Polish language series: Rdz 2, stworzenie człowieka

In your study of the Polish language, this post brings you to chapter two of the book of Genesis. The subject matter of Rdz 2 is stworzenie człowieka (creation of man) and pierwotny stan szczęścia (original state of happiness). From these subject lines, know the following: stworzenie (n., creation), człowiek (m., man), pierwotny (original, primary), stan (m., state), szczęście (n., fortune, happiness).

If you are arriving on this site for the first time, begin your study of the Polish language here (Rdz 1).

Read Rdz 2

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 2. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Werset 1

  • sposób (m.), manner, way
  • w ten sposób, thus, in this manner
  • zostać (pf.), to remain
  • ukończyć (pf.), to finish
  • zastęp (m.), multitude
  • stworzenie (n.), creature

One of the meanings of the perfective zostać is to remain; this verb is also used frequently to create passive constructions where English uses to be or to get. Zostały ukończone is to be understood as were finished or got finished, as in zostały ukończone niebo i ziemia (the heaven and earth were finished; got finished). Ukończone is formed from the perfective verb ukończyć, meaning to finish. You will see another example of a passive construction such as this in verse 23, as well as many more examples in the chapters ahead.

The second half of the verse reads: oraz wszystkie jej zastępy [stworzeń] (as well as all its multitudes [of creatures]). Jej (her, its) is the genitive form of ona (she, it). The nominative plural of zastęp is zastępy. The translators have added the genitive plural stworzeń (it does not appear in the original Hebrew) for the benefit of the reader, to assist in understanding what is meant by zastępy in the context of this verse.

Werset 2

  • dzieło (n.), work
  • pracować (impf.), to work
  • odpocząć (pf.), to rest
  • siódmy, seventh
  • po (+ loc.), after
  • trud (m.), toil
  • jaki, which, that
  • podjąć (pf.), to undertake

In the first part of the verse, you read: Bóg ukończył w dniu szóstym swe dzieło (God finished his work on the sixth day). Dzień szósty, meaning sixth day, is in locative form following w as dniu szóstym. You will recall that the Polish for one’s own, in masculine nominative form, is swój; its neuter nominative form is swoje or the variant swe; you find the latter in the text. Swe dzieło is in accusative form here. You can consult the declension of Polish possessive pronouns here.

swoje dzieło
swe dzieło
his work

ukończył swoje dzieło
ukończył swe dzieło
he finished his work

Nad którym pracował can be understood as upon which he was working, where który is in its instrumental form as którym following nad.

In the remainder of the verse, you read that God rested on the seventh day after all his work. You will recall that cały means all, entire. Following po, you find the locative case in całym swym trudzie. The masculine nominative swój becomes swoim in locative form, or, as you find in the text, the variant swym.

cały swój trud
all his work

po całym swoim trudzie
po całym swym trudzie
after all his work

Werset 3

  • ów (m.), the said, the aforementioned
  • święty, holy, sacred
  • bowiem, for, because
  • praca (f.), work
  • wykonać (pf.), to carry out
  • stwarzać (impf.), to create

You will recall that the perfective verb pobłogosławić, which you first saw in Rdz 1:22, means to bless. You read: Bóg pobłogosławił ów siódmy dzień (God blessed that seventh day). You also read that he made this day holy: uczynił go świętym (he made it holy). You will recall that go (him, it) is the accusative form of the masculine on (he, it); święty appears in instrumental form here as świętym.

W tym dniu means on this day. Note the interposed bowiem, meaning for, because. You then read that God made the seventh day holy because it was on that day that he rested after all his work: po całej swej pracy. The feminine nominative of swój is swoja, or the variant swa. Following po, you find the locative całej swej pracy. Swoja becomes swojej in locative form, or, as you find in the text, the variant swej.

cała swoja praca
cała swa praca
all his work

po całej swojej pracy
po całej swej pracy
after all his work

Stwarzać is the imperfective form of stworzyć, which you encountered in Rdz 1:1, when you read: Bóg stworzył niebo i ziemię.

In Rdz 1:4, you encountered widząc (seeing). In Rdz 1:28, you encountered mówiąc (saying). In the current verse, you now find stwarzając, meaning creating.

The second half of this verse can be understood as follows: w tym bowiem dniu (for on this day) odpoczął (he rested) po całej swej pracy (after all his work), którą wykonał stwarzając (which he [had] carried out [whilst] creating).

Werset 4

  • dzieje (pl.), history
  • stworzenie (n.), creation
  • Pan Bóg, Lord God

Oto są is to be understood as these are; it is followed here by the plural noun dzieje. Oto są dzieje can be understood as this is the history; this is usually rendered in English Bibles as these are the generations. Początków is the genitive plural of początek.

You can understand the first half of this verse as follows: oto są dzieje początków (this is the history of the beginnings) po stworzeniu nieba i ziemi (after the creation of the heaven and the earth).

Observe these genitive plurals that you have seen:

według ich gatunków
według ich rodzajów
dzieje początków

Observe also the following locative forms:

na sklepieniu nieba
po stworzeniu nieba i ziemi

God is referred to for the first time as Pan Bóg (Lord God) in this verse: gdy Pan Bóg uczynił ziemię i niebo (when the Lord God made the earth and the heaven).

Werset 5

  • jeszcze, yet
  • żaden, no, none; any
  • krzew (m.), shrub
  • ani, or; nor
  • wzejść (pf.), to sprout
  • bo, for, because
  • zsyłać (impf.), to send down from heaven
  • deszcz (m.), rain
  • by = aby
  • uprawiać (impf.), to till

In this verse, take note of how the genitive is used in the Polish for there was not any: nie było jeszcze żadnego krzewu polnego (there was not yet any field shrub); nie było człowieka (there was not any man). Note also the use of the neuter było (the masculine equivalent is był, and the feminine equivalent is była.) Recall that the adjective polny means (of the) field).

Take note also of na ziemi and na ziemię, both appearing in this verse. Na ziemi (on the earth) uses the locative case, whereas na ziemię (onto the earth) uses the accusative. The first conveys location; the second conveys movement.

Werset 6

  • rów (m.), ditch
  • kopać (impf.), to dig, to sink
  • nawadniać (impf.), to water
  • gleba (f.), soil

You read: i rów kopał w ziemi (and he was digging a ditch in the earth), aby w ten sposób nawadniać (in order to thus water) całą powierzchnię gleby (the entire surface of the soil).

Werset 7

  • ulepić (pf.), to form
  • z (+ gen.), from
  • proch (m.), dust
  • tchnąć (impf.), to breathe
  • nozdrze (n.), nostril
  • tchnienie (n.), breath
  • wskutek czego, because of this

In Pan Bóg ulepił człowieka (God formed man), you find the accusative człowieka. Note that the accusative form is the same as its genitive, seen in verse 5.

Following z, you find the genitive prochu, and, following this, the genitive ziemi. Z prochu ziemi is to be understood as from the dust of the earth, out of the dust of the earth.

God gave life to the man he had created: tchnął w jego nozdrza tchnienie życia (he was breathing into his nostrils the breath of life). Following w, you find the accusative plural nozdrza; the accusative following w conveys movement. Jego means his.

From Rdz 1:30, you will recall that the neuter życie means life; its genitive form is życia. From Rdz 1:20, you will also remember that istota żywa means living creature; in the current verse, you find the instrumental form istotą żywą. You read: stał się człowiek istotą żywą (man became a living creature).

Werset 8

  • zasadzić (pf.), to plant
  • ogród (m.), garden
  • wschód (m.), east
  • tam, there

In Rdz 1:7, you encountered uczyniwszy, meaning having made. In the current verse, you can understand zasadziwszy as meaning having planted.

You find the locative case in na wschodzie (in the east).

You will recall, from Rdz 1:17, the meaning of the perfective verb umieścić as to place, when you encountered: i umieścił je Bóg na sklepieniu nieba (and God placed them in the firmament of the heaven). In the current verse, you read: Pan Bóg umieścił tam człowieka, którego ulepił (the Lord God placed there the man whom he [had] formed).

Werset 9

  • rozkaz (m.), command
  • wyrosnąć (pf.), to grow
  • miły, nice, pleasant
  • wygląd (m.), look, appearance
  • smaczny, savoury, delicious
  • poznanie (n.), knowledge
  • dobro (n.), good, right
  • zło (n.), evil, wrong

Na rozkaz Pana Boga is to be understood as by the command of the Lord God, where Pana Boga is in genitive form.

You will recall that the Polish for tree is the neuter drzewo. Out of the soil (z gleby) grew all the trees that were miłe z wyglądu (pleasant in appearance) and smaczny owoc rodzące (bearing delicious fruit; delicious-fruit bearing).

The Polish for tree of life is drzewo życia. Drzewo poznania dobra i zła is the Polish for tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree was in the middle of Eden: w środku tego ogrodu (in the middle of this garden).

Werset 10

  • wypływać (impf.), to flow out
  • rzeka (f.), river
  • stamtąd, from there
  • rozdzielać (impf.) się, to divide oneself
  • cztery, four

You read that a river flowed out of Eden: z Edenu wypływała rzeka (out of Eden was flowing a river). You also read that it split into four: stamtąd się rozdzielała (from there it was dividing itself) dając początek czterem rzekom (giving rise [beginning] to four rivers). Czterem rzekom is in dative plural form.

Dając, from the imperfective verb dawać (meaning to give and first encountered in Rdz 1:11), takes the same ending as widząc, mówiąc and stwarzając.

Werset 11

  • nazwa (f.), name
  • okrążać (impf.), to go around
  • kraj (m.), country, land
  • gdzie, where
  • znajdować (impf.) się, to be found
  • złoto (n.), gold

You will recall from Rdz 1:5 that the adjective pierwszy means first. In the current verse, the feminine pierwsza is used as a noun meaning the first one; more precisely, you find nazwa pierwszej (the name of the first one), where pierwszej is the genitive form of the nominative pierwsza. The feminine form is used because it refers back to rzeka, a feminine noun.

The name of the first river is Piszon. You read: jest to ta (it is this one; this is the one), która okrąża cały kraj Chawila (which goes around the entire land of Havilah) gdzie się znajduje złoto (where gold is found; literally, where gold finds itself).

Werset 12

  • kraina (f.), land
  • znakomity, splendid
  • także, also
  • wonny, fragrant
  • żywica (f.), resin
  • kamień (m.), stone
  • czerwony, red

You will recall that ów means the said, the aforementioned, or simply that; its feminine form is owa. In the text, you find owej, which is the genitive form of owa. You read: a złoto owej krainy jest znakomite (and the gold of that land is splendid).

You should be able to make out the sense of the rest of the verse with the aid of the vocabulary listed above. You can understand kamień czerwony as referring to a precious stone.

You have seen, up to this point, two adjectives of colour in Polish: zielony (green), czerwony (red).

Werset 13

This verse does not present any new vocabulary.

You find druga in its genitive form, which is drugiej; also in genitive form is rzeki, from the nominative rzeka: nazwa drugiej rzeki (the name of the second river).

You read that the second river is called Gichon, and that it goes around the entire land of Kusz.

Werset 14

  • płynąć (impf.), to flow

You learn the names of the third and fourth rivers: Chiddekel and Perat. Chiddekel is identified as the Tygrys (Tigris), and Perat as the Eufrat (Euphrates).

(m.) pierwszy, drugi, trzeci, czwarty
(n.) pierwsze, drugie, trzecie, czwarte
(f.) pierwsza, druga, trzecia, czwarta

rzeka pierwsza
rzeka druga
rzeka trzecia
rzeka czwarta

nazwa pierwszej rzeki
nazwa drugiej rzeki
nazwa trzeciej rzeki
nazwa czwartej rzeki

You may wish to consult the following: Polish cardinal numbers and Polish ordinal numbers.

You read where the Chiddekel flows: płynie ona na wschód od Aszszuru. In verse 8, you encountered na wschodzie (in the east); now, in the current verse, na wschód od is to be understood as to the east of. Aszszuru is in genitive form, from Aszszur (Asshur, or Assyria).

Werset 15

  • wziąć (pf.), to take
  • zatem, and so, therefore
  • doglądać (impf.), to look after

Work through this verse with the aid of the new vocabulary listed above, and by recalling the meaning of these verbs already encountered: umieścić (pf., to place), uprawiać (impf., to till).

Werset 16

  • przy (+ loc.), next to
  • dać (pf.), to give
  • taki (m.), such, the following
  • móc (impf.), to be able, may
  • spożywać (impf.), to consume
  • upodobanie (n.), fancy, liking

A przy tym translates literally as and next to this; you can understand it as meaning and, also.

Człowiekowi is in dative form. Pan Bóg dał człowiekowi is to be understood as the Lord God gave to the man. In Rdz 1:11, you encountered the imperfective dawać (to give); you now find here the perfective dać.

You first encountered the masculine noun rozkaz in verse 9.

You will have understood that z wszelkiego drzewa tego ogrodu means of every tree of this garden; take note of the succession of genitive forms.

The final part of this verse is to be understood as follows: możesz (you may) spożywać (consume) według upodobania (as you please). You will recall that według means according to, and is followed by the genitive. Według upodobania can be understood more literally as according to (your) liking.

Werset 17

  • ale, but
  • nie wolno, it is not allowed
  • jeść (impf.), to eat
  • niechybnie, without fail, surely
  • umrzeć (pf.), to die

Ci (unto you) is the dative form of ty (you). Nie wolno ci jeść is to be understood as you are not allowed to eat (more literally, it is not allowed unto you to eat). That of which the man must not eat is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: z drzewa poznania dobra i zła.

Werset 18

  • dobrze, well
  • sam, alone
  • odpowiedni, suitable
  • pomoc (f.), help

God says that it is not good that man be alone: nie jest dobrze, żeby mężczyzna był sam.

Uczynię, from the perfective verb uczynić, is to be understood as I shall make. Uczynię mu means I shall make for him, where the dative mu (from the nominative on) can most often be understood as meaning unto him.

In the remainder of the verse, God says that he will make a suitable helper for the man. You will recall that dla is followed by the genitive; dla niego means for him, where niego is the genitive form of on.

The nominative pomoc takes the same form in the accusative. As for the nominative feminine adjective odpowiednia, it becomes odpowiednią in the accusative.

You read: uczynię mu zatem (I shall therefore make for [unto] him) odpowiednią dla niego pomoc (a suitable for him help; that is, a help suitable for him).

Werset 19

  • lądowy, (of the) land
  • ptak (m.), bird
  • przyprowadzić (pf.), to bring
  • przekonać (pf.) się, to ascertain
  • każdy, every
  • jednak, however
  • określić (pf.), to designate
  • otrzymać (pf.), to receive

Ulepiwszy (having formed) is similar in form to uczyniwszy and zasadziwszy, already encountered.

Zwierzę (animal), which you have also already encountered, is a neuter noun, and its plural form is zwierzęta; the accusative forms are also zwierzę and zwierzęta.

The adjective powietrzny means (of the) air, whereas lądowy means (of the) land. In jaką on da im nazwę, you find the perfective verb dać (to give).

You read: ulepiwszy z gleby (having formed from the soil) wszelkie zwierzęta lądowe (all land animals) i wszelkie ptaki powietrzne (and all air fowls), Pan Bóg przyprowadził je do mężczyzny (the Lord God brought them unto the man), aby przekonać się (in order [for him] to determine), jaką on da im nazwę (what name he will give to them).

Because zwierzę is a neuter noun, you find the neuter form of verb otrzymało in the text. You read: każde […] zwierzę […] otrzymało nazwę “istota żywa” (every animal received the name “living creature”). Każde is also in neuter form.

każdy (m.)

Werset 20

  • znaleźć (pf.) się, to be found

Znaleźć się (literally, to find oneself) is the perfective form of znajdować się, which you encountered in verse 11. It is to be understood as meaning to be found.

Take note of the dative (equating to the English [un]to) in the following: i tak (and thus) mężczyzna dał nazwy (the man gave names) wszelkiemu bydłu (to all the cattle), ptakom powietrznym ([to all] the air birds) i wszelkiemu zwierzęciu polnemu (and to all the field animals), ale nie znalazła się pomoc odpowiednia (but a suitable help was not found) dla mężczyzny (for the man).

Reminder: You can search Wiktionary and Wikisłownik for declensions. A selection of declensions can also be found on this very site.

Werset 21

  • sprawić (pf.), to cause, to bring about
  • pogrążyć (pf.) się, to sink
  • głęboki, deep
  • sen (m.), sleep
  • spać (impf.), to sleep
  • wyjąć (pf.), to remove, to take out
  • żebro (n.), rib
  • zapełnić (pf.), to fill

Głęboki sen means deep sleep; you find it in locative form in this verse: wtedy to Pan sprawił (and then the Lord brought about), że mężczyzna (that the man) pogrążył się (sank) w głębokim śnie (in a deep sleep).

In the portion i gdy spał wyjął jedno z jego żeber, the subject of spał is mężczyzna, whereas the subject of wyjął is Pan Bóg; that is: i gdy [mężczyzna] spał (and when the man was sleeping) wyjął [Pan Bóg] jedno z jego żeber (the Lord God removed one of his ribs).

Zapełnić is the perfective equivalent of zapełniać, encountered in Rdz 1:22. You read that God filled with flesh the place from where the rib had been taken: a miejsce to zapełnił ciałem (and this spot he was filling with flesh). You first encountered ciało in Rdz 1:14, in ciało niebieskie (heavenly body); in the current verse, you can understand ciało (which you find in its instrumental form ciałem) in the sense of flesh. Recall that the neuter miejsce means place, spot.

Werset 22

  • zbudować (pf.), to construct, to create

From the rib (z żebra), God created the woman: zbudował niewiastę. A gdy ją przyprowadził do mężczyzny is to be understood as and when he (God) brought her unto the man.

Werset 23

  • powiedzieć (pf.), to say
  • to jest dopiero, now (indeed) this is
  • kość (f.), bone
  • zwać (impf.) się, to be called

Kością and ciałem are in instrumental form, following the verb być (to be). It may help to think of these instrumental forms as meaning as bone and as flesh, although this as would not be expressed in English:

ta dopiero jest
now indeed this one is

kością z moich kości
(as) bone of my bones

i ciałem z mego ciała
and (as) flesh of my flesh

In the above, ta refers to the woman; it can be understood as a feminine form of this one. You find the genitive plural in z moich kości (of my bones) and the genitive singular in z mego ciała (of my flesh). Reminder: you can consult the declension of Polish possessive pronouns here.

Ta będzie się zwała niewiastą means this one shall be called woman.

In verse 1, you encountered the passive zostały ukończone (were finished; got finished). Now, in the current verse, you find the passive została wzięta (was taken; got taken). You will recall that the perfective verb wziąć, first encountered in verse 15, means to take. You read: bo ta (for this one) z mężczyzny (from man) została wzięta (was taken; got taken).

Werset 24

  • dlatego, therefore, that is why
  • opuszczać (impf.), to leave
  • ojciec (m.), father
  • matka (f.), mother
  • łączyć (impf.) się, to unite oneself
  • z (+ instr.), with
  • żona (f.), wife
  • ściśle, closely
  • stawać (impf.) się, to become

As you will have perhaps deduced from the text, the accusative forms of ojciec and matka are ojca and matkę. You read: dlatego to (this is why) mężczyzna opuszcza (man leaves) ojca swego (his father) i matkę swoją (and his mother).

Ze is a spelling variant of z, used to alleviate pronunciation before certain consonants. It is followed by the instrumental case here; ze swą żoną is to be understood as with his wife. You read: i łączy się (and he unites himself) ze swą żoną (with his wife) tak ściśle (so closely), że stają się (that they become) jednym ciałem ([as] one flesh). You will have perhaps recognised the instrumental case in jednym ciałem.

Werset 25

  • chociaż, although
  • nagi, naked
  • odczuwać (impf.), to feel
  • wobec (+ gen.), towards
  • wstyd (m.), shame

Although the man and woman were naked, they did not feel shame. The man was naked: nagi (masculine singular), as was the woman: naga (feminine singular); together, they were nadzy (masculine plural). You read: chociaż mężczyzna (although the man) i jego żona (and his wife) byli nadzy (were naked), nie odczuwali (they were not feeling) wobec siebie (towards one another) wstydu (any shame).