Polish language series: Rdz 40, Józef wyjaśnia sny

You will now study the fortieth chapter of the book of Genesis through the Polish language; in Rdz 40, you will read about: Józef wyjaśnia sny (Joseph explains [that is, interprets] dreams). The imperfective verb wyjaśniać means to explain.

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Read Rdz 40

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 40. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Wersety 1-4

  • podczaszy (m.), cupbearer
  • nadworny, court
  • piekarz (m.), baker
  • główny, main, chief
  • straż (f.), watch, guard

Review: wydarzenie (n., event, incident), król (m., king), egipski (Egyptian), dopuścić się (pf., to commit), wykroczenie (n., transgression, offence), przeciwko (against), pan (m., lord, master), faraon (m., pharaoh), rozgniewać się (pf., to get angry), oba (both), dworzanin (m., courtier), przełożony (m., superior, chief), oddać (pf., to commit, to turn over), więzienie (n., prison), właśnie (exactly, the very same), przebywać (impf., to sojourn, to stay), tenże (the same), powierzyć (pf., to entrust, to commit), opieka (f., care, protection), usługiwać (impf., to tend, to serve), jakiś (some), czas (m., time).

Verse 1: The podczaszy (cupbearer) was an officer who looked after the king’s cellar, whereas the nadworny piekarz (court baker) looked after his bakehouse; both held high positions at the Egyptian court. In this first verse, you read that these two officials committed an offence against the Egyptian king.

Przeciwko is followed by the celownik (dative):

przeciwko swemu panu
against their lord

przeciwko królowi egipskiemu
against the Egyptian king

Verse 2: faraon, rozgniewawszy się na obu tych dworzan (the Pharaoh, having become angry with both these courtiers), głównego podczaszego i przełożonego nadwornych piekarzy ([with] the chief cupbearer and the chief of the court bakers).

rozgniewawszy się na dworzan
having become angry with the courtiers

rozgniewawszy się na podczaszego
having become angry with the cupbearer

rozgniewawszy się na przełożonego
having become angry with the chief

przełożony nadwornych piekarzy
the chief of the court bakers

Declension of oba (plural only)

m. (pers.) m. (npers.),
n.
f.
nom.,
voc.
obaj oba obie
gen. obu obu obu
dat. obu obu obu
acc. obu
oba obie
instr. oboma oboma obiema
loc. obu obu obu

m. (pers.), masculine personal
m. (npers.), masculine non-personal

Verse 3: oddał ich pod straż przełożonego dworzan (he turned them over to the watch [under the watch] of the chief of the courtiers). Also: do więzienia (to the prison) tam właśnie (exactly there), gdzie przebywał Józef (where Joseph was staying); that is, to the very same prison where Joseph was kept.

In verse 4, you read that the przełożony dworzan put the officers under the care of Joseph, who served them (as an attendant). W więzieniu: in the prison.

Wersety 5-8

  • znaczenie (n.), meaning, significance
  • rano (n.), morning
  • zafrasowany, concerned, worried
  • zasępiony, downcast, gloomy
  • wytłumaczyć (pf.), to explain
  • wytłumaczenie (n.), explanation

Review: noc (f., night), sen (m., dream), różny (different, various), przyjść (pf., to arrive, to come), zobaczyć (pf., to see), zapytać (pf., to ask), czemu (why), dzisiaj (today), twarz (f., face), odpowiedzieć (pf., to reply), nikt (nobody), wszak (after all), należeć (impf., to belong), opowiedzieć (pf., to tell, to relate).

In verse 5, you read that both officials had a dream, and on the same night: tej samej nocy obaj mieli sen (that same night both had a dream). The two dreams had different interpretations.

Verse 6: z rana (in the morning).

Verse 7: wraz z nim (along with him). Joseph asks the officials: czemu to dzisiaj macie twarze tak zasępione? (why have you such downcast faces today?).

Declension of twarz (f.)

sing. pl.
nom. twarz twarze
gen. twarzy twarzy
dat. twarzy twarzom
acc. twarz twarze
instr. twarzą twarzami
loc. twarzy twarzach
voc. twarzy twarze

In verse 8, the officials explain the reason for their countenance: mieliśmy sen (we had a dream) i nie ma nikogo (and there is not anybody), kto mógłby nam go wytłumaczyć (who could explain [that is, interpret] it to us). In the remainder of the verse, Joseph says: wszak wytłumaczenia należą do Boga (explanations [interpretations] after all belong to God). He tells the officials to tell him their dreams: opowiedzcie mi je (tell them to me).

Learn or review the imperfective past conjugation of mieć in its masculine and feminine forms:

(masculine)
miałem (1.ps)
miałeś (2.ps)
miał (3.ps)
mieliśmy (1.ps)
mieliście (2.ps)
mieli (3.ps)

(feminine)
miałam (1.ps)
miałaś (2.ps)
miała (3.ps)
miałyśmy (1.ps)
miałyście (2.ps)
miały (3.ps)

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

Declension of nikt

nom. nikt
gen. nikogo
dat. nikomu
acc. nikogo
instr. nikim
loc. nikim
voc. nikt

Wersety 9-11

  • rosnąć (impf.), to grow
  • pączek (m.), bud
  • zakwitnąć (pf.), to blossom
  • grono (n.), cluster
  • dojrzały, ripe, mature
  • jagoda (f.), berry
  • puchar (m.), goblet
  • wycisnąć (pf.), to squeeze out
  • wręczyć (pf.), to hand over

Review: główny (main, chief), widzieć (impf., to see), krzew (m., shrub), winny (wine-, vine-), trzy (three), gałązka (f., twig, small branch), wypuścić (pf., to send forth), wydać (pf., to bring forth), ręka (f., hand), zerwać (pf., to pick [off], to break [off]).

In verse 9, the cupbearer begins to tell Joseph of his dream, in which he saw a vine growing before him; przede mną (before me).

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

Verse 10: In the vine, there were three small branches: były trzy gałązki; gałązka is the diminutive of gałąź (f., branch). Also: wypuścił pączki (it sent forth buds); zakwitł (it blossomed); jego grona wydały dojrzałe jagody (its clusters brought forth ripe berries).

In verse 11, the cupbearer says that he had the Pharaoh’s goblet in his hand. He picked the berries (zerwałem te jagody), squeezed them into the goblet (wycisnąłem je do pucharu) and handed it to the Pharaoh.

Wersety 12-15

  • urząd (m.), office, post
  • podawać (impf.), to serve, to hand
  • dziać się (impf.), to happen, to occur
  • wspomnieć (pf.), to mention
  • uwolnić (pf.), to free, to release
  • wtrącić (pf.), to throw, to thrust
  • loch (m.), dungeon
  • należałoby, one should, one ought

Review: znaczenie (n., meaning, significance), gałązka (f., twig, small branch), dzień (m., day), upływ (m., passage), wyświadczyć (pf., to render, to show), łaska (f., grace, mercy), przywrócić (pf., to restore), dawny (former), przedtem (before, previously), podczaszy (m., cupbearer), zapomnieć (pf., to forget), okazać (pf., to show), życzliwość (f., kindness, favour), miejsce (n., place), przemoc (f., violence), uprowadzić (pf., to take away), kraj (m., land, country), Hebrajczyk (m., Hebrew), również (also), popełnić (pf., to commit, to perpetrate).

In verse 12, Joseph begins his interpretation of the cupbearer’s dream by saying: znaczenie snu jest takie (the meaning of the dream is as such). The three branches, he says, represent three days.

Verse 13: po upływie trzech dni (after the passage of three days); Joseph explains that the Pharaoh will show the cupbearer mercy (wyświadczy ci łaskę, he will show you mercy) and return him to his office (przywróci cię na twój dawny urząd, he will restore you to your former office). Be sure to internalise the difference between ci (dative) and cię (accusative) in those last two portions of text. Returned to his office, the cupbearer will again serve the Pharaoh: będziesz podawał faraonowi puchar (you will serve [you will be serving] the Pharaoh his goblet) tak samo jak przedtem (just as before), gdy byłeś jego podczaszym (when you were his cupbearer).

Verse 14: jeśli nie zapomnisz o mnie (if you will not forget me), kiedy będzie ci się dobrze działo (when it will occur well unto you; that is, when it fares well with you). As for okaż mi życzliwość, this means show me kindness; show me favour, where okaż is the second-person singular imperative of the perfective okazać. Joseph asks the cupbearer to mention him to the Pharaoh: wspomnij o mnie faraonowi (mention me to the Pharaoh; make mention of [about] me to the Pharaoh), such that he might be freed from the prison.

Verse 15: przemocą (with violence); zostałem uprowadzony (I got taken away); nie popełniłem nic takiego, za co należałoby mnie wtrącić do tego lochu (I have committed nothing such that one ought to have thrown me in this dungeon).

Wersety 16-19

  • kosz (m.), basket
  • pieczywo (n.), breadstuffs
  • wydziobywać (impf.), to peck up
  • ściąć (pf.), to cut off
  • powiesić (pf.), to hang
  • rozdziobywać (impf.), to peck at

Review: przełożony (m., superior, chief), nadworny (court), piekarz (m., baker), widzieć (impf., to see), dobrze (well), sen (m., dream), wytłumaczyć (pf., to explain), trzymać (impf., to hold, to keep), głowa (f., head), biały (white), wierzch (m., top, surface), znajdować się (impf., to be found), wyrabiać (impf., to produce), ptactwo (n., fowl), znaczenie (n., meaning, significance), rozkazać (pf., to order, to command), ciało (n., body), drzewo (n., tree), ptak (m., bird).

The chief baker now tells his dream; in verse 16, he says: trzymałem na głowie trzy kosze białego pieczywa (I was carrying [holding] on my head three white baskets of breadstuffs).

Verse 17: na wierzchu (on the top); znajdowało się wszelkie pieczywo (all sorts of breadstuffs were found); ptactwo wydziobywało je z tego kosza (the fowl were pecking them up from this basket).

Verse 19: za trzy dni (in three days, three days from now); faraon rozkaże ściąć ci głowę (the Pharaoh will command that your head be cut off; literally, the Pharaoh will command to cut off the head unto you) i powiesić twe ciało na drzewie (and that your body be hanged from a tree; literally, and to hang your body on a tree). Joseph also tells the unfortunate baker that birds will be pecking away at his body.

Declension of drzewo (n.)

sing. pl.
nom. drzewo drzewa
gen. drzewa drzew
dat. drzewu drzewom
acc. drzewo drzewa
instr. drzewem drzewami
loc. drzewie drzewach
voc. drzewo drzewa

Wersety 20-23

  • urodziny (pl.), birthday

Review: trzeci (third), dzień (m., day), wyprawić (pf., to give [feast]), uczta (f., feast), dworzanin (m., courtier), obecność (f., presence), kazać (impf., to order, to command), sprowadzić (pf., to bring), więzienie (n., prison), przełożony (m., superior, chief), podczaszy (m., cupbearer), piekarz (m., baker), przywrócić (pf., to restore), dawny (former), urząd (m., office, post), podawać (impf., to serve, to hand), puchar (m., goblet), powiesić (pf., to hang), zapowiedzieć (pf., to announce, to foretell), pamiętać (impf., to remember), jednak (however), zapomnieć (pf., to forget).

Verse 20: na trzeci dzień (on the third day), w dniu swoich urodzin (on the day of his [the Pharaoh’s] birthday). Also from this verse: sprowadzić z więzienia (to bring out of the prison) przełożonego podczaszych (the chief of the cupbearers) i przełożonego piekarzy (and the chief of the bakers).

Verse 22: jak im zapowiedział Józef (as Joseph had foretold them).

Verse 23: nie pamiętał jednak o Józefie (however, he did not remember [was not remembering about] Joseph), zapomniał o nim (he forgot about him).