Polish language series: Rdz 7, potop

You will now study the Polish text of the seventh chapter of the book of Genesis; in Rdz 7, God brings about a flood so as to destroy all that he has created on earth. You will recall that the Polish for flood is the masculine noun potop.

If you are arriving on this site for the first time, begin your study of the Polish language here (Rdz 1). In your study of Polish, you will use the Biblia Tysiąclecia as your source text. You can read the text of this Bible entirely online.

Before you begin your study of Rdz 7, you must access the verses on biblia.deon.pl below:

Consult text only

Consult text and audio

Should the above links ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.

Werset 1

  • rodzina (f.), family
  • wobec (+ gen.), before, in front of
  • pokolenie (n.), generation

The Lord tells Noah to board the ark with his family: wejdź wraz z całą twą rodziną do arki (enter the ark along with your entire family). From this portion of text, review the following usages: wejść (pf., to enter, to go into), wraz (together), cały (entire), arka (f., ark). After z, you find the instrumental; after do, you find the genitive.

From the remainder of the the verse, review the following usages: przekonać się (pf., to ascertain), tylko (only), prawy (righteous, just), wśród (amongst, amidst). God says: bo przekonałem się (for I have ascertained), że tylko ty jesteś wobec mnie prawy (that only you are righteous before me) wśród tego pokolenia (amidst [the people of] this generation). Recall that the genitive is used following wśród.

Wersety 2-3

  • czysty, clean
  • nieczysty, unclean
  • zachować (pf.), to maintain, to keep

Recall that the perfective verb wziąć means to take; its second-person singular imperative form is weź. Recall also the Polish for male and female: samiec and samica. In the first half of verse 2, you read: z wszelkich zwierząt czystych (of all the clean animals) weź z sobą siedem samców i siedem samic (take with you seven males and seven females). Note the use of the genitive plural samców and samic following siedem. In the remainder of verse 2, God continues: ze zwierząt zaś nieczystych (of the animals, on the other hand, that are unclean) po jednej parze (by the single pair): samca i samicę (a male and a female).

Clean beasts were those offered in sacrifice: oxen, sheep, goats; the unclean included camels, horses and donkeys (source).

From verse 3, review the following usages: również (also), ptactwo (n., fowl), w ten sposób (thus, in this manner), potomstwo (n., offspring). God tells Noah to also take of the fowl seven males and seven females so that their seed be preserved on the earth.

Wersety 4-5

  • spuścić (pf.), to release
  • padać (impf.), to fall
  • wyniszczyć (pf.), to destroy, to devastate
  • cokolwiek, whatever, everything that
  • spełnić (pf.), to fulfil, to accomplish

Za siedem dni is to be understood as in seven days. In seven days’ time, God says that he will make the rain pour down: spuszczę na ziemię deszcz (I shall release the rain onto the earth). Recall that the Polish for rain is the masculine deszcz.

Of the rain, God says: będzie padał czterdzieści dni i czterdzieści nocy (it will be falling forty days and forty nights). Note the use of the genitive plural dni and nocy following czterdzieści. In the remainder of verse 6, you will recall that the imperfective verb istnieć means to exist.

In verse 5, you read that Noah fulfilled all that God had commanded of him. Recall that the perfective verb polecić, first encountered in Rdz 6:22, means to instruct, to command.

Werset 6

  • nastać (pf.), to come about

You read that Noah was six hundred years old when the flood occurred. Recall that the Polish for to be x years old is mieć x lat, which translates literally as to have x years: ile masz lat? (how old are you?); mam trzydzieści dziewięć lat (I am thirty-nine years old). Lat is the genitive plural form of rok. You encountered other examples above using the genitive plural after the numeral.

Following dwa, trzy or cztery, things operate differently. The Polish for I am sixty-two years old, for example, is mam sześćdziesiąt dwa lata. In this example, lata is in the accusative plural. Similarly, I am three years old is mam trzy lata, and I am fifty-four years old is mam pięćdziesiąt cztery lata. Note, however, that following dwanaście, trzynaście and czternaście (12, 13, 14), the accusative plural lata would not be used in such examples because these do not end in dwa, trzy or cztery. It is the words dwa, trzy and cztery that matter, not the digits 2, 3 and 4.

mam sześćdziesiąt dwa lata
mam dwanaście lat
mam trzydzieści dziewięć lat

You can consult Polish cardinal numbers here.

Wersety 7-9

  • schronić (pf.) się, to take refuge
  • sztuka (f.), unit; head (of cattle, etc.)
  • rozkazać (pf.), to order, to command

From verse 7, wszedł is the masculine third-person singular of the past tense of the perfective verb wejść. Noe wszedł do arki means Noah entered the ark, Noah went into the ark. He went in with his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons. You also read in verse 7: aby schronić się przed wodami potopu (in order to take refuge from the waters of the flood). Przed (before, in front of) is followed by the instrumental here; recall that the Polish for water is the feminine woda.

Verse 8 presents no new vocabulary. You encounter the Polish for clean and unclean again, first seen in verse 2. You will remember from Rdz 1:24 that the imperfective verb pełzać means to crawl.

In verse 9, you read that the beasts also entered the ark: weszły do Noego, do arki (they went in unto Noah, into the ark).

Wersety 10-12

  • spaść (pf.), to fall
  • sześćsetny, six hundredth
  • miesiąc (m.), month
  • siedemnasty, seventeenth
  • właśnie, precisely, exactly
  • trysnąć (pf.), to gush
  • huk (m.), rumble, crash
  • źródło (n.), spring, source
  • otchłań (f.), abyss, deep
  • upust (m.), floodgate, sluice

The perfective verb upłynąć (to go by, to elapse) was amongst the first that you encountered in your study of the book of Genesis in Polish; recall that, in Rdz 1:5, you read: i tak upłynął wieczór i poranek (and thus went by evening and morning), dzień pierwszy (the first day). Now, in verse 10 of the current chapter, you read: a gdy upłynęło siedem dni (and when seven days went by), wody potopu spadły na ziemię (the waters of the flood fell onto the earth). Note that, as a noun phrase, siedem dni is neuter singular; this is reflected in the neuter singular upłynęło accompanying it.

Verse 11 begins: w roku sześćsetnym życia Noego (in the six hundredth year of life of Noah; that is, in Noah’s six hundredth year of life). Following w, you find the locative case. Verse 11 continues: w drugim miesiącu roku (in the second month of the year), siedemnastego dnia miesiąca (on the seventeeth day of the month). You can consult Polish ordinal numbers here.

Continuing along in verse 11, w tym właśnie dniu is to be understood as on that very day. You then read: trysnęły z hukiem (gushed with a rumble) wszystkie źródła (all of the springs) Wielkiej Otchłani (of the Great Deep). Recall that the perfective otworzyć się means to open oneself. In the remainder of verse 11, you read that the floodgates of heaven opened up. The plural of the nominative upust is upusty. The Polish for Great Deep, in nominative form, is Wielka Otchłań.

In verse 12, przez is to be understood as meaning for, as in przez czterdzieści dni (for forty days). Work through this verse on your own; consult the notes for verse 4, if necessary.

Wersety 13-14

  • skrzydło (n.), wing

I shall let you work through these two verses with little assistance; most of the usages contained within them have been encountered before. Note, nonetheless, the following: wraz z nimi means along with them; skrzydłami is the instrumental plural form of the nominative neuter skrzydło (this noun is related to the adjective skrzydlaty, meaning winged, first encountered in Rdz 1:21). Remember that you can search Wiktionary and Wikisłownik for declensions.

Wersety 15-16

  • zamknąć (pf.), to close, to shut
  • drzwi (pl.), door

When all had entered the ark, God shut the door: Pan zamknął (the Lord shut) za nim (behind him) drzwi (the door). Other usages in these two verses have been encountered; work through the text on your own.

Wersety 17-18

  • trwać (impf.), to last
  • wezbrać (pf.), to rise, to swell
  • podnieść (pf.), to lift
  • przybywać (impf.), to increase
  • coraz więcej, more and more
  • poziom (m.), level
  • podnieść (pf.) się, to rise
  • wysoko, high

You first encountered ponad in Rdz 1:7. Ponad followed by the accusative implies movement; otherwise, the locative is used. As for the imperfective verb płynąć (to flow), you first met it in Rdz 2:14. In the second half of verse 18, you read: arka płynęła po powierzchni wód (the ark was flowing along the surface of the waters).

Wysoko is related the feminine noun wysokość (height), seen in Rdz 6:15.

Wersety 19-20

  • coraz bardziej, more and more
  • zakryć (pf.), to cover
  • góra (f.), mount, mountain

In these two verses, you encounter the perfective podnieść się again, meaning to rise. You will recall from Rdz 6 that the masculine łokieć means elbow; as a measurement, it refers to the cubit. These verses tell you that the waters continued to increase, covering the mountains under the heaven; the waters rose fifteen cubits above the mountains.

Wersety 21-22

  • jestestwo (n.), living creature
  • mnóstwo (n.), multitude, host
  • ożywiać (impf.), to enliven
  • ląd (m.), land
  • zginąć (pf.), to perish

These two verses contain quite a few usages that you may need to review: poruszać się (impf., to move), inny (other), wielki (large, great), wyginąć (pf., to perish), wraz (together), ludzie (m.pl., people), nozdrze (n., nostril), tchnienie (n., breath), życie (n., life), żyć (impf., to live).

The masculine noun ląd (land), found in verse 22, is related to the adjective lądowy (of the land), first seen in Rdz 2:19.

With the aid of the vocabulary listed above, you may find that you are able to make sense of these two verses, despite their difficulty, without further help. Do your best to work out the declensions.

Wersety 23-24

  • wygubić (pf.), to exterminate, to destroy
  • doszczętnie, completely, utterly
  • wytępić (pf.), to exterminate, to destroy
  • pozostać (pf.), to remain, to stay

In verse 23, recall the meaning of the imperfective verb istnieć, which is to exist. As for od człowieka do bydła, this is to be understood as from man to cattle. Farther along in the verse, you then read: wszystko zostało doszczętnie wytępione z ziemi (everything was completely destroyed [got completely destroyed] from the earth). Verse 23 ends with the following: pozostał tylko Noe (only Noah remained) i to, co z nim było w arce (and that which was with him in the ark).

In the final verse of the chapter, przez sto pięćdziesiąt dni means for one hundred and fifty days. This is how long the waters remained at their highest elevation.