Friulian language series: Gjenesi 22, tentazion di Abram

In chapter 22 of the book of Genesis, Abraham is ordered by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. God says to Abraham: tu mal ufrissarâs in sacrifici (you will offer him to me in sacrifice).

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Read Gjenesi 22

To read the Friulian text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Bibie par un popul and consult Gjenesi 22. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-2

In these first two verses, you read that God puts Abraham to the test. The first verse begins with dopo di chescj fats, which you can understand as meaning after these things, after these matters. The noun il fat means fact, matter.

The text then follows with the expression meti a lis provis (to put to the test). Une prove is a test or trial. God calls out Abraham, who responds: ve chi ch’o soi (here I am). God tells Abraham: cjape sù to fi (take your son), va te tiere di Morie (go into the land of Moriah) e li tu mal ufrissarâs in sacrifici (and there you will offer him to me in sacrifice). Mal is a contraction of mi + lu. You will recall that the Friulian verb for to offer is ufrî.

tu mi ufrissarâs
tu mal ufrissarâs
you will offer to me
you will offer him to me

You encounter here the second-person singular of the futûr sempliç of the verb ufrî, which is tu ufrissarâs (you shall offer). Other verbs that you have seen form their future tense in a similar way are parturî and benedî, for example: tu parturissarâs (you will bear), o benedissarai (I shall bless). The ending of all three of these verbs in their infinitive form is î; that is, ufrî, parturî, benedî.

You can now observe mal alongside other similar contractions of indirect and direct object pronouns that you have already seen:

tu mal ufrissarâs
you shall offer him to me

tal zuri (Gjenesi 21:24)
I swear it to you

jal dè a Abimelec (Gjenesi 21:27)
he gave it to Abimelech

je darai a la tô gjernazie (Gjenesi 12:7)
I shall give it to your offspring

us es doi (Gjenesi 19:8)
I give them to you

Here are the contractions produced when the indirect object pronouns in purple come into contact with the direct object pronouns in blue.

lu le ju lis
mi mal me mai mes
ti tal te tai tes
i jal je jai jes
si sal se sai ses
nus nus al nus e nus ai nus es
us us al us e us ai us es
ur ur al ur e ur ai ur es

Un sacrifici is a sacrifice; you find this noun used in the text as part of the expression ufrî in sacrifici, meaning to offer in sacrifice, to offer as a sacrifice.

God also says to Abraham that Isaac is his only son: tu âs dome chel (you have only him), and that Abraham loves Isaac: tu i vuelis un ben di vite (you love him dearly). The expression here is volê un ben di vite, meaning to love dearly, to love very much. In addition, you should also know that the Friulian expression volê ben means to love. Examples: ti vuei ben (I love you), i vuei ben (I love him).

God instructs Abraham to sacrifice Isaac on a mountain to be specified to him: suntune mont che jo ti disarai (on a mountain which I shall tell you of).

You find the second-person singular, indicatîf presint of the verb volê conjugated here as tu tu vuelis; know that it is also expressed as tu tu vûs.

Versets 3-4

There is nothing particular in the way of grammar to point out in these verses. Vocabulary to learn and review includes: jevâ denant dì (to get up early), la siele (saddle), il mus (donkey, ass), spacâ (to break, to split), il len (wood), inviâsi (to head off; literally, to send oneself), de bande che (in the direction that), tierç (third), alçâ i vôi (to lift one’s eyes; that is, to look up), viodi di lontan (to see in the distance), il lûc (site, place).

Verset 5

Abraham tells his servants to wait with the donkey, while he goes off with his son to pray. You find three first-person plural, futûr sempliç forms in this verse: o larìn (we shall go), o prearìn (we shall pray) and o tornarìn (we shall return).

Abraham gives the following command to his servants: fermaitsi achì cul mus (stop here with the donkey, wait here with the donkey). The verb here is the reflexive fermâsi, meaning to stop oneself. Its second-person plural imperative form is fermaitsi.

Review the following: lâ fin lassù (to go all the way up there), tornâ indaûr (to come back, to return).

Verset 6

Abraham takes the wood for the sacrifice and puts it on his son’s back. Learn or review the following: cjapâ sù (to pick up), la schene (back; that is, the back of the human body), meti su pe schene (to put on one’s back), cjapâ in man (to take into one’s hand, to pick up), il fûc (fire), il curtìs (knife), insiemit (together).

Verset 7

Isaac is confused; he understands that a sacrifice will take place, but he sees that there is no lamb for the offering: si voltà viers di so pari (he turned towards his father), and he asks where the lamb is: indulà esal l’agnel che o vin di brusâ? (where is the lamb that we have to burn?). The Friulian for lamb is un agnel.

Isaac addresses his father as pai, a Friulian equivalent of dad, pa, etc. Abraham responds: ben, fi gno? (well, my son?).

Verset 8

Abraham tells his son that God will provide the lamb: pal agnel di brusâ (for the lamb to burn), Diu al proviodarà (God will provide). The Friulian verb proviodi means to provide, to supply, to see to. Both the Friulian proviodi and the English provide come from the Latin provedere, composed of pro (meaning before) + vedere (meaning to see); that is, to foresee.

This verse ends with: a continuarin la strade insiemit (they continued walking together). The expression continuâ la strade means to keep on walking, to continue on ahead, etc. You will remember that la strade is the Friulian for street.

Versets 9-10

Learn or review the following: mostrâ (to show), un altâr (altar), intassâ (to amass, to pile up), leâ (to bind, to tie up), slungjâ (to extend), sacrificâ (to sacrifice).

Once they had arrived at the spot where the sacrifice was to occur, Abraham built an altar and piled up the wood: Abram al fasè l’altâr (Abraham made the altar) e al intassà i lens (and he amassed the wood). The site where this took place was the one that God had indicated to Abraham: il lûc che Diu i veve mostrât (the place that God had shown him).

Abraham binds Isaac: al leà so fi (he bound his son), and after placing him on the altar, he reaches for his knife: al slungjà la man (he extended his hand) e al cjolè il curtìs (and he took the knife).

Versets 11-12

The angel of the Lord calls out to Abraham from the heaven and stops him from sacrificing his son. (Be sure not to confuse agnul [angel] and agnel [lamb].) Abraham responds: o soi chi (I am here), and the angel tells him to not extend his hand against his son. The angel also says: no sta fâi mâl (do not hurt him). The expression fâ mal means to hurt, to injure. No sta fâi mal translates more literally as do not do harm to him, where the equivalent of to him is found in the i attached to the end of fâ.

Learn or review the following: vê teme di (to fear, to be afraid of), rifudâ (to refuse; also spelled refudâ). The angel continues: cumò o sai (now I know) che tu âs teme di Diu (that you fear God; literally, that you have fear of God), che no tu mi âs rifudât nancje to fi (for you have not refused me even your son).

Verset 13

Abraham looks up and see a ram stuck in a shrub; you first encountered the Friulian for ram in Gjenesi 15:9, which is il roc. About the ram, you read the following: al jere restât impirât cui cuârs intun sterp. You can understand restâ infilât as meaning to get stuck. Un cuâr is the Friulian for horn. You will recall that un sterp is a shrub. The ram, then, was stuck in a shrub by its horns.

Abraham takes the ram and makes a burnt offering of it in place of his son; the Friulian for in place of, instead of is impen di, which you have seen a number of times now.

Verset 14

The name given by Abraham to the place where this occurred has been rendered into Friulian as Diu al proviôt (God provides, God sees to it). Al proviôt is the masculine, third-person singular of the presint indicatîf of the verb proviodi.

You will remember from Gjenesi 19:37 that in dì di vuê means today. In the text, you find the following: par chel (for this reason) ancje in dì di vuê (still today, still to this day) si dîs (it is said): “su la mont Diu al proviôt (on the mountain God provides).”

Versets 15-19

New usages to learn: sun me (on myself), la sentence (judgement, sentence, declaration), colmâ (to fill), colmâ di benedizions (to shower with blessings), il savalon (sand), la rive (shore), la rive dal mâr (seashore), ubidî (to obey).

Review the following: clamâ (to call), zurâ (to swear), midiant che (given that), rifudâ (to refuse), l’unic (the only one), la stele (star), paronâ (to rule, to dominate), il nemì (enemy), la vôs (voice), metisi in viaç (to set off), insiemit (together), jessi a stâ (to dwell, to reside, to live).

Sentence dal Signôr (declaration of the Lord) can be understood in the sense of the Lord has declared.

After having learnt the new usages listed above, you should be able to make out the meaning of these five verses on your own.

Versets 20-24

You will remember that vignî a savê translates literally as to come to know; that is, to find out, to discover. Milcah (Milche in Friulian) bore children to Abraham’s brother Nahor (Nacor in Friulian): i veve dade une dissendence a so fradi Nacor (she had given descendants to his brother Nahor).

The names of Nahor’s eight sons are given: Uz (Huz), Buz (Buz), Kemuel (Kemuel), Chesed (Chesed), Azo (Hazo), Pildas (Pildash), Idlaf (Jidlaph), Betuel (Bethuel). You read that Kemuel was the father of Aram, and that Bethuel begot Rebekah: Betuel al à vude Rebeche (Bethuel begot Rebekah, Bethuel had Rebekah). The past participle of has been expressed as vude to agree in gender with the direct object Rebeche, a female, following it.

You read that Nahor had a concubine: al veve ancje une concubine. Her name was Reumah: e veve non Reumee. Reumah also had children, whose names were: Tebac (Tebah), Gacam (Gaham), Tacas (Thahash), Maache (Maachah).

In the text, you find: ancje chê e à vûts fruts (she too had children, she too bore children). Note how the past participle of has been made to agree again in number and gender with the direct object, this time in the masculine plural as vûts to agree with fruts.