Friulian language series: Gjenesi 17, cjase di Abram

The seventeenth chapter of the book of Genesis tells of: il pat di circuncision (covenant of circumcision).

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Read Gjenesi 17

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Versets 1-5

Vocbaulary: cuant che (when), (to have), novantenûf (ninety-nine), un an (year), comparî (to appear), (to say), jessi (to be), cjaminâ (to walk), sot di (below, under), il voli (eye), viodi di (to see to), just (just, righteous), (to make, to do), il pat (pact, covenant), fra (between), deventâ (to become), grant (great, large, big), ma (but), une vore (very), butâsi par tiere (to take to the ground {in deference}), il cjâf (head), fevelâ (to speak), cussì (thus, so), ve (this is, here is), il pari (father), un grumon di (a multitude of), il popul (people), clamâ (to call), no… plui (no more), il non (name), parcè che (because, for).

Verse 1: Cuant che Abram al veve novantenûf agns (when Abram was ninety-nine years old [was having ninety-nine years]), i comparì il Signôr e i disè (the Lord appeared to him and said): jo o soi El-Shadai (I am El-Shaddai), cjamine sot dai miei vôi (walk before [below] my eyes) e viôt di jessi just (and see that you are righteous [see to being just]). Viôt is the second-person singular imperative of the verb viodi. Viôt di jessi is to be taken in the sense of be certain to be, be sure to be, see to it that you are. Review: How to count in Friulian.

Verse 2: O fasarai un pat fra me e te: I will make a covenant between me and you. Ti fasarai deventâ grant, ma une vore grant: I will make you great, but great indeed (but very great).

Verses 3-4: Butâsi par tiere (to take to the ground) is to be understood as referring to the act of going down in deference. Butâsi can be taken literally as to throw oneself. You read: e Abram si butà cul cjâf par tiere (and Abram went down and pressed his head to the ground [threw himself with his head on the ground]) e Diu al fevelà cun lui cussì (and God spoke thus with him): ve il pat che o fâs cun te (this is the covenant that I make with you): tu deventarâs pari di un grumon di popui (you shall become the father of a multitude of nations [peoples]).

Verse 5: E no ti clamaran plui Abram (and you shall be called Abram no more [and they shall call you Abram no more]), ma il to non al sarà Abraham (but your name shall be Abraham), parcè che jo ti fâs pari di un grumon di popui (for I make you the father of a multitude of nations [peoples]).

Versets 6-8

Vocabulary: fâ cressi (to make increase, to make grow), savê (to know), nancje (not even), trop (how much), il popul (people), il çoc (stock, clan), saltâ fûr (to come [go] out), il re (king), il pat (pact, covenant), fra (between), la gjernazie (offspring), dopo di (after, following), la gjenerazion (generation), par in eterno (for all time, everlasting), in mût che (in order that), vignî (to come), (to give), la tiere (land), cumò (now), il forest (foreigner), par simpri (for ever).

Verse 6: Ti fasarai cressi no tu sâs nancje tu trop (I will increase you exceedingly so [I will make you increase not even you know how much]); o fasarai di te popui (I will make nations [peoples] of you) e dal to çoc a saltaran fûr rês (and from your stock shall come forth kings). Supplementary examples of trop: no sai trop zucar che o ai di zontâ (I do not know how much sugar I am to add); cjol trope torte che tu vûs (take as much cake as you like); trops àno rispuindût? (how many have responded?); trop vegnial? (how much does it cost [to how much does it come]?); trop mi fasistu spietâ? (how long will you [do you] make me wait?).

Verse 7: O fasarai un pat fra me e te (I will make a covenant between me and you) e la tô gjernazie dopo di te (and your offspring after you), di gjenerazion in gjenerazion (from generation to generation), un pat par in eterno (a covenant for all time), in mût che jo o sarai il to Diu (that I may be [will be] your God) e chel de gjernazie ch’e vignarà dopo di te (and that of your offspring who will come after you).

Verse 8: A ti e a la tô gjernazie dopo di te (to you and your offspring after you) us darai la tiere che tu sês cumò (I will give you the land where you are now), come forest (as a foreigner), dute la tiere di Canaan (all the land of Canaan), che e sarà vuestre par simpri (which shall ever be yours), e jo o sarai il vuestri Diu (and I will be your God).

Versets 9-16

Vocabulary: (to say), vê di (must, to have to), rispietâ (to respect), il pat (pact, covenant), la gjernazie (offspring), dopo di (after, following), la gjenerazion (generation), ve cuâl che (this is what, here is what), vadì (which is to say), daûr di (behind, following), il mascjo (male), jessi (to be), circuncidi (to circumcise), taiâ (to cut), ultin (final, last), la piel (skin), la nature (organ, member), il segnâl (sign), vot (eight), il dì (day), tant… o ben (whether… or), nassi (to be born), la cjase (house), comprâ (to buy, to acquire), i bêçs (money), cualchi (any, whichever), il forest (foreigner), la raze (kin), tant… che (… and … alike), segnâ (to mark), la cjar (flesh), par in secula (for all time, everlasting), ven a stâi (which is to say), taiâ fûr di (to cut off from, to proscribe), dissal (he said), la femine (wife), clamâ (to call), no… plui (no more), il non (name), benedî (to bless), (to give), ancje (also, too), il frut (boy), midiant di (by way of, through), deventâ (to become), il popul (people), il re (king), saltâ fûr (to come/go out).

Verse 9: The Friulian text continues to use the old name Abram, rather than the new Abraham (see verse 5). In fact, the new name Abraham appears in only two verses: Gjenesi 17:5 and Neemie 9:7. I can only presume such to be the case owing to the integration of Abraham into the Friulian language as Abram for reasons of pronunciation (silent h); if there is some other justification for it, I have been unable to ascertain it. From this point onwards, when the name Abram appears in the Friulian text, it will nevertheless be translated into English in these notes as Abraham to reflect the change of name. The text of this verse reads: Diu i disè a Abram (God said to Abraham): e tu tu varâs di rispietâ il gno pat (and you shall keep [shall have to respect] my covenant), tu e la tô gjernazie dopo di te (you and your offspring after you), di gjenerazion in gjenerazion (from generation to generation).

Verse 10: Ve cuâl che al è il gno pat (this is what my covenant entails [this is what is my covenant]) che o vês di rispietâ (which you are to keep [respect]), pat fra me e vualtris (a covenant between me and you), vadì la tô gjernazie daûr di te (which is to say, your offspring after you [behind you]): ducj i mascjos a varan di jessi circuncidûts (all your males are to be circumcised [shall have to be circumcised]). Learn: circuncidi (to circumcise); circuncidût (circumcised); la circuncision (circumcision); il prepuzi (foreskin). Rather than prepuzi, the Friulian text, in verse 11 ahead, employs a different usage to refer to the foreskin.

Verse 11: Si fasarês taiâ l’ultime piel de nature (you shall have your foreskin cut [you shall have the final skin of your member (nature) cut]) e chel al sarà il segnâl dal pat fra me e vualtris (and that shall be the sign of the covenant between me and you). In this and the verses ahead, the foreskin is referred to as l’ultime piel de nature. La nature refers euphemistically here to the virile member (the ‘nature’), and the foreskin is the ultime piel (final skin) of the member. In Esodo 13:2, you will find an example of where nature refers instead to the female reproductive organs. Consider the following: taiâ (to cut); fâ taiâ (to make {someone else} cut); fâsi taiâ (to make {someone else} cut unto one); fâsi taiâ l’ultime piel de nature (to have one’s foreskin cut; to get one’s foreskin cut). Si fasarês is the second-person plural of the futûr sempliç of the reflexive fâsi.

Verse 12: Sui vot dîs (on the eighth day* [on the eight days]), ducj i mascjos a saran circuncidûts (all your males shall be circumcised), di gjenerazion in gjenerazion (from generation to generation), tant che al sedi nassût in cjase (whether he was born in your house) o ben comprât cui bêçs di cualchi forest (or bought with money from a foreigner) che nol è de tô raze (who is not of your kin). *To be taken here as at the age of eight days. Because is used with vot, it is necessarily a masculine noun ( can be both masculine and feminine, but it is masculine when used with a numeral), which is further made clear by the use of the masculine plural sui. Review: al è (he is; it is); nol è (he is not; it is not).

Verse 13: Si à di circuncidi (one must circumcise) tant chel nassût in cjase che chel comprât cui bêçs (him who was born in your house and him who was bought with money alike [as much him born in house as him bought with money]). Il gno pat al sarà segnât te vuestre cjar come un pat par in secula: my covenant shall be marked in your flesh as a covenant for all time.

Verse 14: Chel che nol sarà circuncidût (he who is not [will not be] circumcised), ven a stâi (which is to say) il mascjo che no i varan taiade l’ultime piel de nature (the male whose foreskin is not cut [the male unto whom they will not have cut the final skin of the member]), chel al sarà taiât fûr de sô gjernazie (he shall be cut off [cut out] from his kin): nol à rispietât il gno pat (he has not kept my covenant).

Verse 15: God renames Sarai: Sarai, la tô femine (your wife Sarai), no tu le clamarâs plui Sarai (you shall call her Sarai no more), ma il so non al sarà Sare (but her name shall be Sarah). Consider the following to internalise word order: tu tu clamarâs; tu no tu clamarâs (you will call; you will not call); tu tu le clamarâs; tu no tu le clamarâs (you will call her; you will not call her). These can also be expressed as: tu clamarâs; no tu clamarâs (you will call; you will not call); tu le clamarâs; no tu le clamarâs (you will call her; you will not call her).

Verse 16: Jo le benedissarai (I will bless her), ti darai ancje un frut midiant di jê (I will also give you a son [boy] through her); jo le benedissarai (I will bless her) e e deventarà popui (and she shall become nations [peoples]), e rês di popui a saltaran fûr di jê (and kings of nations [kings of peoples] shall come forth from her).

Versets 17-22

Vocabulary: butâsi (to throw oneself), par tiere (on the ground), tacâ (to start, to begin), ridi (to laugh), parcè che (because, for), (to say), dentri di (inside, within), podê (may, can, to be able), dome (only, but), crodi (to believe), un om (man), cent (one hundred), un an (year), il frut (child, boy), i fruts (children), cjaminâ (to walk), novante (ninety), rivâ a (to be able to, to manage to), parturî (to bear), dissal (he said), almancul (at least), vivi (to live), midiant di (by way of, through), pononò (nay, not so), la femine (wife), meti non (to name), il pat (pact, covenant), par simpri (for ever), in mût che (in order that), la gjernazie (offspring), daûr di (behind, following), ancje (also, too), scoltâ (to listen, to heed), benedî (to bless), la dissendence (lineage), fâ cressi (to make increase), il numar (number), cetant cetant (very much so), dodis (twelve), il princip (prince), grant (great, big, large), il popul (people), la stagjon (season), finî (to finish, to end), fevelâ (to speak), slontanâsi (to distance oneself, to leave).

Verse 17: Abram si butà par tiere e al tacà a ridi (Abraham took [threw himself] to the ground and began to laugh); here Abraham goes down in deference before the Lord and emits laughter of delight. Parcè che al diseve dentri di sè (for he said to himself [was saying within himself]): tu puedis dome crodi (can it be so [you can but believe]) se un om di cent agns (that a one-hundred-year-old man [if a man of one hundred years]) al fâs fruts (can beget a child [makes children]) e se Sare, ch’e cjamine par novante (and that the ninety-year-old Sarah [and if Sarah, who is walking on ninety]), e rive a parturî (is able to bear a child [comes to bear]). See the notes at verse 9 regarding the continued use of Abram in the Friulian. In this verse, you encounter the third-person singular imperfet indicatîf form al diseve (he was saying). For your reference, the verb is conjugated below in this tense.

Imperfet indicatîf
Imperfect indicative

o disevi
tu disevis
al diseve

e diseve

o disevin
o disevis
a disevin

Verse 18: Abraham says: che almancul Ismael al puedi vivi midiant di te (may Ishmael be able to live by you no less). Consider: al pues (he can; he is able); che al puedi (may he be able; let him be able).

Verse 19: God responds: pononò (nay; not so). He continues: Sare, la tô femine (your wife Sarah), ti parturissarà un frut (shall bear you a son [boy]) e tu i metarâs non Isac (and you shall name him Isaac [put unto him the name Isaac]) e o fasarai un pat cun lui (and I will make a covenant with him), un pat par simpri (an everlasting covenant), in mût che jo o sarai il so Diu (that I may be his God [in order that I will be his God]) e chel de sô gjernazie daûr di lui (and that of his offspring after him [behind him]).

Verse 20: Ancje par Ismael ti ai scoltât (and as for Ishmael I have heeded you): jo lu benedìs (I hereby bless him [I bless him]), i darai dissendence (I will give him a lineage; I will give him descendants), lu fasarai cressi di numar cetant cetant (I will make him exceedingly numerous [I will make him increase in number much much]); al varà dodis princips (he shall beget [shall have] twelve princes) e o fasarai di lui un grant popul (and I will make of him a great nation [a great people]).

Verse 21: Ma il gno pat (but my convenant) jo lu fasarai cun Isac (I will make it with Isaac), chel che ti parturissarà Sare (whom Sarah shall bear to you), di chi a un an (one year from now) e in cheste stagjon (and in this season).

Verse 22: Finît di fevelâ (having finished speaking), Diu si slontanà di Abram (God departed from Abraham).

Versets 23-27

Vocabulary: alore (then, so), cjapâ (to take), il fi (son), nassi (to be born), la cjase (house), comprâ (to buy, to acquire), i bêçs (money), vadì (which is to say), il mascjo (male), jessi a stâ (to dwell), taiâ (to cut), ultin (final, last), la piel (skin), la nature (member, organ), stes (same), la dì (day), ordenâ (to order, to command), (to have), novantenûf (ninety-nine), un an (year), tredis (thirteen), circuncidi (to circumcise), la famee (family), il forest (foreigner).

Verse 23: Alore Abram al cjapà so fi Ismael (Abraham then took his son Ishmael), ducj chei che a jerin nassûts te sô cjase (all those who had been born in his house), ducj chei che al veve comprât cui bêçs (all those whom he had bought with money), vadì (which is to say) ducj i mascjos che a jerin a stâ cun Abram (all the males who dwelt [were dwelling] with Abraham) e ur taià la ultime piel de nature (and he cut their foreskins [and unto them he cut the final skin of their members (nature)]) ta chê stesse dì (on that same day), come che Diu i veve ordenât (as God had commanded him [unto him]).

Verses 24-25: Abram al veve novantenûf agns (Abraham was ninety-nine years old [was having ninety-nine years]) cuant che si fasè taiâ l’ultime piel de nature (when he had his foreskin cut [when unto himself he got cut (he made cut) the final skin of his member (nature)]) e Ismael, so fi (and his son Ishmael), al veve tredis agns (was thirteen years old [was having thirteen years]) cuant che i taiarin l’ultime piel de nature (when his foreskin was cut [when unto him they cut the final skin of his member (nature)]).

Verses 26-27: Ta chê stesse dì (on that same day) a forin circuncidûts Abram e so fi Ismael (Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised), e ducj i mascjos de famee (and all the males of his household [family]), nassûts in cjase o comprâts dal forest cui bêçs (whether born in his house or bought with money from foreigners [from the foreigner]), a forin circuncidûts cun lui (were circumcised along with him).