Polish language series: Rdz 14, Kedorlaomer

You will now study the Polish text of Rdz 14, or the fourteenth chapter of the book of Genesis, where the subject matter is wyprawa wojenna królów mezopotamskich (war expedition of the Mesopotamian kings). From this, learn the following: wyprawa (f., expedition), wojenny (martial, war), król (m., king), mezopotamski (Mesopotamian).

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Should the above links ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.

Wersety 1-3

  • król (m.), king
  • wszcząć (pf.), to begin, to start
  • wojna (f.), war
  • ostatni, last(-mentioned)
  • sprzymierzyć (pf.) się, to ally with
  • dziś, today
  • słony, salty

Review: czas (m., time), miasto (n., town, city), czyli (that is to say), dolina (f., valley), morze (n., sea).

A good deal of names appear in this first grouping of verses, few of which are in nominative form. Based on what you know of Polish declensions, try to determine what the nominative forms are. A few of these nominative forms appear in the notes below.

Verse 1 begins: za czasów Amrafela, króla Szinearu (in the times of Amraphel, the king of Shinar). The nominative forms here are Amrafel and Szinear. Take note that both Amrafel and król are in genitive position as Amrafela and króla. Amrafel and król Szinearu are the same person and serve the same grammatical function following za czasów.

za czasów Amrafela =
za czasów króla Szinearu

An additional of can be used in English to highlight this relationship, but this additional of would not normally be expressed in English: za czasów Amrafela, króla Szinearu (in the times of Amraphel, [of] the king of Shinar).

Running across verses 1 and 2, you read: Kedorlaomer, król Elamu (Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam) i Tidal, król Goim (and Tidal, the king of Goiim), wszczęli wojnę (started a war) z królem Sodomy, Berą (with the king of Sodom, Bera).

In z królem Sodomy, Berą, observe the declensions: z królem (instr.) Sodomy (gen.), Berą (instr.). Król Sodomy and Bera are the same person and serve the same grammatical function following z.

z królem Sodomy =
z Berą

An additional with can be used to highlight the relationship: z królem Sodomy (with the king of Sodom), Berą ([with] Bera).

In verse 3, you read: ci ostatni królowie (these last-mentioned kings) sprzymierzyli się z sobą (allied themselves with one another) w dolinie Siddim (in the Siddim Valley), gdzie dziś jest Morze Słone (where today the Salt Sea is). Morze Słone translates literally as Salty Sea.

You may wish to learn the following related vocabulary: sól (m., salt), cukier (m., sugar).

Wersety 4-7

  • lennik (m.), vassal
  • zbuntować (pf.) się, to revolt, to rebel
  • nadciągnąć (pf.), to come, to approach
  • pobić (pf.), to defeat, to beat
  • górzysty, mountainous, hilly
  • pogranicze (n.), borderland
  • pustynia (f.), desert
  • zawrócić (pf.), to turn back, to return
  • dotrzeć (pf.), to reach

Review: rok (m., year), dwanaście (twelve), trzynasty (thirteenth), toteż (and so, therefore), czternasty (fourteenth), wraz (together), inny ([an]other), równina (f., plain), aż do (unto, as far as), leżeć (impf., to lie), mieszkać (impf., to live).

You may wish to review Polish cardinal and ordinal numbers, several of which appear in these verses.

In verse 4, you read more about the kings: przez lat dwanaście (for twelve years) byli oni lennikami Kedorlaomera (they were vassals of Chedorlaomer). Lennikami is the instrumental plural declension of the nominative singular lennik. In the remainder of the verse, you read that they rebelled in the thirteenth year.

The peoples mentioned in verses 5-7 are: Refaici (Rephaims), Zuzyci (Zuzims), Emici (Emims), Choryci (Horites), Amalekici (Amalekites), Amoryci (Amorites).

From verse 5, pobili oni Refaitów w Aszterot-Karnaim means they defeated the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim.

In verse 6, you read where they defeated the Horites: w ich górzystym kraju Seir (in their hilly country Seir) aż do El (as far as El). You read where El was located: leżało na pograniczu pustyni Paran (it lay in the borderland of the Paran Desert; that is, it lay along the perimeter of the Desert of Paran).

From verse 7, dotarli do En-Miszpat means they reached Enmishpat. As for pobili […] Amorytów mieszkających w Chasason-Tamar, this means they defeated the Amorites living in Hazezontamar.

Wersety 8-12

  • uszykować (pf.) się, to prepare, to get ready
  • walka (f.), combat, struggle, fight
  • przeciwko (+ dat.), against
  • wiele, many, much
  • dół (m.), pit
  • wydobywać (impf.), to extract, to obtain
  • rzucić (pf.) się, to throw oneself
  • ucieczka (f.), escape, flight (as in the act of fleeing)
  • pozostały, remaining
  • uciec (pf.), to run away, to flee
  • zwycięzca (m.), victor
  • mienie (n.), possessions, property, goods
  • zapas (m.), stockpile, reserve
  • żywność (f.), food
  • uprowadzić (pf.), to abduct, to take captive

Review: wyruszyć (impf., to leave, to set out), smoła (f., pitch, tar), skryć się (pf., to hide oneself), góra (f., mount, mountain), zabrać (pf., to take away), mieszkaniec (m., inhabitant), odejść (pf., to leave, to depart), bratanek (m., fraternal nephew), dobytek (m., livestock; possessions).

In verse 9, czterej królowie przeciwko pięciu means four kings against five. Czterej is the masculine personal form of cztery.

Of the Siddim Valley, in verse 10, you read: było wiele dołów (there were many pits), [z których wydobywano] smołę (from which one extracted tar). In this same verse, you can understand rzuciwszy się do ucieczki as meaning having fled, and pozostali uciekli w góry as meaning the remaining ones fled to the mountains.

From verse 11, zabrawszy means having taken, from the verb zabrać.

In verse 12, you read that Lot was taken captive: uprowadzili również Lota (they also took Lot captive), bratanka Abrama (the [fraternal] nephew of Abram), wraz z dobytkiem (along with [his] possessions). You also read: był on bowiem mieszkańcem Sodomy (for he was an inhabitant of Sodom).

You may wish to review the following related vocabulary, which you first saw in the notes for Rdz 12: bratanek (m., fraternal nephew), bratanica (f., fraternal niece), siostrzeniec (m., sororal nephew), siostrzenica (f., sororal niece).

Wersety 13-14

  • zbieg (m.), fugitive
  • pobliże (n.), vicinity
  • sprzymierzeniec (m.), confederate, ally
  • usłyszeć (pf.), to hear
  • krewny (m.), relative
  • niewola (f.), slavery, servitude
  • dobrać (pf.), to select, to choose
  • najbardziej, the most
  • doświadczony, experienced, trained
  • rozpocząć (pf.), to initiate
  • pościg (m.), pursuit, chase

Review: przybyć (pf., to arrive), powiedzieć (pf., to say), Hebrajczyk (m., Hebrew), dąb (m., oak), pewien (a, one, a certain), trzysta osiemnaście (three hundred and eighteen), spośród (+ gen., from amongst), służba (f., servants, domestic staff), dom (m., house).

From verse 13, jeden ze zbiegów przybył means one of the fugitives came. Farther along in the verse, w pobliżu (+ gen.) means in the vicinity of, near.

You have seen krewny used as an adjective meaning related; in verse 14, you now find it used as a noun meaning relative. In this same verse, został uprowadzony means got taken captive. You will recall from the notes for the last grouping of verses that the perfective uprowadzić means to abduct, to take captive.

You also read in verse 14: dobrał sobie (he selected for himself) trzystu osiemnastu najbardziej doświadczonych (three hundred and eighteen of the most experienced) spośród służby swego domu (from amongst the servants of his house). Note the masculine personal accusative form trzystu osiemnastu.

Wersety 15-16

  • oddział (m.), squad, band, branch
  • napaść (pf.), to attack, to raid
  • nieprzyjaciel (m.), enemy, foe
  • zadać (pf.), to give
  • klęska (f.), defeat
  • ścigać (impf.), to pursue, to chase
  • odzyskać (pf.), to regain, to recover
  • powrót (m.), return

Review: podzielić (pf., to divide), ludzie (pl., people, men), zachód (m., west), w ten sposób (thus, in this manner), sprowadzić (pf., to bring), kobieta (f., woman), sługa (m., servant).

In verse 15, you read that Abram divided his men into bands. You also read: nocą napadł wraz z nimi na nieprzyjaciół (by night he attacked the enemy along with them). He was victorious: zadał im klęskę (literally, he gave defeat to them). In this same verse, you read where Hobah lies: leży na zachód od Damaszku (it lies to the west of Damascus). According to the commentary here (outbound link), Hobah lay to the north, not west, of Damascus. In the case, Polish would say: leży na północ od Damaszku (it lies to the north of Damascus). You will remember that the imperfective verb leżeć means to lie (as in to sit).

From verse 16, sprowadził na powrót Lota is to be understood as meaning he brought Lot back.

Wersety 17-21

  • zwycięstwo (n.), victory
  • odnieść (pf.), to gain, to to achieve
  • spotkanie (n.), meeting
  • królewski, royal, king’s
  • wynieść (pf.), to take out, to carry out
  • chleb (m.), bread
  • kapłan (m.), priest
  • najwyższy, highest, most high
  • stwórca (m.), creator
  • wróg (m.), enemy
  • część (f.), part, share, portion

Review: wracać (impf., to come back, to return), wyjść (pf., to go out, to exit), wino (n., wine), ponieważ (because), błogosławić (impf., to bless), błogosławiony (blessed), ręka (f., hand), wydać (pf., to bring forth), dziesiąty (tenth), oddać (pf., to grant, to yield), wziąć (pf., to take).

In verse 17, you read that king of Sodom went out to meet Abram: wyszedł mu na spotkanie (he went out to meet him) do doliny Szawe (at the Shaveh Valley), czyli Królewskiej (that is to say, the Royal [Valley]).

You read, in verse 18, that Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God: był on kapłanem Boga Najwyższego. From verse 20, Abram dał mu dziesiątą część ze wszystkiego means Abram gave him a tenth (literally, tenth part, tenth portion) of everything. In verse 21, the king of Sodom says: oddaj mi tylko ludzi (yield only the men unto me; give me back only the men), a mienie weź sobie (and take the goods for yourself).

Wersety 22-24

  • przysięgać (impf.), to swear, to take an oath
  • nitka (f.), thread
  • rzemyk (m.), leather strap
  • sandał (m.), sandal
  • należeć (impf.), to belong
  • wzbogacić (pf.), to enrich, to make rich
  • żądać (impf.), to demand
  • poza (+ instr.), except
  • wyżywienie (n.), food
  • oprócz (+ gen.), except
  • zdobyć (pf.), to acquire, to capture
  • towarzyszyć (impf.), to accompany
  • przypadać (impf.), to fall

Review: odpowiedzieć (pf., to reply), ani (neither, nor), nic (nothing), żeby (in order that), pójść (pf., to go, to lend oneself, to serve), otrzymać (pf., to receive).

In verse 23, Abram says to the king of Sodom that he will take neither thread, nor strap, nor anything that belongs to him. Wezmę means I shall take, from the perfective verb wziąć. Należy means it belongs, from the imperfective verb należeć. Żebyś potem nie mówił means in order that you not then say. As for to ja wzbogaciłem Abrama, this is to be understood as I have made Abram rich.

In verse 24, he says: ci niechaj otrzymają część, która im przypada (let them receive the portion which is owing [falling] to them).