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The following are links to English translations for Bach's cantatas and other works rendered in Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC. We are pleased for you to peruse these translations for your own enjoyment, but please respect the artistic product they represent and reprint only by permission. Contact office@bachvespersnyc.org for more information.

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Text for Cantata 79 
Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild.
     God the Lord is sun and shield.
Der Herr gibt Gnade und Ehre,
     The Lord grants grace and honor,
er wird kein Gutes mangeln lassen den Frommen. 
     he will withhold no good thing from the devout.
Gott ist unsre Sonn und Schild!
     God is our sun and shield!
Darum rühmet dessen Güte
unser dankbares Gemüte,
     For this our grateful souls
     extol this goodness,
die er für sein Häuflein hegt.
     which he fosters for his assembly.
Denn er will uns ferner schützen,
     For he will further protect us
ob die Feinde Pfeile schnitzen
     whether the foe files arrows
und ein Lästerhund gleich billt.
     or a blasphemous hound abruptly howls.
Nun danket alle Gott
     Now all thank God
mit Herzen, Mund und Händen,
     with heart, mouth and hands,
der große Dinge tut
     who does great things
an uns und allen Enden,
     for us and every ending,
der uns von Mutterleib
und Kindesbeinen an
     who for us, while in the mother's womb
     and from early childhood on,
unzählig viel zugut
und noch itzund getan.
     caused immeasurably great benefit
     and even now does.
Gottlob, wir wissen
den rechten Weg zur Seligkeit;
     Praise God, we know the proper path
     to blessedness;
denn, Jesu, du hast ihn uns
durch dein Wort gewiesen,
     for Jesus, you have pointed
     this out to us through your word,
drum bleibt dein Name jederzeit gepriesen.
     thus may your name remain ever praised.
Weil aber viele noch zu dieser Zeit
     Since however, many, even at this moment,
an fremdem Joch aus Blindheit ziehen müssen,
     must drag a foreign yoke out of blindness,
ach! so erbarme dich
     oh! do have mercy
auch ihrer gnädiglich,
     on them as well, graciously,
daß sie den rechten Weg erkennen
     that they recognize the proper path
und dich bloß ihren Mittler nennen.
     and name you alone their mediator.
Gott, ach Gott,
     God, oh, God,
verlass die Deinen nimmermehr!
     abandon these your own, nevermore!
Laß dein Wort uns helle scheinen;
     Let your word shine brightly before us;
obgleich sehr wider uns die Feinde toben,
     even while the foe rages powerfully against us,
so soll unser Mund dich loben.
     so shall our mouths praise you.
Erhalt uns in der Wahrheit,
     Preserve us in truth,
gib ewigliche Freiheit,
     grant eternal liberty
zu preisen deinen Namen
     to praise your name
durch Jesum Christum. Amen.
     through Jesus Christ. Amen.

COMPOSED:  October 31, 1725 (Leipzig) for Reformation Sunday
LIBRETTIST: unknown; Mvt. 1. Psalm 84:11; Mvt. 3. Martin Rinckart, stanza 1 of Nun danket alle Gott (1636); Mvt. 6. Ludwig Helmbold, stanza 8 of Nun lasst uns Gott, dem Herren (1575)
TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck, 2011 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC
Use by permission only, please. office@bachvespersnyc.org