BWV 14 Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany.

Poet unknown.

1. Martin Luther, verse 1 of the hymn, 1524 (Wackernagel, III, #27), an adaptation of Ps. 124; 2-4. based freely on verse 2; 5. verse 3 of the hymn.

30 January 1735, Leipzig.

BG 2; NBA I/6.

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

Were God not with us all this time,
Then let Israel say it:
Were God not with us all this time,
We would have surely lost courage,
For such a tiny band we are,
Despised by so much of mankind,
They all oppose us ever.

2. Aria (S)

Our own strength is called too weak,
That our foe we bid defiance.

    Stood by us the Highest not,
    Surely would their tyranny
    Soon our very being threaten.

3. Recit. (T)

Yea, if then God had but allowed it,
We long no more were with the living,
Their vengeance would have ravished us,
Such wrath for us do they intend.
For they had in their rage
Like as a rampant flood
Within its foaming waters spilled upon us,
And no one could have all their might resisted.(1)

4. Aria (B)

God, through thine own strong protection
Are we from our foes set free.

    When they come as raging waters
    In their hate to rise against us,
    With us yet thy hands will be.

5. Chorale [Verse 3] (S, A, T, B)

God praise and thanks, who did not let
Their savage jaws devour us.
As a bird from its snare comes free,
So is our soul delivered:
The snare's in twain, and we are free;
The Lord's own name doth stand with us,
The God of earth and of heaven.

1. Cf. Mt 8:24.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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