Polish language series: Rdz 39, Józef w więzieniu

This post brings you to Rdz 39, or the thirty-ninth chapter of the book of Genesis, where you will study the Polish language as it relates to the following subject matter: Józef niewolnikiem Potifara (Joseph, slave of Potiphar) and Józef w więzieniu (Joseph in prison). The Polish for slave is the masculine niewolnik (or the feminine niewolnica); the neuter noun więzienie is the Polish for prison.

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 39, 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Should the above links ever become unavailable, you will find an archived version of the text here.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 1-4

  • kupić (pf.), to buy, to purchase
  • straż przyboczna (f.), bodyguard
  • wieść (impf.) się, to fare
  • sprawiać (impf.), to cause, to bring about
  • tak iż, such that
  • osobisty, personal
  • zarządca (m.), steward, administrator

Review: uprowadzić (pf., to take away), Egipt (m., Egypt), Izmaelita (m., Ishmaelite), przyprowadzić (pf., to bring), Egipcjanin (m., Egyptian), urzędnik (m., official), faraon (m., pharaoh), dowódca (m., commander, leader), dlatego (therefore, that is why), dom (m., house), pan (m., lord, master), spostrzec (pf., to notice, to see), cokolwiek (whatever, everything that), czynić (impf., to do, to make), darzyć (impf., to grant, to bestow), życzliwość (f., kindness, favour), stać się (pf., to become), sługa (m., manservant), uczynić (pf., to make, to do), oddać (pf., to yield, to turn over, to commit), władanie (n., command), majątek (m., property, riches).

Verse 1: Józef został uprowadzony do Egiptu (Joseph got taken away to Egypt). You read that Potiphar the Egyptian bought him from the Ishmaelites; Potiphar was the official of the Pharaoh and commander of the bodyguard (dowódca straży przybocznej).

Verse 2: wiodło mu się dobrze (he fared well). You have of course seen Pan used throughout the Bible thus far to refer to the Lord God; here, you also have it employed to refer to the master (or lord) of a servant: w domu swego pana, Egipcjanina (in the house of his master, the Egyptian).

Verse 3: ten jego pan spostrzegł (this master of his noticed), że Bóg jest z Józefem (that God is with Joseph) i sprawia, że mu się dobrze wiedzie (and brings about that he fares well), cokolwiek czyni ([in] whatever he does). Familiarise yourself with the past tense of the perfective spostrzec:

(masculine)
spostrzegłem (1.ps)
spostrzegłeś (2.ps)
spostrzegł (3.ps)
spostrzegliśmy (1.pp)
spostrzegliście (2.pp)
spostrzegli (3.pp)

(feminine)
spostrzegłam (1.ps)
spostrzegłaś (2.ps)
spostrzegła (3.ps)
spostrzegłyśmy (1.pp)
spostrzegłyście (2.pp)
spostrzegły (3.pp)

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

Verse 4: stał się jego osobistym sługą (he became his personal servant). You also read that Joseph became the steward of his master’s house with unrestricted control: uczynił go zarządcą swego domu (he made him the steward of his house), oddawszy mu we władanie cały swój majątek (having placed in his control his entire property).

Wersety 5-7

  • ustanowić (pf.), to appoint
  • spocząć (pf.), to (come to) rest
  • powierzyć (pf.), to entrust, to commit
  • troszczyć się (pf.), to care, to worry
  • zwyknąć (pf.), used to
  • uwaga (f.), attention

Review: odkąd (since, from the time that), dom (m., house), zarządca (m., steward, administrator), majątek (m., property, riches), błogosławić (impf., to bless), wzgląd (m., cause, reason), błogosławieństwo (n., blessing), posiadać (impf., to own, to possess), pole (n., field), pokarm (m., food), jadać (impf., to eat), piękny (fine, beautiful), postać (f., form, figure), miły (nice, pleasant), powierzchowność (f., appearance), wydarzenie (n., event, occurrence, incident), zwrócić (pf., to [re]turn), żona (f., wife), pan (m., master, lord), położyć się (pf., to lie down).

Verse 5: przez wzgląd na Józefa (on account of Joseph); tak spoczęło błogosławieństwo Pana na wszystkim (thus came to rest the blessing of the Lord on all).

Declension of wszystek:

Verse 6: powierzywszy (having entrusted); nie troszczył się już przy nim o nic (he [Potiphar] no longer worried next to him [that is, with Joseph alongside him] about anything), tylko o [to, aby miał takie] pokarmy, jakie zwykł jadać (only about having such food as he used to eat). With Joseph as his trusted steward, Potiphar had no need to concern himself with the affairs of the household, expect as regarded food.

Joseph is described here (Józef miał piękną postać i miłą powierzchowność) in the same way as was his mother Rachel in Rdz 29:17: Rachela zaś miała piękną postać i miłą powierzchowność. This is mentioned because it leads into what is described in the next verse.

Verse 7: zwróciła na niego uwagę żona jego pana (his master’s wife turned her attention to him); she says: połóż się ze mną (lie with me).

Wersety 8-10

  • wzbraniać (impf.), to prohibit, to forbid
  • zgrzeszyć (pf.), to sin
  • namawiać (impf.), to persuade, to encourage
  • codziennie, daily, every day

Review: zgodzić się (pf., to agree, to consent), odpowiedzieć (pf., to reply), troszczyć się (pf., to care, to worry), odkąd (from the time that, since), władanie (n., control), większy (great, large), władza (f., power, rule), wyjąć (pf., to take out), ponieważ (given that), jakże (how, how on earth), móc (impf., may, to be able), niegodziwość (f., wickedness, vileness), przeciwko (against), mimo (despite), usłuchać (pf., to heed, to obey), chcieć (impf., to want), położyć się (pf., to lie down), żyć (impf., to have relations).

Verse 8: pan mój o nic się nie troszczy (my master does not worry about anything).

Verse 9: on sam nie ma w swym domu większej władzy niż ja (he himself does not have in his house any power greater than me) i niczego mi nie wzbrania (and he does not forbid me anything). As for wyjąwszy ciebie, this is to be understood as having excluded you, that is, except you (the only thing that has been forbidden to him is his master’s wife).

In verse 10, you read that despite his master’s wife’s efforts to persuade him, Joseph refused to lie with her. Understand: nie chciał położyć się przy niej (he was not wanting [he was refusing] to lie next to her), aby z nią żyć (so as to have relations with her).

Wersety 11-15

  • spełniać (impf.), to attend, to fulfil
  • obowiązek (m.), duty
  • uchwycić (pf.), to catch hold, to grasp
  • wyrwać (pf.) się, to wrest oneself free
  • swawolić (impf.), to jest, to prank
  • krzyczeć (impf.), to shout
  • pospiesznie, hurriedly, quickly

Review: pewien (a, one,certain), dzień (m., day), wejść (pf., to enter, to go in), nikt (nobody, no one), domownik (m., household member), płaszcz (m., cloak), powiedzieć (pf., to say), położyć się (pf., to lie down), zostawić (pf., to leave), ręka (f., hand), wybiec, wybiegnąć (pf., to run out), dwór (m., court), zawołać (pf., to call out), patrzeć (impf., to look, to see), sprowadzić (pf., to bring), Hebrajczyk (m., Hebrew), chcieć (impf., to want), przyjść (pf., to arrive, to come), zacząć (pf., to start, to begin), głośno (loudly, in a loud voice).

Verse 11: aby spełniać swe obowiązki (in order to attend to his tasks).

Verse 12: uchwyciła go ona za płaszcz (she took hold of him by the cloak); Potiphar’s wife grabs Joseph and says: połóż się ze mną (lie with me). Joseph wrests himself free, leaves his cloak in her hand (an outer garment that he would have slipped himself out of to get away from her) and goes out: wybiegł na dwór (he ran out into the court); the “court” is an open space.

In verse 14, Potiphar’s wife calls out to the men of the house and says: patrzcie (see), sprowadzono do nas tego Hebrajczyka (one has brought unto us this Hebrew; this Hebrew has been brought unto us), a on chce tu u nas swawolić (but he wishes to jest here amongst us). In the remainder of the verse, Potiphar’s wife accuses Joseph of having attempted to lie with her against her will.

Verse 15: zostawił u mnie swój płaszcz (he left his cloak with me).

Wersety 16-20

  • zajście (n.), incident, event
  • więzienie (n.), prison
  • więzień (m.), prisoner

Review: zatrzymać (pf., to retain, to keep), przyjść (pf., to arrive, to come), opowiedzieć (pf., to tell, to relate), wejść (pf., to come unto), sługa (m., manservant), sprowadzić (pf., to bring), swawolić (impf., to jest, to prank), zacząć (pf., to start, to begin), krzyczeć (impf., to shout), zostawić (pf., to leave), uciec (pf., to flee, to run off), usłyszeć (pf., to hear), słowo (n., word), dodać (pf., to add), postąpić (pf., to behave, to act), zapałać (pf., to be inflamed), gniew (m., anger, wrath), polecić (pf., to instruct, to command), schwytać (pf., to catch), oddać (pf., to turn over, to commit), znajdować się (impf., to be found), faraon (m., pharaoh), przebywać (impf., to sojourn).

Potiphar becomes enraged upon hearing his wife’s version of events and has Joseph put in prison. With the aid of the vocabulary listed above, as well as the few notes below, work your way through these verses.

Verse 19: zapałał wielkim gniewem (he got inflamed with great anger).

Verse 20: oddać go do więzienia (to commit him to prison, to turn him over to [the] prison; that is, to put him in prison); gdzie znajdowali się więźniowie faraona (where the prisoners of the Pharaoh were found; that is, where the prisoners of the Pharaoh were kept; were to be found).

Wersety 21-23

  • miłosierdzie (n.), mercy, grace
  • zjednać (pf.), to win over
  • naczelnik (m.) więzienia, prisonkeeper
  • zarządzić (pf.), to preordain, to administer
  • wglądać (impf.), to look
  • zupełnie, completely
  • udawać (impf.) się, to succeed

Review: okazywać (impf., to show), toteż (therefore), władza (f., power), znajdować się (impf., to be found), cokolwiek (whatever, eveything that), spełnić (pf., to fulfil, to accomplish), sprawiać (impf., to cause, to bring about), czynić (impf., to do, to make).

The Lord was on Joseph’s side (verse 21); he showed Joseph mercy and put him in the good favour of the keeper of the prison: tak że zjednał on sobie naczelnika więzienia (such that he won over the prisonkeeper).

In verse 22, you read that the keeper gave Joseph authority over all the prisoners: dał Józefowi władzę (he gave Joseph power) nad wszystkimi znajdującymi się tam więźniami (over all the prisoners finding themselves there; that is, over all the prisoners who were kept there). In the remainder of the verse, you read that whatever the prisoners did, it was because Joseph had preordained it.

Verse 23: naczelnik więzienia nie wglądał już zupełnie (the prisonkeeper was no longer looking at all). Also: Pan był z nim i sprawiał (the Lord was with him and brought about), że się mu udawało wszystko, co czynił (that everything that he was doing was succeeding unto him; that is, that everything that he did was successful).