BWV 109 Ich glaube, lieber Herr, hilf meinem Unglauben!
Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity.
1. Mk. 9:24; 6. Lazarus Spengler, verse 7 of "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt," 1524 (Wackernagel, III, #71).
17 October 1723, Leipzig.
BG 23; NBA I/25.
1. Chorus [Dictum] (S, A, T, B)
I have faith, O dear Lord, help my unbelieving.
2. Recit. (T)
The Lord's own hand, indeed, has not grown short,(1)
3. Aria (T)
How filled with doubting is my hoping,
Now snaps the almost broken reed,(6)
And fear doth ever cause new grief.
4. Recit. (A)
Compose thyself, thou doubt-beridden heart,
5. Aria (A)
The Savior knows, indeed, his people,(7)
He shall himself yet stand beside them,
That at the last their faith triumph.
6. Chorale (S, A, T, B)
Who hopes in God and in him trusts
1. Cf. Num. 11;23 and Is. 59:1. This recitative sets up a dialogue within the soul between faith and doubt which lends a dramatic character to the whole cantata.
2. Cf. Mk.v 9:18.
3. Cf. Jer 31:20: "Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord."
4. Cf. Is. 38:17.
5. Cf. Ps. 6:3.
6. Cf. Is. 42:3 and Mt. 12:20.
7. Cf. Jn. 10:14 and 27.
8. The slight anacoluthon (change of syntactical construction in the middle of a sentence) is in the original. The "I" interjects a declaration of personal faith appropriate to the central theme of the cantata. Erdmann Neumeister includes this verse in Gelobet sey der Herr, Geistliches Singen und Spielen (Gotha 1711), for which Bach probably wrote music. This translation follows the colometry of that edition (9 lines instead of the 8 in Neumann T, p. 144).
© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose