares bid goodnight !
Let go of what makes your heart
troubled and mournful.
You are certainly not the governor
who has to control everything.
God sits in government
and controls everything well.

8

Ihn, ihn laß tun und walten,
Er ist ein weiser Fürst
Und wird sich so verhalten,
Daß du dich wundern wirst,
Wenn er, wie ihm gebühret,
Mit wunderbarem Rat
Die Sach' hinausgeführet,
Die dich bekümmert hat.

Let him, let him act and choose,
he is a wise prince
and will act in such a way
that you will be amazed
when he, as is his nature,
with wonderful wisdom
inds a solution to the things
that troubled you.

9

Er wird zwar eine Weile
Mit seinem Trost verziehn
Und tun an seinem Teile,
Als hätt' in seinem Sinn
Er deiner sich begeben,
Und sollt'st du für und für
In Angst und Nöten schweben,
Frag' er doch nichts nach dir.

He will indeed for a while
delay with his consolation
and act by himself
as if he intended
to give you up
and you had for ever
to be suspended in anxiety and distress
and he had no concern for you,

10

Wird's aber sich befinden,
Daß du ihm treu verbleibst,
So wird er dich entbinden,
Da du's am mind'sten gläubst;
Er wird dein Herze lösen
Von der so schweren Last,
Die du zu keinem Bösen
Bisher getragen hast.

But if it turns out
that you keep your faith in him,
then he will deliver you
when you least believe he will;
he will set free your heart
from the burden so heavy
that you have borne up till now
to no ill end.

11

Wohl dir, du Kind der Treue!
Du hast und trägst davon
Mit Ruhm und Dankgeschreie
Den Sieg und Ehrenkron'.
Gott gibt dir selbst die Palmen
In deine rechte Hand,
Und du singst Freudenpsalmen
Dem, der dein Leid gewandt.

What happiness is yours, you faithful child!
With glory and shouts of thanks
you have and bear the victory
and crown of honour.
God himself places the palm
in your right hand
and you sing joyful psalms
to him who ended your suffering

12

Mach End', o Herr, mach Ende
An aller unsrer Not,
Stärk unsre Füß' und Hände
Und laß bis in den Tod
Uns allzeit deiner Pflege
Und Treu' empfohlen sein,
So gehen unsre Wege
Gewiß zum Himmel ein.

Make an end, O Lord, make an end
of all our distress,
strengthen our feet and hands
and until our death
at all times let us feel your
care and faithfulness,
and so go on our way
with confidence to heaven.

--

Source: Gesangbuch.org
English Translation by Francis Browne (January 2006)
Contributed by Francis Browne (January 2006)

Cantata BWV 153: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions
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Chorales BWV 250-438
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Last update: ýJanuary 27, 2009 ý18:45:49