Polish language series: Rdz 37, Józef sprzedany przez braci

Through the Polish language, you will read about the following subject matter in Rdz 37, or the thirty-seventh chapter of the book of Genesis: dzieje potomków Jakuba (history of the descendants of Jacob), Józef sprzedany przez braci (Joseph sold by his brothers).

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 37, you must access the verses on biblia.deon.pl below:

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Should the above links ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.

Wersety 1-4

  • siedemnastoletni, seventeen-year-old
  • pasać (impf.), to feed, to pasture, to graze
  • rękaw (m.), sleeve
  • zdobyć (pf.) się, to bring oneself

Review: mieszkać (impf., to live, to dwell), zatrzymać się (pf., to stay, to stop), ojciec (m., father), czyli (that is to say), dzieje (pl., history), potomek (m., descendant), chłopiec (m., boy), brat (m., brother), syn (m., son), żona (f., wife), trzoda (f., flock), donieść (pf., to inform), źle (badly, wrong), mówić (impf., to speak), miłować (impf., to love), najbardziej (the most), urodzić się (pf., to be born), podeszły (advanced [in age]), rok (m., year), sprawić (pf., to give), długi (long), szata (f., garment, vestment), widzieć (impf., to see), kochać (impf., to love), bardziej niż (more than), znienawidzić (pf., to come to hate), przyjaźnie (amicably), porozmawiać (pf., to talk, to converse).

Verse 2: oto są dzieje potomków Jakuba (this is the history of the descendants of Jacob); the third-person plural is used because dzieje is a plural noun. Also: Józef jako chłopiec siedemnastoletni wraz ze swymi braćmi (Joseph as a seventeen-year-old boy along with his brothers). You read that his brothers were the sons of the wives of his father — Bilha and Zilpa. Joseph tells his father that one has spoken ill of his brothers: doniósł on ojcu, że źle mówiono o tych jego synach (he informed his father that one spoke ill about these sons of his).

Declension of brat (m.)

sing. pl.
nom. brat bracia
gen. brata braci
dat. bratu braciom
acc. brata braci
instr. bratem braćmi
loc. bracie braciach
voc. bracie bracia

In verse 3, you read that Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than his other sons. The reason is given: gdyż urodził mu się on w podeszłych jego latach (for he was born unto him in his advanced years). Israel gave him a garment: sprawił mu też długą szatę z rękawami (he also gave him a long garment with sleeves).

Verse 4: Joseph’s brothers came to hate him because he was loved by his father the most. You also read: nie mogli zdobyć się na to, aby przyjaźnie z nim porozmawiać (they could not bring themselves to converse amicably with him). Zdobyć się na to, aby coś zrobić is to be understood as to bring oneself to do something.

bardzobardziejnajbardziej
very muchmorethe most

bardziej niż
more than

Wersety 5-8

  • zapałać (pf.), to be inflamed
  • śnić (impf.) się, to appear in a dream
  • wiązać (impf.), to tie, to bind
  • snop (m.), sheaf
  • stanąć (pf.), to stand up(right)
  • koło (n.), circle
  • władca (m.), ruler
  • nienawidzić (impf.), to hate
  • wypowiedź (f.), statement, pronouncement

Review: pewien (a, certain, one), raz (m., time), sen (m., dream), opowiedzieć (pf., to tell, to relate), nienawiść (f., hatred), posłuchać (pf., to listen), środek (m., middle), pole (n., field), podnieść się (pf., to arise), otoczyć (pf., to surround), oddać pokłon (pf., to pay obeisance), król (m., king), panować (impf., to rule), rządzić (impf., to govern), powód (m., cause, reason).

In verse 5, you read that Joseph had a dream: pewnego razu Józef miał sen (once Joseph had a dream). Like pewnego razu (once, on one occasion, etc.), you have seen other examples of the genitive used with expressions of time, such as tego dnia ([on] that day), tej nocy ([on] that night). Upon hearing Jacob’s dream, his brothers hated him even more. You read: i gdy opowiedział go braciom swym (and when he told it to his brothers), ci zapałali jeszcze większą nienawiścią do niego (these ones [that is, the brothers] were inflamed even more with great hatred for him). Be sure to recognise the difference between these two verbs: opowiedzieć (pf., to tell, to relate) and odpowiedzieć (pf., to reply, to answer).

Verse 6: posłuchajcie, jaki miałem sen (listen to the dream that I had). Familiarise yourself with perfective future of posłuchać, as well as the imperative:

Perfective future

posłucham (1.ps)
posłuchasz (2.ps)
posłucha (3.ps)
posłuchamy (1.pp)
posłuchacie (2.pp)
posłuchają (3.pp)

Imperative

posłuchaj (2.ps)
niech posłucha (3.ps)
posłuchajmy (1.pp)
posłuchajcie (2.pp)
niech posłuchają (3.pp)

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

Review these examples from Rdz 23:

posłuchaj nas! (Rdz 23:6)
listen to us!

posłuchajcie mnie! (Rdz 23:8)
listen to me!

Verse 7: The imperfective śnić means to dream; śnić, że (to dream that). In this verse, however, you find it used reflexively: śniło mi się, że (it was dreaming itself unto me that; that is, it appeared [was appearing] to me in a dream that). Joseph explains his dream: he and his brothers were binding sheaves in the middle of the field; that is when Joseph’s sheaf stood upright and the sheaves of his brothers bowed down to Joseph’s. Understand the following portions: wiązaliśmy snopy (we were binding sheaves); w środku pola (in the middle of the field); snop mój podniósł się i stanął (my sheaf arose and stood upright); kołem (in a circle).

The brothers do not appreciate Joseph’s dream. In verse 8, they say: czyż miałbyś jako król panować nad nami (should you [would you have to] rule over us as a king) i rządzić nami jak władca? (and govern us as a ruler?). The brothers then hated him even more on account of his dreams and his pronouncement of what had appeared to him. Understand: jeszcze bardziej (even more); z powodu jego snów (on account of his dreams) i wypowiedzi (and [of his] pronouncement).

Declension of sen (m.)

sing. pl.
nom. sen sny
gen. snu snów
dat. snowi snom
acc. sen sny
instr. snem snami
loc. śnie snach
voc. śnie sny

Wersety 9-11

  • księżyc (m.), moon
  • skarcić (pf.), to rebuke, to reprimand
  • zapamiętać (pf.), to remember, to keep in mind

Review: inny (another), słońce (n., sun), jedenaście (eleven), gwiazda (f., star), powiedzieć (pf., to say), znaczyć (impf., to mean, to signify), matka (f., mother), przyjść (pf., to arrive, to come), oddawać pokłon (impf., to pay obeisance), ziemia (f., earth), podczas (meanwhile), zazdrościć (impf., to envy, to be jealous).

Joseph has another dream: in this one, he dreams that the sun, moon and eleven stars pay him obeisance.

In verse 10, Joseph tells his father and brothers about the dream, and his father rebukes him: ojciec skarcił go. Israel asks his son about the significance of the dream: co miałby znaczyć ów sen? (what is this dream supposed to mean? [what would this dream have to mean?]). Israel also asks if he and Joseph’s mother and brothers are expected to come unto Joseph and bow down to him unto the earth.

You read in verse 11 that, whilst the brothers envied Joseph, Israel kept his son’s dream in mind.

Wersety 12-16

  • zdrowy, well, healthy

Review: pójść (pf., to go), paść (impf., to feed, to pasture), trzoda (f., flock), wiedzieć (impf., to know), chcieć (impf., to want, to intend [will]), posłać (pf., to send), gotów (willing, prepared, ready), iść (impf., to go), zobaczyć (pf., to see), stać się (pf., to happen, to occur), wyprawić (pf., to send off), dolina (f., valley), błąkać się (impf., to wander, to roam), spotkać (pf., to meet, to come across), człowiek (m., man), zapytać (pf., to ask), kto (who), szukać (impf., to look for, to seek), proszę (please, I pray you).

Verse 12: Joseph’s brothers have gone to feed the flocks (poszli paść, they went to feed). Of the perfective pójść, review the masculine and feminine of the past tense:

(masculine)
poszedłem (1.ps)
poszedłeś (2.ps)
poszedł (3.ps)
poszliśmy (1.pp)
poszliście (2.pp)
poszli (3.pp)

(feminine)
poszłam (1.ps)
poszłaś (2.ps)
poszła (3.ps)
poszłyśmy (1.pp)
poszłyście (2.pp)
poszły (3.pp)

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

In verse 13, Israel says to Joseph: wiesz, że bracia twoi pasą trzodę w Sychem (you know that your brothers are feeding the flocks in Shechem); chcę cię więc posłać do nich (I will send you unto them). Although chcę can be translated as I want, it is better understood here as meaning I will (intention).

In verse 14, Israel then says to his son: idź i zobacz (go and see), czy bracia twoi są zdrowi (if your brothers are well) i czy trzodom nic się nie stało (and that nothing has happened to the flocks), a potem mi opowiesz (and then you will tell me). Learn the following related expressions: co się stało? (what is the matter?), co mu się stało? (what has come over him?, what has happened to him?), co się z nim stało? (what has become of him?).

Declension of trzoda (f.)

sing. pl.
nom. trzoda trzody
gen. trzody trzód
dat. trzodzie trzodom
acc. trzodę trzody
instr. trzodą trzodami
loc. trzodzie trzodach
voc. trzodo trzody

Verse 15: błąkającego się po polu spotkał go pewien człowiek (a certain man saw him wandering in the field); kogo szukasz? (whom are you looking for?).

In verse 16, Joseph replies that he is looking for his brothers; he asks the man to tell him where they are feeding the flocks.

Wersety 17-19

Review: odejść (pf., to leave, to depart), stąd (from here), słyszeć (impf., to hear), chodzić (impf., to go), udać się (pf., to go, to proceed), znaleźć (pf., to find), ujrzeć (pf., to see), daleki (distant, far-off; z daleka, from afar), zanim (before), zbliżyć się (pf., to draw near, to come unto), postanowić (pf., to decide, to resolve), podstępnie (deceitfully), zgładzić (pf., to put to death), między (between), nadchodzić (impf., to approach, to come), miewać (impf., to have, to get [periodically]).

Verse 17: chodźmy do Dotain (let us go to Dothan); Józef udał się więc za swymi braćmi (Joseph therefore went after his brothers). Familiarise yourself with the present tense of the imperfective chodzić, as well as the imperative:

Present tense

chodzę (1.ps)
chodzisz (2.ps)
chodzi (3.ps)
chodzimy (1.pp)
chodzicie (2.pp)
chodzą (3.pp)

Imperative

chodź (2.ps)
niech chodzi (3.ps)
chodźmy (1.pp)
chodźcie (2.pp)
niech chodzą (3.pp)

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

In verse 18, you read that Joseph’s brothers conspire to kill him when they see him from far (z daleka). Understand: zanim się do nich zbliżył (before he came unto them).

Verse 19: oto nadchodzi ten, który miewa sny (here comes the one who keeps having dreams).

Wersety 20-22

  • wrzucić (pf.), to throw, to cast
  • którykolwiek, whichever, any
  • zwierz (m.), beast, animal
  • pożreć (pf.), to devour
  • zabijać (impf.), to kill
  • doprowadzać (impf.), to bring about, to cause
  • rozlew (m.), overflow

Review: zabić (pf., to kill), studnia (f., well), powiedzieć (pf., to say), dziki (wild), zobaczyć (pf., to see), usłyszeć (pf., to hear), postanowić (pf., to decide, to resolve), ocalić (pf., to save, to rescue), ręka (f., hand), krew (f., blood), pustkowie (n., wasteland), podnosić (pf., to raise), chcieć (impf., to want), zwrócić (pf., to restore, to return).

Verse 20: teraz zabijmy go (let us now kill him) i wrzućmy do którejkolwiek studni (and let us throw [him] in some well), a potem powiemy (and then we shall say): dziki zwierz go pożarł (a wild beast has devoured him). The brothers also say: zobaczymy, co będzie z jego snów (we shall see what will be of his dreams). Learn the perfective future of zabić, as well as the imperative:

Perfective future

zabiję (1.ps)
zabijesz (2.ps)
zabije (3.ps)
zabijemy (1.pp)
zabijecie (2.pp)
zabiją (3.pp)

Imperative

zabij (2.ps)
niech zabije (3.ps)
zabijmy (1.pp)
zabijcie (2.pp)
niech zabiją (3.pp)

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

Verse 21: ocalić go z ich rąk (to save him from their hands); nie zabijajmy go (let us not kill [be killing] him).

Verse 22: rozlew krwi (bloodshed; literally, overflow of blood); nie doprowadzajcie do rozlewu krwi (do not cause [be causing] bloodshed); wrzućcie go do studni (throw him in the well). In the final sentence of this verse, you read that Reuben wanted to save Joseph from the hands of his brothers and then return him to his father.

Wersety 23-25

  • zedrzeć (pf.), to tear off, to strip off
  • odzienie (n.), clothing
  • pochwycić (pf.), to seize, to apprehend
  • pusty, empty
  • dal (f.), distance
  • kupiec (m.), merchant
  • nieść (impf.), to carry
  • korzeń (m.) root
  • olejek (m.), oil
  • pachnący, fragrant

Review: przybyć (pf., to arrive), długi (long), szata (f., garment, vestment), rękaw (m., sleeve), wrzucić (pf., to throw, to cast), studnia (f., well), pozbawić (pf., to deprive), zasiąść (pf., to sit down), posiłek (m., meal), ujrzeć (pf., to see), iść (impf., to go), wielbłąd (m., camel), wonny (fragrant), żywica (f., resin).

Verse 23: oni zdarli z niego jego odzienie (they tore his clothing off him); in particular, the brothers stripped Joseph of the long garment with sleeves; którą miał na sobie is to be understood as which he was wearing, which he had on [was having on him].

Familiarise yourself with the masculine and feminine of the past tense of the perfective zedrzeć:

(masculine)
zdarłem (1.ps)
zdarłeś (2.ps)
zdarł (3.ps)
zdarliśmy (1.pp)
zdarliście (2.pp)
zdarli (3.pp)

(feminine)
zdarłam (1.ps)
zdarłaś (2.ps)
zdarła (3.ps)
zdarłyśmy (1.pp)
zdarłyście (2.pp)
zdarły (3.pp)

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

In verse 24, the brothers apprehend Joseph and throw him in the well. Of the well, you read: studnia ta była pusta (this well was empty), pozbawiona wody (deprived of water).

Verse 25 is a difficult one; I shall break it down here in its entirety: kiedy potem zasiedli do posiłku (when they then sat down to eat), ujrzeli z dala (they saw from afar) idących z Gileadu kupców izmaelskich (Ishmaelite merchants going out of Gilead), których wielbłądy niosły (whose camels were carrying) wonne korzenie (fragrant roots), żywicę (resin) i olejki pachnące (and fragrant oils); szli oni do Egiptu (they were going to Egypt).

Of the imperfective iść, review the masculine and feminine of the past tense:

(masculine)
szedłem (1.ps)
szedłeś (2.ps)
szedł (3.ps)
szliśmy (1.pp)
szliście (2.pp)
szli (3.pp)

(feminine)
szłam (1.ps)
szłaś (2.ps)
szła (3.ps)
szłyśmy (1.pp)
szłyście (2.pp)
szły (3.pp)

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

Wersety 26-30

  • ujawnić (pf.), to reveal
  • mijać (impf.), to pass by
  • rozedrzeć (pf.), to tear

Review: przyjść (pf., to arrive, to come), zabić (pf., to kill), zbrodnia (f., crime), chodzić (impf., to go), sprzedać (pf., to sell), zabijać (impf., to kill), wszak (after all), usłuchać (pf., to heed, to obey), kupiec (m., merchant), wyciągnąć (pf., to extricate, to pull out), spiesznie (quickly, hurriedly), dwadzieścia (twenty), sztuka (f., piece), srebro (n., silver), zabrać (pf., to take), Egipt (m., Egypt), wrócić (pf., to return), zobaczyć (pf., to see), szata (f., garment), zawołać (pf., to call out, to exclaim), chłopiec (m., boy), dokąd (whereto).

In verses 26 and 27, Judah asks his brothers what should come of killing Joseph and not revealing their crime; he suggests selling Joseph instead to the Ishmaelites: chodźcie, sprzedamy go Izmaelitom (come on, we shall sell him to the Ishmaelites), to which his brothers consent.

Verse 28: madianicki (Midianite); i gdy kupcy madianiccy ich mijali (and when the Midianite merchants were passing them by). Joseph is quickly pulled out of the well by his brothers when the merchants pass by; they then sell him for twenty pieces of silver, and the merchants take him to Egypt: ci zabrali go z sobą do Egiptu (these [ones] took him with them to Egypt).

Verse 29: że nie ma w niej Józefa (that Joseph was not in it; that there was not Joseph in it). When Reuben sees that Joseph is not in the well, he tears his clothes: rozdarł swoje szaty (he tore his garments).

Verse 30: przyszedłszy do braci (having come unto his brothers); chłopca nie ma (there is not any boy; the use of the genitive here will be dealt with in later chapters); a ja, dokąd ja mam iść? (as for me, where am I to go?).

Wersety 31-33

  • umoczyć (pf.), to soak
  • przywieźć (pf.), to bring
  • rozszarpać (pf.), to tear to pieces

Review: wziąć (pf., to take), zabić (pf., to kill), młody (young), kozioł (m., goat), krew (f., blood), posłać (pf., to send), znaleźć (pf., to find), rozpoznać (pf., to recognise, to discern), zawołać (pf., to call out, to exclaim), dziki (wild), zwierz (m., beast, animal), pożreć (pf., to devour).

In verses 31 and 32, the brothers take Joseph’s garment, dip it in the blood of a goat and send it to their father; they say to him: znaleźliśmy ją (we have found it); zobacz, czy to szata twego syna, czy nie (see whether it is the garment of your son or not).

Verse 33: dziki zwierz go pożarł (a wild beast has devoured him; also appears in verse 20).

Of the perfective znaleźć, review the masculine and feminine of the past tense:

(masculine)
znalazłem (1.ps)
znalazłeś (2.ps)
znalazł (3.ps)
znaleźliśmy (1.pp)
znaleźliście (2.pp)
znaleźli (3.pp)

(feminine)
znalazłam (1.ps)
znalazłaś (2.ps)
znalazła (3.ps)
znalazłyśmy (1.pp)
znalazłyście (2.pp)
znalazły (3.pp)

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

Wersety 34-36

  • przepasać (pf.), to girdle
  • wór (m.), sack
  • opłakiwać (impf.), to mourn, to lament
  • pocieszać (impf.), to console
  • zejść (pf.), to go down
  • urzędnik (m.), official
  • faraon (m.), pharaoh
  • przełożony (m.), superior, chief

Review: rozedrzeć (pf., to tear), biodro (n., hip), długi (long), czas (m., time), usiłować (impf., to attempt, to try), słuchać (impf., to listen), pociecha (f., consolation), smutek (m., sorrow, sadness), nadal (as before), tymczasem (meanwhile), sprzedać (pf., to sell), dworzanin (m., courtier).

In verse 34, you read that Jacob tears his garments and girdles his loins with a sack (przepasał biodra worem), which was the typical dress of one in mourning. He mourned his son for a long time: przez długi czas.

Verse 35: wszyscy jego synowie i córki (all his sons and daughters); nie słuchał pociech (he was not listening to any consolations; better: he would not listen to any consolations). Jacob says that he will go down in sorrow behind his son to Szeol (Sheol; the abode of the dead): już w smutku zejdę za synem moim do Szeolu.

Verse 36: Madianita (m., Midianite), Potifar (Potiphar). Understand: tymczasem (meanwhile) Madianici sprzedali Józefa (the Midianites sold Joseph) w Egipcie (in Egypt) Potifarowi (to Potiphar). Potiphar is described as an official of the Pharoah and chief of the courtiers.