BWV 104 Du Hirte Israel, höre

Misericordias Domini (Second Sunday after Easter).

Poet unknown; PT (Leipzig, 1724); Facs: Neumann T, p. 431.

1. Ps. 80:2; 6. Cornelius Becker, verse 1 of an adaptation of Ps. 23, 1598.

23 April 1724, Leipzig.

BG 23; NBA I/11.

1. Chorus [Dictum] (S, A, T, B)

Thou guide (1) of Israel, hear me, thou who like the sheep dost shelter Joseph, appear thou who dost sit above the Cherubim.


2. Recit. (T)

The highest shepherd cares for me,
What use is all my sorrow?
Appear will ev'ry morning
The shepherd's kindness new.
My heart, compose thyself,
For God is true.


3. Aria (T)

Whene'er my shepherd too long hideth,
The desert makes me all too anxious,
My feeble steps run ever on.
  My tongue cries to thee,
  And thou, my shepherd, stir'st in me
  A faithful "Abba" through thy word (2)


4. Recit. (B)

Yea, this same word is to my soul its nurture,
A balm unto my breast,
The pasture which I call my joy,
A taste of heaven, yea, my very being.
Ah! Gather then, O kindly shepherd,
Thy wretched, straying people;
Ah, bring our path straightway unto its end
And lead thou us into thy sheepfold soon!


5. Aria (B)

Ye herds, so blessed, sheep of Jesus,
The world is now your kingdom come.
 Here taste ye Jesus' goodness now.
 And hope ye, too, for faith's reward,
 When once ye rest in death's soft slumber.


6. Chorale (S, A, T, B)

The Lord my faithful shepherd is,
Him do I trust entirely,
He leads to pasture me, his lamb,
To green and lovely meadow,
To waters fresh he leadeth me,
My soul to nourish with his strength
And gracious word of blessing.



1. Though the Scottish herd `shepherd' could be substituted for "guide," it might cause confusion. "Shepherd" violates the meter.

2. Cf. Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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