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Should the above links ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.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

  • 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 (Egyptian woman), imię (n., name), zamknąć (pf., to close, to shut), rodzić (impf., to bear), zbliżyć się (pf., to draw near), 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).

You will recall that the perfective zbliżyć się (and imperfective zbliżać się) is often 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 her maidservant.

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 mężowi swemu Abramowi. 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.

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
  • 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; she also says that God will be the judge of her and her husband.

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 (near the road leading to Shur).

wieść, to lead
wiodąca, leading (feminine singular)

przy (+ loc.), near, next to

przy drodze wiodącej
near 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), 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 will 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.

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. The name of which she made confession, in Polish, was Tyś Bóg widzialny 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.

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).

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.