BWV 127 Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott

Estomihi (Quinquagesima Sunday).

Poet unknown.

1. Paul Eber, verse 1 of the hymn, 1562 (Wackernagel, IV, #2); 2. based freely on verses 2 and 3; 3. based freely on verse 4; 4. first part based freely on verse 5, second part on verse 6 and 7; 5. verse 8 of the hymn.

11 February 1725, Leipzig.

BG 26; NBA I/8.


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

Lord Jesus Christ, true man and God,
Thou, who bore torture, fear and scorn,
For me on cross at last didst die
And me thy Father's grace didst win,
I beg by thy most bitter pain:
For all my sins be merciful.

2. Recit. (T)

When ev'rything at that last hour strikes terror,
And when a chilling sweat of death
My limbs, all stiff with torpor, moistens,
When this my tongue can nought but feeble sighing speak,
And this my heart doth break:
Enough is it that faith doth know
That Jesus by me stands,
Who with great patience to his passion goes
And through this toilsome way doth lead me also
And my repose is now preparing.

3. Aria (S)

My soul shall rest in Jesus' bosom,(1)
When earth doth this my body hide.

    Ah, call me soon, O deathly tolling,
    I am at dying undismayed,
    For me my Jesus shall awake.

4. Recit. and Aria (B)

When once at last the trumps have sounded,
And when the world's own frame
With heaven's firm foundation
Is smashed and sunk in ruin,
Then think on me, my God, with favor;
When once thy thrall before thy court doth stand,
Where e'en my thoughts seek to accuse me,(2)
Then may'st thou wish alone,
O Jesus, my defense to be
And to my spirit speak with comfort:

In truth, in truth, I say to you:(3)
When heaven and earth shall in fire have perished,
Yet shall all believers eternally prosper.(4)

    They will not come into the court(5)
    And death eternal shall not taste.(6)
    But ever cleave,
    My child, to me:
    I'll break with my mighty and rescuing hand
    The violent bonds of encompassing death.

5. Chorale [Verse 8] (S, A, T, B)

Ah, Lord, forgive us all our sins,
Help us with patience to abide
Until our hour of death shall come,
And help our faith e'er steadfast be,
Thy word to trust tenaciously,
Until we rest in blessed sleep.


1.OP usually has Wunden instead of Hünden. Translate "wounds then" or "sorrows."

2. Cf. Rom. 2:15.

3. Verbatim from the hymn.

4. Cf. Mt. 24:35.

5. Cf. Jn. 5:24; verbatim from the hymn.

6. Cf. Jn. 8:52; verbatim from the hymn.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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