Before Thee, God Who Knowest All

Representative Text

1 Before thee, God, who knowest all,
with grief and shame I prostrate fall.
I see my sins against thee, Lord,
the sins of thought, of deed, and word.
They press me sore; I cry to thee:
O God, be merciful to me!

2 O Lord, my God, to thee I pray:
O cast me not in wrath away!
Let thy good Spirit ne'er depart,
but let him draw to thee my heart,
that truly penitent I be:
O God, be merciful to me!

3 O Jesus, let thy precious blood
be to my soul a cleansing flood.
Turn not, O Lord, thy guest away,
but grant that justified I may
go to my house at peace with thee:
O God, be merciful to me!

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #177

Author: M.B. Landstad

Magnus Brostrup Landstad (born 7 October 1802 in Måsøy, Norway and died 8 October 1880 in Kristiania) was a Norwegian minister, psalmist and poet who published the first collection of authentic Norwegian traditional ballads in 1853. This work was criticized for unscientific methods, but today it is commonly accepted that he contributed significantly to the preservation of the traditional ballads. Landstad lived with his father Hans Landstad (1771–1838) who was also a minister, first in 1806 to Øksnes, to Vinje in 1811 and to Seljord in 1819. He took a theological degree (cand. theol) in 1827, and worked after that as the resident chaplain in Gausdal for six years. After that he worked in different parishes in Telemark, Østfold befo… Go to person page >

Translator: Carl Døving

Born: March 21, 1867, Nord­dal­en, Nor­way. Died: Oc­to­ber 2, 1937, Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois. Buried: De­cor­ah, Io­wa.  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Before Thee, God who knowest all
Title: Before Thee, God Who Knowest All
Norwegian Title: Jeg staar for Gud, som alting ved
Author: M.B. Landstad
Translator: Carl Døving
Language: English
Refrain First Line: O God, be merciful to me
Copyright: Public Domain



Martin Luther's versification of the Lord's Prayer was set to this tune in Valentin Schumann's hymnal, Geistliche Lieder (1539); the tune, whose composer remains unknown, had some earlier use. The tune name derives from Luther's German incipit: “Vater unser im Himmelreich….” Because VATER UNSE…

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The Cyber Hymnal #412
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Instances (1 - 5 of 5)

Ambassador Hymnal #438


Christian Worship #306

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #493


The Cyber Hymnal #412

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Trinity Psalter Hymnal #177

Include 4 pre-1979 instances
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