BWV 248VI Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben (Weihnachts-Oratorium VI)


Poet unknown (Picander?); PT (Leipzig, 1734); Facs: Neumann T, p. 454.

2 (55). Mt. 2:7-8; 5 (58). Mt. 2:9-11; 6 (59). Paul Gerhardt, verse 1 of the hymn, 1656 (Fischer-Tümpel, III, #406); 7 (60). Mt. 2:12; 11 (64). Georg Werner, verse 4 of "Ihr Christen auserkoren, " 1648 (Fischer-Tümpel), III, #48), to the chorale melody "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (cf. BWV 161/1).

6 January 1735, Leipzig; Parody: 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11 (54, 56, 57, 61, 62, 63, 64) ← BWV 248a; 1 ← VII/1 (BWV Anh. 10).

BG 5, 2; NBA II/6.

Christmas Oratorio VI

1 (54). Chorus (S, A, T, B)

Lord, when our boastful foes blow fury,
Help us to keep our faith unshaken
And to thy might and help to look!

    We would make thee our sole reliance
    And thus unharmed the cutting talons
    And clutches of the foe escape.

2 (55). Recit. (T, B) Evangelist, Herod

Then did Herod summon the wise men in secret, and with diligence he learned from them when the star was to appear. And he sent them forth to Bethlehem and said:

Go ye forth and search with diligence for the baby, and when ye find him, bring me word, that I as well may come and worship him.

3. (56). Recit. (S)

Thou liar, seek nought but the Lord’s destruction,
Lay ev’ry cunning snare
And pitfall for our Savior;
He, whose great pow’r no man can gauge,
Abides in hands secure.
Thy heart, thy lying heart e’en now,
Along with all its guile, to God’s own Son
Whom thou dost strive to fell is fully known.
4. (57). Aria (S)

But a wave of his own hand will
Bring down feeble human might.
Here is all dominion mocked!
Speak the Highest but one word,
His opponents’ pride to finish,
Oh, then surely must at once
Change its course all mortal purpose.

5. (58). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And as soon as they had heard the king, they went their way. And lo, the star, which in the East they had seen already, went before their way, until it came and stood above that place where the baby was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with great gladness and went into the house and found there the baby with Mary, his mother, and fell before him and worshipped him and opened up their treasures then and gave to him gold, incense, and myrrh.

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

I stand before thy cradle here,
O Jesus-child, my being,
I come now, bring and offer thee
What thou to me hast given.
Take all! It is my spirit, will,
Heart, soul and mind, take all to thee,
And let it serve thy pleasure!

7. (60). Recit. (T) Evangelist

And God then warned them in a dream that they should not go again unto Herod, and they went by another way back to their Country.
8. (61). Recit. (T)

Then go! ’Tis well, my treasure leaveth not,
He bideth here with me,
I will not ever let him leave me.
His arm will in his love
With soft affection’s warmth
And deepest tenderness embrace me;
He shall remain my faithful bridegroom,
I will my breast and heart assign him.
I know full well he loveth me,
My heart, too, loves him fervently
And shall alway adore him.
What harm to me could any foe
Amidst such fortune do now?
Thou, Jesus, art fore’er my friend;
And when in fear I cry to thee:
“Lord, help!,” let me thy help behold!

9 (62). Aria (T)

Now may ye boastful foes be frightened;
Ye can in me what fear awaken?
My store, my hoard is here by me.
Be ye unbounded in your fury
And threaten me with utter ruin,
Beware, my Savior dwelleth here!

10. (63). Recit. (S,A,T,B)

What hope hath hell’s own terrors now,
What harm will world and sin us do,
While we in Jesus’ hands rest sure?
11. (64). Chorale (S,A,T,B)

Now are ye well avengéd
Upon your hostile host,
For Christ hath fully broken
All that which you opposed.
Death, devil, hell and error
To nothing are reduced;
With God hath now its shelter
The mortal race of man.

© Copyright  Z. Philip Ambrose

Back to top