Polish language series: Rdz 26, Izaak w Gerarze

In this post, you will now study the Polish language as it relates to Rdz 26, or the twenty-sixth chapter of the book of Genesis, where the subject matter is: Izaak w Gerarze (Isaac in Gerar), przymierze z Abimelekiem (covenant with Abimelech).

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

Read Rdz 26

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 26. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Wersety 1-2

  • kolej (f.), turn
  • zatrzymać (pf.) się, to stay, to stop

Review: kraj (m., land, country), nastać (pf., to come about), głód (m., hunger, famine), drugi (second), czas (m., time), powędrować (pf., to journey, to trek), król (m., king), ukazać się (pf., to appear), iść (impf., to go), wskazać (pf., to indicate, to show).

In verse 1, you read that there was a famine in the land: nastał głód (a famine came about). It was the second after the one that had occurred in the times of Abraham. Z kolei can be understood as meaning in a row.

It is mentioned in verse 1 that Abimelech was a Philistinian king. The Polish adjective for Philistinian in nominative form is filistyński. You read that Isaac went to Gerar, unto Abimelech.

In verse 2, you read that the Lord appears unto Isaac; he tells him to not go to Egypt (nie idź do Egiptu), but to dwell instead in the land that he would indicate to him: zatrzymaj się w tym kraju (stay in that land), który ci wskażę (which I shall indicate to you).

Wersety 3-5

  • dotrzymać (pf.), to keep, to adhere
  • udział (m.), complicity, participation
  • posłuszny, obedient
  • nakaz (m.), command, order
  • prawo (n.), law
  • pouczenie (n.), instruction, order

Review: zamieszkać (pf., to settle), błogosławić (impf., to bless), bo (for, because), potomstwo (n., offspring), oddawać (impf., to grant, to yield), przysięga (f., oath), dać (pf., to give), ziemia (f., land), ojciec (m., father), rozmnożyć (pf., to multiply), gwiazda (f., star), niebo (n., heaven, sky), lud (m., people), życzyć (impf., to wish), szczęście (n., fortune, happiness), dlatego że (because), przestrzegać (impf., to adhere, to comply), polecić (pf., to instruct, to command).

Verse 3: tobie i twemu potomstwu oddaję wszystkie te ziemie (I grant all these lands unto you and your offspring). Te ziemie is in accusative plural form. In the remainder of the verse, you read that God will keep the oath (dotrzymam przysięgi) that he had sworn with Isaac’s father Abraham.

Verse 4: rozmnożę potomstwo twe jak gwiazdy na niebie (I shall multiply your offspring like the stars in the heaven).

Verse 5: dlatego że Abraham był mi posłuszny (because Abraham was obedient to me). At the end of verse 5, you find three different nouns that all refer in this context to the commandments of God: nakaz, prawo, pouczenie. The neuter noun prawo is the usual Polish word used to refer to the law in a modern context. For example, przestrzegać prawameans to obey the law.

Wersety 6-7

  • pytać (impf.), to ask
  • gotowy, ready, prepared

Review: okoliczny (neighbouring, adjacent), mieszkaniec (m., inhabitant), żona (f., wife), odpowiedzieć (pf., to reply), siostra (f., sister), bać się (impf., to be afraid, to fear), mówić (impf., to say), myśleć (impf., to think), zabić (pf., to kill), powód (m., cause, reason), piękny (beautiful).

Understand the following portions of text: tak więc (as such); pytali go o jego żonę (they asked about his wife); bał się bowiem mówić: to moja żona (for he was afraid to say: she is my wife); z powodu Rebeki (because of Rebekah, on account of Rebekah).

Wersety 8-9

  • dłuższy, longer
  • wyglądać (impf.), to look
  • uśmiechać (impf.) się, to smile
  • czule, affectionately
  • postradać (pf.), to lose

Review: mieszkać (impf., to live, to dwell), czas (m., time), pewien (a, one, a certain), raz (m., time), okno (n., window), dostrzec (pf., to perceive, to notice), wezwać (pf., to call in, to summon), przecież (after all), życie (n., life).

From verse 8, understand the following portions of text: pewnego razu (one time, on a certain occasion, etc.); wyglądając przez okno (whilst looking out the window; przez [+ acc.], through); dostrzegł Izaaka uśmiechającego się czule (he noticed Isaac smiling affectionately). You read that Isaac was smiling affectionately at his supposed sister as though she were a wife.

Observe also:

długi — dłuższy — najdłuższy

In verse 9, Isaac says that he had lied about Rebekah’s true relationship to him to avoid losing his life on her account.

Wersety 10-11

  • niewiele, not much
  • brakować (impf.), to lack
  • któryś, some
  • ostrzeżenie (n.), warning
  • tknąć (pf.) się, to touch

Review: a na to (and to this; that is, and in response to this), czemu (why, wherefore), postąpić (pf., to behave, to act), poddany (m., subject), żyć (impf., to live; used euphemistically here to mean to have relations), sprowadzić (pf., to bring), wina (f., sin, guilt, fault), ktokolwiek (anybody, whosoever), człowiek (m., man), zostać (pf., to become), zgładzić (pf., to put to death).

Abimelech, in verse 10, asks Isaac why he had behaved in such a manner towards them. Niewiele brakowało can be understood as meaning it almost came to pass (or, in colloquial language, it was a close call). He explains that it almost came to pass that some of his subjects could have lain with Rebekah (not knowing that she was Abraham’s wife). Note the use of the imperfective żyć to refer euphemistically to the act of intercourse. If this had occurred, says Abimelech, Isaac would have brought sin upon them. Sprowadziłbyś is the masculine, second-person singular of the conditional.

In verse 11, Abimelech gives a warning to his people: whosoever should touch Rebekah shall be put to death. Compare the following:

został zgładzony
zostanie zgładzony
he got put to death
he will get put to death

Wersety 12-15

  • zasiać (pf.), to sow
  • stokrotny, hundredfold
  • plon (m.), harvest
  • dorobić (pf.) się, to acquire
  • stado (n.), herd, flock
  • zazdrość (f.), envy, jealousy
  • zasypać (pf.), to fill up
  • niegdyś, in the past, previously

Review: przebywać (impf., to sojourn, to abide), ziarno (n., seed), doczekać się (pf., to get at long last), rok (m., year), pobłogosławić (pf., to bless), stawać się (impf., to become), coraz bardziej (more and more), zasobny (affluent, wealthy), majętność (f., fortune), liczny (numerous), owca (f., sheep), wół (m., ox), wiele (many, a lot of), służba (f., servants, domestic staff), toteż (therefore), studnia (f., well), wykopać (pf., to dig).

In verse 12, you read that Isaac sowed in that land; he received a hundredfold harvest. Verse 13 informs you that he became increasingly wealthy. In verse 14, you read that he had many herds and servants; the Philistines thus became envious: z zazdrości (out of envy, out of jealousy). The Polish noun for Philistine in nominative form is Filistyn (a Philistine); the nominative plural is Filistyni (the Philistines). You will recall from the notes above that the nominative masculine adjective form is filistyński.

Out of envy, the Philistines filled the wells up (verse 15): zasypali ziemią wszystkie studnie (they filled all the wells up with earth). These wells had been dug by the servants of Abraham. Słudzy is the nominative plural of the masculine sługa (servant).

Wersety 16-18

  • zamożniejszy, wealthier, more affluent
  • oczyszczać (impf.), to clean, to clear
  • przywrócić (pf.), to restore
  • ponadawać (impf.), to confer, to give

Review: odejść (pf., to leave, to depart), oddalić się (pf., to withdraw, to walk away), stamtąd (from there), rozbić (pf., to pitch), namiot (m., tent), dolina (f., valley), osiąść (pf., to settle down), zacząć (pf., to start, to begin), niegdyś (in the past, previously), śmierć (f., death), zasypać (pf., to fill up), nazwa (f., name).

Verse 16: odejdź od nas (go away from us, depart from us, etc.).

zamożny — zamożniejszy — najzamożniejszy

Verse 17: rozbiwszy namioty w dolinie Geraru (having pitched [his] tents in the valley of Gerar), tam osiadł (he settled down there).

Verse 18: zaczął oczyszczać studnie (he began to clean the wells), które były niegdyś wykopane (which had previously been dug). Also: przywrócił im takie nazwy, jakie niegdyś ponadawał jego ojciec (he restored to them such names as had previously conferred his father).

Wersety 19-21

  • kopać (impf.), to dig, to sink (a well)
  • natrafić (pf.), to meet, to come up (against)
  • bić (impf.), to gush, to spring
  • swarzyć (pf.) się, to quarrel

Review: sługa (m., servant), źródło (n., spring, source), pasterz (m., shepherd), wszcząć (pf., to begin, to start), sprzeczka (f., argument, conflict), wykopać (pf., to dig), inny (another), znów (again), powstać (pf., to arise), spór (m., argument, conflict), nazwa (f., name).

Verse 19: kopiąc w owej dolinie studnię (whilst digging a well in said valley), natrafili na bijące źródło (came up against a gushing spring; met with a springing source).

In verse 20, you read that an argument arises between the shepherds of Gerar and those of Isaac: pasterze z Geraru (the shepherds from Gerar) wszczęli sprzeczkę (began an argument) z pasterzami Izaaka (with the shepherds of Isaac). The Gerar shepherds say that the water is theirs: to dla nas ta woda (this water is for us). In the remainder of verse 20, you read that the well is named Esek (from the Hebrew for strife, contention) because the shepherds of Gerar had quarrelled over it: swarzyli się z nim o nią (they had quarrelled with him about it).

Having abandoned the first well, Isaac and his men dig a second (verse 21): wykopali inną studnię (they dug another well), but yet another quarrel arises: znów powstał o nią spór (an argument again arose about it). For this reason, this well is named Sitna (from the Hebrew for enmity).

Wersety 22-24

  • swobodny, unconstrained, free

Review: przenieść się (pf., to move, to go over), inny (another), miejsce (n., place, spot), wykopać (pf., to dig), już nie (no more), spór (m., argument, conflict), teraz (now), przestrzeń (f., space), rozmnażać (impf., to multiply; rozmnażać się, to reproduce, to multiply oneself), wyruszyć (impf., to leave, to set out), zaraz (at once, immediately), pierwszy (first), noc (f., night), ukazać się (pf., to appear), lękać się (impf., to be afraid, to fear), błogosławić (impf., to bless), wzgląd (m., consideration, account; przez wzgląd na, out of consideration for, on account of), służyć (impf., to serve).

Isaac goes forth from the area to dig yet another well elsewhere (verse 22). Of this new well, you read: o tę studnię (for this well) już nie było sporów (there were not any more quarrels). The well is named Rechobot (from the Hebrew for wide spaces).

Verse 24: pierwszej nocy (on the first night). The Lord says: nie lękaj się (do not be afraid), bo Ja będę z tobą (for I shall be with you).

Wersety 25-27

  • przyjaciel (m.), friend
  • znienawidzić (pf.), to come to hate

Review: zbudować (pf., to construct, to build), ołtarz (m., altar), wzywać (impf., to call upon), imię (n., name), rozbić (pf., to pitch), namiot (m., tent), sługa (m., servant), wykopać (pf., to dig), studnia (f., well), przybyć (pf., to arrive), dowódca (m., commander, leader), wojsko (n., army), czemu (why, wherefore), przybywać (impf., to come, to arrive), przecież (after all), kazać (impf., to order, to command), oddalić się (pf., to withdraw, to walk away).

Verse 26: jeden z przyjaciół Abimeleka (one of Abimelech’s friends).

In verse 27, Isaac says to Abimelech, Ahuzzath and Phicol: czemu przybywacie do mnie (why do you come unto me), przecież znienawidziliście mnie (after all you have come to hate me) i kazaliście mi się od was oddalić (and have ordered me to depart from you).

Masculine, second-person plural (wy) of the past tense:


Compare the above with the masculine, third-person plural (oni) of the same:


Wersety 28-31

  • umowa (f.), agreement, covenant
  • skrzywdzić (pf.), to wrong, to harm
  • wyświadczać (pf.), to render, to show
  • spokojnie, peacefully, calmly
  • nawzajem, each other
  • pożegnać (pf.), to bid farewell
  • rozstać (pf.) się, to take one’s leave
  • zgoda (f.), agreement

Review: widzieć (impf., to see), postanowić (pf., to decide, to resolve), istnieć (impf., to exist), między (between), czyli (that is to say), chcieć (impf., to want), zawrzeć (pf., to establish, to contract), przymierze (n., covenant), uczynić (pf., to make, to do), złe (n., evil), dobro (n., good), pozwolić (pf., to permit, to let), odejść (pf., to leave, to depart), wyprawić (pf., to give [a feast, etc.]), uczta (f., feast), jeść (impf., to eat), pić (impf., to drink), nazajutrz (the day after), rano (in the morning), nazajutrz rano (the following morning), złożyć (pf., to offer up), przysięga (f., oath).

In verse 28, you read that Abimelech and his ministers wish to make a covenant with Isaac: chcemy z tobą zawrzeć przymierze (we want to establish a covenant with you). The reason for this is because they saw that the Lord was with Isaac: Pan jest z tobą (the Lord is with you).

From verse 29, understand: że nie uczynisz nam nic złego (that you will not do us any evil), jak i my nie skrzywdziliśmy ciebie (as we have not wronged you), wyświadczając ci tylko dobro (showing you only good), i pozwoliliśmy ci spokojnie odejść (and we have allowed you to go peacefully).

Verse 30: Izaak ich pożegnał i rozstali się w zgodzie (Isaac bid them farewell and they took their leave in agreement).

Masculine, first-person plural (my) of the past tense:


Wersety 32-35

  • wiadomość (f.), message
  • nosić (impf.), to bear
  • dzisiejszy, present
  • zgryzota (f.), trouble, anguish

Review: dzień (m., day), przynieść (pf., to bring back), znaleźć (pf., to find), nazwać (pf., to call), stąd (from here), czterdzieści (forty), wziąć za żonę (pf., to take as wife), córka (f. daughter), Chetyta (m., Hittite), powód (m., cause, reason).

Verse 32: tego dnia (on this day); znaleźliśmy wodę (we have found water). Znaleźliśmy is the masculine, first-person plural (my) of the past tense.

As you read in verse 33, the well is named Szibea (from the Hebrew for swearing, oath-taking). You also read: stąd (from here; that is, it is for this reason that) miasto to nosi po dzień dzisiejszy nazwę Beer-Szeba (this city bears up to the present day the name Beersheba [from the Hebrew for well of the oath]). Po dzień dzisiejszy means up to the present day.

In the final two verses of the chapter, you read that Esau, at age forty, took as wives Judith and Bashemath. Because of the Canaanitish descent of these women, they were the cause of trouble (były one powodem zgryzoty) for Isaac and Rebekah.