Friulian language series: Esodo 30, altâr dai bonodôrs

You have now come to chapter 30 in your study of the book of Exodus in Friulian version. In Esodo 30, you will read about the following subjects: l’altâr dai bonodôrs (altar of the pleasing odours), la tasse pal santuari (sanctuary tax; literally, tax for the sanctuary), la concje di bronç (copper laver), il vueli de unzion (anointing oil), i bonodôrs di brusâ (pleasing odours to be burnt).

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Read Esodo 30

To read the Friulian text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Bibie par un popul and consult Esodo 30. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Versets 1-6

Vocabulary: un altâr (altar), l’incens (incense), fumâ (to smoke), il len (wood), la agace (acacia; also agacie), di len di agace (made of acacia wood), cuadrât (square), lunc (long), il comedon (cubit; elbow), larc (wide), alt (tall), e mieç (and a half), il cuar (horn), fâ bloc cun (to be as one with), riviestî (to cover, to overlay; also rivistî), la plache (sheet, plate), di aur rût (made of pure gold), il plan (surface; il plan parsore, top surface), la parêt (wall), torator (around, round about), la curnîs (moulding, border), un anel (ring), sot di (beneath), di ca e di là (on either side), la bande (side), sistemâ (to set, to place), la stangje (pole), puartâ (to bear, to carry), meti (to put), il vêl (veil), colâ jù (to hang down), la arcje dal pat (ark of the covenant), il propiziatori (propitiatory), parsore di (above, over), la testemoneance (testimony), cjatâsi (to be found).

Verse 1: The verb fumâ means to smoke; fâ fumâ, then, means to cause to smoke. The expression fâ fumâ l’incens (literally, to cause incense to smoke) used in this verse can of course be understood as meaning to burn incense, but the emphasis here is on the smoking aspect of it. An exact alignment with to burn incense is found in the Friulian expression brusâ l’incens, which is used in verse 7 ahead. It would appear that fâ fumâ l’incens as used in this first verse follows on better from the original Hebrew; in this case, it would probably be better rendered along the lines of to send incense into smoke, rather than to burn incense.

Verse 2: Lunc un comedon: a cubit long. Larc un comedon: a cubit wide. Alt doi comedons e mieç: two and a half cubits tall. Fâ bloc cun is to be understood as meaning to be as one with; that is, to form a single piece (a single “block”) with. You read: i siei cuars a fasaran bloc cun lui (its horns shall be as one with it).

Verse 3: Il plan parsore: top surface.

Verse 4: Sot de curnîs: under the moulding. Di ca e di là: on either side. Des dôs bandis: on both sides. Par sistemâ lis stangjis che a àn di puartâlu: so as to put in the poles that were to bear it.

Verse 6: Denant dal vêl che al cole jù: before the veil that hangs down. Parsore de testemoneance: over the testimony. Là che jo ti disarai di cjatâsi: there where I shall tell you to be found. The sense of là che jo ti disarai di cjatâsi is where I shall tell you to be found (so that I may meet with you). Note that the Friulian has used cjatâsi (rather than cjatâti); it is clear from jo ti disarai that it is question here of you.

Versets 7-10

Vocabulary: fumâ (to smoke), l’incens (incense), profumât (fragrant, scented), ogni dì (every day), a buinore (in the morning), brusâ l’incens (to burn incense), comedâ (to fix, to repair; to tend), la lampade (lamp), tornâ a fâ (to do again), meti la lampade (to light the lamp), sul lâ a mont dal soreli (at sunset), in chê volte (then, at that time), par simpri (forever, everlasting), la gjenerazion (generation), parsore (upon, on top), nissun altri (no other), un olocaust (burnt offering), la ufierte (offering), strucjâ (to pour), la libagjon (libation), un viaç ad an (once a year), smondeâ (to purify), il cuar (horn), un altâr (altar), il sanc (blood), il sacrifici dal pecjât (sin offering), te dì di (on the day of), la espiazion (expiation, atonement), une volte ad an (once a year), la int (people), sant (holy, sacred), cence fin (endlessly).

Verse 7: Regarding fâ fumâ l’incens, see the notes at verse 1; as for brusâ l’incens, this translates literally as to burn incense. Comedâ: every morning, the lamps were to be trimmed and cleaned, their wicks attended to and oil added as necessary; the Friulian comedâ means to fix, to repair, but it would be better rendered in this context as to tend: cuant che al comedarà lis lampadis (when he will tend the lamps; that is, when he tends the lamps). Supplementary examples of comedâ: comedâ une cjadree (to fix a chair, to repair a chair); o ai fat comedâ la biciclete (I had the bicycle repaired, I got the bike fixed). Also from this verse: incens profumât (fragrant incense); ogni dì a buinore (every day in the morning; that is, every morning).

Verse 8: E cuant che Aron al tornarà a meti lis lampadis (and when Aaron will light the lamps again; that is, and when Aaron lights the lamps again), sul lâ a mont dal soreli (at sunset; literally, at the setting of the sun), lu brusarà ancje in chê volte (he shall burn it also then). Review the following: il soreli (sun), lâ a mont (to set), il lâ a mont (the setting), il lâ a mont dal soreli (the setting of the sun), sul lâ a mont dal soreli (at the setting of the sun; that is, at sunset). Related to these is the verb tramontâ, which, like lâ a mont, means to set. The sense of tramontâ as it derives from Latin is “to go beyond the mounts” (that is, the sun disappears behind the mounts when it sets; the Friulian for mount is la mont); as for lâ a mont, its literal sense is “to go unto the mounts.”

Verse 9: Parsore no brusarês nissun altri incens (upon it you shall burn no other incense) ni olocaust (nor burnt offering) ni ufierte (nor offering; this was a meal offering or meat offering) e no strucjarês parsore vie nissune libagjon (and you shall not pour on top of it any libation). Parsore no brusarês nissun altri incens can be taken in English as you shall burn no other incense upon it or you shall not burn any other incense upon it; Friulian uses a double negative: parsore (upon it) no brusarês (you shall not burn) nissun altri incens (no other incense).

Verse 10: Two different wordings are used in this verse to express once a year: un viaç ad an and une volte ad an. Both un viaç and une volte mean one time; un viaç ad an and une volte ad an translate literally as one time per year. Also from this verse: te dì de espiazion (on the day of atonement); al smondearà sè e dute la vuestre int (he shall purify [both] himself and all your people); sant cence fin (most holy; literally, endlessly holy, holy without end). Observe the following: al smondearà (he shall purify) ([both] himself) e dute la vuestre int (and all your people); this use of (himself) is a stressed one; it can perhaps be highlighted here with the English use of both. Compare:

si smondearà
he shall purify himself

al smondearà e dute la vuestre int
he shall purify (both) himself and all your people

Because it is not only himself that he must purify but also all the people, the Friulian equivalents of himself and all your people both get placed after the verb. It is not possible to say si smondearà e dute la vuestre int and have it convey the same sense — from this, you would be left unsure as to the meaning of the sentence; you would understand that he is to purify himself, but you would not understand that he is also to purify the people. Instead, dute la vuestre int appears here as a new subject leading on to some incomplete thought, along the lines of he shall purify himself and [as for] all your people…

Versets 11-16

Vocabulary: fevelâ (to speak), cussì (thus, in this way), il cens (census), il fi (son), savê (to know), trop (how many), ognidun di lôr (each one of them), paiâ (to pay), il riscat (ransom), la vite (life), capitâ (to occur, to happen), alc di mâl (something bad), contâ (to count), vê dirit (to be entitled; literally, to have the right), mieç (half), il sicli (shekel; also siclo), l’aur (gold), il pês (weight), il santuari (sanctuary), vadì (that is to say), vincj ghera (twenty gerahs), il contribût (contribution, offering), dâsi in note (to register oneself), valadì (that is to say), dai vincj agns in sù (from age twenty and up), il siôr (rich man), dâ di plui (to give more), il puar (poor man), dâ di mancul (to give less), sfrancjâ (to redeem), cjoli (to take), i bêçs (money), il servizi (service), la tende de cunvigne (tent of the convocation), il memoriâl (memorial, reminder).

Verse 12: Fâ il cens: to take the census. Par savê trops che a son: to know how many they are; that is, to know how numerous they are, to know how many of them there are. Paiâ un riscat pe sô vite: to pay a ransom for one’s life. Par no che ur capiti alc di mâl: so that nothing bad happens to them; so that no harm befalls them; that is, a punishment.

al capite
it happens
ur capite
it happens unto them

par che ur capiti
so that it happens unto them
par no che ur capiti
so that it does not happen unto them

alc di mâl
something bad

par no che ur capiti alc di mâl
so that it does not happen unto them something bad
(that is, so that nothing bad happens to them; so that no harm befalls them)

Verse 13: Ducj chei che a àn dirit di jessi contâts (all those who are entitled to be counted) a daran mieç sicli d’aur (they shall give a half-shekel of gold) dal pês dal sicli dal santuari (by the weight of the shekel of the sanctuary): vadì vincj ghera par sicli (that is to say, twenty gerahs to the shekel). Regarding vadì (that is to say), compare this to the synonymous valadì used in verse 14 ahead. Chest mieç sicli: this half-shekel. There is variation in this Bible over the rendering of shekel into Friulian. You have seen two forms: il siclo with its plural siclos (see Gjen 23:15; Gjen 24:22; Gjen 37:28; Gjen 45:22) and il sicli with its plural siclis (see Es 21:32 and the current verse). In the text of the current verse, the form sicli is used, but the speaker in the associated recording says siclo.

Verse 14: Ducj chei che a àn dirit di dâsi in note (all those who are entitled to register themselves), valadì dai vincj agns in sù (that is to say, from age twenty and up).

Verse 15: Il siôr nol darà di plui (the rich man shall not give more) e il puar nol darà di mancul (and the poor man shall not give less) di mieç sicli (than a half-shekel) cuant che al paiarà il contribût pal Signôr (when he will pay the contribution for the Lord; that is, when he pays the Lord’s offering), par sfrancjâ la sô vite (so as to redeem his life).

Verse 16: I bêçs dal riscat: ransom money. Pal servizi di: to (for) the service of.

Versets 17-21

Vocabulary: fevelâ (to speak), la concje (laver, font, basin), il bronç (bronze), il çocul (base), lavâsi (to wash oneself), meti fra (to put between), la tende de cunvigne (tent of the convocation), un altâr (altar), meti dentri (to put in), la aghe (water), la man (hand), il pît (foot), jentrâ (to enter), vê voe di (to want, to wish; also voie), murî (to die), compagn (likewise), svicinâsi (to approach, to draw near), la funzion (officiation, service, function), brusâ (to burn), la ufierte (offering), consumâ (to consume), la leç (law, ruling), par simpri (forever, everlasting), daûr di (after), la gjenerazion (generation).

Verse 18: Tu fasarâs une concje di bronç (you shall make a bronze laver) cul çocul di bronç (with a bronze base) par lavâsi (for washing oneself). Tu metarâs dentri l’aghe: you shall put water in it.

Verse 19: Lavâsi lis mans: to wash one’s hands. Lavâsi i pîts: to wash one’s feet. These can be understood literally as to wash the hands unto oneself and to wash the feet unto oneself. For example, si è lavât lis mans (he has washed his hands) translates literally as unto himself he has washed the hands. This is not formal language; this is simply how Friulian expresses he has washed his hands. Consider now the difference between the following: si è taiât il dêt (he has cut his finger; literally, unto himself he has cut the finger) and i à taiât il dêt (he has cut his finger; literally, unto him he has cut the finger). In these last two examples, English may not always make a distinction in its wording (he has cut his finger is possible for both), but the difference becomes clear in the literal English translations: the first is reflexive (unto himself), whereas the second is not (unto him). In the first example (si è taiât il dêt), the subject has cut his own finger, whereas in the second example (i à taiât il dêt), the subject has cut the finger of some other person.

Verse 20: Se no àn voe di murî: if they do not wish to die. Compagn cuant che si svicinaran al altâr pes funzions: likewise when they will draw near to the altar for the officiations (service, function). You will have no doubt noticed that Friulian often employs the future (such as here, following cuant che) where English uses the present (but with a future sense); cuant che si svicinaran would be better expressed in English as when they draw near (or when they approach), with the understanding that it is question of future time. You have seen the verb funzionâ used numerous times in the sense of to officiate (to serve); lis funzions can be taken as meaning officiations (service, functions). Brusâ means to burn; here you find fâ brusâ, which can be taken literally as to cause to burn, to make burn: par fâ brusâ une ufierte (to make an offering burn).

Verse 21: Par chei daûr di lui: for those after him; that is, for his offspring.

Versets 22-29

Vocabulary: fevelâ (to speak), cirî fûr (to seek out), il balsim (balsam), di chel plui bon (of the best, choicest), cinccent (five hundred), il sicli (shekel; also siclo, see note at verse 13), la mire (myrrh), rût (pure), la metât (half), vadì (that is to say), dusinte e cincuante (two hundred and fifty), la canele (cinnamon), profumât (fragrant, scented), la cjane (cane), la cassie (cassia), il pês (weight), daûr dal pês di (by the weight of), il santuari (sanctuary), un hin (hin), il vueli di ulîf (olive oil), sacri (sacred), la unzion (anointment, anointing), la misure (measure), preparâ (to prepare), il bonodôr (pleasing odour), onzi (to anoint), parie (likewise, in the same way), la tende de cunvigne (tent of the convocation), l’arcje dal pat (ark of the covenant), la taule (table), il furniment (furnishing), il cjandelîr (lampstand), un altâr (altar), un olocaust (burnt offering), la concje (laver, font, basin), il çocul (base), consacrâ (to consecrate), sant (holy, sacred), cence fin (endlessly; that is, most, to the highest degree), tocjâ (to touch).

Verse 23: Cîr fûr balsim di chel plui bon: seek out balsam from amongst the best; that is, seek out the most choice balsam. Cîr is the second-person singular of the imperative of the verb cirî. Review Friulian cardinal numbers here; a number of them appear in this verse.

Verse 24: The masculine ulîf refers to the plant (olive tree); the feminine ulive is its fruit (an olive). In this verse, you find il vueli di ulîf (with the masculine ulîf used); il vueli di ulive (with the feminine) is also used in Friulian. Both vueli di ulîf and vueli di ulive can be taken as olive oil, but the first emphasises the plant from which the oil ultimately comes, and the second its fruit.

Verse 25: Un vueli pe sacre unzion: a sacred anointing oil; literally, an oil for the sacred anointment. As for une misure come che al sa preparâle chel dai bonodôrs, the sense of this is a measure identical to what he of the pleasing odours knows how to prepare; literally: une misure (a measure) come che al sa preparâle (like he knows [how] to prepare it) chel dai bonodôrs (he of the pleasing odours). To put it another way, a measure (of the sacred anointing oil) shall be made after the manner of he who prepares pleasing odours (or perfumes); that is, with skill, with art.

Versets 30-33

Vocabulary: onzi (to anoint), consacrâ (to consecrate), il predi (priest), fâ di predi (to act as priest), fevelâ (to speak), (to say), daûr di vualtris (after you), il vueli (oil), sacri (sacred), la unzion (anointment, anointing), podê (can, to be able), strucjâ (to pour), il cuarp (body), un om (man), cualunche (any, whichever), compagn (identical), stes (same), la composizion (composition), la robe (thing, matter), sant (holy, sacred), tignî par sant (to hold sacred), il bonodôr (pleasing odour), il forest (foreigner, outsider), taiâ fûr di (to cut off from), il popul (people).

Verse 30: Par che mi fasin di predis: so that they serve as priests unto me; so that they act as priests for me. Review the following forms:

mi fâs di predi
par che mi fasi di predi
he serves as priest unto me
so that he serves as priest unto me

mi fasin di predis
par che mi fasin di predis
they serve as priests unto me
so that they serve as priests unto me

Verse 32: No si podarà strucjâlu (one must not [cannot] pour it) sul cuarp di un om cualunche (on the body of whichever man) e no ’nt fasarês di compagn (and you shall not make anything identical to it), cu la stesse composizion (with the same composition). No si podarà strucjâlu can be taken more literally as one shall not be able to pour it; it shall not be able to be poured. Un om cualunche means any man, whichever man in the sense of any unspecified man, any ordinary man. From no ’nt fasarês di compagn, understand: no (not) ’nt (of it) fasarês (shall you make) di compagn (identical); that is, you shall not make anything identical to it. Also: le tignarês par sante (you shall hold it sacred).

Verse 33: Ducj chei che a fasaran il stes bonodôr (all those who will make the same pleasing odour; that is, all those who make the same pleasing odour) e a onzaran un forest (and who will anoint an outsider; that is, and who anoint an outsider), a saran taiâts fûr dal lôr popul (they shall be cut off from their people). The adjective stes (same) is the masculine singular form; stesse is its feminine singular; compare: il stes bonodôr (verse 33), la stesse composizion (verse 32). The masculine plural form is stes; the feminine plural is stessis.

Versets 34-38

Vocabulary: cjoli (to take), un pôc di (some, a little, a bit of), il nasebon (fragrance), il stirac (storax), il sardoni (sardonyx; onycha), il galbin (galbanum), il profum (fragrance), l’incens rût (frankincense; literally, pure incense), stes (same), la misure (measure), brusâ (to burn), fuart (strong), rût (pure), sant (holy, sacred), pestâ (to crush), une grampe di (a handful of), fin fin (very fine[ly]), meti denant di (to put before, to place in front of), il pat (covenant), la tende de cunvigne (tent of the convocation), incuintrâ (to meet), la robe (thing, matter), cence fin (endlessly; that is, most, to the highest degree), il bonodôr (pleasing odour), par chel cont (for this purpose), di compagn (identical), bandît (consecrated, sanctified), nasâ (to smell), taiâ fûr di (to cut off from), il popul (people).

Verse 34: Un pôcs di nasebons: some fragrances; recall that pôc from the expression un pôc di agrees in number and gender with the noun (masculine: pôc [sing.], pôcs [pl.]; feminine: pocje [sing.], pocjis [pl.]). Other examples that you have seen of this:

un pôc di balsim (m.sing.)
some balsam (Gjenesi 43:11)

un pocje di mîl (f.sing.)
some honey (Gjenesi 43:11)

un pôcs di pastôrs (
some shepherds (Esodo 2:17)

un pocjis di breis (
some planks (Esodo 26:15)

Verse 35: Tu ’nt fasarâs un profum di brusâ: you shall make of them a fragrance to burn. Regarding come che al fâs chel dai bonodôrs, see the notes at verse 25.

Verse 36: Tu ’nt pestarâs une grampe: you shall crush a handful of it. Là che jo ti incuintrarai: there where I shall meet you.

Verse 37: No tu ’nt fasarâs di compagn par vualtris: you shall not make an identical one of it for yourselves. Al sarà par te sant, bandît pal Signôr: it shall be held as holy by you, consecrated unto the Lord; literally, it shall be for you holy, consecrated for the Lord. The sense of bandît is set apart (in the service of the Lord).

Verse 38: Chel che int fasarà di compagn: he who will make of it an identical one. Par nasânt il profum: to smell the fragrance of it.