Here we go again. I have been explaining the Spanish grammar using the Ten Commandments in Spanish. This is the fourth blog. I am taking the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20: 1- 17. This time, we are on verses 7 and 8.
Verse 7: No tomaras el nombre de Jehova, tu Dios, en vano; porque no dara’ por inocente Jehova al que tomare su nombre en vano.
No tomaras – You will not take. In order to make future tense, you leave the original ending with the “r” on it, and then you add the ending. As with most Spanish conjugations for second person singular, there is an “s” on future tense. It is obvious that the “no” negates it.
el nombre – the name. “nombre” is a masculine noun, so it needs a masculine article, “el.”
de Jehova – of Jehova. Again, “de” can be “of” or “from,” and here it is “of.”
tu Dios – your God. “tu’ ‘ means “you, the subject pronoun. “ti” is the object pronoun, and just plain “tu” with no mark means “your.”
en vano – in vain
porque no dara por inocente Jehova que tomare su nombre en vano. -” because he (Jehova) will not give as innocent that he will take his name in vain.”
a. In Spanish, sometimes, the subject comes after the verb, and at times, there is an unstressed pronoun where we would normally but our subject in English. I know that “Jehova” is the subject and not the direct object even though it is after the verb because there is not an “a” in front of it. If a person in a direct object, there will be “a” in front of it in Spanish.
b. no dara’ – he will not give. “dar” means to give. To make it future tense, you leave “dar” intact, and just as an ending. Third person, singular, future tense of an “ar” verb has “a’ ” on the end. Again, the “no” negates it.
c. por inocente – for innocent or as innocent. “por” can actually mean several things in Spanish. Besides being able to be used at “for” or “as.” it is used before a general time of day. An example of this is “por la manana” – in the moring.
d. que tomare’ su nombre en vano – This is a relative clause beginning with the relative pronoun “que” which means “that” in English. This relative clause is actually adjective clause telling about who will not be considered innocent. “tomare’ ” is a future tense, third person singular verb. Again, to make future tense, leave that “ar” on the end, not take it off like when you conjugate with other tenses, and then add the ending “re’ ” to make it third person future tense, singular meaning “he will take” or “she will take.” “su nombre” = his name. “su” can mean “his,” “her,” or can also mean a formal “your,” but in this case, it is talking about God’s name, so it is “his.” “en vano” is, again, ” in vain.”
Verse 8: Acuerdate el dia de reposo’ para santificarlo.
Acuerdate – This is actually two words in one, and one of the words is a conjugated verb. The infinitive form of the conjugated verb is “acordar” which means ” to remember” or “to agree,” and in this case, it is “to remember.” In the conjugated form, it is “acuerda” which initially looks like third person, singular, present tense. However, this form is also used for the command or request form and this is a command from God. “te” on the end is the object pronoun which is also used as a reflexive pronoun. This means that it actually translates as “yourself.” Literally, this means “you remember yourself.”
el dia de reposo’– the day of when he rested. “el dia” = the day. Usually, if a noun ends with an “a,” it is feminine, but this nouns is a bit strange, an exception, and we have lots of them in English too. “Dia” is actually a masculine noun, so needs a masculine article: “el.” “reposo’ ” is very similar to the noun “reposo” meaning “rest,” but there is a mark at the end, so it must be a verb, and not a noun. It comes from the verb “reposar” meaning “to rest.” It is simple past tense, singular, third person. If it is simple past tense, that means it happened at one time in the past and is finished. If it is singular and third person, it means that the pronouns “he,” “she,” or a respectful “you” could be buried in that verb. In this case, this day is remembering God’s rest, so “he” must be the pronoun embedded in “reposo’ .” That means that we are to remember the day that God rested. Think back to creation. God made the world in six days, and on the seventh, he rested. That is the day that is being remembered.
A Little Note Besides Grammar:
Almost all the laws given in the Old Testament are also given again in the New Testament, and in a way, this one is, but it is slightly modified. In Matthew 12, Jesus teaches that “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Which means the day the Jews rested because they were honoring the day God rested, was not just imposed on them, but was given to them as a gift. Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and it was considered to be fine. Jesus’ Apostles picked grain to eat on the Sabbath, and it was considered fine. God was taking care of the people when he told them to rest. He was not intending on putting a burden on them and forbidding them from doing work of any kind. He was giving mankind a gift. We find also in the book of Acts that they church met at different times. In the end of Acts 2, they met everyday in the temple courts and in people’s homes. If you go on to read more history of the church in Acts 20: 7, the church came together on the first day of the week, and the tradition of the church became through the ages to keep that time of meeting of the first day of the week. The Sabbath was actually Saturday, the day of rest, the seventh day because God rested on the seventh day. God loves us and takes care of us, and that is why he said to rest on the seventh day because if God took time to rest, we should also be given time to rest.
Okay, there you have Exodus 20: 7 & 8. This is a good way to learn grammar, and it also helps us to study the Bible in another language because sometimes, a bit more has been translated because of the grammar or the way words are used. Many people call the Sabbath, the day of rest, but here, it was translated, “the day he rested.” We really need to be grateful for the teachings of Jesus because he enlarges on all the commandments that were given here. He even enlarges on the idea of not taking the Lord’s name in vain. Jesus says in Matthew 5:37, in the sermon on the mount, to “simply let your yes be yes and your no be no” right after he says not to swear by anything on earth or in Heaven. There are many other verses in the New Testament that talk about what we should and shouldn’t be doing with our tongues, but the way Jesus it, was to the point: Let your speech be pure. You don’t need all those extra words, and he says not to us them. I realize this blog is supposed to be about grammar, but when you begin talking about the Ten Commandments, it is useful to understand that Jesus repeated them all and even enlarged on them in the New Testament.