Friulian language series: Esodo 12, lis plais dal Egjit

The twelfth chapter of the book of Exodus is relatively long. In addition to continuing to read about the tenth plague of Egypt, which is la muart dai prins nassûts (death of firstborns), you will also meet other subject matter, including: la pasche (Passover), la fieste dal pan cence levan (feast of unleavened bread) and lis regulis su la pasche (rules of the Passover). It is in this chapter that the departure from Egypt begins: Israel al partìs dal Egjit (Israel departs from Egypt).

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Read Esodo 12

To read the Friulian text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Bibie par un popul and consult Esodo 12. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-5

Vocabulary: il mês (month), il prin (first), un an (year), fevelâ (to speak), la int (people), dîs (ten), ognidun (each one, everyone, everybody), proviodisi (to provide for oneself, to supply for oneself), il cjâf (head), il besteam minût (sheep, lamb), la famee (family), la cjase (house), piçul (small, little), un nemâl (animal, beast), il trop (flock), metisi (to join), jessi a stâ (to live, to dwell), dongje (nearby), seont (according), il numar (number), la bocje (mouth), sielzi (to choose), daûr (according), mangjâ (to eat), il mascjo (male), la pecje (blemish), il roc (ram, [male] sheep), la cjavre ([female] goat).

You may wish to review Friulian cardinal numbers during your study of this twelfth chapter. With this initial grouping of verses, you begin to read about the Passover, or la pasche in Friulian. In verses 1 and 2, God tells Moses and Aaron that the current month shall be the first of all the months of the year: il prin di ducj i mês dal an. In verse 3, he tells them what they are to say the Israelites. Note the following imperatives: feveliur (speak to them), dîsiur (say to them).

fevele — feveliur
speak — speak to them

dîs — dîsiur
say — say to them

From verse 3, ai dîs di chest mês is to be understood as on the tenth of this month. Note that, unlike in English, the cardinal dîs (ten) is used here, rather than the ordinal decim (tenth). It is preceded by the plural ai (at the, on the), as in ai dîs (on the ten; that is, on the tenth). More examples: ai cutuardis di chest mês (on the fourteenth of this month), ai doi di fevrâr (on the second of February), etc.

Still in verse 3, ognidun che si proviodi can be understood as may everyone supply himself, let everyone provide himself. You find the coniuntîf presint used here. Compare:

si proviôt
che si proviodi
one provides for oneself
may one provide for oneself

The root of the verb proviodi (to provide, to supply) is viodi (to see). You have not yet observed the complete conjugation of viodi in the presint indicatîf, so take a moment to consider it now:

Presint indicatîf
Present indicative

o viôt
tu viodis
al viôt

e viôt

o viodìn
o viodês
a viodin

Un cjâf di besteam minût par famee, from verse 3, is to be understood as a single lamb per family. Sheep (and their young, the lamb) are a form of besteam minût (small livestock). In verse 5, it is stated that the animal must be di un an (one year old), meaning that it is a lamb that is called for, rather than an older adult sheep.

In verse 4, you read what is to occur if a family is too small to consume an entire lamb: they are to join with a neighbouring family. You read: se la famee e je masse piçule (if the family is too small) par un nemâl dal trop (for an animal from the flock), si metarà cun chel che al è a stâ plui dongje (it shall join with him who lives nearest).

The specifications of the lamb are given in verse 5: al sarà un mascjo (it shall be a male), cence nissune pecje (without any blemish), di un an (of one year [of age]).

Versets 6-10

Vocabulary: tignî (to keep), cutuardis (fourteen), la semblee (assembly, congregation, multitude), il popul (people), sacrificâ (to sacrifice), il lâ a mont dal soreli (sunset), cjoli (to take), une zumiele di (a handful of), il sanc (blood), meti (to put), la ante (jamb, doorpost), il frontâl (lintel), ta chê stesse gnot (on that same night), la cjar (flesh), rustî (to roast), il fûc (fire), il pan (bread), il levan (yeast), la jerbe (herb), amâr (bitter), crût (raw), bulî (to boil), la bore (ember), la talpe (leg [of animal]), la bultrime (intestines, entrails), vanzâ (to remain, to be left over), l’indoman (the following day), restâ (to remain, to be left over), brusâ (to burn).

From verse 6, understand the following: fint ai cutuardis di chest mês (until the fourteenth of this month), sul lâ a mont dal soreli (at sunset; literally, upon the setting of the sun).

In verse 7, you read that the blood of the lamb is to be applied to the two doorposts (lis dôs antis) and lintel (il frontâl) of the house in which it is eaten, using a bunch of hissop (see verse 22).

On that same night, as you read in verse 8, the flesh is to be eaten roasted on the fire (si mangjarà la cjar rustide sul fûc), along with unleavened bread (pan cence levan) and bitter herbs (jerbis maris). The standard Friulian for bitter is amâr (amare, in feminine form); you find a variant in the text.

More instructions are given in verse 9; the flesh is to be eaten neither raw (ni crude) nor boiled in water (ni bulide ta l’aghe), but roasted over the embers (rustide tes boris). In verse 10, you read that nothing is to be left over: nol à di vanzânt nuie pal indoman (nothing is to remain of it for the following day). If something is indeed left over, it is to be burnt: se ant reste pal indoman (if there remains of it for the following day), le brusarês tal fûc (you shall burn it in the fire).

Versets 11-14

Vocabulary: la cinturie (belt), i ombui (loins, hips; singular, ombul), il sandul (sandal), il pît (foot), il baston (staff, rod), la man (hand), in premure (in haste, in a rush), la pasche (Passover), passâ par (to pass through, to traverse), fruçâ (to destroy, to strike down), nassi (to be born), il prin nassût (firstborn), fâ sentence (to judge), il segnâl (sign, signal), passâ dret (to pass over, to continue on), sfiliâ (to brush against, to graze), il flagjel (calamity), la distruzion (destruction), vuaiâ (to smite), tignî in memorie (to remember), la fieste (feast), ricuardâ (to commemorate, to remember), la ete (age), di ete in ete (from one generation to the next; literally, from age to age), il decret (decree, ordinance), par simpri (forever).

From verse 11, understand the following: cu la cinturie sui ombui (with your belt on your loins), i sandui tai pîts (your sandals on your feet) e il baston in man (and your staff in hand).

In verse 13, you read that the blood applied to the doorposts and lintel will serve as sign to God to pass over the house and not destroy the firstborn. You read: il sanc al sarà par vualtris (the blood shall be for you) un segnâl su lis cjasis (a sign on the houses) là che o sês a stâ (there where you live). When God sees this sign, he will continue on: jo o passarai dret (I shall pass over) e vualtris no us sfiliarà il flagjel de distruzion (and the calamity of destruction shall not affect you) cuant che o vuaiarai l’Egjit (when I smite Egypt).

Versets 15-20

Vocabulary: siet (seven), la dì (day), di file (in a row), scomençâ (to start, to begin), fâ sparî (to make disappear), cerçâ (to taste), jevât (leavened), setim (seventh), la zornade (day), bandî (to proscribe), la cunvigne (convocation), sant (holy), la vore (work), dâ dongje (to gather), la spese (provisions), rispietâ (to observe, to keep; to respect), fâ saltâ fûr (to make come out, to bring forth), la schirie (host, army), la gjenerazion (generation), la sere (evening), vincjeun (twenty-one), cjatâsi (to be found), forest (foreign, from away), chenti (here), pardut là che (wherever, no matter where).

As you saw above, la fieste means feast. The feast of unleavened bread is referred to in Friulian as la fieste dal pan cence levan (literally, the feast of bread without yeast). The opposite of pan cence levan (unleavened bread) is pan jevât (leavened bread).

From verse 15, understand the following portions of text: par siet dîs di file (for seven days in a row), o fasarês sparî il levan des vuestris cjasis (you shall remove the yeast from your houses), chel che al cerçarà pan jevât (he who eats [tastes] leavened bread), al sarà bandît di Israel (he shall be proscribed from Israel). The sense of bandî is to set apart; in this way, al sarà bandît di Israel can also be taken he shall be set apart (excluded, cut off) from Israel.

In verse 17, you find: lis vuestris schiriis (your ranks, your armies). Lis schiriis refers to the people of Israel.

From verse 18, understand: la sere dai cutuardis dal mês (the evening of the fourteenth of the month), fint a la sere dal vincjeun dal mês (until the evening of the twenty-first of the month).

In verse 19, you read that no yeast is to be found in the houses: par siet dîs no si varà di cjatâ levan tes vuestris cjasis (for seven days yeast shall not be found in your houses; one shall not find yeast in your houses). You also read: chel che al mangjarà pan jevât (he who eats leavened bread) al sarà bandît dal popul di Israel (shall be proscribed from the people of Israel), che al sedi forest o ben nassût chenti (whether he be foreign or born here). See the note at verse 15 regarding bandî.

From verse 20, pardut là che o sarês a stâ means wherever you live (more literally, wherever you will live, no matter where you will dwell).

Versets 21-24

Vocabulary: un ordin (order), a rivuart di (regarding), un anzian (elder), il mac (bunch), l’issop (hyssop), meti in muel (to dip, to soak), il cjadin (basin), la puarte (door), fint a buinore (until morning), fûr par fûr (through and through, from one end to the other), cjastiâ (to punish), pestâ (to plague, to strike, to hit), jentrâ (to enter), la leç (law).

Recall that lait, from verse 21, is the second-person plural imperative form of the verb lâ. You read: lait a proviodisi besteam minût (go provide yourselves lambs). Regarding the meaning of besteam minût, see the notes for verse 3. Farther along in verse 21, sacrificait la pasche (literally, sacrifice the Passover) can be understood as meaning sacrifice (the lamb for) the Passover, kill (the lamb for) the Passover.

In verse 22, you read with what the blood is to be sprinkled: un mac d’issop (a bunch of hissop). The mac (bunch) is to be dipped in the blood, which is tal cjadin (in the basin).

In verse 23, you read again that God will pass over the houses where the blood has been sprinkled on the two door beams and lintel: al larà dret (he will pass over; he will continue on) e nol lassarà che chel che al peste al jentri tes vuestris cjasis a fruçâus (and he will not allow he who plagues to enter your houses to strike you down). Chel che al peste (he who strikes, he who plagues) is to be understood as the angel who brings the plague of the death of firstborns.

Versets 25-28

Vocabulary: imprometi (to promise), tignî sù (to uphold), la usance (rite, custom), rispuindi (to respond), il sacrifici (sacrifice), ventijù (down there), rangjâ (to bring down, to reduce), sparagnâ (to spare), butâsi in genoglon (to go down on one’s knees; also zenoglon), la muse (face), par tiere (on the ground), lâsint (to leave, to go away), ordenâ (to order, to command).

From verse 26, understand the interrogative form used: ce vuelie dî par vualtris cheste usance? (what does this rite mean for you?). Recall that volê dî means to signify, to mean (literally, to want to say).

cheste usance e vûl dî
ce vuelie dî cheste usance?
this rite means
what does this rite mean?

From verse 27, ventijù pal Egjit can be understood as meaning down there in Egypt.

Versets 29-34

Vocabulary: a miegegnot (at mignight; also miezegnot), fiscâ (to destroy), il faraon (pharaoh), sentâsi (to sit down), la sente (throne), la preson (prison), jevâ (to arise, to get up), vie pe gnot (during the night), compagn (likewise), il famei (servant), sintî (to hear), il berli (yell, outcry), il muart (dead person), clamâ (to call), cjapâsi sù (to arise), lontan (far), ufrî (to offer), benedî (to bless), sburtâ (to push), partî a la svelte (to hurry off, to rush off), murî (to die), cjapâ sù (to gather), la paste (dough), la panarie (breadbasket), invuluçâ (to wrap up, to envelop; also involuçâ), la manteline (cloak, robe), puartâ vie (to carry away), la spale (shoulder), su pes spalis (on one’s shoulders).

You read now about the execution of the tenth plague of Egypt: la muart dai prins nassûts (death of firstborns). Recall that the Friulian for plague is la plae (or plaie). From verse 29, understand the construction di… fint a (from… and including), as in il Signôr al fiscà ducj i prins nassûts (…) dal prin fi dal faraon (…) fint al prin fi di chel che al jere in preson e ai prins nassûts dal besteam (the Lord destroyed all the firstborns, from the first son of the Pharaoh, to the first son of he who was in prison, and to the firstborns of the livestock).

Also in verse 29, che al varès vût di sentâsi su la sô sente, which refers to the first son of the Pharaoh, is to be understood as meaning who would have sat on his throne (that is, who would have been heir to his throne [heir to the throne of the Pharaoh]).

From verse 34, la paste che no jere nancjemò no jevade means the dough that had not yet risen.

Versets 35-36

Vocabulary: domandâ (to ask for), la robe (thing), d’arint ([made] of silver), d’aur ([made] of gold), i vistîts (clothing, clothes), vê di buine bande (to look favourably upon, to have in one’s favour), imprestâ (to lend), netâ (to clean [out], to spoil).

The subject matter of these two verses is: ur puàrtin vie dut ai egjizians (the Egyptians are spoiled; literally, they [the Israelites] take away everything from the Egyptians). Work through these two verses with the aid of the vocabulary listed above.

Versets 37-42

Vocabulary: partî (to leave, to depart), la conte (narration, recounting), in direzion di (towards, in the direction of), jessi in sîscentmil (to number six hundred thousand), jessi a pît (to be on foot), dome (only), cence contâ (without counting, not counting), la fulugne (crowd, multitude), miscliçâsi (to mingle, to get mixed up), no rivâ nancje a fâ (to not even be able to do), fâ cuei (to cook; literally, to make cook), puartâ fûr (to carry out, to bring out), a forme di (in the form of, in the shape of), la pete (wafer, flatbread), parâ fûr (to drive out), no vê timp di pierdi (to not have time to waste), par viaç (for the journey), cuatricent e trente (four hundred and thirty), scjadê (to come to an end, to expire), veglâ (to watch over, to keep vigil), la vegle (watch, vigil).

The subject line tells you that this is the first narration (prime conte) in the departure of Israel from Egypt. From verse 37, a jerin in sîscentmil oms a pît means they were six hundred thousand men on foot, they numbered six hundred thousand men on foot. Verse 38: une fulugne di int si miscliçà cun lôr (a multitude of people mixed with them); these were non-Israelites, some of whom may have been Egyptians impressed by the recent miracles, others foreign slaves wishing to flee their Egyptian masters. From verse 39, a faserin cuei la paste is to be understood as they cooked the dough (literally, they made the dough cook). In verse 40, you read that the Israelites had been in Egypt four hundred and thirty years. You should be able to work through the remainder of the text of these verses with the aid of the vocabulary listed above.

Versets 43-51

Vocabulary: la regule (rule, instruction), il forest (foreigner, stranger), il sclâf (slave), comprâ (to buy), i bêçs (money), une volte (once, as soon as), circuncidût (circumcised), jessi di passaç (to be passing through), jessi a zornade (to work by the day, to be a day labourer), un toc di (a little bit of), la cjar (flesh), rompi (to break), il vues (bone), fermâsi (to dwell), vê voe di fâ (to wish to do; also voie), il mascjo (male), tratâ (to treat), fâ la circuncision (to undertake circumcision), sistemâsi (to settle), framieç di (amongst).

In these verses, you read about the rules or instructions regarding who can keep the Passover. The Friulian for rule is la regule.

From verse 44, une volte circuncidûts is to be understood as meaning once circumcised (that is, once [they have been] circumcised). In other words, the slave bought with money could only participate in the rite once he had undergone circumcision. In this same verse, a podaran mangjânt means they can eat thereof, they can eat of it (that is, they can eat of the Passover).

In verse 45, you read that foreign sojourners (chel che al è di passaç; literally, he who is passing through) and those hired by the day (chel [che al è] a zornade; literally, he [who is] by the day) were not to eat of it. But, of the foreign sojourners amongst the Israelites wishing to keep the Passover, you read in verse 48 that he must circumcise all the males of his house. You also read: ma se un nol à fate la circuncision (but if one has not carried out the circumcision), nol podarà mangjânt (he shall not be able to eat thereof).