BWV 85 Ich bin ein guter Hirt

Misericordias Domini (Second Sunday after Easter).

Poet unknown.

1. Jn. 10:12; 3. Cornelius Becker, verse 1 of an adaptation of Ps. 23, 1598; 6. Ernst Christoph Homburg, verse 4 of "Ist Gott mein Schild und Helfersmann," 1658 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #342).

15 April 1725, Leipzig.

BG 20,1; NBA I/11.


1. Aria [Dictum] (B)

I am a shepherd true, a shepherd true will give up his life for his sheep.

2. Aria (A)

Jesus is a shepherd true,
For he hath his life already
For his sheep now freely given,
Which shall no man steal from him.
Jesus is a shepherd true.

3. Chorale (S)

The Lord my faithful shepherd is,
Him do I trust entirely,
He leads to pasture me, his lamb,
To green and lovely meadow,
To waters fresh he leads me,
My soul to nourish with his strength
And gracious word of blessing.

4. Recit. (T)

If e'er the hirelings slumber,
There watcheth o'er the flock this faithful shepherd,
So that each member in most welcome rest
Enjoyment have of mead and pasture,
In which life's streams are ever flowing.
For should the wolf of hell strive there to enter,
The sheep for to devour,
Is he by this good shepherd from his wrath restrained.

5. Aria (T)

See what his love hath wrought!

    My Jesus holds with kindly care
    His flock securely in his keeping
    And on the cross's branch hath poured out
    For them his precious blood.

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

With God my refuge, shepherd true,
No danger will me e'er befall:
Yield, all ye who despise me,
All ye who cause me dread and pain,
It will to your own harm yet lead,
For God is my companion.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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