BWV 117 Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut

Unspecified occasion.

Johann Jakob Schütz, 1675.

1-9. The nine verses of the hymn.

Ca. 1728/1731, Leipzig.

BG 24; NBA I/34.


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

Give laud and praise the highest good,
The Father of all kindness,
The God who ev'ry wonder works,
The God who doth my spirit
With his rich consolation fill,
The God who makes all sorrow still.
Give to our God all honor!

2. Recit. (B) [Verse 2]

To thee give thanks the heav'nly host,
O ruler o'er all thrones,(1) thou,
And those on earth and air and sea,
Within thy shadow dwelling,
These honor thy creative pow'r,
Which all things hath so well designed.
Give to our God all honor!

3. Aria [Verse 3] (T)

Whate'er our God created hath,
This, too, would he keep safely;
O'er all this shall he morn and night
With his dear grace be master.
Within his kingdom far and wide
Are all things just and all things fair.
Give to our God all honor!

4. Chorale [Verse 4] (S, A, T, B)

I called to God in my distress:
Ah Lord, pay heed my crying!
Then saved my Savior me from death
And let my comfort flourish.
My thanks, O God, my thanks to thee;
Ah thank ye, thank ye God with me!
Give to our God all honor!

5. Recit. [Verse 5] (A)

The Lord is not and never was
From his own people severed;
He bideth e'er their confidence,
Their blessing, peace, and rescue;
With mother's hands he leadeth sure
His people ever here and there.
Give to our God all honor!

6. Aria [Verse 6] (B)

When strength and help must fail at times,
As all the world doth witness,
He comes, he helps abundantly,
The maker comes, inclining
His father's eyes below to them
Who else would nowhere find repose.
Give to our God all honor!

7. Aria [Verse 7] (A)

I will thee all my life's extent,
O God, from henceforth honor;
One shall, O God, the song of praise
In ev'ry region hearken.
My heart be fully stirred with life,
My soul and body let rejoice.
Give to our God all honor!

8. Recit. [Verse 8] (T)

Ye, who on Christ's own name do call,
Give to our God all honor!
Ye, who do God's great might confess,
Give to our God all honor!
All those false idols put to scorn,
The Lord is God, the Lord is God:
Give to our God all honor!

9. Chorale [Verse 9] (S, A, T, B)

So come before his countenance
With glad, triumphant dancing;
Discharge ye now your solemn oath
And let us sing with gladness;
God hath all things so well designed
And all things, all things rightly done,
Give to our God all honor!


1. Dionysius, the Pseudo-Areopagite (ca. 500), in the Celestial Hierarchy gives the following orders within the heavenly host: Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, Angels.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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