Polish language series: Rdz 35, Jakub w Betel i w Mamre

You have now reached Rdz 35; in this thirty-fifth chapter of the book of Genesis, you will study the Polish language as it relates to Jakub w Betel i w Mamre (Jacob in Bethel and Mamre).

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

Read Rdz 35

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 35. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Wersety 1-4

  • wznieść (pf.), to erect
  • uciekać (impf.), to flee, to run away
  • wizerunek (m.), image, likeness, effigy
  • obcy, foreign, strange
  • oczyścić się (pf.), to cleanse oneself
  • zmienić (pf.), to change
  • niedola (f.), adversity, distress
  • zakopać (pf.), to bury
  • terebint (m.), terebinth (tree)

Review: iść (impf., to go), zamieszkać (pf., to settle), ołtarz (m., altar), ukazać się (pf., to appear), domownik (m., household member), usunąć (pf., to remove, to clear away), spośród (from amongst), szata (f., garment, vestment), pójść (pf., to go), zbudować (pf., to build), wysłuchać (pf., to hear), czas (m., time), wspomagać (impf., to help, to assist), gdziekolwiek (wherever), oddać (pf., to yield, to hand over), posiadać (impf., to own, to possess), kolczyk (m., earring), nosić (impf., to wear, to bear), ucho (n., ear), pobliże (n., vicinity).

A number of imperative forms appear in the first two verses. Consider them alongside their present tense or perfective future forms below:

Second-person singular

iść (impf.)
idziesz (you go)
idź! (go!)

zamieszkać (pf.)
zamieszkasz (you will settle)
zamieszkaj! (settle!)

wznieść (pf.)
wzniesiesz (you will erect)
wznieś! (erect!)

Second-person plural

usunąć (pf.)
usuniecie (you will remove)
usuńcie! (remove!)

oczyścić się (pf.)
oczyścicie się (you will cleanse yourselves)
oczyśćcie się! (cleanse yourselves!)

zmienić (pf.)
zmienicie (you will change)
zmieńcie! (change!)

Verse 1: Wznieść ołtarz Bogu: to erect an altar unto God. Gdy uciekałeś przed twym bratem Ezawem: when you fled (were fleeing) from your brother Esau.

Verse 2: Usuńcie spośród was [wizerunki] obcych bogów, jakie macie: remove from amongst you the likenesses of foreign gods that you have. In Rdz 31, Rachel took the household gods from her father: posążek domowy (household statuette).

Verse 3: Pójdziemy: we shall go. Zbuduję: I shall build. W czasie mej niedoli: in the time of my distress. Gdziekolwiek byłem: wherever I was.

In verse 4, you read that Jacob’s household handed over every likeness of foreign gods of which they were in possession. Also: oddali […] kolczyki, które nosili w uszach (they handed over the earrings which they were wearing in their ears). Jacob buried the items under the terebinth: pod terebintem, in the vicinity of Shechem: w pobliżu Sychem.

Wersety 5-8

  • strach (m.), fear
  • płacz (m.), crying, weeping

Review: wyruszyć (impf., to leave, to set out), droga (f., way, road), paść (pf., to fall), okoliczny (neighbouring, adjacent), miasto (n., city), nikt (nobody), ścigać (impf., to pursue, to chase), syn (m., son), przybyć (pf., to arrive), człowiek (m., man; pl., ludzie), czyli (that is to say), nazwać (pf., to call), miejsce (n., place), kiedy (when), zemrzeć (pf., to die), piastunka (f., nurse, female attendant), pochować (pf., to bury), otrzymać (pf., to receive), nazwa (f., name).

Verse 5: Padł wielki strach na okoliczne miasta (a great fear fell upon the neighbouring cities), tak że nikt nie ścigał synów Jakuba (such that nobody pursued the sons of Jacob).

Verse 6: Przybywszy wraz ze wszystkimi swymi ludźmi (having arrived along with his men) do Luz w Kanaanie (in [unto] Luz in Canaan).

In verse 6, Kanaan is found in locative position as Kanaanie. Take a moment to learn the names of a number of countries of the contemporary world with their locative form; I have limited myself here to the names of twelve, in alphabetical order following Poland: Polska (f., Poland [loc., Polsce]), Argentyna (f., Argentina [loc., Argentynie]), Australia (f., Australia [loc., Australii]), Brazylia (f., Brazil [loc., Brazylii]), Chiny (pl., China [loc., Chinach]), Francja (f., France [loc., Francji]), Kanada (f., Canada [loc., Kanadzie]), Rosja (f., Russia [loc., Rosji]), Stany Zjednoczone (pl., United States [loc., Stanach Zjednoczonych), Ukraina (f., Ukraine [loc., Ukrainie]), Włochy (pl., Italy [loc., Włoszech]), Zjednoczone Królestwo (n., United Kingdom [loc., Zjednoczonym Królestwie]).

Verse 7: There is a repetition here of language from the first grouping of notes above.

Verse 8: Zmarła Debora: Deborah died. Pochowano ją w pobliżu Betel (she was buried [one buried her] in the vicinity of Bethel) pod terebintem (under the terebinth), który dlatego otrzymał nazwę Terebint Płaczu (which therefore received the name Terebinth of Weeping).

Wersety 9-11

  • zrodzić się (pf.), to originate, to come from

Review: powrót (m., return), błogosławić (impf., to bless), powiedzieć (pf., to say), imię (n., name), odtąd (henceforth, from now on), zwać (impf., to call), wszechmocny (almighty, omnipotent), płodny (fruitful), rozmnażać się (impf., to reproduce, to multiply oneself), powstać (pf., to come into being), naród (m., nation), wiele (many, a lot of), król (m., king).

Verse 9: Po jego powrocie z Paddan-Aram: after his return from Paddan-Aram.

In verse 10, God restates Jacob’s name change (see Rdz 32:29): imię twe jest Jakub (your name is Jacob), ale odtąd nie będą cię zwać Jakubem (but, henceforth, you shall not be called Jacob [they shall not call you Jacob]), lecz będziesz miał imię Izrael (rather you shall have the name Israel).

Verse 11: The perfective zrodzić, which you have met before, means to beget; the reflexive zrodzić się is to be understood as to originate, to come from. Bóg Wszechmocny (God Almighty) says to Jacob: bądź płodny i rozmnażaj się (be fruitful and multiply); niechaj powstanie z ciebie naród i wiele narodów (may a nation and many nations arise from you), i niechaj królowie zrodzą się z ciebie (and may kings originate from you).

Compare the singular and plural forms:

bądź płodny i rozmnażaj się (verse 11)
bądźcie płodni i rozmnażajcie się (Rdz 1:28)

Wersety 12-15

Review: kraj (m., land, country), dać (pf., to give), dawać (impf., to give), przyszły (future), potomstwo (n., offspring), oddalić się (pf., to withdraw, to walk away), przemawiać (impf., to speak, to appeal), ustawić (pf., to place, to put up), stela (f., stele, pillar), mówić (impf., to speak), składać (impf., to put forth), ofiara (f., offering), wylać (pf., to pour), oliwa (f., olive oil).

  • kamienny, stonen, of stone
  • płynny, liquid

Verse 12: Dałem: I gave; I have given. Daję: I give; I am giving. Dam: I shall give.

Verse 14: Na nią: on it; that is, on the stele.

Wersety 16-19

  • położna (f.), midwife
  • konać (impf.), to be at the point of death
  • po dziś dzień, unto this day

Review: wyruszyć (impf., to leave, to set out), droga (f., way, road), pewien (a, certain, one), przestrzeń (f., distance, space), dojść (pf., to reach), zacząć (pf., to start, to begin), rodzić (impf., to bear, to give birth), poród (m., birth, delivery), ciężki (arduous, difficult), urodzić (pf., to bear), ból (m., pain, ache, soreness), lękać się (impf., to be afraid, to fear), życie (n., life), uchodzić (impf., to withdraw, to escape), umrzeć (pf., to die), pochować (pf., to bury), ustawić (pf., to place, to put up), stela (f., stele, pillar), grób (m., grave, tomb), kamień (n., stone), stać (impf., to stand).

Verse 16: A gdy wyruszyli z Betel (and when they set out [were setting out] from Bethel) i mieli jeszcze w drodze przed sobą (and still had [were still having] on the way before them) pewną przestrzeń (a certain distance), aby dojść do Efrata (in order to reach Ephrath); that is to say, when they set out from Bethel and still had some way to go before reaching Ephrath. In the remainder of the verse, you read that Rachel began to give birth; her labour was difficult: poród jednak był ciężki (the delivery, however, was arduous).

Verse 17: W wielkich bólach: in great pains. Rzekła do niej położna: the midwife said to her. The midwife tells Rachel that she has a son.

Verse 18: Ona jednak (she, however), gdy życie z niej uchodziło (when life was escaping from her), bo konała (for she was at the point of death), nazwała swego syna Benoni (named her son Benoni); whereas, as you read in the remainder of the verse, his father named him Beniamin (Benjamin).

In verse 19, you read that Rachel died: Rachela umarła, and was buried near the way to Ephrath: została pochowana przy drodze do Efrata; czyli Betlejem (that is to say, Bethlehem).

Of the perfective umrzeć, familiarise yourself with the masculine and feminine of the past tense:

(masculine)
umarłem (1.ps)
umarłeś (2.ps)
umarł (3.ps)
umarliśmy (1.pp)
umarliście (2.pp)
umarli (3.pp)

(feminine)
umarłam (1.ps)
umarłaś (2.ps)
umarła (3.ps)
umarłyśmy (1.pp)
umarłyście (2.pp)
umarły (3.pp)

1.ps = first-person singular
1.pp = first-person plural, etc.

Verse 20: Kamień ten stoi na grobie Racheli po dziś dzień: this stone stands at Rachel’s grave unto this day.

Wersety 21-26

Review: rozbić (pf., to pitch), namiot (m., tent), poza (outside of), przebywać (impf., to sojourn, to abide), okolica (f., surroundings), zbliżyć się (pf., to draw near, to come unto), drugorzędny (secondary), żona (f., wife), obcować (impf., to have relations), dowiedzieć się (pf., to find out, to learn), dwanaście (twelve), pierworodny (firstborn), niewolnica (f., slavewoman), urodzić się (pf., to be born).

Verse 21: Jacob’s new name, Izrael, is now used here.

Verse 22: Drugorzędna żona: concubine; literally, secondary wife. Izrael dowiedział się o tym: Israel found out about it; that is, he learnt of Reuben’s having relations with Bilhah. Synów Jakuba było dwunastu: the sons of Jacob were twelve; note the use of the neuter było.

Verse 26: Są to synowie Jakuba (these are the sons of Jacob), którzy mu się urodzili (who were born unto him).

Wersety 27-29

Review: przybyć (pf., to arrive), niegdyś (in the past, previously), mieszkać (impf., to live, to dwell), sto osiemdziesiąt (one hundred and eighty), rok (m., year), dojść (pf., to reach), kres (m., end, limit), zemrzeć (pf., to die), późny (late, advanced), starość (f., old age), pochować (pf., to bury).

Verse 28: Izaak miał wtedy sto osiemdziesiąt lat: Isaac was then one hundred and eighty years old. Recall that lat is the genitive plural of rok.

Verse 29: Doszedłszy do kresu swego życia: having reached the end of his life. Isaac died at a very old age: zmarł w późnej starości (he died in an advanced old age).