BWV 65 Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen

Epiphany.

Poet unknown.

1. Is. 60:6; 2. Johann Spangenberg, verse 4 of &Ein Kind geborn zu Bethlehem& (the German version of "Puer natus in Bethlehem"), 1545 (Wackernagel, III, #1110); 7. Paul Gerhardt, verse 10 of "Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn," 1647 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #393).

6 January 1724, Leipzig.

BG 16; NBA I/5.


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

They shall from out Sheba all be coming, gold and incense bringing, and the Lord's great praise then tell abroad.

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

The kings from out Sheba came then forth,
Gold, incense, myrrh did they then bring forth.
Alleluia!

3. Recit. (B)

What there Isaiah did once foretell,
That is in Bethlehem fulfilled.
Here gather round the wise men
At Jesus' manger now,
And seek him as their very king to honor.
Gold, incense, and myrrh are
The rare and costly presents
With which they this the Jesus-child
In Bethlehem's poor stall do honor.
My Jesus, if I now my duty well consider,
Must I myself before thy manger venture
And likewise show my thanks:
For this one day I deem a day of gladness,
When thou, O Prince of life,
The light of nations
And their Redeemer art.
But what could I bring thee, thou King of heaven?
If thou my heart deem not too little,
Accept it with thy grace,
No nobler gift could I bring thee.

4. Aria (B)

Gold from Ophir(1) is too slight,
Off, be off with empty off'rings,
Which ye from the earth have torn!
Jesus seeks the heart to own now,
Offer this, O Christian throng,
Jesus thank for the new year!

5. Recit. (T)

Disdain then not,
Thou light unto my soul,
My heart, which I now humbly to thee offer;
It doth indeed such objects
Within it now contain
Which of thy Spirit are the fruits.
The gold of faith, the frankincense of pray'r,
The myrrh of patience, these now are my off'rings,
Which thou shalt, Jesus, evermore,
Have as thy property and as my presents.
But give thyself as well to me,
And thou shalt make me earth's most wealthy mortal.
For, having thee, I must
The most abundant store of wealth
One day above in heav'n inherit.

6. Aria (T)

Take me for thine own now hence,
Take my heart as my true present,
All, yes, all that now I am,
All I utter, do and ponder,
Shall, my Savior, be alone
To thy service offered now.

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

Ah now, my God, I fall here thus
Consoled into thy bosom.
Take me and deal thou thus with me
Until my final moment,
As thou well canst, that for my soul
Thereby its good be fostered
And thy true honor more and more
Be in my soul exalted.


1. Cf. Is. 13:12. Ophir is a region thought of in the Old Testament as a source of gold, cf. Kg. 10.11.


© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose


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