Friulian language series: Gjenesi 39, Josef in Egjit

Of the thirty-ninth chapter of the book of Genesis, the subjects are: Josef in Egjit (Joseph in Egypt); Josef e la sô parone (Joseph and his master’s wife). Taken literally, Josef e la sô parone means Joseph and his mistress, where mistress is to be understood in its sense of female head of household.

If you are arriving on this site for the first time, begin your study of the Friulian language here.

Read Gjenesi 39

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 39. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-6

Vocabulary: intant (in the meantime), menâ (to take, to bring, to conduct), il cjastrât (eunuch), il faraon (pharaoh), il sorestant (chief), la vuaite (guard), un egjizian (Egyptian), comprâ (to buy, to acquire), un ismaelit (Ishmaelite), ventijù (down there; also venti jù), la furtune (fortune, success; also fortune), restâ (to remain, to stay), la cjase (house), il paron (master), viodi (to see), il puart (port, harbour), lâ in puart (to come to fruition), la bande (side), di buine bande (on one’s good side, in one’s favour), nomenâ (to name, to appoint), il servidôr (servant), personâl (personal), la dì (day), la robe (possessions, substance), benedî (to bless), in gracie di (because of, thanks to), la benedizion (blessing), slargjâsi (to extend oneself), la campagne (open, country), la man (hand), domandâ (to ask, to inquire), il cont (account, reckoning), nuie (nothing), dome (only, but), la bocjade (daily bread), mangjâ (to eat), ben corporât (robust, well-built), biel (attractive, fine), la muse (face).

Verse 1: Josef intant lu vevin menât in Egjit: Joseph, in the meantime, had been taken to Egypt [Joseph, in the meantime, they had taken him to Egypt]). Putifar, un cjastrât dal faraon e sorestant des vuaitis, egjizian (Potiphar, an Egyptian, eunuch of Pharaoh and chief of the guards), lu comprà dai ismaelits che lu vevin menât ventijù (bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there).

Verse 2: Josef al veve il Signôr cun sè (the Lord was with Joseph [Joseph was having the Lord with himself]) e al veve furtune in dut (and he was successful [was having fortune] in all things); al restà in cjase dal so paron, l’egjizian (he stayed in the house of his Egyptian master [of his master, the Egyptian]).

Verses 3-4: Il so paron, viodint che il Signôr al jere cun lui (his master, upon seeing that the Lord was with him) e che dut ce che al faseve al leve in puart (and that all that he did would come to fruition [and that all that he was doing was going into port]), al veve Josef di buine bande (he took a liking to Joseph [was having Joseph on his good side]): lu nomenà so servidôr personâl (he named him his personal servant), sorestant de sô cjase e di dute la sô robe (chief of his house and of all his possessions). Lâ in puart: literally, to go into port; this is a figurative expression, where the sense of arriving at port or harbour is one of coming to fruition, to be successful. Consider the difference between cun lui (verse 3) and cun sè (verse 2); two examples (not from the text): al viodè che al veve il Signôr cun sè: he (person 1) saw that he (person 1) had the Lord with himself (person 1); al viodè che al veve il Signôr cun lui: he (person 1) saw that he (person 2) had the Lord with him (person 2).

Verse 5: De dì che (from the time [day] that) lu metè sorestant de sô cjase (he had made him [he made him] the chief of his house) e di dute la sô robe (and of all his possessions), il Signôr al benedì la cjase dal egjizian (the Lord blessed the house of the Egyptian) in gracie di Josef (for Joseph’s sake [thanks to Joseph]) e la benedizion dal Signôr si slargjà (and the blessing of the Lord extended itself) sun dut ce che al jere in cjase e su la campagne (upon all that was within the house and without [upon all that was in the house and in the open]).

Verse 6: Alore al metè tes mans di Josef (so he put into Joseph’s hands) dut ce che al veve (all that he had [was having]) e no i domandave cont di nuie (and asked him to account for nothing [and unto him was asking account of nothing; and unto him was not asking account of anything]), dome de bocjade che al mangjave (save the food that he ate [was eating]). Josef al jere ben corporât e biel di muse: Joseph was well-built and good-looking; Joseph was robust and attractive. Ben corporât is employed to describe Joseph as attractive in body; biel di muse describes him as attractive in face.

Versets 7-15

Vocabulary: capitâ (to happen, to occur), tal fratimp (in the meantime), la femine (wife), il paron (master), butâ (to throw, to cast), il voli (eye), anìn (come on, go to, let us go), durmî cun (to sleep with), rifudâ (to refuse; also refudâ), il fastidi (bother, trouble), la cjase (house), meti (to put, to place), la man (hand), la robe (possessions, substance), nancje (not even), plui di (more than, greater than), inibî (to prohibit, to bar), dome (only, but), la cussience (conscience), podê (may, can, to be able), la porcarie (dirty deed, wretched act), il gjenar (sort, kind), lâ cuintri di (to go against), seben che (although), stâ sot di (to coax, to go after), ogni dì (every day), volê (to want), savê (to know), durmî cun (to sleep with), il braç (arms), jentrâ (to enter, to go in), la vore (work, task), il famei (servant), il numar (number), no… di numar (not a single), tirâ par (to pull by, to catch by), la tonie (tunic), il jet (bed), lassâ (to leave), scjampâ fûr (to flee, to take off), di buride (quickly, in haste), viodi (to see), fuî vie (to flee, to take off), di dute corse (quickly, in haste), clamâ (to call, to summon), menâ dongje (to bring back, to bring in), un ebreu (Hebrew), mateâ cun (to jest with, to make sport of), vignî (to come), daprûf di (alongside, by), petâ (to let out), grant (great, big), il berli (yell, outcry), berlâ (to yell, to cry out), la int (people), molâ (to leave behind, to abandon), il fum (smoke).

Verse 7: Al capità, tal fratimp (in the meantime, it came to pass), che la femine dal so paron (that his master’s wife) e butà il voli su Josef (cast her eyes [cast her eye] upon Joseph) e i disè (and said to him): anìn a durmî cun me (come now and sleep with me).

Verse 8: Ma lui al rifudà (but he refused) e i disè a la femine dal so paron (and said to his master’s wife): il gno paron cun me nol à nissun fastidi (my master has no trouble with me) pe sô cjase (with regard to his house [for his house]) e al à metût tes mês mans dute la sô robe (and he has put into my hands all his possessions).

Verse 9: Nancje lui nol è plui di me in cheste cjase (not even he is greater than me in this house): no mi à inibît nuie (he has not barred me anything), dome te, che tu sês la sô femine (save you, for you are his wife). Cun ce cussience (with what conscience) puedio jo fâ une porcarie (could I [can I] commit a wretched act) dal gjenar (of the sort) e lâ cuintri di Diu? (and go against God?). Consider: o pues (I can); puedio? (interrogative form of o pues).

Verse 10: Seben che jê i stave sot a Josef ogni dì (although she coaxed [was under] him every day), lui nol volè mai savêdint di lâ a durmî cun jê (he refused to sleep with her), di butâsi tai siei braçs ({refused} to throw himself into her arms). Stâ sot: the sense here of sot (under, below) is one of constantly being after another, insisting upon a thing. Savêdint: this is the verb savê (to know) to which int (thereof), and a euphonic d before it, has been attached.

Verse 11: Une dì (one day), Josef al jentrà in cjase (Joseph went into the house) par fâ lis sôs voris (to do his work; to complete his tasks) e, in cjase, no ’nd jere un famei di numar (and, in the house, not a single servant was about [there was not a servant of the lot (number)]).

Verse 12: La femine lu tirà pe tonie (the wife caught him by the tunic) e i disè (and said to him): anìn tal jet cun me (come now to bed with me), ma lui i lassà in man la sô tonie (but he left his tunic in her hand [but unto her he left in hand his tunic]) e al scjampà fûr di buride (and fled in haste).

Verses 13-15: Viodint che al veve lassade la tonie tes sôs mans (upon seeing that he had left his tunic in her hands) e che al jere fuît vie di dute corse (and had taken off in haste), jê e clamà i siei fameis e ur disè (she called for her servants and said to them): viodêt chi (look here). Nus à menât dongje un ebreu (he has brought in a Hebrew) par mateâ cun nô (to make sport of us). Al è vignût daprûf di me (he drew near to me) e al voleve che o fos lade cun lui (and wanted me to lie with him [and was wanting that I should go with him]), ma jo o ai petât un grant berli (but I screamed at the top of my voice [but I let out a great cry]) e cuant che al à viodût che jo o berlavi (and when he saw that I was crying out) e che o clamavi int (and calling for help [and that I was calling people]), al à molade la tonie (he dropped [abandoned] his tunic) e al è scjampât come il fum (and took off at once [fled like smoke]).

Versets 16-23

Vocabulary: meti (to put, to place), dongje di (alongside, by), fintremai che (until), tornâ (to return, to come/go back), la cjase (house), il paron (master), ripeti (to repeat), stes (same), la solfe (solfa, solfeggio), il sclâf (slave), ebreu (Hebrew), menâ (to bring, to lead, to conduct), vignî (to come), mateâ cun (to jest with, to make sport of), tacâ (to start, to begin), berlâ (to cry out, to yell), clamâ (to call), la int (people), molâ (to leave behind, to abandon), la tonie (tunic), fuî vie (to flee, to take off), un om (man), sintî (to hear), (to say), il famei (servant), pierdi (to lose), la lum (light), la reson (reason), la preson (prison), cjapâ (to take), la preson (prison), là che (there where), il presonîr (prisoner), il re (king), restâ (to stay, to remain), slargjâ (to extend), sore di (upon), il boncûr (compassion), fâ in mût che (to bring about that), il sorestant (chief), la viste (sight, view), di buine viste (favourably), decidi (to decide), il fastidi (trouble, bother), il lavôr (work, labour), il fin (result, outcome), lâ a bon fin (to come to fruition).

Verse 16: E cussì e metè la tonie dongje di sè (and so she kept the tunic at her side [and so she placed the tunic alongside her]) fintremai che nol tornà a cjase il paron (until his master [the master] came home).

Verses 17-18: Alore i ripetè la stesse solfe (she then told him the same story [she then repeated to him the same solfa]): chel sclâf ebreu che tu mi âs menât in cjase (that Hebrew slave that you brought into my house) al è vignût dongje di me (drew near to me) par mateâ cun me (to make sport of me) e cuant che jo o ai tacât a berlâ (and when I took to crying out) e o ai clamât int (and I called for help [called people]), al à molade la tonie e al è fuît vie (he dropped [abandoned] his tunic and took off).

Verse 19: Cuant che l’om al sintì a dî de sô femine (when the man heard his wife saying): ve ce che mi à fat il to famei (this is what your servant did to me), al pierdè la lum de reson (he flew into a rage [he lost his light of reason]).

Verse 20: Il paron di Josef lu fasè cjapâ e meti in preson (Joseph’s master had him apprehended and put in prison), là che a jerin i presonîrs dal re (where the king’s prisoners were confined [there where the prisoners of the king were]). E cussì al restà in preson: and so he remained in prison. Consider: cjapâ (to take); fâ cjapâ (to cause to take); lu fasè cjapâ (he caused to take him; that is, he had him apprehended). Consider also: meti (to put); fâ meti (to cause to put); lu fasè meti in preson (he caused to put him in prison; that is, he had him put in prison).

Verse 21: Ma il Signôr al jere cun Josef (but the Lord was with Joseph), al slargjà sore di lui il so boncûr (he extended his compassion upon him) e al fasè in mût che il sorestant de preson lu cjapàs di buine viste (and brought about that the prison chief looked favourably upon him [and did in manner that the chief of the prison should take him in good view]).

Verse 22: Il sorestant de preson i metè tes mans a Josef (the prison chief put into Joseph’s hands) ducj chei che a jerin in preson (all those who were imprisoned) e dut ce che si faseve li dentri al jere lui che al decideve (and it was he who determined all the goings-on of the place [and all that was done therein, it was he who was deciding]).

Verse 23: Il sorestant de preson nol veve nissun fastidi pal so lavôr (the prison chief had [was having] no trouble with his work), parcè che il Signôr al jere cun lui (for the Lord was with him) e dut ce che al faseve i leve a bon fin (and all that he did [was doing] came to fruition for him [was going to a happy (good) outcome for him]).