Samuel Rodigast

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Samuel Rodigast (19 October 1649 – 19 March 1708) was a German poet.


Rodigast was born in Gröben near Jena. He attended a Gymnasium in Weimar and studied in Jena. From 1680, he was vice-principal and director of the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster in Berlin. He never changed his job, although professorship in Jena was offered to him, and was buried in the church of the monastery.


Rodigast is remembered for the hymn "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does, is well done). He may have written it to console his sick friend, the cantor Severus Gastorius, who may have wished a song for his funeral. Gastorius is supposed to have composed the melody. Scholars disagree on the circumstances surrounding the creation of the song.

It was the favourite hymn of King Frederick William III of Prussia and was sung at his funeral. In the Catholic hymnal Gotteslob it is #294, in the Protestant hymnal #372. The first verse is not by Rodigast but by Michael Altenburg. The following stanzas are based on the rest of the text is based thematically on Deuteronomy 32.4 LUT on.

Johann Sebastian Bach used the song in three different cantatas. His 1724 chorale cantata Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 99 is based on the complete hymn, but paraphrase in the inner stanzas. In 1726, he created cantata BWV 98, beginning with the first stanza. Between 1732 and 1735 he wrote cantata BWV 100, using all six stanzas unchanged. Bach used single stanzas in cantatas BWV 12, BWV 69a, BWV 75 and BWV 144,

In Theodor Fontane's novel Frau Jenny Treibel, Rodigast is mentioned as a devout poet and teacher.


  • Eduard Emil Koch: Geschichte des Kirchenliedes und Kirchengesanges. 3. Aufl., 8 Bde, 1866/76, III, 420 f.
  • Handbuch z. EKG II/1, 1957, 209; III/2, 1990, 299 ff.; Sonderband, 1958, 467 ff.
  • Reinhold Jauernig, Severus Gastorius, in: Jahrbuch für Liturgik und Hymnologie (de) 8, 1963, 163 ff.
  • Siegfried Fornaçon, Werke von Severus Gastorius, in: Jahrbuch für Liturgik und Hymnologie 8, 1963, 165-170

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