Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält

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"Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält"
Justus-Jonas-14.jpg
Lutheran reformer Justus Jonas, the author of the hymn
English Where God the Lord stands with us not
Genre Hymn
Text by Justus Jonas
Language German
Published 1524 (1524)

"Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält" (English: Where God the Lord stands with us not, original: Wo Gott der Herr nicht bey uns helt) is a Lutheran hymn by Justus Jonas, a paraphrase of Psalm 124 in eight stanzas. It was first published in 1524 in the Erfurt Enchiridion. The theme of the psalm is the need of help against raging enemies. It has been translated also as "Where the Lord God does not stand (stay) with us", "If God the Lord is not with us", "If God the Lord is not on our side", among others.

History[edit]

Jonas wrote the hymn on a request by Martin Luther in 1524. He combined the ideas of Psalm 124 with passages from Psalm 12 and other Biblical motifs.[1] The text was first published in the Erfurt Enchiridion, a hymnal of 26 songs including 18 by Luther, "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" and other hymns by Paul Speratus, "Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn" by Elisabeth Cruciger, and others.

Luther himself published his own paraphrase of Psalm 124 in three stanzas, "Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit". The current German Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch has as EG 297 a combination of Jonas' stanzas 1, 2, 5 and 6, and Luther's 2 and 3 (as 3 and 4).

Music[edit]

1563 print Geystliche Lieder, Leipzig

The hymn was published with the melody of an anonymous composer in Wittenberg in 1529, edited by Joseph Klug,[1] and again in Geystliche Lieder Leipzig in Leipzig in 1563, printed by Ernst Vögelin.

The hymn is the base for several compositions. An early four-part setting was written by Johann Walter. Johann Sebastian Bach composed a chorale cantata, BWV 178, the eighth cantata of his second annual cycle, first performed on 30 July 1724.[2] He also wrote a chorale fantasia, BWV 1128, believed to date from between 1705 and 1710, which was discovered in 2008. Chorale preludes were written by Johann Christoph Bach and Johann Pachelbel, vocal works were composed by Michael Altenburg, Christoph Graupner, Johann Hermann Schein[3] and Heinrich Schütz, among others.

References[edit]

External links[edit]