Si Filius Dei es, mitte te deorsum

In the recounting of the temptation of Christ (Matthew 4), the devil takes Christ up into the holy city and sets Him upon the pinnacle of the temple, saying to Him (verse 6): If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone. This entry will examine the Latin, Polish and Friulian readings of the words of the devil if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; the entirety of verse 6 is provided below, in all three languages, for the reader’s independent consideration.

Latin. Si Filius Dei es, mitte te deorsum. The Latin for son is the masculine noun filius; given that it here refers to Christ, it takes the majuscule. For God, the Latin is Deus, which, in the genitive, takes the form Dei (of God), whence Filius Dei for Latin equivalent of the English the Son of God. The Latin for if is si; as for the present indicative es, this is the second-person singular equivalent of thou art. In traditional English, the subjunctive thou be rather than the indicative thou art is employed with if, whereas the Latin employs the indicative: si Filius Dei es. The imperative mitte is second-person singular; the verb in question here is mitto, whose present infinitive is mittere (to cast). Mitte te is read cast thyself, whereas deorsum is an adverb meaning down{wards}. Wherefore: Si Filius Dei es, mitte te deorsum (if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down).

Polish. Jeśli jesteś Synem Bożym, rzuć się w dół. The Polish for son is the masculine noun syn; given that it here refers to Christ, it takes the majuscule. For God, the Polish is Bóg, which, in the genitive, takes the form Boga (of God); however, the Polish for the Son of God employs not the genitive of Bóg, but rather the adjective Boży (Godly), as in Syn Boży. The Polish for if is jeśli; as for jesteś, this is the second-person singular equivalent of thou art. In traditional English, the indicative thou art falls into subjunctive form thou be when employed with if, as in if thou be, whereas in Polish, the form jesteś is, with jeśli, yet employed: jeśli jesteś Synem Bożym; moreover, Syn Boży is fallen into instrumental position: Synem Bożym. The imperative rzuć się is second-person singular; the verb in question here is the perfective and reflexive rzucić się (to cast oneself). Rzuć się is read cast thyself, whereas w dół means down{wards}. Wherefore: Jeśli jesteś Synem Bożym, rzuć się w dół (if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down).

Friulian. Se tu sês Fi di Diu, butiti jù. The Friulian for son is the masculine noun fi; given that it here refers to Christ, it takes the majuscule. For God, the Friulian is Diu, whence il Fi di Diu for Friulian equivalent of the English the Son of God; that said, in these words spoken by the devil, the Friulian has the definite article il omitted before Fi di Diu. The Friulian for if is se; as for the present indicative tu sês, this is the second-person singular equivalent of thou art. In traditional English, the subjunctive thou be rather than the indicative thou art is employed with if, whereas the Friulian employs the indicative: se tu sês Fi di Diu. The Friulian verb butâ means to cast, whereas the reflexive butâsi means to cast oneself. As for butiti spoken by the devil, this is the second-person singular imperative of butâsi. Consider: butâ: bute! (to cast: cast {thou}!); butâsi: butiti! (to cast oneself: cast thyself!); from this, the reader will note that the final e of the second-person singular imperative bute must change to i before the addition of the reflexive ti (thyself). As for jù, this is an adverb meaning down{wards}, so that butâsi jù means to cast oneself down. Wherefore: Se tu sês Fi di Diu, butiti jù (if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down).

Below the reader will find the entirety of Matthew 4:6, in Latin, Polish and Friulian versions.

Latin (Biblia Vulgata): et dixit ei: Si Filius Dei es, mitte te deorsum. Scriptum est enim: Quia angelis suis mandavit de te, et in manibus tollent te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum.

Polish (Biblia Tysiąclecia): i rzekł Mu: «Jeśli jesteś Synem Bożym, rzuć się w dół, napisane jest bowiem: Aniołom swoim da rozkaz co do ciebie, a na rękach nosić cię będą, byś przypadkiem nie uraził swej nogi o kamień».

Friulian (Bibie par un popul): e i disè: “Se tu sês Fi di Diu, butiti jù. Di fat al è scrit: Par te ur darà ordin ai siei agnui che ti tegnin sù cui lôr braçs, par che il to pît nol sbati in cualchi clap”.