Old Georgian phrases and sentences 27 (The blood moon: Joel 2:31 and its echoes)   Leave a comment

Given last night’s total lunar eclipse, mostly viewable in the Americas, the biblical references of the moon appearing blood-like are a great place to turn to now for some brief reading practice in Georgian. For good measure, I’ve included the Greek and Armenian verses, too.

First, here are the three verses in the venerable KJV:

  • Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
  • Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
  • Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Joel 2:31

Greek (where it is numbered 3:4) and Armenian:

ὁ ἥλιος μεταστραφήσεται εἰς σκότος καὶ ἡ σελήνη εἰς αἷμα πρὶν ἐλθεῖν ἡμέραν κυρίου τὴν μεγάλην καὶ ἐπιφανῆ.

արեգակն դարձցի ՛ի խաւա́ր եւ լուսին յարիւն, մինչչեւ եկեալ իցէ օր տ(եառ)ն մեծն եւ երեւելին։

  • արեգակն sun
  • դարձցի aor. subj. mid./pas. 3s դառնամ, դարձաւ to turn
  • խաւար, -ի, -աւ dark(ness)
  • լուսին, -սնի/-սնոյ moon
  • արիւն, արեանց blood
  • եկեալ ptcp. գամ to come
  • իցէ pres. subj. 3s եմ to be
  • երեւելի glorious, splendid

Oshki/Jer.:

მზჱ გარდაიქცეს ბნელად, და მთოვარჱ სისხლად ვიდრე მოსლვადმდე დღისა მის უფლისა დიდისა და განჩინებულისა.

  • მზეჲ sun
  • გარდა-ი-ქცე-ს aor. conj. 3s გარდაქცევა to change (NB version with -ი-)
  • ბნელი dark(ness)
  • მთოვარეჲ moon
  • სისხლი blood
  • მოსლვაჲ coming
  • განჩინებული fixed, determined, appointed, set

Acts 2:20

ὁ ἥλιος μεταστραφήσεται εἰς σκότος καὶ ἡ σελήνη εἰς αἷμα, πρὶν ἐλθεῖν ἡμέραν κυρίου τὴν μεγάλην καὶ ἐπιφανῆ.

արեգակն դարձցի ՛ի խաւա́ր՝ եւ լուսին յարիւն, մինչչե́ւ եկեալ իցէ օր տ(եառ)ն մեծ եւ երեւելի։

Both the Sinai (ed. Garitte) and AB (ed. Abuladze) redactions read in agreement:

მზჱ გარდაიქცეს ბნელად და მთოვარჱ სისხლად პირველ მოსლვადმდე დღისა მის უფლისაჲსა დიდისა და განჩინებულისა.

The differences between Acts 2:20 and Joel 2:31 are only two:

  1. პირველ instead of ვიდრე (i.e. “before” in Acts, “until” in Joel)
  2. უფლისაჲსა (gen. + gen.) instead of უფლისა (gen.)

Rev. 6:12

Καὶ εἶδον ὅτε ἤνοιξεν τὴν σφραγῖδα τὴν ἕκτην, καὶ σεισμὸς μέγας ἐγένετο καὶ ὁ ἥλιος ἐγένετο μέλας ὡς σάκκος τρίχινος καὶ ἡ σελήνη ὅλη ἐγένετο ὡς αἷμα

Եւ տեսի յորժամ եբաց զկնիքն վեցերորդ՝ եղեւ շարժումն մեծ, եւ արեգակն եղեւ սեա́ւ իբրեւ զկապերտ այծեայ, եւ լուսինն բոլորովին եղեւ արիւն։

  • տեսի aor. 1s տեսանեմ, տեսի, տես to see
  • եբաց aor 3s բանամ, բացի to open. For this kind of verb, see Meillet, Altarmenisches Elementarbuch, § 113; for the augment, attached to consonant-initial (at least in early Arm.) forms in the aor that would otherwise be monosyllabic (3s), see Godel, Intro. Class. Arm., §§ 2.213, 2.31, 3.233, 5.3.
  • կնիք, կնիքոց seal
  • վեցերորդ six (“six” is վեց)
  • եղեւ aor 3s եղանիմ to be(come)
  • շարժումն (movement >) earthquake
  • սեաւ black (cf. Georgian შავი)
  • կապերտ, -ից linen, cloth, sackcloth
  • այծեայ, -ծէից made of goat-hair
  • բոլորովին totally, completely, entirely

Ed. I. Imnaišvili, 1961:

და ვიხილე, რაჟამს აღაღო მეექუსჱ ბეჭედი, და ძრვაჲ იქმნა დიდი, და მზჱ შავ იქმნა, ვითარცა ძაძაჲ ბალნისაჲ, და მთოვარჱ ყოვლითურთ იქმნა, ვითარცა სისხლი.

  • ვ-ი-ხილ-ე aor 1s ხილვა to see (cf. ხილვით ვიხილე Acts 7:34 [Sinai] for ἰδὼν εἶδον!)
  • აღ-ა-ღ-ო aor 3s აღღება to open
  • მეექუსეჲ sixth (“six” is ექუსი)
  • ბეჭედი seal (also “ring”)
  • ძრვაჲ (movement >) earthquake
  • შავი black (cf. Armenian սեաւ)
  • ძაძაჲ rough garment, mourning garment, sack
  • ბალანი skin, pelt, animal hair
  • ყოვლითურთ totally, completely, entirely

___________________________________

It was too cloudy here last night to see it, but hopefully some of you got to view the eclipse!

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