BWV 87 Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen

Rogate (Fifth Sunday after Easter or Rogation Sunday).

Christiane Mariane von Ziegler, Versuch in Gebundener Schreibart, Teil I(Leipzig, 1728); Facs: Neumann T, p. 360).

1. Jn. 16:24; 2. differs substantially from Ziegler's text; 4. not in Ziegler's text; 5. Jn. 16:33; 6. some departures from Ziegler's text; 7. Heinrich Müller, verse 9 of "Selig ist die Seele," 1659 (Fischer-Tümpel, V, #539), to the chorale melody of "Jesu, meine Freude."

6 May 1725, Leipzig.

BG 20, 1; NBA I/12.



1. Aria [Dictum] (B)

Till now have ye nought been asking in my name's honor.

2. Recit. (A)

O word that heart and soul alarms!
Ye mortals, mark his bidding, what behind it lies!
Ye have both Law and Gospel message with purpose sore offended
And therefore ought ye not delay
To pray with grief and worship.(1)

3. Aria (A)

Forgive, O Father, all our sin
And even still with us forbear,
As we in worship pray now

    And ask thee: Lord to thy command,
    (Ah, speak no more in figures now),
    Help us much more be faithful!(2)

4. Recit. (T)

When all our guilt e'en unto to heaven climbs,
Thou seest and knowest, too, my heart, which nought from thee conceals;
Thus, seek to bring me comfort!

5. Arioso [Dictum] (B)

In the world ye have fear; but ye should be glad, I have now the world overpowered.

6. Aria (T)

I will suffer, I'll keep silent,
Jesus shall his comfort show me.
For he helps me in my pain.
Yield, ye sorrows, sadness, grieving,(3)
For wherefore should I lose courage?
Calm thyself, o trouble heart!

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

Must I be so troubled?
For if Jesus loves me,
Is my ev'ry grief
Sweeter e'en than honey,
Countless dulcet kisses
Plants he on my heart.
And whenever pain appears,
His dear love doth turn to gladness
Even bitter sadness.(4)


1. The recitative responds to the words of Jesus as though to a reproval. In context Jesus continues: "Ask, and ye will receive, that your joy may be full."

2. Cf. Jn. 16:25.

3. Ziegler's text: Weicht, ihr Sorgen! flieht ihr Klagen! Seele, du darffst nicht verzagen... . The change in BWV 87 uses asyndeton somewhat in the style of BWV 12.

4. The ameliorative metamorphosis from Leiden to Freuden
is expressed with the paronomasia of the two nouns. Cf.
BWV 146/footnote 2.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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