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Explaining the Korean Grammar in the Christmas Story, Matthew 1: 23

I like to rotate my grammar blogs so that everyone gets the grammar from the language they like in a timely manner. However, today, when I looked back to see which language I should explain, I realized it has been at least a week or more since I explain Korean grammar. All I can say is life gets complicated. When life gets too complicated, I have a tendency to just do what is the easiest, and it hasn’t been easy for me lately. I am beginning to wonder if I need to see a doctor, but I really don’t know the doctors in Oklahoma City. I am going to have to figure it out. I have a problem with my breathing, and on top of that, we have had a flat tire I figured out how to get fixed and no refrigerator for a week. The refrigerator is new. We bought it less than a month ago, and the company sent a repairman out last week, but he had to order parts to fix it, so we have to wait. The only thing I can say is what we often say, “When it rains, it pours.” My daughter is really stressing to me to stay home and sleep, but I can’t sleep all the time. I decided to see which kind of blog I haven’t done lately, and I discovered it was the Korean grammar blog about the scriptures. If you have been looking for it, I apologize and hope you understand.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Up until this point in the story, Mary became pregnant, and Joseph found out and was going to break up with her secretely. However, angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to marry Mary and that the child in her was from the Holy Spirit. The angel even told him what to name the baby. He married Mary, and Matthew decides to give us an Old Testament prophecy from Isaiah 7:14 about the birth of Jesus. You must realize that Matthew wrote somewhere between 50 A. D. and 70 A. D. Jesus was born in 33 A. D. Isaiah wrote in 740 B. C., so this prophecy was written a long, long time before Jesus was born. All the prophecies about Jesus are actually amazing!

선지자 이사야는예수 태어나기 몇 년 존에 시었어요. (The prophet Isaiah wrote many years before Jesus was born. )Photo by Aa Dil on Pexels.com

마태 복음 1: 23 – “바라 처녀가 잉태하여 아들을 놓을 것 이요 그의 이름은 임만누엘 이라 하리라 하섰이니 이를 번역한죽 하나님이 우리와 함께 꼐시다 함이라”

마태 복음 — “The gospel of Matthew.” 마태 (mahtay) is Matthew. 복음 (bokum) is gospel.

바라 – “behold.” 바라(bahrah) comes from 보다 (bohdah) which means “to look” or “to see.” If you see 라 (rah) on the end instead of 다 (dah), it means that it is coming from above to someone low, and it may be a command. If you look back at the Ten Commandments, all the commandments have the ending 라, however, there are passages where God is speaking where it is not necessarily a command, and they also end in 라. In this case, it is a prophet from God speaking, and the Korean translator decided that prophet was above everyone else and gave him that 라 ending, and it could just been, “Behold!” with that exclamation mark.

처녀가 – “a virgin.” 처녀 (cheonyo) is the part that means “virgin.” 가 (gah) is the post position subject marker. There are several subject markers in Korean, but this one had to be used because 처녀 ends with a vowel (ㅕ), and if a subject ends in a vowel, the subject marker is either 는 (nun) or 가 (gah). 가 is more specific only for the subject and puts emphasis on the subject, so the speaker thinks it is very important that this girl would be a virgin. A subject does the action of the verb.

잉태하여 – “concieved, and.” 잉태하다 (eengtey hahdah) means “conceive.” It is the basic form used in books at the end of a sentence and is in simple present tense which means it happens all the time or everyday. 잉태 하여 (eengtey hah yo) means “will conceive, or conceives, and.” The 여 (yo) at the end of 잉태하여 means “and.” There are many words for “and” in Korean, and each has a specific purpose. This one can only be used inside of a sentence. This is the verb that goes with 처녀 (cheonyeo), virgin.

마리야는예수라는 아기를 놓았어요. (Mary had a baby names Jesus.)Photo by JUAN CARLOS LEVA on Pexels.com

아들을 – “son.” 아들 (ah dul) means “son.” 을 (ul) is the post position direct object particle. That means that whatever 을 comes after is the direct object. There is more than one direct object post position particle. 을 is used because 아들 ends with a consonant (ㄹ). If 아들 ended with a vowel, you would have to use 를 (lul). A direct object recieved the direct action of the verb, but not 잉태여(eengtey) because the verb that a direct object gets its action from in Korean is after the direct object.

놓을 것 – “the thing put in side.” 놓다 (nohdah) means “put or puts.” 을 (ul) is the post postion particle that comes after a direct object. 것 (got) means thing. This 놓다 (nohdah), put, is the verb for 아들을 (ahdul ul). If you put 아들을 and 놓을 것 together, you get “the thing put inside.”

이요 – “is.” 이요 (eeyo) is a very kind, soft, polite way of saying “is, are, or am.” Since this verb ends with 요, we know it is the last verb of the sentence.

Let’s put this sentence all together: “Behold! A virgin conceives, and the thing inside is a son.”

옉수는 하나님 우리 와 함께 이예요. (Jesus is God with us.)Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

그의 이름은 – “His name.” 그 (ku) is the masculine pronoun. You can change this pronoun to “he,” “him,” or “his” just by changing the post position particle. 그를 (kunun) or 그가 (kugah) is “he.” 그를 (ku lul) is “him.” 그의 (ku oo-ee) is “his.” 이름 (eerum) means “name.” 은 (un) is the post position particle which tells you that 그의 이름 is the subject. 은 (un) is used rather than 는 (nun) because 이름 ends with ㅁ (m), a consonant.

이마누엘 이라 – “is Immanuel.” 이마주엘 (eemahnoo-el) is “Immanuel.” 이라 (eerah) comes from 이다 (eedah) which means “is, am, or are” in a book. 이라 means “is, am, or are” coming from someone above to a person of a lower station in life or makes this sentence a command.

하리라 하섰이니 – “He said, ‘you are going to do it.’ ” 하리라 (hah-ree- rah) is the part that means “you are going to do it.” There is no “you” or “it” in 하리라. It is another one of those cases that you have to guess at the pronouns from the context. Korean, at times, may be more specific than English, but usually it is less specific. In English, we just can’t leave pronouns out, but it is a normal thing to do in Korean. The reader or the listener understand from context, so you really have to listen to everything the speaker says not to get lost. 하섰이니 (hah shee-oss-ee-nee) comes from 하다 (hahdah). 하다 means “to do” or “to be.” and it doesn’t mean “to say” often, but it does here. Past tense of 하다 is usually 했어요 (hehs-eo-yo), but here, they left 하 (hah) in the 하 form and didn’t change it to 해 (heh), and they put 이 니 (ee-nee) on the end. 이니 (eenee) is another form of 이다 (eedah) or 이예요(eeyeyo) which means “is, am, or are.” With all of this put together, it means that 하섰이니 (hahsheeyoteenee) is technically not, “he said,” but “it is done” in a command form because of 라 (rah) after 하 리 라 (hahreerah). Since this is basically the last verb of this portion of the verse, let’s put this part of the verse all together.

The second part of the verse put together: “You are going to name him Immanuel.”

이를 – “this.” 이 (ee) at the beginning of a word means “this.” 를 (lul) is the post postion particle that means that “this” is the direct object. It needs to be 를 and not 을 because 이 is a vowel. This “this” is referring to “Immanuel.”

번역한즉 – “translated.” 본역하다 (bonyok hahdah) or 번역 해요 (bonyok heyo) mean the verb “translate or translates.” If you want to get more formal or distant for the books or speaking from a higher level, often they change 하다 to 한다 (handah). They have done that here. I have actually never seen the ending 즉 (juk), however, google translate says it makes 본역 한즉 into “translated.” It would be a past participle form, not a regular verb form. If I were to say, “He translated,” I would say, “그는 번역 했어요.” (bonyok hesoyo). A past participle form of the verb can be used like an adjective.

하나님이 – “God.” 하나님 (hah-nah-neem) is the actual part that means “God.” The 이 (ee) on the end makes 하나님 the subject. 이 is one of the post position particles that comes after a subject. It must be 이 because 하나님 ends with ㅁ (m), an consonant. They also chose 이 to put more emphasis on the subject.

우리와 함께 – “with us.” 우리 (ooree) is the first person plural pronoun. According to what post position particle it has, the meaning changes. 우리는 (ooree nun) or 우리가 (ooree gah) means “we.” 우리를 (ooree lul) means “us.” 우리에게 (ooree eh-geh) means “to us.) 와 (oo-ah) or (wah) normal means “and,” but if we translate it as “and here, it makes no sense in English. 함께 (hahm ghey) means “together.” but if we put 와 함께 (wah hahm ghey) together, it mans “with.” This means that 우리와 함게 (ooree wah hahmghee) means “with us.”

우리 모든 예수 중준 해요. (We all have respect for Jesus.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

꼐시다 – “is or are.” This is a very respectful form of the state of being verb. It is completely different from “있다” or “있어요” which both means the same thing as 꼐시다(ghesheedah). These are verbs that say someone or something is located. You use 꼐시다 if you are giving respect to who you are talking about. For example, if kids were to tell someone their parents were home, they would say, 부머님이집에 꼐시다 (boomohneem ee chib eh ghesheedah). We also use it if we are talking about God, our parents, our teachers, or the emperor or president.) Any time you see a verb with 시 (shee) inside, it mans that verb is showing respect to the subject or to the listener. I didn’t put “am” as one of the meaning of this verb because you won’t be talking about yourself with this verb

함이라 – “is, am, or are.” 함 (hahm) comes from 하다 (hahdah). 하다 can mean “is, am, or are” in the sense of identifying something. It can also mean “do or does.” In this case, it is “is, am, or are.” With the ㅁ (m) on the end, 함 (hahm) becomes a noun that means “existence.” Any time you give a verb an ㅁ (m) on the end of it in Korean, that verb becomes a noun. 이라 (eerah) is the actual verb. 이라 means the same as 이다, 인다, or 이예요, and they all mean “is, am, or “are.” The 라 (rah) on the end means that this is said from someone in a high position to a lower position. All if the punctuation is left out because it is normal in Korean to leave punctuation out, but we still know this is the last verb of the sentence, so it is the main verb of the sentence or main clause which means this verb will come right after the subject of the main clause “this” in English.

하나임이 두리 돠 함께 잇어요. (Jesus is God with us.)Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

Let’s put the last part of the verse together: “This is translated, ‘God is with us.’ “

Let’s put the whole verse together: “Behold! A virgin conceives and the thing inside is a son. You are going to name him Immanuel. This is translated, ‘God is with us.’ “

This is quite a prophecy! How many virgins in history have had babies? Only one, Mary. the Jews knew all the prophecies and were looking for the Messiah. There are many prophets in the world, but if you look at the prophecies that are not in the Bible, none of them are this specific. There has only ever been one person who was a virgin and had a baby, Mary. There are over one hundred prophecies fulfilled in Jesus from the Old Testament about the Messiah, and other prophecies about John the Baptist and the church too.

많은 문와 는 도래된 그리스 문와에 내장 되어 있어요. (Many cultures are built on the ancient Greek culture.)Photo by Alexis Azabache on Pexels.com

In the west, in our schools, we teach that if you want to prove something, you must have a premise and then three reasons or more to say that it is true. Many countries use this system of logic and many languages do too. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, originally came up with the idea for this logic. The New Testament is written in Greek, and no doubt, the New Testament writers knew this logic just like anyone else who goes to school in the west. Most people don’t know where the logic came from, but they know how to use it. Aristotle’s teacher, Corax , actually came up with the idea for this logic, and Aristotle refined it and propagated it. If you are a Scientist, a Lawyer, a writer, etc. you use this kind of logic. Matthew was using it too. He was trying to prove to us that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah who was written about in the Old Testament. As we go through the story of Jesus’ birth, you will find all kinds of prophecies that every detail fits Jesus, and Matthew will point them out to you. He will leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that Jesus is the Messiah the prophets were looking for. As we discuss the grammar, I will point the prophecies that Matthew gives us as reasons to say Christ is the Messiah.

냉장고가 작동하기를 완 해요. (I want my refrigerator to work.) Photo by Alex Qian on Pexels.com

Now, I need to do what my daughter wants and rest because I know she is right. I need rest to get better. The parts for our fridge arrived today, and the repairmain said he will be back on Wednesday to fix the fridge.

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