Polish language series: Rdz 6, zapowiedź potopu

You will now study the Polish text of the sixth chapter of the book of Genesis. The subject matter of this chapter includes: zepsucie moralne ludzkości (moral corruption of mankind), Boże postanowienie zagłady (God’s decision [Godly decision] of annihilation), zapowiedź potopu (announcement of the flood). Learn the following: zepsucie (n., depravation, corruption), moralny (moral), ludzkość (f., mankind), postanowienie (n., decision), zagłada (f., annihilation), zapowiedź (f., announcement), potop (m., flood).

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Read Rdz 6

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 6. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Wersety 1-2

  • człowieczy, human, of man
  • piękny, beautiful
  • brać (impf.), to take
  • za (+ acc.), for
  • podobać się (impf.), to appeal, to be pleasing

Verse 1 does not contain new vocabulary. Review the following: kiedy (when), ludzie (pl., people, men), zacząć (pf., to begin, to start), mnożyć się (impf., to multiply oneself, to reproduce), rodzić się (impf., to be born), córka (f., daughter). The plural of córka is córki. You read: a kiedy ludzie zaczęli (and when men began) się mnożyć na ziemi (to reproduce on the earth), rodziły im się córki (daughters were born [were being born] unto them).

córki, daughters
im, unto them
rodziły się, were (being) born

rodziły im się córki
daughters were born unto them
daughters were being born unto them

Because rodzić się is imperfective (ongoing action), it is better understood as meaning were being born in rodziły się. English does not always employ the imperfective where Polish does, however; it may use the simple past instead.

Verse 2 contains new usages; they are listed above. The plural of the masculine syn (son) is synowie; in the text, synowie Boga means the sons of God. You will recall having encountered widząc ([whilst] seeing) in Rdz 1. You read: synowie Boga (the sons of God), widząc, że córki człowiecze (seeing that the daughters of men; literally, seeing that the human daughters) są piękne (were [are] beautiful), brali je sobie (took [were taking] them unto themselves) za żony (as wives), wszystkie, jakie im się tylko podobały (all as unto them were pleasing only; that is, whichever ones were pleasing to them).

There is good deal of grammar in this portion to understand; for the moment, it may be best to limit yourself to the observations that follow.

Zaczęli and brali are masculine plural forms, whereas rodziły and podobały are feminine plural forms. Observe their endings.

Compare the following:

rodziły im się córki
daughters were being born unto them

rodzili im się synowie
sons were being born unto them

The adjective piękny takes different forms (as is normal for Polish adjectives). In the nominative singular, the three forms are: piękny (masculine), piękna (feminine), piękne (neuter). In the plural, the two nominative forms are piękni (masculine personal) and piękne (other). Consider the following:

córka piękna
beautiful daughter
(córka is a feminine noun; the adjective piękna in its feminine form agrees with it)

córki piękne
beautiful daughters
(córki is not a masculine personal plural [it is “other”]; the plural piękne is thus used)

Wersety 3-4

  • pozostawać (impf.), to stay, to remain
  • zawsze, always
  • na zawsze, forever
  • cielesny, carnal, of flesh
  • gigant (m.), giant
  • później, afterwards
  • zbliżać się (impf.), to draw near
  • mocarz (m.), powerful man
  • sława (f.), renown
  • dawny, former, distant

Może is the third-person singular of the present tense of the imperfective verb móc (may, to have to). Może means can; nie może means cannot. The first part of verse 3 reads: nie może pozostawać (cannot remain) duch mój (my spirit) w człowieku (in man) na zawsze (forever); that is, my spirit cannot remain in man forever. You first encountered the masculine duch in Rdz 1, in Duch Boży (Godly Spirit; that is, spirit of God).

Recall that the feminine istota means creature. You first encountered this noun in Rdz 1, in istota żywa (living creature). Continuing along in verse 3, you read: gdyż człowiek jest istotą cielesną (for man is a carnal creature; that is, for man is a creature of flesh). Istota cielesna means carnal creature in nominative form; in the text, in conjunction with the verb być (to be), you find it in instrumental form as istotą cielesną. It may help to understand this instrumental form as conveying the sense of as: człowiek jest istotą cielesną (man is [as] a carnal creature).

In the remainder of verse 3, you will recognise the third-person imperative through the use of niechaj. The imperfective verb żyć, which you have already met, means to live.  The third-person singular żyje means he lives; niechaj żyje, then, means may he live, let him live. You read: niechaj więc żyje (may he therefore live) tylko sto dwadzieścia lat (only one hundred and twenty years). You can consult Polish cardinal numbers here. You may also wish to review the many examples you saw in Rdz 5.

Verse 4 begins: a w owych czasach (and in those times). From this phrase, review the following: ów (that; the said), czas (m., time). Following w, you find the locative plural owych czasach. The plural of the masculine noun gigant is giganci. You read that, in those times, there were giants on the earth: a w owych czasach (and in those times) byli ([there] were) na ziemi (on the earth) giganci (giants).

In Rdz 4, you read that Adam knew his wife Eve (that is, they had carnal relations); in that chapter, you encountered the perfective zbliżyć się, meaning to draw near, to come unto, used euphemistically. In verse 4 of the current chapter, you now find its imperfective equivalent zbliżać się. Following do, you find the genitive plural córek człowieczych. You read: a także później (and also afterwards), gdy synowie Boga (when the sons of God) zbliżali się do córek człowieczych (were coming unto the human daughters; that is, unto the daughters of men), te im rodziły (these ones were bearing unto them). The feminine ta means this (one); its plural form te means these (ones). Te refers here to the daughters of men.

In the final sentence of verse 4, owi mocarze (those powerful men) is the plural form of ów mocarz (that powerful man). Mający sławę is to be understood as having renown (mający is formed from the imperfective verb mieć, meaning to have). You read: byli to więc owi mocarze (it was therefore those powerful men), mający sławę (having renown) w owych dawnych czasach (in those former times).

Wersety 5-8

  • niegodziwość (f.), wickedness
  • usposobienie (n.), disposition
  • wciąż, continually
  • zły, evil
  • żałować (impf.), to regret
  • zasmucić się (pf.), to be saddened
  • zgładzić (pf.), to wipe out, to put to death
  • żal (m.), regret, sorrow
  • darzyć (impf.), to bestow, to grant
  • życzliwość (f.), favour, kindness

Recall the meaning of wielki, which is great, large. In verse 5, you read: kiedy zaś Pan widział (but when the Lord saw [was seeing]), że wielka jest niegodziwość ludzi na ziemi (that the wickedness of men on earth was [is] great) i że usposobienie ich jest wciąż złe (and that their disposition was [is] continually evil). Because niegodziwość is a feminine noun, the feminine form wielka is employed so as to agree with it. As for the neuter usposobienie, it is qualified by the neuter form złe. Consider the nominative singular forms of these adjectives:

wielki (masculine)
wielka (feminine)
wielkie (neuter)

zły (masculine)
zła (feminine)
złe (neuter)

In verse 6, you read: żałował (he regretted [was regretting]), że stworzył ludzi (that he had made [that he made] men) na ziemi (on earth), i zasmucił się (and he was saddened).

Saddened by the wickedness of man, God, in verse 7, says that he will destroy him: zgładzę ludzi (I shall wipe out the men), których stworzyłem (whom I have created) z powierzchni ziemi (from the face of the earth). The feminine noun powierzchnia (surface, area) was first met in Rdz 1. Also encountered there were the names of the creatures mentioned in this verse to be destroyed by God. Żal mi is to be understood as I am regretful. You read: bo żal mi (for I am regretful), że ich stworzyłem (that I have created them).

In verse 8, you read that it was only Noah whom God favoured: [tylko] Noego (only Noah) Pan darzył (was the Lord bestowing) życzliwością (with favour).

Wersety 9-10

  • prawy, righteous, just
  • wyróżniać się (impf.), to distinguish oneself
  • nieskazitelność (f.), integrity, rectitude
  • współczesny, contemporary

With verse 9 begins the lineage of Noah. You will recall the meaning of the plural dzieje as history, which you first encountered in Rdz 2; oto means here is, this is, behold.

You read that Noah was a just man who, by nature of his integrity, distinguished himself amongst the people of his own generation: Noe, człowiek prawy (Noah, a righteous man), wyróżniał się nieskazitelnością (distinguished [was distinguishing] himself by his integrity) wśród współczesnych sobie ludzi (amongst the men contemporary to him). Wśród here is followed by the genitive in both the noun and corresponding adjective (both are genitive plural forms).

The remainder of verse 9 repeats language already studied in Rdz 5:22: w przyjaźni z Bogiem żył Noe (in amity with God lived [was living] Noah).

Verse 10 tells you that Noah was the father of three sons. Recall that the Polish for father is the maculine ojciec, which you find in this verse in instrumental form as ojcem. Note the genitive form trzech synów (of three sons). The names Sem, Cham and Jafet also take the genitive form as Sema, Chama and Jafeta.

Wersety 11-13

  • skazić (pf.), to corrupt
  • = że
  • niegodziwie, vilely, wretchedly
  • postanowić (pf.), to decide, to resolve
  • położyć (pf.), to place, to set down
  • kres (m.), end
  • pełny, full
  • wykroczenie (n.), transgression, offence
  • przeciw (+ dat.), against
  • zniszczyć (pf.), to destroy
  • wraz z, along with (+ instr.)

The Polish for eye is the neuter oko; its plural form is oczy. W oczach means in the eyes. In verse 11, you read: ziemia została skażona (the earth was corrupted) w oczach Boga (in the eyes of God). Została skażona means was corrupted, got corrupted; from the perfective verb skazić (to corrupt) comes skażony, which is found here in its feminine form skażona to agree with the feminine noun ziemia. Została skażona will remind you of a similar example seen in Rdz 2:23, where you encountered the following about Eve: ta z mężczyzny została wzięta (this [one] was taken out of man; got taken out of man).

From verse 12, wszyscy ludzie means all men, all people. Recall the meaning of the imperfective postępować as to act, to behave. You read: gdy Bóg widział (when God saw [was seeing]), iż ziemia jest skażona (that the earth was [is] corrupted), że wszyscy ludzie postępują (that all men were behaving [behave; are behaving; postępują is the third-person plural of the present tense]) na ziemi (on the earth) niegodziwie (vilely; wretchedly).

You will recall that the neuter istnienie means existence. In verse 13, położyć kres istnieniu wszystkich ludzi is to be understood as to put an end to the existence of all men: położyć kres (to put an end) istnieniu (to the existence) wszystkich ludzi (of all men). Postanowiłem means I have decided, I have resolved.

The verse then continues: bo ziemia jest pełna (for the earth is full) wykroczeń (of transgressions) przeciw mnie (against me). Note the agreement of ziemia and pełna, both feminine. Verse 13 ends: zatem zniszczę ich (therefore I shall destroy them) wraz z ziemią (along with the earth).

Werset 14

  • arka (f.), ark
  • żywiczny, resinous
  • przegroda (f.), compartment
  • powlec (pf.), to coat
  • smoła (f.), pitch, tar
  • wewnątrz, inside
  • zewnątrz, outside

Recall the meaning of the perfective verb zbudować, which is to construct, to build. Zbuduj is its second-person singular imperative form. In the first part of verse 14, God tells Noah to make an ark: ty zaś zbuduj sobie arkę z drzewa żywicznego (as for you, build [unto] yourself an ark from resinous wood). The adjective żywiczny derives from the feminine noun żywica, which is the Polish for resin.

God then tells Noah to equip the ark with rooms: uczyń w arce przegrody (make in the ark compartments; that is, make compartments in the ark). Uczyń is the second-person singular imperative form of the perfective verb uczynić, meaning to make. With the noun arka, note the change of consonant from k to c in the locative arce.

Noah is also instructed by God to cover the ark with pitch: powlecz ją (coat it) smołą (with pitch) wewnątrz i zewnątrz (inside and outside). Powlecz is the second-person singular imperative form of the perfective verb powlec (to coat).

Wersety 15-16

  • długość (f.), length
  • łokieć (m.), elbow; cubit
  • szerokość (f.), width
  • wysokość (f.), height
  • nakrycie (n.), covering
  • przepuszczać (impf.) to let pass
  • światło (n.), light
  • wysoki, tall
  • wejście (n.), entrance
  • boczny, lateral, side
  • ściana (f.), wall
  • dolny, lower, bottom

In verse 15, you meet the perfective verb wykonać again; it means to carry out, to execute. God says: a oto, jak masz ją wykonać (and this is how you have to execute it; that is, and this is how you must make it). Recall that masz (you have) is the second-person singular of the imperfective verb mieć; followed by the infinitive wykonać, it takes on the sense of you have to.

In the remainder of verse 15, God stipulates the measurements that the ark must take: długość arki (the length of the ark) must be trzysta łokci (three hundred cubits); jej szerokość (its width) must be pięćdziesiąt łokci (fifty cubits); wysokość jej (its height) must be trzydzieści łokci (thirty cubits). The noun łokci is the genitive plural; this will be explored farther along in your study.

From verse 16, przepuszczające światło is to be understood as meaning letting pass the light. You encounter again the perfective verbs sporządzić (to make, to prepare) and zrobić (to make, to do). In this verse, God tells Noah to make the covering of the ark a cubit tall, and to make the entrance to the ark in the side wall. You will recall that drugi and trzeci mean second and third. Verse 16 can be understood as follows: nakrycie arki (the covering of the ark), przepuszczające światło (letting pass the light), sporządzisz (you shall make) na łokieć wysokie ([to] a cubit tall) i zrobisz wejście (and you shall make the entrance) do arki (to the ark) w jej bocznej ścianie (in its side wall); uczyń przegrody (make compartments): dolną, drugą i trzecią (lower, second and third).

Wersety 17-19

  • sprowadzić (pf.), to bring
  • potop (m.), flood
  • istnieć (impf.), to exist
  • wyginąć (pf.), to perish
  • zawrzeć (pf.), to establish, to conclude
  • przymierze (n.), covenant
  • wejść (pf.), to enter, to go into
  • przeto, therefore
  • spośród (+ gen.), from amongst
  • wprowadzić (pf.), to usher, to bring, to conduct
  • para (f.), pair
  • samiec (m.), male
  • samica (f.), female
  • ocaleć (pf.), to escape, to save one’s life
  • zagłada (f.), annihilation

In verse 17, God says that he will cause a flood to occur: sprowadzę na ziemię potop (I shall bring a flood upon the earth) aby zniszczyć wszelką istotę pod niebem (in order to destroy every creature under the heaven). As for tchnienie życia (breath of life), you will remember having first encountered this in Rdz 2:7. W której jest tchnienie życia means in which there is the breath of life.

God continues, in verse 18, by telling Noah: z tobą zawrę przymierze (with you I shall establish a covenant). He tells Noah to enter the ark with his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons. Wejdź is the second-person singular imperative form of the perfective verb wejść (to enter, to go into): wejdź do arki (go into the ark). Note the instrumental forms (underlined) following z in: z tobą (with you), z synami twymi (with your sons), z żoną (with [your] wife) and z żonami twych synów (with the wives of your sons).

In the first half of verse 19, you read: spośród wszystkich istot żyjących (from amongst all living creatures) wprowadź do arki po parze (bring into the ark by the pair), samca i samicę (a male and a female). Wprowadź is the second-person singular imperative. Samca and samicę are accusative forms. In the remainder of the verse, wraz z tobą means along with you: aby ocalały wraz z tobą od zagłady (in order that they escape along with you from annihilation).

Wersety 20-22

  • nabrać (pf.), to take
  • żywność (f.), food
  • zgromadzić (pf.), to gather
  • u (+ gen.), at
  • pasza (f.), fodder
  • polecić (pf.), to instruct

Verse 20 presents no new vocabulary. You will recall that każdy means every, and that the masculine gatunek means sort, kind. Review also: ptactwo (n., fowl), bydło (n., cattle), zwierzę pełzające (n., creeping animal). Understand the following portions: z każdego gatunku ptactwa (from every sort of fowl); niechaj wejdą do ciebie (let them come in unto you); aby nie wyginęły (in order that they not perish).

From verse 21, review the following: nadawać się (impf., to be fit for), jedzenie (n., eating, food), pokarm (m., food). God tells Noah to take unto himself of all food that is fit to be eaten. Nabierz and zgromadź are second-person singular imperative forms. You read: a ty (and you) nabierz sobie (take unto yourself) wszelkiej żywności (of all food)wszystkiego, co nadaje się (of all that is fit) do jedzenia (for eating)i zgromadź u siebie (and gather [it] unto yourself), aby była na pokarm (in order that it be as food) dla ciebie (for you) i na paszę dla zwierząt (and as fodder for the animals).

In the final verse of this chapter, you read that Noah executed all that God had commanded him to do: i Noe wykonał wszystko (and Noah carried out everything) tak, jak Bóg (just as God) polecił mu uczynić ([had] instructed [unto] him to do).