Explaining Romanian Grammar in Matthew 2:21

We have been reading about the early years of Jesus. (All of the information here is in previous blogs. This is a recap if you want to skip to the verse below.) Matthew has been connecting events in Jesus’ life to prophecies from the Old Testament. He wants to prove to the world that Jesus is the Messiah that God promised, and he is doing a really good job. First, he told us in chapter 1 that Jesus was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:22&23), and Jesus was born in 4 B. C.. Matthew then points out that the prophet Isaiah told us in 740 B. C. that Jesus would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), many, many years before the birth of Christ. After that, Matthew tells us about the magi or wise men from the east in chapter 2 of Matthew. There are prophecies about these men from the east coming with gifts in Psalms 72:10 and Isaiah 60:6. I have already said that Isaiah was written in 740 B. C., and Psalms was written from 1440-586 B. C. Next, we learn from Matthew that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that the prophet Micah had said in Micah 5:2 that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem ( 8th century B. C.). Three reasons to prove a point are enough according the Aristotle, but Matthew isn’t finished. He tells us that Joseph took Jesus and Mary to Egypt to try to escape King Herod because an angel had told him that King Herod wanted to kill the baby. In Hosea 11:1, Hosea tells us that the Messiah would come out of Egypt. This was also written in the 8th Century B. C. After Joseph takes Mary and Jesus to Egypt, Herod, indeed, sends his soldiers out to kill all the baby boys around in the Jerusalem and Bethlehem area that were 2 years old and under. History records this terrible even of killing so many babies! Matthew shows us the prophecy of the mother of the Hebrew nation crying because her children were dead in verses 17 and 18 of Matthew 2, and the prophecy was from Jeremiah 31:15 which was written between 630-580 B. C. Matthew has been giving us overwhelming evidence that Jesus is the Messiah prophesied from the Old Testament. After that, another angel visited Joseph in Egypt and told him that King Herod was dead, so Joseph decided to leave Egypt and go home. Now we are ready for verse 21 of Matthew 2.

Iosif a luat Pruncul si pe mama lui. (Joseph took the baby and his mother.)Photo by Zack Jarosz on Pexels.com

Mateo 2: 21: Iosif s-a sculat, a luat Pruncul si pe mama lui si a venit in tara lui Israel.

Iosif s-a sculat = “Joseph got up.” “Iosif” is “Joseph,” and is pronounced “yoseef.” “S-a” is a contraction of “se” and “a.” “Se” is a reflexive pronoun which means “a se scula” means “to get oneself up.” “Se” is “himself, herself, or oneself.” If I want to say, “I get up,” I say, “ma scol,” “you get up,” is “te scula,” “he or she gets up” is “se scula.” “We get up” is “ne sculam.” “Se a sculat” is the past perfect compus form without a contraction, and it literally means “he got himself up.”

a luat Pruncul si pe mama lui – “he took the baby and his mother.” “A luat” comes from “a lua” which means “to take.” “A luat” is in present perfect compus form, third person singular. Often the present perfect compus from of the verb in Romanian is used as our simple past tense verb in English, and it is here. “Am luat” = I took or we took; ai luat= you took; a luat= he, she, or it took; ati luat = you guys took; au luat = they took. “Prunc” means “baby,” and “ul” is the masculine definite article translated to English as “the.” Yes, “the” comes after the noun in Romanian. The definite article means there is a specific one, so there was a specific baby, Jesus. Usually when the direct object is a person in Romanian, they put “pe” in front of the direct object that is a person, but because of the “ul” (the), they didn’t use it in front of “pruncul.” However, they did use it in front of “mama” (mother). “Pruncul si pe mama” is a compound direct object which just means there are two direct objects. “Si” means “and,” the conjunction that adds two things together and what is on one side of it is just as important as what is on the other side. “Si” is pronounced like the English word “she,” but means “and.” “Lui” comes after “mama,” so “mama lui” means “his mother.” The possessive pronoun comes after the thing that is possessed in Romanian. “Lui” is pronounced “loo-ee.”

Au mers in Israel. (They went to Israel.) Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

a venit = “he came.” Again, “a venit” is in present perfect compus tense, and it is usually translated into English as simple past tense. “A venit” comes from “a veni” which means “to come.” To conjugate it into past tense: “am venit” = “I came” or “we came.” “ai venit” = you came. “a venit”= he, she, or it came. ” “ati venit” = “you guys came.” “au venit” = they came.

Au venit in tara lui Israel. (They came to the country of Israel.)Photo by Toa Heftiba Şinca on Pexels.com

in tara lui Israel = “to the country of Israel.” “In” should have an inverted “v” over the “i” and be pronounced “uhn,” down in your throat like a grunt. The Romanian “in” usually means the same as the English “in,” but they use it differently sometimes. When we use “to” after the motion verbs like “go” and “come,” they use “in.” If I say, “I go to America,” they say “Merg in Amerca.” If I say I come to Texas,” They say, “Vino in Texas.” it is just a different concept on which preposition is better to use. They also don’t like to “talk to a person” because they feel it is rude. They like to “talk with a person” (Vorbesc cu ‘el = I talk to him). “Cu” means “with.” In this case, “in” is the preposition, and “tara” (country) is the object noun of the preposition.

“Tara” can mean both “country” and “the country.” The “a” on end tells you that “tara” is feminine. The “a” is also the feminine “the,” the feminine definite article meaning that this is talking about a specific country. The “t” in “tara” should also have a comma attached to the bottom of it, and the word is said, “tsahrah.”

“Lui” is between “tara” and “Israel.” This means that this time, “lui” is a preposition “of.” “Lui Israel” is a prepositional phrase with “lui” as the preposition and “Israel” as the proper noun object of the preposition.”

Limba romana ne ajuta cu limba engleza. (Romanian helps us with English.)Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The word “Israel” is one of the examples of why I like Romanian. The way we say this word in English, just by listening, you can’t tell how to spell it. However, in Romanian, they pronounce every letter: “Is-rah-el.” I always know how it should be spelled if I think of the Romanian pronunciation. There are many words like this in English that our pronunciation makes no sense, but if we learn the Romanian pronunciation of the same word, we know the English spelling. I have often talked about the word “pneumonia.” In English, this is a terrible word to learn to spell after we have learned to say it because what we see and what we say are just two completely different things. I used to struggle with spelling “pneumonia” in English until I learned to speak Romanian. They pronounce every letter, so when I have to write “pneumonia,” now, I just think of the Romanian word, and I have the spelling. Romanian can help your English in so many ways!

Let’s put this verse all together: “Joseph got up, took the baby and his mother and came to the country of Israel.

Matei iute la profetie foarte aproape ca un om de stiinta. (Matthew looks at prophecy very close like a Scientist.) Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Okay, here we have it, Jesus came “out of Egypt” just as the prophet Hosea said the Messiah would. Matthew isn’t finished telling us all the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. He is really mounting on the evidence proving to the world that Jesus is the Messiah. Lawyers use this to prove court cases. Scientists use it to prove their theories. Literary scholars use this type of logic to prove what they have to say about a piece of literature. Matthew is doing a great job with this logic because Aristotle says we only need three reasons to consider something true, but so far, Matthew has given us five reasons why it is true that Jesus is the Messiah. That is pretty solid evidence, but he has more evidence. He isn’t finished. In fact, I have heard that there are more than 100 prophecies in the Old Testament that came true in the life of Jesus. None of us can refute the fact that Jesus is the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament. God told the prophets he was coming, and he gave them specifics of what to look for. The Romanian grammar study here may be interesting, but the study of Matthew and his prophecies is downright amazing! Who can refute such evidence?

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