BWV 176 Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding


Christiane Mariane von Ziegler, Versuch in Gebundener Schreibart, Teil I (Leipzig, 1728), with many changes; Facs: Neumann T, p. 365.

1. After Jer. 17:9; 6. Paul Gerhardt, verse 8 of "Was alle Weisheit in der Welt," 1653 (Fischer-TŁmpel, III, #415).

27 May 1725, Leipzig.

BG 35; NBA I/15.

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

There is both daring and deception within all human spirits.(1)

2. Recit. (A)

I say it was deceit
That Nicodemus dares by day come not,
To Jesus, but by night.
The sun was forced one day for Joshua so long to stand in place,
Until at last the victory was fully won;
Here, though, does Nicodemus wish: O would the sun now go to rest!

3. Aria (A)

Thy dear light, before so bright,
Must for me the clouds obscure,
While I go to seek the master,
For by day I am too fearful.
No man can these wonders do,
For his nature and vast power
Seem to be divinely chosen;
Godís own Spirit on him rests.

4. Recit. (B)

So marvel then, O Master, not,
That I should thee at night be seeking!
Iím fearful, lest by daylight
My weakness cannot stand the test.
And yet I hope thou shalt my heart and soul
To life exalt and take.
For all who have faith in thee only shall not be forsaken.(2)

5. Aria (A)

Have courage ye fearful and timorous spirits,
Revive yourselves, hear ye what Jesus doth pledge:
That I through believing shall heaven inherit.
When this great promise fulfillment achieves,
Shall I in heaven
With thanks and with praises
Father, Son and Holy Ghost
Honor, the Three-in-One named.

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

Rise, that we may thus all as one
To heavenís portals hasten;
And when at last within thy realm
Be evermore there singing
That thou alone art truly king,
All other gods excelling,
God Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
Of good men shield and Savior,
One being, but three persons.

1. Luther's text: "Es ist das Herz ein trotzig und verzagt Ding." RSV: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt." The Septuagint says that the heart is "deep" and that man is difficult to fathom. The Lord alone understands him. Trotzig and verzagt apparently encompass the daring and the timidity of this "deep" creature.

2. This line is not in Ziegler's PT. Cf. Jn. 3:15.

© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose

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