BWV 23 Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn

Estomihi (Quinquagesima Sunday).

Poet unknown.

2. Melody of the German Agnus Dei, Braunschweig, 1524; 4. text of the preceding.

Composed in Cöthen for the audition for the cantorship in Leipzig, 7 February 1723 (whether it was performed is not known, see Dürr, p. 217); also, at the latest, 20 February 1724, Leipzig; again between 1728 and 1731.

BG 5, 1; NBA I/8.


1. Aria (S, A)

Thou, very God and David's Son,
Who from eternity and from afar e'en now
My heart's distress and this my body's pain
With caring dost regard, thy mercy give!

    And through thine hand, with wonder filled,
    Which so much evil hath repelled,
    Give me as well both help and comfort.

2. Recit. (T) with instr. chorale

Ah, do not pass me by now,
Thou, Savior of all men,
Yea, art appearéd,
The ailing and not to healthy men to give thy succor.(1)
Thus shall I also share in thine almighty pow'r;
I'll see thee now beside the road here,
Where they have
Deigned to leave me lying,
E'en in my sightless state.
I'll rest here firm
And leave thee not
Without thy gracious blessing.

3. Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Ev'ry eye now waiteth, Lord,
Thou Almighty God, on thee,(2)
And mine own especially.
Give to them both strength and light,
Leave them not
Evermore to stay in darkness.
Henceforth shall thy nod alone
The belove'd central aim
Of their ev'ry labor be,
Till thou shalt at last through death
Once again decide to close them.

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

O Christ, Lamb of God, thou,
Who dost bear the world's own sin,
Have mercy on us!
O Christ, Lamb of God, thou,
Who dost bear the world's own sin,
Have mercy on us!
O Christ, Lamb of God, thou,
Who dost bear the world's own sin,
Give us thy peace now. Amen.


1. Cf. Mk. 2:17.

2. Cf. Ps. 145:15.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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