Polish language series: Rdz 8, przymierze Boga z Noem

In the Polish text of Rdz 8, or the eighth chapter of the book of Genesis, you continue to read about the flood. Recall from previous readings that the Polish for flood is the masculine noun potop. In this chapter, you will also begin reading about przymierze Boga z Noem (God’s covenant with Noah). The neuter noun przymierze means covenant; przymierze Boga translates as the covenant of God. Noah’s Polish name (Noe) becomes Noem (instrumental) following z (with): z Noem (with Noah).

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Read Rdz 8

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 8. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Werset 1

  • pamiętać (impf.), to remember
  • powiać (pf.), to blow
  • opadać (impf.), to abate, to decrease

This first verse begins: ale Bóg, pamiętając (but God, remembering) o Noem (about Noah), o wszystkich istotach żywych (about all living creatures) i o wszystkich zwierzętach (and about all animals), które z nim były w arce (which were with him in the ark). Note the use of o with the verb pamiętać, followed by the locative.

Noe (Noah)
pamiętając o Noem
remembering about Noah

wszystkie zwierzęta (all animals)
pamiętając o wszystkich zwierzętach
remembering about all animals

In the remainder of this first verse, you find a number of usages already encountered in your readings: the perfective verb sprawić (to cause, to bring about), first seen in Rdz 2:21; the masculine noun wiatr (wind), first seen in Rdz 3:8; and the perfective verb zacząć (to start, to begin), first seen in Rdz 4:26. You read: [Bóg] sprawił, że powiał wiatr (God caused that blew; that is, God caused to blow) nad całą ziemią (over the entire earth) i wody zaczęły opadać (and the waters began to abate).

Note the instrumental following nad:

cała ziemia
the entire earth

nad całą ziemią
over the entire earth

Wersety 2-4

  • zbiornik (m.), reservoir
  • przestać (pf.), to desist, to stop
  • ustępować (impf.), to withdraw
  • powoli, slowly
  • lecz, but
  • nieustannie, continually
  • upływ (m.), passage
  • obniżyć (pf.) się, to lower, to drop
  • osiąść (pf.), to settle down

Review: zamknąć (pf., to close, to shut), bowiem (for, because), otchłań (f., abyss, deep), deszcz (m., rain), padać (impf., to fall), miesiąc (m., month), góra (f., mount, mountain).

In verse 2, you read: zamknęły się bowiem zbiorniki Wielkiej Otchłani (for the reservoirs of the Great Deep shut) tak, że deszcz przestał padać z nieba (so that the rain stopped falling from the heaven); that is, because the the reservoirs of the Great Deep had shut, the rain stopped falling from the heaven.

You may wish to review Polish cardinal numbers and Polish ordinal numbers. In verses 3 and 4, you find: sto pięćdziesiąt (one hundred and fifty), siódmy (seventh), siedemnasty (seventeenth).

In verse 3, you read that the waters withdrew slowly but steadily: wody ustępowały (the waters withdrew [were withdrawing]) z ziemi (from the earth) powoli (slowly), lecz nieustannie (but continually; but steadily). The waters dropped after one hundred and fifty days: i po upływie stu pięćdziesięciu dni (and after the passage of one hundred and fifty days) się obniżyły (they lowered). Following po, you find upływ inflected for the locative as upływie. You also find here sto pięćdziesiąt inflected for the genitive as stu pięćdziesięciu.

In verse 4, you read that the ark settled after the abatement of the waters: miesiąca siódmego (in the seventh month), siedemnastego dnia miesiąca (on the seventeeth day of the month) arka osiadła na górach Ararat (the ark settled in the Ararat mountains). Górach, following na, is the locative plural form of góra. Note how Polish uses the genitive in miesiąca siódmego and siedemnastego dnia miesiąca to communicate what English does with the prepositions in and on.

miesiąc siódmy
seventh month

miesiąca siódmego
in the seventh month

siedemnasty dzień miesiąca
seventeenth day of the month

siedemnastego dnia miesiąca
on the seventeenth day of the month

Wersety 5-7

  • aż do (+ gen.), up to, as far as
  • dziesiąty, tenth
  • szczyt (m.), peak, mountaintop
  • okno (n.), window
  • przedtem, before, previously
  • wypuścić (pf.), to release, to let out
  • kruk (m.), raven
  • wylatywać (impf.), to fly out
  • zaraz, at once, immediately
  • wracać (impf.), to come back, to return
  • dopóki, until
  • wyschnąć (pf.), to dry up

In verse 5, you find wciąż again (first seen in Rdz 6:5), which, like nieustannie, means continually. As for opadała, its infinitive form was encountered in verse 1 above. You read: woda wciąż opadała (the water abated [was abating] continually) aż do miesiąca dziesiątego (until the tenth month). Ukazać się (pf., to appear) was first seen in Rdz 1:9, where you read: niech się ukaże powierzchnia sucha (let the dry surface appear). The second sentence of verse 5 is to be understood as follows: w pierwszym dniu (on the first day) miesiąca dziesiątego (of the tenth month) ukazały się szczyty gór (the peaks of the mountains appeared).

From verse 6, a po czterdziestu dniach means and after forty days. As for otworzywszy, this is to be understood as meaning having opened; the infinitive form of the verb is the perfective otworzyć (to open), which you have already seen a number of times now but only in reflexive form. Compare otworzywszy to similar forms already encountered: uczyniwszy (having made; Rdz 1:7), zasadziwszy (having planted; Rdz 2:8), ulepiwszy (having formed; Rdz 2:19), wygnawszy (having driven out; Rdz 3:24), przeżywszy (having lived; Rdz 5:8). You read: a po czterdziestu dniach (and after forty days) Noe, otworzywszy okno arki (Noah, having opened the window of the ark), które przedtem uczynił (which he [had] previously made).

In verse 7, you read that Noah sent out a raven: wypuścił kruka (he released a raven); ale ten (but this [one]) wylatywał i zaraz wracał (flew [was flying] off and immediately came [was coming] back), dopóki nie wyschła woda na ziemi (until the water dried up on the earth). In other words, the raven flew back and forth until the waters had dried up. Note the use of nie in dopóki nie wyschła woda (until the water dried up). This nie is not expressed in English.

Wersety 8-9

  • gołębica (f.), dove, pigeon
  • ustąpić (pf.), to withdraw
  • usiąść (pf.), to sit down, to perch
  • wrócić (pf.), to return, to come back
  • schwytać (pf.), to catch

In verse 8, you read that Noah also released a dove to determine whether or not the waters had withdrawn from the earth. Recall that the perfective verb przekonać się means to ascertain. Note the use of czy in this verse, which equates to the English whether (or not): aby się przekonać (in order to determine), czy ustąpiły wody (whether [or not] the waters had withdrawn; if the waters had withdrawn) z powierzchni ziemi (from the surface of the earth).

In verse 9, you find the perfective verb znaleźć (to find); you have seen this verb before, but in reflexive form only (Rdz 2:20). Znalazłszy is to be understood as meaning having found. Recall that the neuter miejsce means place, spot. The first half of verse 9 is to be understood as follows: gołębica (the dove), nie znalazłszy miejsca (not having found a spot), gdzie by mogła usiąść (where it could perch), wróciła do arki (returned to the ark). Mogła is the feminine, third-person singular of the past tense of the imperfective verb móc. As for perfective verb wrócić, you encountered its imperfective equivalent wracać in verse 7.

By replacing the ł ending of the third-person singular masculine past form of a perfective verb with wszy (after a vowel) or łszy (after a consonant), you obtain, for example:

uczyniwszy (having made)

ulepiwszy (having formed)

wygnawszy (having driven out)

znalazłszy (having found)

The perfective verb wyciągnąć, meaning to extend, was first encountered in Rdz 3:22. You will have understood that wyciągnąwszy rękę means having extended his hand. As for the perfective verb zabrać (to take [away]), you first encountered it in Rdz 5:24, where you read that God had taken Enoch away (that is, he took his life away): zabrał go Bóg (God took him away). In the current verse, you now read that Noah caught the dove and took her into the ark: schwytał ją i zabrał do arki (he caught her and took [her] into the ark).

Wersety 10-12

  • przeczekać (pf.), to wait
  • znów, again
  • nieść (impf.), to carry
  • dziób (m.), beak
  • świeży, fresh
  • listek (m.), little leaf, leaflet
  • oliwny, olive
  • opaść (pf.), to abate, to decrease
  • czekać (impf.), to wait
  • powrócić (pf.), to return, to come back

You read, in verse 10, that Noah releases the dove again after having waited another seven days. You will have understood that przeczekawszy means having waited.

The dove, in verse 11, returns to Noah: i ta (and this [one]) wróciła do niego (returned to him) pod wieczór (towards the evening). In her beak was an olive leaf: niosąc w dziobie (carrying in her beak) świeży listek (a fresh leaflet) z drzewa oliwnego (from an olive tree). Listek is the diminutive form of the masculine noun liść (leaf). The Polish for olive tree is drzewo oliwne. In the remainder of verse 11, you find the perfective verb opaść; its imperfective form opadać was encountered in verse 1. You read: poznał więc Noe (Noah therefore knew), że woda na ziemi opadła (that the water had abated).

opadać (impf., to abate)
woda opadała

the water was abating

opaść (pf., to abate)
woda opadła

the water abated

Verse 12 tells you that Noah waited another seven days (czekał jeszcze siedem dni, he waited yet seven days) before releasing the dove again (po czym wypuścił znów gołębicę, thereupon he released the dove again); this time, however, she did not return: ona już nie powróciła do niego (she did not return to him anymore).

Werset 13

  • zdjąć (pf.), to take off
  • dach (m.), roof
  • zobaczyć (pf.), to see
  • prawie, almost

The first half of this verse tells you when the waters dried up: w sześćset pierwszym roku (in the six hundred and first year), w miesiącu pierwszym (in the first month), w pierwszym dniu miesiąca (on the first day of the month).

The perfective verb wyschnąć, meaning to dry up, was first encountered in verse 7. Noe, zdjąwszy dach arki means Noah, having taken off the roof of the ark. You will remember that the Polish adjective suchy means dry.

Wersety 14-19

  • dwudziesty siódmy, twenty-seventh
  • przemówić (pf.), to address
  • wyjść (pf.), to exit
  • wyprowadzić (pf.), to bring forth
  • rozejść (pf.) się, to spread

This grouping of verses contains a good deal of language already encountered. Wyjdź is the second-person singular imperative of the perfective verb wyjść. You have now seen both the following:

wejdź do arki
enter the ark

wyjdź z arki
exit the ark

You encounter another second-person singular imperative in verse 17: wyprowadź, from the perfective verb wyprowadzić. The third-person singular wyszedł, from verse 18, and the third-person plural wyszły, from verse 19, are both past tense forms of the perfective verb wyjść. In the remainder of verse 19, review the following: różny (different, various), gatunek (m., kind, sort), poruszać się (impf., to move).

Understand also the following portions: tymi słowami (with these words, by these words); niechaj rozejdą się (may they spread); niech będą płodne (may they be fruitful); niech się rozmnażają (may they multiply; may they reproduce).

Werset 20

  • ołtarz (m.), altar
  • złożyć (pf.), to offer up
  • całopalny, burnt-offering

Review: zbudować (pf., to construct, to build), wziąć (pf., to take), ptak (m., bird), czysty (clean), ofiara (f., offering).

Zbudować ołtarz: to build an altar. Wziąwszy ze wszystkich zwierząt czystych means having taken of all the clean animals. Ofiara całopalna is the Polish for burnt offering. Złożył je w ofierze całopalnej is to be understood as he offered them up as a burnt offering. Na tym ołtarzu: on this altar.

Werset 21

  • poczuć (pf.), to smell
  • woń (f.), odour, scent
  • złorzeczyć (impf.), to curse
  • wzgląd (m.), account, consideration
  • młodość (f.), youth
  • nigdy, never

Review: miły (nice, pleasant), usposobienie (n., disposition), zły (evil), przeto (therefore), zgładzić (pf., to wipe out, to put to death), żyć (impf., to live), uczynić (pf., to do, to make).

This verse begins: gdy Pan poczuł miłą woń (when God smelled a pleasant scent). Miły, in its feminine form, is miła. Here, miła becomes miłą because it is in the accusative.

Nie będę już więcej złorzeczył is to be understood as I shall no more curse [be cursing]. Ze względu na means on account of, concerning. You read: nie będę już więcej złorzeczył ziemi (I shall no more curse [be cursing] the earth) ze względu na ludzi (on account of men).

God describes the character of man: bo usposobienie człowieka (for the disposition of man) jest złe (is evil) już od młodości (since [the time of] his youth). He then says: przeto (therefore) już nigdy nie zgładzę (I shall never again wipe out) wszystkiego, co żyje (everything that lives), jak to uczyniłem (as I have done).

Werset 22

  • jak długo, as long as
  • trwać (impf.), to last, to endure
  • siew (m.), sowing
  • żniwo (n.), harvest
  • mróz (m.), cold weather
  • upał (m.), hot weather
  • lato (n.), summer
  • zima (f.), winter

Review: zatem (and so, therefore), istnieć (impf., to exist), dzień (m., day), noc (f., night).

The verse begins: będą zatem istniały (they shall therefore exist), jak długo trwać będzie ziemia (for as long as the earth shall endure). In other words, for as long as the earth endures, they shall continue to exist.