BWV 88 Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussenden

Fifth Sunday after Trinity.

Poet unknown (Christoph Helm?)(1); PT (Rudolstadt, 1726).

1. Jer. 16:16; 3. Lk. 5:10; 7. Georg Neumark, "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten," 1657 (Fischer-Tümpel, IV, #365).

21 July 1726, Leipzig.

BG 20, 1; NBA I/17.


First Part

1. Aria [Dictum]

See now, I will send out many fishers, saith the Lord, whose work is to catch them.(2) And then I will many hunters send also, whose work is to catch them on all the mountains and on all the highlands and in all of the hollows.

2. Recit.

How easily, though, could the Highest do without us
And turn away his mercy from us,
When our perverted hearts in evil from him part
And in their stubbornness
To their destruction run.
But what response
From his paternal spirit?
Withhold his loving kindness
From us, and, just as we from him, withdraw,
And then betray us to the foe's deceit and spite?

3. Aria (T)

No, God is all the time intending
On the proper path to keep us,
Sheltered by his glory's grace.
Yea, when we have gone astray
And the proper way abandon,
He will even have us sought for.

Second Part

4. Recit. and Aria [Dictum] (T, B)

(T)
Jesus spake to Simon:

(B)
Fear have thou none; for from now on men wilt thou be catching.

5. Aria (S, A)

If God commands, then must his blessing
In all that we may do
Abundantly endure,
E'en though both fear and care oppose us.
The talent he hath given us
Would he with int'rest have returned him;
If only we ourselves not hide it,
He gladly helps, that it may bear its fruit.(3)

6. Recit. (S)

What can then thee in all thy dealings frighten,
If thee, my heart, God doth his hands extend?
Before his merest nod doth all misfortune yield,
And he, most huge in might, can shelter and protect thee.
When trouble, hardship's toil, grudge, plague and falsehood come,
Intending all thou dost to harass and to hinder,
Let passing discontent thy purpose not diminish;
The work which he assigns will be for none too hard.
With steadfast joy go forth, thou shalt see at the finish
That what before caused pain occurred to bring thee blessing.

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

Sing, pray, and walk in God's own pathways,
Perform thine own work ever true,
And trust in heaven's ample blessing,
Then shall he stand by thee anew;
For him who doth his confidence
Rest in God, he forsaketh not.


1. Helm is suggested by W. Blankenburg, BJ (1977).

2. I.e., "bring back the people of Israel."

3. Of Bach's librettists Salomo Franck and Picander are the most frequent users of banking metaphors.


© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose


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