BWV 40 Dazu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes

Second Day of Christmas (St. Stephen).

Poet unknown.

1. 1 Jn. 3:8; 3. Kaspar Füger, verse 3 of "Wir Christenleut," 1592; 6. Paul Gerhardt, verse 2 of "Schwing dich auf zu deinem Gott," 1653 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #445); 10. Christian Keymann, "Freuet euch, ihr Christen alle," 1646 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #8).

26 December 1723, Leipzig; Parody: 1 ---> Mass in F Major, BWV 233/6.

BG 7; NBA I/3.



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

For this is appearéd the Son of God, that he destroy all the works of the devil.

2. Recit. (T)

The word was flesh and dwelleth in the world,(1)
The world's true light doth shine throughout the earth now,
The mighty Son of God
Hath left the throne of heav'n,
And in his majesty would be
A little child of human nature.
Give thought to this exchange, all ye who thought possess:
The king a subject is become,
The Lord as servant doth appear
And for this mortal race of man
---O sweetest word to all who hear it---
Is born to heal and comfort.

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

Though sin brings pain,
Our Christ brings joy,
For as our comfort he this world hath entered.
With us is God
Now in our need:
Who could us now as Christians bring damnation?

4. Aria (B)

Hell's very serpent,
Art thou not anxious?
He who thy head as a victor shall dash
Is to us born now,
And all the fallen
Shall in eternal repose be made glad.

5. Recit. (A)

The serpent that in paradise
Upon all Adam's children
The bane of souls did cause to fall
Brings us no danger more;
The woman's seed is manifest,(2)
The Savior is in flesh appearéd
And hath from it(3) removed all venom.
Take comfort then, O troubled sinner!

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

Shake thy head now and declare:
Flee, thou ancient serpent!
Why renewest thou thy sting
For my fear and anguish?
Now indeed thy head is dashed,
And I've through the passion
Of my Savior fled from thee
To the hall of gladness.

7. Aria (T)

Christian children, now rejoice!

    Raging now is hell's domain,
    You would Satan's fury frighten:
    Jesus, who can rescue bring,
    Would embrace his little chicks
    And beneath his wings protect them.(4)

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

Jesus, take now these thy members
Henceforth with thy loving grace;
Pour out all that we could ask
To the comfort of thy brethren;
Give to all the Christian throng
Concord and a blessed year!
Gladness, gladness after gladness!
Christ shall ward off ev'ry sadness.
Rapture, rapture after rapture!
For he is the sun of favor.


1. Cf. Jn. 1:14.

2. Cf. Gen. 3:15.

3. I.e., the serpent.

4. Cf. Mt. 23:37.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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