Polish language series: Wj 8, plagi egipskie

In this eighth chapter of the book of Exodus, you continue to read about the plagues of Egypt: plagi egipskie. You will read about the second, third and fourth plagues: II., żaby (frogs); III., komary (mosquitoes); IV., muchy (flies). Recall from the last chapter that the Polish for frog is the feminine żaba. The masculine komar, which you meet for the first time in your reading of this chapter, is a blood-sucking fly — a mosquito. As for the feminine mucha, this is a fly.

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Read Wj 8

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Wj 8. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Wersety 1-5

  • oddalić (pf.), to remove, to withdraw

Review: powiedzieć (pf., to say), wyciągnąć (pf., to extend), ręka (f., hand), laska (f., rod, staff), rzeka (f., river), kanał (m., canal), staw (m., pond), wprowadzić (pf., to conduct, to bring, to lead), żaba (f., frog), ziemia (f., land, earth), egipski (Egyptian), woda (f., water),  wyjść (pf., to go [come] out), pokryć (pf., to cover), czarownik (m., sorcerer), uczynić (pf., to do, to make), dzięki (owing to, thanks to), wiedza (f., knowledge), tajemny (secret, occult, esoteric), sprowadzić (pf., to bring), zawołać (pf., to summon, to call out), prosić (impf., to ask, to entreat), usunąć (pf., to remove, to clear away), lud (m., people), wypuścić (pf., to let go, to release), złożyć (pf., to offer up), ofiara (f., offering, sacrifice), odpowiedzieć (pf., to respond), faraon (m., pharaoh), kiedy (when), sługa (m., servant), dom (m., house), pozostać (pf., to remain).

Verse 1: Wyciągnij rękę i laskę na rzeki, kanały i stawy: extend your hand and rod over the rivers, canals and ponds. Wprowadź żaby do ziemi egipskiej: bring the frogs upon the land of Egypt (the Egyptian land).

Verse 2: Na wody Egiptu: over the waters of Egypt. Wyszły żaby: the frogs came out. Pokryły ziemię egipską: they covered the land of Egypt (the Egyptian land).

Verse 3: Lecz czarownicy uczynili to samo (but the sorcerers did the same) dzięki swej wiedzy tajemnej (owing to their secret knowledge); see also Wj 7, verses 11 and 22. Sprowadzili żaby na ziemię egipską: they brought frogs upon the land of Egypt.

Verse 4: Zawołał więc faraon Mojżesza i Aarona: so the Pharaoh summoned (called out for) Moses and Aaron. The Pharaoh says: proście Pana (entreat the Lord), żeby usunął żaby ode mnie i od ludu mego (to remove [that he remove] the frogs from me and from my people), a wypuszczę lud (and I shall let the people go), aby złożył ofiarę dla Pana (to make [that they offer] a sacrifice to the Lord). Lud is used twice here: the first instance of it (od ludu mego) refers to the Egyptian people; the second instance of it (a wypuszczę lud) refers to the Israelites.

Verse 5: Powiedz mi (tell me), kiedy mam prosić za ciebie (when I must entreat on your behalf), za twoje sługi i za lud twój (on behalf of your servants and on behalf of your people), by Pan oddalił żaby od ciebie (that the Lord remove the frogs from you) i od domów twoich (and from your houses), aby pozostały tylko w Nilu (to remain [so that they remain] only in the Nile). The verb mieć when followed by an infinitive takes on the sense of must, to have to: kiedy mam prosić za ciebie (when I must entreat [or plead] on your behalf); za ciebie (for you) can be taken here as meaning on your behalf.

Wersety 6-11

  • obietnica (f.), promise
  • podwórze (n.), courtyard
  • stos (m.), heap, pile

Review: jutro (tomorrow), stać się (pf., to become), według (according to), słowo (n., word), poznać (pf., to know, to recognise), nikt (nobody), żaba (f., frog), odejść (pf., to leave, to depart), dom (m., house), sługa (m., servant), lud (m., people), pozostać (pf., to remain), jedynie (only), faraon (m., pharaoh), błagać (impf., to plead, to implore), spełnić (pf., to fulfil, to accomplish), spełnienie (n., fulfilment, accomplishment), sprawa (f., matter), uczynić (pf., to do, to make), prośba (f., request), wyginąć (pf., to perish), pole (n., field), zebrać (pf., to gather, to assemble), ziemia (f., land, earth), wydawać (impf., to emit), przykry (nasty, foul), woń (f., odour, smell), zauważyć (pf., to notice, to observe), ustąpić (pf., to recede, to abate), ucisk (m., oppression), serce (n., heart), twardy (hardened), usłuchać (pf., to heed, to listen), zapowiedzieć (pf., to announce, to foretell).

Verse 6: Stanie się według słowa twego (it shall be as you say; literally, it shall become according to your word), abyś poznał (so that you may know), że nie ma nikogo jak Pan, nasz Bóg (that there is none like the Lord, our God). Nikt, meaning nobody, is found in genitive position as nikogo in nie ma nikogo (there is nobody, there is not anybody).

Verse 7: Moses promises the Pharaoh that the frogs shall be cleared away. You read: żaby odejdą od ciebie (the frogs shall depart from you), od twoich domów (from your houses), od twoich sług (from your servants) i od ludu twego (and from your people) i pozostaną jedynie w Nilu (and they shall remain only in the Nile).

Declension of dom (m.)

sing. pl.
nom. dom domy
gen. domu domów
dat. domowi domom
acc. dom domy
instr. domem domami
loc. domu domach
voc. domu domy

Verse 8: Odeszli: they departed, they left; masculine third-person plural past of odejść. Mojżesz błagał Pana (Moses was imploring the Lord) o spełnienie obietnicy (about the fulfilment of the promise), jaką w sprawie żab uczynił faraonowi (that he had made to the Pharaoh in the matter of the frogs). The neuter spełnienie (fulfilment, accomplishment) is formed from the perfective spełnić (to fulfil, to accomplish). The feminine sprawa is the Polish for matter (in the sense of affair, question); w sprawie żab is to be taken as in the matter of the frogs.

Verse 9: Pan uczynił według prośby Mojżesza: the Lord did as Moses had requested; literally, the Lord did according to the request of Moses. The frogs died out in the houses, fields and courtyards: żaby wyginęły (the frogs perished) w domach (in the houses), na polach (in the fields) i na podwórzach (and in the courtyards).

Verse 10: The frogs were collected into heaps and the land began to stink. You read: zebrano je w stosy (one gathered them into heaps; they were gathered into heaps), a ziemia wydawała przykrą woń (and the land was emitting a foul odour).

Verse 11: Gdy faraon zauważył (when the Pharaoh noticed), że ustąpił ucisk (that the oppression had abated), serce jego stało się twarde (his heart became hardened); that is, upon seeing relief from the oppression, the Pharaoh’s heart hardened. As the Lord had said, the Pharaoh did not heed Moses and Aaron: nie usłuchał Mojżesza i Aarona. Co też Pan zapowiedział: which the Lord had foretold.

Wersety 12-15

  • komar (m.), mosquito

Review: wyciągnąć (pf., to extend), laska (f., rod, staff), uderzyć (pf., to strike), proch (m., dust), ziemia (f., earth, land), zamienić się (pf., to transform oneself), cały (entire), egipski (Egyptian), pokryć (pf., to cover), bydło (n., cattle), kraj (m., land, country), starać się (impf., to seek), czarownik (m., sorcerer), dzięki (owing to, thanks to), wiedza (f., knowledge), tajemny (secret, occult, esoteric), sprowadzić (pf., to bring), potrafić (pf., impf., can, to be able), przyjść (pf., to arrive, to come), zwierzę (n., animal), wówczas (then, at that time), palec (m., finger), boży (godly, divine), serce (n., heart), pozostać (pf., to remain), uparty (stubborn, obstinate), usłuchać (pf., to heed, to listen), zapowiedzieć (pf., to announce, to foretell).

Verse 12: Uderz proch ziemi: strike the dust of the earth. Aby zamienił się w komary: so that it turns to mosquitoes.

Declension of komar (m.)

sing. pl.
nom. komar komary
gen. komara komarów
dat. komarowi komarom
acc. komara komary
instr. komarem komarami
loc. komarze komarach
voc. komarze komary

Verse 13: Komary pokryły ziemię i bydło: the mosquitoes covered earth and cattle.

Verse 14: Lecz to samo (but the same) starali się uczynić (sought [were seeking] to do) czarownicy (the sorcerers) dzięki swej wiedzy tajemnej (owing to their secret knowledge), by sprowadzić komary (so as to bring about mosquitoes), ale tego nie potrafili (but of this they were unable); that is, with their secret knowledge, the sorcerers sought to do the same to bring about mosquitoes, but they could not.

Verse 15: Wówczas rzekli czarownicy do faraona (then the sorcerers said to the Pharaoh): Palec to Boży (this is the finger of God; literally, this is the Godly Finger). In verse 11, the Pharaoh’s heart “became hardened” (stało się twarde); in the current verse, it “remained obstinate” (pozostało uparte).

Wersety 16-19

  • spotkać się (pf)., to come together, to meet
  • mucha (f.), fly
  • zamieszkiwać (impf.), to dwell, to inhabit
  • przedział (m.), division, parting

Review: wstać (pf., to arise, to get up), rano (in the morning), wychodzić (impf., to go [come] out), woda (f., water), rzec (impf., to say), wypuścić (pf., to let go, to release), lud (m., people), służyć (impf., to serve), jeżeli (if), zesłać (pf., to send down [from heaven]), sługa (m., servant), dom (m., house), Egipcjanin (m., Egyptian), zostać (pf., to be left, to remain), napełnić (impf., to fill), nawet (even), ziemia (f., earth, land), oddzielić (pf., to separate), dzień (m., day), wiedzieć (impf., to know), rządzić (impf., to rule, to govern), cały (entire), kraj (m., land, country), między (between), jutro (tomorrow), ukazać się (pf., to appear), znak (m., sign).

Verse 16: Wstań rano (arise in the morning), by spotkać się z faraonem (to meet with the Pharaoh; to come together with the Pharaoh), gdy będzie wychodził nad wodę (as he is coming out [when he will be coming out] to the water). To rzecze Pan (this says the Lord): rzec is used here as an imperfective verb (you had only seen rzec as a perfective verb up to this point).

Verse 17: Jeżeli nie wypuścisz ludu mego (if you do not [if you will not] let my people go), to Ja ześlę muchy na ciebie (then I shall send down flies upon you). Recall that zostać (to be left, to remain) can be used to create a passive construction: tak że domy Egipcjan (such that the houses of the Egyptians) zostaną napełnione muchami (shall be filling with flies; more literally, shall be left filling with flies). Napełnione is formed from the imperfective napełnić.

Declension of mucha (f.)

sing. pl.
nom. mucha muchy
gen. muchy much
dat. musze muchom
acc. muchę muchy
instr. muchą muchami
loc. musze muchach
voc. mucho muchy

Verse 18: Którą zamieszkuje mój lud: in which my people dwell. Nie będzie much: there shall not be any flies. Abyś wiedział: so that you know; in order that you know; that you may know. Rządzić w całym kraju: to rule in the entire land.

Verse 19: Uczynię przedział (I shall make a division) między ludem moim a ludem twoim (between my people and your people); following między here is the instrumental. Jutro ukaże się ten znak: tomorrow this sign shall appear.

Wersety 20-23

  • wypadać (impf.), to be proper
  • obraza (f.), transgression, offence
  • niedozwolony, impermissible
  • ukamienować (pf.), to stone (to death)

Review: sprowadzić (pf., to bring), mnóstwo (n., multitude), mucha (f., fly), zniszczyć (pf., to devastate), zawołać (pf., to summon, to call out), złożyć (pf., to offer up), ofiara (f., offering, sacrifice), postępować (impf., to behave, to act), sposób (m., manner, way), ponieważ (because, for), oko (n., eye), pójść (pf., to go), pustynia (f., desert), dzień (m., day), przykazać (pf., to command, to tell).

Verse 20: Sprowadził mnóstwo much do domu faraona: he brought a multitude of flies upon the Pharaoh’s house. Kraj został zniszczony przez muchy: the land was devasted (was left devasted) by the flies.

Verse 21: Możecie: you may; second-person plural. Ale w tym kraju: but within this land.

Verse 22: Nie wypada postępować w ten sposób (it would not be right to behave in this manner), ponieważ obrazą Egipcjan byłaby nasza ofiara dla Pana (for our sacrifice to the Lord would be as an offence to the [of the] Egyptians); byłaby is the feminine, third-person singular of the conditional of the verb być. Also: gdybyśmy złożyli na ofiarę (if we sacrificed; if we made an offering of) to, co w oczach Egipcjan (that which in the eyes of the Egyptians) jest niedozwolone (is impermissible); czy za to nie ukamienowaliby nas? (would they not stone us for it?). Ukamienowaliby: they would stone.

Verse 23: Na trzy dni: at three days’ distance.

Wersety 24-28

  • oddalać się (impf.), to walk away, to withdraw
  • zbytnio, too, excessively, unduly
  • wstawić się (pf.), to intercede
  • usunąć się (pf.), to leave, to withdraw
  • wypuszczać (impf.), to let go, to release

Review: posłać (pf., to send), pustynia (f., desert), złożyć (pf., to offer up), ofiara (f., offering, sacrifice), wyjść (pf., to go [come] out), prosić (impf., to ask, to entreat), jutro (tomorrow), mucha (f., fly), oszukiwać (impf., to deceive, to cheat), nie więcej (no more), pozwolić (pf., to permit, to let), błagać (impf., to plead, to implore), prośba (f., request), usunąć (pf., to remove, to clear away), pozostać (pf., to remain), jeden (one), raz (m., time), serce (n., heart), twardy (hardened), puścić (pf., to let go, to release).

Verse 24: Ja poślę: I shall send. Byście złożyli ofiarę Panu: so that you may make an offering to the Lord; so that you may sacrifice to the Lord. The sense of tylko nie oddalajcie się zbytnio is but do not go too far. Wstawcie się za mną: intercede for me; plead on my behalf.

Verse 25: Gdy wyjdę od ciebie: when I leave your presence; literally, when I shall go out from you. Muchy usuną się: the flies shall withdraw. Tylko niech faraon nie oszukuje nas więcej: but may the Pharaoh not deceive us again (anymore). Nie wypuszczając ludu: (by) not letting the people go. Pozwoli ludowi złożyć ofiarę Panu continues on from niech faraon farther back in the verse: (may the Pharaoh) permit the people to sacrifice to the Lord.

Verse 26: Błagać Pana: to plead with the Lord, to entreat the Lord.

Verse 27: Według próśb Mojżesza: according to the requests of Moses; that is, as Moses had requested; as Moses had asked. The declension of prośba is presented below. Of the flies, you read: nie pozostała ani jedna (not a single one remained; not even one remained).

Declension of prośba (f.)

sing. pl.
nom. prośba prośby
gen. prośby próśb
dat. prośbie prośbom
acc. prośbę prośby
instr. prośbą prośbami
loc. prośbie prośbach
voc. prośbo prośby

Verse 28: Lecz i tym razem: but also this time; but this time as well.