That men a godly life might live

Representative Text

1 That men a godly life might live,
God did these Ten Commandments give
By His true servant Moses, high
Upon the Mount of Sinai.
Kyrie eleison.

2 I am Thy God and Lord alone,
No other God beside me own;
Put thy whole confidence in Me,
And love Me in sincerity.
Kyrie eleison.

3 By idle word and speech profae
Take not My holy name in vain;
And praise not aught as good and true
But what God doth both say and do.
Kyrie eleison.

4 Hallow the day which God hath blest,
That Thou and all Thy house may rest:
Keep hand and heart from labor free,
That God may have His work in Thee.
Kyrie eleison.

5 Give to thy parents honor due,
Be dutiful and loving too;
And help them when their strength decays;
Then God shall give thee length of days.
Kyrie eleison.

6 Harbor no hatred, nor ill will,
Lest hate breed anger, and thou kill;
Be patient and of gentle mood,
And to thine enemy do good.
Kyrie eleison.

7 Be faithful to thy marriage vows,
Thy heart give only to thy spouse;
Keep pure thy life, and lest thou sin,
Use temperance and discipline.
Kyrie eleison.

8 Steal not, oppressive acts abhor,
Nor wring their life-blood from the poor;
But open wide thy loving hand
To all the needy in the land.
Kyrie eleison.

9 Bear not false witness, nor belie
Thy neighbor by foul calumny;
Defend his innocence from blame,
And hide with charity his shame.
Kyrie eleison.

10 Thy neighbor's wife desire thou not,
His house, not aught that he hath got;
But wish that his such good may be,
As thine own heart doth wish for thee.
Kyrie eleison.

11 God these Commandments gave, therein
To show thee, son of man, thy sin,
And make thee also well perceive,
How unto God man ought to live.
Kyrie eleison.

12 Help us, Lord Jesus Christ, for we
A Mediator have in Thee;
Without Thy help our works are vain,
And merit only endless pain.
Kyrie eleison.

Source: Evangelical Lutheran hymnal: with music #204

Author: Martin Luther

Luther, Martin, born at Eisleben, Nov. 10, 1483; entered the University of Erfurt, 1501 (B.A. 1502, M.A.. 1503); became an Augustinian monk, 1505; ordained priest, 1507; appointed Professor at the University of Wittenberg, 1508, and in 1512 D.D.; published his 95 Theses, 1517; and burnt the Papal Bull which had condemned them, 1520; attended the Diet of Worms, 1521; translated the Bible into German, 1521-34; and died at Eisleben, Feb. 18, 1546. The details of his life and of his work as a reformer are accessible to English readers in a great variety of forms. Luther had a huge influence on German hymnody. i. Hymn Books. 1. Ellich cristlich lider Lobgesang un Psalm. Wittenberg, 1524. [Hamburg Library.] This contains 8 German h… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: That men a godly life might live
Author: Martin Luther
Refrain First Line: Kyrie eleison
Copyright: Public Domain


Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot. M. Luther. [Ten Commandments.] After the 13th century, the Ten Commandments began to be used in Germany at the confessional, and for the instruction of children, and in later times on pilgrimages and as an introduction to the Litany during Passiontide. Luther's catechetical, metrical setting 1st appeared in Eyn Enchiridion, Erfurt, 1524, and thence in Wackernagel, iii. p. 15, in 12 stanzas of 4 lines, each stanza ending with "Kyriolys." Included in Schircks's edition of Luther ‘s Geistliche Lieder, 1854, p. 47, and as No. 364 in the Unverfälschter Liedersegen, 1851. The only translation in common use is:—
That men a godly life might live, in R. Massie's M. Luther's Spiritual Songs, 1854, p. 55, and thence, as No. 204, in the Ohio Lutheran Hymnal1880, and in Dr. Bacon, 1884, p. 28.
Other translations are:—(l) "These are the holy commaundements ten," by Bp. Coverdale, 1539 (Remains, 1846, p. 544). (2) " Moyses upon the Mont Sinay," in the Gude & Godlie Ballates (edition 1568, folio 5), edition 1868, p. 6. (3) "These are the holy ten Commands," as No. 433, in pt. i. of the Moravian Hymn Book, 1754. (4) "These are the holy commandments," by J. Anderson, 1846, p. 53 (1847, p. 69). (5.) "The Lord Himself from Sinai's hill,” by Dr. J. Hunt, 1853, p. 83. (6) “These are the holy ten Commands," by Dr. G. Macdonald in the Sunday Magazine, 1867, p. 571, thence, altered, in his Exotics, 1876, p. 84. [Rev. James Mearns, M.A.]

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



This tune is likely the work of the composer named here, but has also been attributed to others as shown in the instances list below. According to the Handbook to the Baptist Hymnal (1992), Old 100th first appeared in the Genevan Psalter, and "the first half of the tune contains phrases which may ha…

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Instances (1 - 5 of 5)
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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal #204

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Evangelical Lutheran hymnal #204

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Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal. 9th ed. #a204

Hymn Book for the use of Evangelical Lutheran Schools and Congregations #d109

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Hymn Book #55

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