Polish language series: Rdz 16, pierworodny syn Abrama

In this post, you will study the Polish text of Rdz 16, or the sixteenth chapter of the book of Genesis, where the subject matter is pierworodny syn Abrama (firstborn son of Abram). His firstborn was Izmael (Ishmael).

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

Read Rdz 16

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 16. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Wersety 1-3

  • łono (n.), womb
  • usłuchać (pf.), to heed, to follow
  • rada (f.), advice
  • minąć (pf.), to elapse, to pass
  • odkąd, since

Review: żona (f., wife), urodzić (pf., to bear), jednak (however), potomek (m., descendant), niewolnica (f., female slave, maidservant), Egipcjanka (f., Egyptian woman), imię (n., name), zamknąć (pf., to close, to shut), rodzić (impf., to bear), zbliżyć się (pf., to draw near, to come unto), może (perhaps), dziecko (n., child), wziąć (pf., to take), mąż (m., husband), osiedlić się (pf., to settle).

Sarai is barren; in Polish, she describes this as God having closed her womb. In verse 2, she says to her husband: ponieważ Pan zamknął mi łono (because the Lord has closed my womb; literally, because the Lord has closed the womb unto me), abym nie rodziła (such that I bear not), zbliż się do mojej niewolnicy (draw near to my maidservant; come unto my maidservant).

You will recall that the perfective zbliżyć się (and imperfective zbliżać się) is used in the Polish Bible to refer to the act of having carnal relations, in the same way that the English Bible uses to know or to go in unto. In the remainder of verse 2, Sarai explains why she instructed her husband to “draw near to” or “come unto” her maidservant: może z niej będę miała dzieci (perhaps through [from] her I shall have children).

The maidservant’s name is Hagar. In verse 3, you read that Sarai gives Hagar as a wife to her husband Abram: dała ją za żonę (she gave her as wife) mężowi swemu Abramowi (to her husband Abram). In the remainder of this same verse, you read that this occurred after the passage of ten years from the time when Abram had settled in Canaan: gdy już (when already) minęło (had passed) dziesięć lat (ten years), odkąd Abram osiedlił się (since Abram had settled) w Kanaanie (in Canaan). Note the use of the neuter minęło in conjunction with dziesięć lat.

Wersety 4-6

  • brzemienny, pregnant
  • lekceważyć (impf.), to disregard, to slight
  • pani (f.), mistress (as in female master)
  • doznawać (impf.), to experience, to meet with
  • zniewaga (f.), insult, affront
  • czuć (impf.) się, to feel, to perceive
  • sędzia (m.), judge
  • moc (f.), power
  • postąpić (pf.), to behave, to act
  • uważać (impf.), to consider
  • upokorzyć (pf.), to humiliate

Review: stać się (pf., to become), zacząć (pf., to begin, to start), sam (alone), przecież (yet, though), uciec (pf., to run away, to flee).

In verse 4, you read that the maidservant Hagar became pregnant: stała się brzemienną. After this occurred, she began to disregard her mistress Sarai: zaczęła lekceważyć swą panią. Note that the accusative of the nominative singular pani is panią.

Insulted and jealous, Sarai, in verse 5, complains to Abram and blames him for the result: przez ciebie (on account of you) doznaję zniewagi (I meet with insult); ja sama (I myself) dałam ci (gave you) moją niewolnicę za żonę (my maidservant as wife), ona zaś (whereas she) czując się brzemienną (perceiving herself pregnant), lekceważy mnie (slighted [slights] me). She also says: niechaj Pan (may the Lord) będzie sędzią (be judge) między mną a tobą (between me and you).

In verse 6, Abram reminds his wife that the maidservant is under her control and to behave towards her (postąp z nią) as she sees fit (jak będziesz uważała za dobre). Hagar, after the harsh treatment of her mistress towards her, flees: Hagar od niej uciekła (Hagar fled from her).

Wersety 7-9

  • anioł (m.), angel
  • pański, lordly, lord’s
  • wieść (impf.), to lead
  • skąd, from where
  • dokąd, whereto
  • pokornie, humbly, submissively
  • poddać (pf.) się, to submit oneself

Review: znaleźć (pf., to find), pustynia (f., desert), źródło (n., spring, source), droga (f., way, road), przy (near, next to), zapytać (pf., to ask), przyjść (pf., to arrive, to come), iść (impf., to go), wrócić (pf., to return), władza (f., power, rule).

Anioł Pański, from verse 7, can be understood as meaning angel of the Lord (literally, lordly angel). You read where the angel found Hagar: na pustyni (in the desert) u źródła (at a spring) przy drodze wiodącej do Szur (next to the road leading to Shur).

wieść, to lead
wiodąca, leading (feminine singular)

przy (+ loc.), near, next to

przy drodze wiodącej
next to the road leading

You find an example of the vocative in verse 8, when the angel asks: Hagar, niewolnico Saraj (Hagar, maidservant of Sarai), skąd przyszłaś (from where have you arrived) i dokąd idziesz (and [to] where are you going)? When Hagar explains that she fled from her mistress, God tells her: wróć do twej pani (return to your mistress) i pokornie poddaj się (and humbly submit yourself) pod jej władzę (under her rule).

Wersety 10-12

  • oznajmić (pf.), to state, to announce
  • rozmnożyć (pf.), to multiply
  • nie można, it is impossible to
  • słyszeć (impf.), to hear
  • onager (m.), onager, wild ass
  • walczyć (impf.), to fight
  • utrapienie (n.), nuisance, trouble
  • pobratymiec (m.), kinsman

Review: policzyć (pf., to count), człowiek (m., man; pl. ludzie), dziki (wild), przeciwko (against), wszystek (all, every).

Rozmnożę, from verse 10, is to be understood as I shall multiply. You find more perfective future forms in verse 11, where you read: urodzisz syna (you will bear a son), któremu dasz imię Izmael (to whom you shall give the name Ishmael). In the remainder of verse 11, you find byłaś upokorzona. Recall from verse 6 that the perfective verb upokorzyć means to humiliate.

In verse 12, the man of which the angel speaks is Hagar’s future son Ishmael. The angel says that Ishmael will be wild like the onager; he will fight all, and all will fight him: a będzie to człowiek (and this man shall be) dziki jak onager (wild like the onager): będzie on walczył (he will be fighting) przeciwko wszystkim (against all) i wszyscy — przeciwko niemu (and all [will be fighting] against him); będzie on utrapieniem swych pobratymców (he shall be the affliction of his kinsmen).

Wersety 13-16

  • przemawiać (impf.), to speak, to appeal
  • tyś (jest) = ty jesteś
  • widzialny, visible
  • studnia (f.), well

Review: nazwać (pf., to call), wszak (after all), tu (here), widzieć (impf., to see), żywy (living), dlatego (therefore), znajdować się (impf., to be found), zrodzić (pf., to beget).

From verse 13, Hagar nazwała Pana przemawiającego do niej is to be understood as Hagar called the Lord speaking unto her. Przemawiający takes the accusative form przemawiającego to agree with the accusative Pana to which it refers. The name of which she made confession, in Polish, was Tyś Bóg widzialny (You are the Visible God) because God had permitted himself to be seen. Wszak tu widziałam Widzącego mnie is to be understood as after all I was seeing here he who is seeing me.

From verse 14: jest to ta (it is this one; this is the one), która znajduje się pomiędzy Kadesz i Bered (which is found between Kadesh and Bered).

In verse 15, you read: i Abram nazwał (and Abram called) zrodzonego mu przez Hagar syna (the son begotten unto him by Hagar) imieniem Izmael (by the name Ishmael). Zrodzony takes the accusative form zrodzonego to agree with the accusative syna to which it refers.

You may wish to review Polish cardinal numbers, such as osiemdziesiąt sześć in the final verse of this chapter, where you read that Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael.