Translation of 3 Reigns 2:13-25 (1 Kgs 2:13-25 LXX)

13) And Adonias, son of Angith, came to Beersabee, mother of Solomon, and bowed to her. But she said, “is your coming (in) peace?” And he said, “peace.
14) “A word for me to you.” And she said to him, “speak.”
15) And he said to her, “you know that for me was the kingdom and upon me placed all Israel its face to (be) king. But the kingdom was turned and became for my brother, for from the Lord was it for him.
16) “And now, one request I request from you. You should not turn away your face.” And to him Beersabee said, “speak.”
17) And he said to her, “speak now to Solomon, the king, for he will not turn away his face from you. And he will give me Abisak the Somanite for a wife.”
18) And Beersabee said, “good. I will speak on your behalf to the king.”
19) And Beersabee went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonias. And the king arose in meeting her, and he kissed her and sat upon his throne. And a throne for the king’s mother was set up, and she sat on his right.
20) And she spoke to him, “one small request I am requesting from you. Not should you turn your face.” And to her the king said, “request, my mother, for not will I turn you away.”
21) And she said, “give, now, Abisak the Somanite to Adonias, your brother, for a wife.”
22) And Solomon, the king, answered and said to his mother, “to what end have your requested Abisak for Adonias?” And you should request for him the kingdom! For this on is my brother, greater (= older) than me and for him were Abiathar the priest and for him was Joab son of Sarouias, the commander-in-chief, a companion.”
23) And King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “this shall God do to me and this he shall add, for against his life has Adonias spoken this word!
24) “And now, as the Lord lives, who prepared me and set me upon the throne of David, my father, and he made me a house, just as the Lord had spoken, for today Adonias will be put to death.”
25) And Solomon, the king, sent by the hand of Banaias son of Iodae and he killed him and Adonias died on that day.

“Benaiah” by William Etty (1829). York Art Gallery. Public Domain

Comments on the Text

This passage presents a number of differences between the Hebrew and the Septuagint. As per usual, I will be leaving aside the orthography of the names in these considerations.

One recurrent issue in this passage is the addition of indirect objects (or objects of prepositions) regarding the audience of lines of dialogue. The Greek contains no fewer than four more instances of this in these verses than in the Hebrew (1x each in vv. 14, 15, v. 17, and 20). While it is possible that in some or all of these instances that the Greek reflects a variant Vorlage, to me it seems just as likely that the addition of these indirect objects serves to distinguish who is speaking. Without these objects in the Greek text, it would be somewhat unclear who is speaking to whom. That is because, different than in Hebrew, the Greek does not differentiate between the masculine and feminine in the verb forms in the third person singular. So, while it remains possible, that the Greek text represents a Hebrew version distinct from that of the Masoretic text, I find it difficult to affirm that with any great degree of certainty in these cases. It’s certainly possible that the Greek stems from a variant version, but it is hardly necessarily so.

Another repeating issue is whose face should be turned away. In vv. 16 and 20, the Greek reads “your face” and the Hebrew reads “my face.” This seems to imply some insecurity about the idiom as it relates to making a request. What was the sign of the rejection of a request? The turning of the inquirer’s face or the face of the one being asked? There is no clear answer to this question in this text.

Additionally, there are a number of other minor and larger differences between the Hebrew and Greek versions.

Verse 13 in Greek mentions Adonias bowing to Beersabee, which is something missing from Solomon’s engaging with her in v. 19 (in the Greek version there, Solomon kisses her instead). These differences seem unlikely to have resulted from an error, suggesting that someone changed the text in one direction or the other. The Greek text of v. 14 is missing “and he said” in its opening. In this case, I would argue that the shorter reading likely is older and that the addition of “and he said” crept in as a result of dittography (n.b. the two other cases of this Hebrew term in vv. 13 and 15).

Verse 16 in Greek explicitly names Beersabee as the subject of the final clause. The reference is only implicit in the Hebrew. At first glance, one might think that this presents a clarifying addition similar to the indirect objects noted above, but in this case, the Greek also contains an indirect object as in the Hebrew (object of a preposition, in that case), making the need for further clarification extraneous. The situation remains murky, but it seems that we have a duplication in vv. 14b and 16b. That could suggest that the Hebrew text removed her name for consistency, but that is not entirely clear here.

Beyond the kissing instead of prostrating in v. 19, the verb for setting up the throne is passive in G. This hardly presents a real variant and can be resolved merely through a repointing of the same consonantal text. That is, the Hebrew Vorlage of the Greek version was probably identical to the current Hebrew version, but understood the verb as a passive whereas the Masoretes made it an active verb.

Verse 21 in Greek includes and element that is not present in the Hebrew. Most likely this reflects the Hebrew particle נא (“please, indeed”), common in requests; cf., e.g., v. 17. The most likely explanation is that it has gone missing in the Hebrew text due to an oversight between תתן and את (haplography). The Greek probably represents an older, though slightly longer text in this case.

The Greek of v. 22 contains a number of differences when contrasted with the Hebrew. First, it lacks “the Somanite” as a descriptor for Abishag. Since the Greek version of this verse presents the only case in the Bible in which the name Abishag is mentioned without “the Shumanite,” the most likely explanation is that someone added it to the Hebrew for the sake of consistency after the translation of the Septuagint. The syntax of the last phrase is much clearer in the Greek, which contains several extra elements. Each of the names is preceded by the preposition “to/for” in Hebrew, making this text difficult to understand. It is probably the result of an error. The reference to Joab also includes his office in addition to his patronymic in Greek, as well as the modifier that he was “a friend” or “friendly” to Adonias. Perhaps these elements were lost due to an oversight in the Hebrew due to the similarities with the opening of the next verse. I’m not certain about this though and it’s just an idea.

Verse 24 in Greek includes a further reference to “the Lord” regarding the construction of Solomon’s house. While this could present an attempt to make the text more precise, ultimately it makes the syntax more clunky, suggesting that it may be original and then later removed in the Hebrew.

Finally, the last verse of this passage, v. 25, in Greek essentially duplicates Adonias’s death. This occurs because it includes his name in the final phrase. With that, Benaias kills him and he dies. The verse ends with the additional notices that his death occurred “on that day.” This likely presents an adaptation to better match the context of v. 24, in which King Solomon announces that he should die on that die. Someone, either LXX or its Vorlage may well have seen a need to provide a strengthened notion that this promise had indeed been fulfilled.

Translation of 3 Reigns 1:38-40 (1 Kgs 1,38-40 LXX)

38. And Sadok the priest went down (and Nathan the prophet and Banaias son of Iodae and the Cherethi and the Phelethi) and they set Salomon on King David’s mule and let him to the Gion.
39. And Sadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Salomon and blew the horn, and the whole people said, “long live King Salomon!”
40. And the whole people went up behind him and they danced in dances and rejoiced great gladness, and the earth burst with their voice.

Finally a reason to link this… Handel’s “Zadok the Priest.”
Not to be confused with another masterpiece of European religious music:
The holiest song to Europeans: the Champions League Theme.

Comments on the Text

This short passage really only differs from the Hebrew text in three ways. First, in v. 39, only Sadok blows in the horn in Greek, whereas the verb is plural in Hebrew, meaning that someone blew in a horn or horns in the Hebrew text. Second, the Hebrew repeats the subject “the people” in v. 40, but the Greek does not. Finally, while the celebrants in Hebrew “pipe with pipes,” in Greek they “dance in dances.” The difference seems remarkable in English, but the difference in Hebrew is between two weak verbs: חול (“dance”) and חלל (“pipe”). Either version could be a perfectly conceivable misreading of the other. That doesn’t help to determine priority of either reading. Usage could perhaps help to determine whether one reading might be a “corrective” to the other. In that case, it seems likely the the Greek version and the presumed Hebrew Vorlage would be older. The reason: as far as I can tell, the only other case of the idiom “dancing dances” is in Judg 21:21. That text hardly places “dancing dances” in a particularly positive light (it’s about capturing girls to force them to marry…). That makes someone’s desire to change it toward the current Hebrew version more understandable and the alternative less likely.

Translation of 1 Kings 1:22-27 (MT)

22. But, dude! Still she was speaking with the king, and Nathan the prophet entered.

23. And they declared to the king, saying, “dude! Nathan the prophet.” And he entered before the king and prostrated to the king, upon his nose, to the ground.

24. And Nathan said, “my lord, o king, you, you have said, ‘Adonijahu will reign after me, and he will sit upon my throne’?!

25. “For he went down today and sacrificed steer and fattened calves and sheep for the many, and he called to all of the king’s sons and to the military officers and to Abiathar the priest. And, dude! They are eating and drinking before him, and they said, ‘long live Adonijahu, the king!’

26. “But to me (I am your servant) and to Zadok the priest and to Benaiahu ben Jehoiada and to Solomon, your servant, he did not call.

27. “If [this is] from my lord, the king, [then] let this thing be done. But you have not let your servants know who should sit upon the throne of my lord, the king, after him.”

Commentary on the Text

From a narrative perspective, v. 22 ends Bathsheba’s speech to the king without mentioning that she is done talking. In fact, the verse’s opening suggests that the prophet interrupts her speech, fulfilling precisely that which he proposed (v. 14). The mention of Nathan’s office places him on a distinct footing when contrasted with Bathsheba, whose identity the text does not further elucidate in v. 15, as is done here with Nathan.

The distinction between these two characters becomes yet more marked in v. 23. Three matters seem to elevate Nathan above Bathsheba in this verse. First, Nathan is announced by some unnamed group of people, presumably a court or something. Nothing similar is reported for Bathsheba. Second, his title is again reiterated in the announcement of his arrival, again in contradistinction to Bathsheba. Third, there is strong emphasis placed on his obeisance to the king. It reiterates that he not only prostrated, as Bathsheba had while kneeling, but even put his nose to the ground. The prophet appears to be laying it on thick, and this verse certainly lends him a more political air than that afforded the (hopefully) more personally relevant Bathsheba.

However, vis-à-vis the king, Nathan takes a more forward approach than Bathsheba had. Whereas the king inquires what Bathsheba wants (v. 16), Nathan simply interjects his issue. I presume that this implies social bias against Bathsheba in the text: the woman should only speak when addressed and it merits no comment when her speech is interrupted first by the court and then by the announced guest. David has thus far not reacted to her concern, whether legitimate or not. Perhaps the text is making a statement about Nathan’s power-relation to the king as well. Nathan more or less exclaims what the king has previously said. It could be understood as a question, but the Hebrew by no means makes it explicit. For this reason, I have chosen to translate it here as a surprised interjection. He asks not what the king has said; he states that the king said such while simultaneously expressing his surprise and dissatisfaction. It’s an effective rhetorical strategy for the subsequent speech: the prophet lists some facts that led him to the conclusion he states in his speech’s opening. At the same time, Nathan’s manner of addressing the king here could be understood as reinforcing the narrator’s intimation from v. 4 that the king has become and is impotent.

Verse 25 presents Nathan’s nuanced version of the same information Bathsheba recounted in v. 19. The language is quite similar, but the distinctions are perhaps noteworthy in that they make the scenario appear somewhat more dangerous for David than Bathsheba. Nathan’s versions moves the military to the second position in the list of persons affiliated with Adonijahu and expands their number from merely “Joab” to “the officers.” Only then does he add “the priest Abiathar.” Finally, he notes that they are banqueting with Adonijahu and have proclaimed him king. While Bathsheba suggests that Adonijahu is already starting to rule without the king’s knowledge (v. 18), she then notes that this will only have real consequences once the king has died (v. 21). Nathan intimates that these people already regard Adonijahu as king. That puts, certainly implicitly at least, the current occupant of the throne in precarious circumstances.

Again in v. 26 Nathan provides details more in line with his station than those emphasized by Bathsheba in vv. 19 and 21. He mentions, while reiterating his loyalty to the king, that he and Zadok the priest and one particular officer (presumably loyal and certainly without Joab’s baggage) were not invited. And this, in addition to Solomon. Bathsheba, understandably and in line with her personal relationship to the king, only noted the lack of an invitation for her son.

Nathan’s speech concludes with a few excellent rhetorical features. His first phrase in this verse shows him now, for this first time in this passage, deferent to the king. That makes his position perhaps more appealing to the sitting monarch. And rather than conclude that the king must demonstrate his plan for succession to “all Israel,” as Bathsheba suggests (v. 20), Nathan states that the king must only inform his “servants” who will succeed him. Allowing for an appropriate amount of suspicion, what the conclusion of this speech really demands is that the king tell Nathan and Solomon, the two people who are described as the king’s servants in this speech, who should reign after him and sit on his throne. This anticipates the answer they hope the king will provide, perhaps again implying the king’s impotence. Again, it should be noted here that the narrator has nowhere suggested this is the divine will that the prophet is espousing. Yet, tellingly, the king does almost exactly what the prophet demands, showing that Nathan’s plan worked. And the king suspects nothing.

Numbers 3

Translation:
1) And these were the generations of Aaron and Moses on the day that YHWH spoke to Moses on the mountain of Sinai.
2) And these were the names of the sons of Aaron: The firstborn was Nadab, then Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
3) These were the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests who filled their hand in the priestly service.
4) But Nadab and Abihu died in front of YHWH when they brought foreign fire before YHWH in the desert of Sinai and they did not have any sons. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests before Aaron their father.
5) And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying:
6) “Bring the tribe of Levi and place him in front of Aaron the priest so that they serve him.
7) And they will guard his stewardship and the stewardship of the whole community before the tent of meeting to undertake the undertaking of the Mishkan.
8) And they will guard all of the equipment of the tent of meeting and the stewardship of the sons of Israel to undertake the undertaking of the Mishkan.
9) So you will give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons. They will be given as gifts to him from among the sons of Israel.
10) And Aaron and his sons you will set and they will guard their office of priesthood and a foreigner who approaches will die.”
11) And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying:
12) “And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from the midst of the sons of Israel instead of the firstborn, the first birth of the womb from the sons of Israel and the Levites shall belong to me.
13) Yes, for me is every firstborn. In the day that I struck all of the firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified for myself ever firstborn in Israel, from the human even unto the beast. They will belong to me! I am YHWH!”
14) And YHWH spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, saying:
15) “Gather the sons of Levi according to the house of their father, according to their tribes. Every male from one month of age and older you shall gather.”
16) And Moses gathered them before YHWH just as YHWH had commanded him.
17) And these were the sons of Levi in their names: Gershon and Qehat and Merari.
18) And these were the names of the sons of Gershon, according to their tribes: Libni and Shimi.
19) And the sons of Qehat according to their tribes were Amram and Yizhar, Chebron, and Uziel.
20) And the sons of Merari according to their tribes were Machli and Mushi. These are they, the tribes of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.
21) Belonging to Gershon was the tribe of the Libnites and the tribe of the Shimites. These are they, the tribes of the Gershonites.
22) Their drafting in number – of all males from one month old and older – their drafting was 7,500.
23) And the tribes of the Gershonites camped following the Mishkan to the west.
24) And the prince of the house of the father of the Gershonites was Elyasaph ben Lael.
25) And the service of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting was the Mishkan and the tent, the fabrics, and the curtain of the door of the tent of meeting,
26) And the curtain of the courtyard and the fabric of the door of the courtyard that were upon the Mishkan and upon the surroundings of the altar and the tent seams and the whole of its work.
27) Belonging to Qehat was the tribe of the Amramites and the tribe of the Yizharites and the tribe of Chebronites and the tribe of the Ozielites. These are they, the tribes of the Qehatites.
28) In number, every male from one month and over: 8,600 stewards of the service of the Holy.
29) The tribes of the sons of Qehat camped on the south side of the Mishkan.
30) And the prince of the house of the father of the tribes of the Qehatites was Elizaphar ben Uziel.
31) Their stewardship was the ark and the table and the menorah and the altar and all of the equipment of the holy that served in them and the curtain and its whole service.
32) And the prince of princes of the Levites was Eleazar ben Aaron, the priest; the draft of the stewards of the stewardship of the holy.
33) Belonging to Merari was the tribe of the Machalites and the tribe of the Mushites. These are they, the tribes of the Merarites.
34) And their draft in number – every male from one month old and older – was 6,200.
35) And the prince of the house of the father of the tribes of Merari was Zuriel ben Abichayil. They camped on the northern side of the Mishkan.
36) And the draft of the stewardship of the sons of Merari was the boards of the Mishkan and the braces and the pillars and the tub and all the equipment and its whole service.
37) And the pillars surrounding the courtyard and their tubs and their tent posts and their tent seams.
38) And they camped before the Mishkan on the east before the tent of meeting from the rising of the sun. Moses and Aaron and his sons guarded the stewardship of the holy place in order to guard the sons of Israel And the approaching foreigner would die.
39) All of those drafted of the Levites whom Moses [and Aaron] drafted before YHWH according to their tribes – every male from the age of one month and older – were 22,000.
40) And YHWH spoke to Moses: “draft every firstborn male from the sons of Israel from the age of one month and over and make a counting of their names.
41) And you shall take the Levites for me (I am YHWH!) instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel and the livestock of the Levites instead of every firstborn among the livestock of the sons of Israel.”
42) So Moses drafted every firstborn among the sons of Israel just as YHWH had commanded him.
43) And it was so: every firstborn male, in the number of the names from one-month olds and older according to their drafting: 22,273.
44) And YHWH spoke to Moses, saying:
45) “Take the Levites instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock. The Levites will belong to me. I am YHWH!
46) And with those who are the ransom of the 273, the excess upon the Levites from the number of the sons of Israel,
47) You shall take five five shekels for their skulls; according to the shekel of the holy you will take. The shekel is twenty gerah.
48) Then you will take the silver to Aaron and to his sons as the ransom of the excesses among them.”
49) So Moses took the silver of the ransom from the excesses of the ransoms of the Levites.
50) From among the firstborn of the sons of Israel he took the silver: 1,365 shekels according to the shekel of the holy.
51) And Moses gave the silver of the ransoms to Aaron and to his sons before YHWH just as YHWH had commanded Moses.

Text Critical Notes:
V. 3: “Filled” is singular in the Hebrew, but must be emended to read in the plural as in LXX and the Peshitta.
V. 4: “Before YHWH” is missing in one Hebrew manuscript, Sam, and the Vulgate.
V. 9: LXX and Sam read “to me” instead of “to him”. Sam. and the Peshitta read “from the midst of the sons of Israel” instead of “from with the sons of Israel.”
V. 10: after “set”, LXX adds “over the tent of meeting”.
V. 16: LXX adds “and Aaron” after Moses.
V. 16–17: The verb opening v. 17 in MT is presumably a corruption of the divine name YHWH. The translation here reflects Samaritanus.
V. 39: “and Aaron” should be deleted, as in some manuscripts, Sam, and the Peshitta. In MT the name is marked by supralinear points, suggesting that the Masoretes may have been suspicious of this name here.

Numbers 2

Translation:
1) And YHWH spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
2) “Among the sons of Israel everyone shall camp according to his group by the banner of the house of his fathers. They will camp surrounding the tent of meeting.
3) Those camping in east will be under the insignia of Judah according to his armies and the prince of the sons of Judah will be Nachshon ben Aminadab.
4) His army and their posts are 74,600.
5) And those camping with him will be the tribe of Issachar. The prince of the sons of Issachar is Nethanel ben Zoar.
6) And his army and his posts are 54,400.
7) The tribe of Zebulon: The prince of the sons of Zebulon is Eliab ben Chelon.
8) And his army and his posts are 57,400.
9) All of the posts of the camp of Judah are 186,400, according to their armies. They will be the first to break camp.
10) The insignia of the camp of Reuben will be in the south according to his armies. And the prince of the sons of Reuben is Elizor ben Shedaiur.
11) And his army and his posts are 46,500.
12) And those camping with him will be the tribe of Simeon. And the prince of the sons of Simeon is Shelumiel ben Zuri-Shaddai.
13) And his army and his posts are 59,600.
14) And the tribe of Gad. And the prince of the sons of Gad is Elisaph ben Ruel.
15) And his army and his posts are 45,650.
16) All of the posts of the camp and Reuben are 151,450 according to their armies. They will be the second to break camp.
17) The camp of the Levites in the middle of the camps will disassemble the tent of meeting, just as they camp, so shall they break camp, each with his hand upon their insignia.
18) The insignia of the camp of Ephraim according to their armies will be in the west. And the prince of the sons of Ephraim is Elishama ben Ammidhud.
19) And his army and their positions are 40,500.
20) And with him will be the tribe of Manasseh. And the prince of the sons of Manasseh is Gamliel ben Pedahzur.
21) And his army and their positions are 32,200.
22) And the tribe of Benjamin. And the prince of the sons of Benjamin is Abidan ben Gidoni.
23) And his army and their positions are 35,400.
24) All of the posts of the camp of Ephraim are 108,100 according to their armies. They were the third to break camp.
25) The insignia of the camp of Dan will be to the north according to their armies. And the prince of the sons of Dan is Achiezer ben Ammishaddai.
26) And his army and their posts are 62,700.
27) And those camping with him are the tribe of Asher. And the prince of the sons of Asher is Pagiel ben Ochran.
28) And his army and their posts are 41,500.
29) And the tribe of Naphtali. And the prince of the sons of Naphtali is Achira ben Enan.
30) And his army and their posts are 53,400.
31) All of the posts of the camp of Dan are 157,600. To the west they broke camp according to their insignia.”
32) These are those who were drafted of the sons of Israel according to the house of their fathers. All of those who were drafted of the camps according to their armies are 603,550.
33) But the Levites were not drafted in the midst of the sons of Israel, just as YHWH commanded Moses.
34) And the sons of Israel did just as YHWH commanded Moses. Thus they camped according to their posts and thus they broke camp each according to his tribe, according to the house of his fathers.

Text Critical Notes:
V. 2: “his group” is plural in Samaritanus.
V. 4: Samaritanus reads “its posts”. Sam. and L. agree in verses 6, 8, 11, 13, etc.
V. 7: Some Masoretic manuscripts, Sam. and the Peshitta add the copula at the opening of the verse, also in verses 14, 22, and 29.
V. 20: The opening may originally have read “And camping with him…” as in the other cases. Cf. LXX.
V. 31: BHS suggests reading “positions” as “armies,” as in e.g., v. 24. As no textual evidence for this change has been cited, any such corruption must have occurred very early in the transmission of the text in order to have become ubiquitous in the traditions.

Coming soon to an Internet near you…

In keeping with the research project in Essen that I am working on, I have decided that I will translate the book of Numbers here on my blog. My translation will be based on the Hebrew text with some text-critical notes about how the text probably read before corruptions and other changes crept in. I hope that anyone reading this will also feel free to comment on or suggest changes that my be necessary. However, I have not yet decided if I am going to post the chapters in order or not. We’ll see how I ultimately decide to put this translation into practice. Hopefully this will turn into a fruitful project. More soon!

This Blog has been censored.

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US Travel Plans – Summer 2009

22 July – Arrival in Tulsa, OK, Travel to Cherryvale, KS

22 July – 25 July: Cherryvale, KS

26 July – 2 August: Baton Rouge, LA and surrounding region

2 August – 5 August: San Antonio, TX

5 August – 7 August: Austin, TX

7 August – 9 August: Cherryvale, KS

9 August – 11 August: Des Moines, IA

11 August – 14 August: Chicago, IL

14 August – 17/18 August: Kansas City, MO

18 August – 13 September: Cherryvale, KS and surrounding region

People are also always welcome to visit us at my parents’ house (that’s the one in Cherryvale, KS where we’re spending the majority of our time). It’s a great place to take a break if you need one.

So, other than Cherryvale, we are looking for cheap or free places to stay. If you know any, please let me know. Also, if you just want to hook up with us, we would love to see you. Let me know in advance when and where you are around so that we can make it happen. While we are in LA, we are planning on maybe going to Bilouxi for a night, if anyone is interested. Also, we’d like to hit NO and also take in a swamp tour, for both of which we’d like to have company, if you’d like to join us.

Got other ideas or plans you’d like to undertake with us? Let me know and we’re there.

We’re really looking forward to the trip and hope to see as many of you as possible.

Hospitalization

For the last several weeks I’d been having problems with my jaw. The lower right side of my jaw was always hurting, sometimes even within the teeth. So I did the natural thing and went to the Orthodontic Clinic here in Erlangen. They checked me out and said that there was nothing wrong with my teeth, but they were concerned that I might potentially have some problems with the positioning and muscles of my jaw. To that end they asked me to make an appointment with a specialist, who would check on my jaw. The appointment was made for 7 weeks after my initial examination. So, that’s not really great.

After about 2 weeks things got worse.  In addition to the pain at this point, the right side of my face was swelling pretty ridiculously. This all started on Sunday and gave me a sleepless night Sunday night. We went to the emergency room at about 4am on Monday, and they said I should go to the orthodontic clinic immediately and have their emergency service take a look at me. After waiting about 45 minutes for him, he showed up and told me that I might have a problem with my jaw or stones in my salivary gland or a problem with my facial nerves. In order to check that out, we would need to do a nerve test (in the clinic), an MRT (like a CT), and an ultra-sound, and that I should come back to the clinic during the normal hours and go directly to the surgical center. So that’s what I did. They started over from the very beginning and ran through all of the various tests that they could think of in order to rule out problems with my teeth and bones. All of those tests came back negative. That meant that I may have a “pathological maxillary problem” or an abscess at the root of one of my teeth, which the X-ray eliminated as a possibility. Also the swelling isn’t indicative a jaw problem. So that just opened more questions. What they did what give me an appointment to get the MRT (the first one available was May 26, but after the doctor said it was an emergency they were able to squeeze me in on May 19; I was sitting in the dentist’s chair on May 11 when they told me this) so that he could look at the fleshy tissue of my face and discuss the possible therapies with the chief of medicine and the chief of surgery of the clinic. It looked like something was happening, albeit very slowly.

I went home somewhat annoyed, but with a prescription for some stronger pain medicine and hoped to end the pain. I cancelled my Tuesday course, since I knew that I wasn’t going to be in any shape to teach it with the entire right half of my face swollen (I couldn’t even open my right eye more than about 40%). Monday night I tried to go to sleep again, and made it until about 2am, when I woke up and couldn’t not get the pain to stop. We had a friend drive me back to the emergency room about 445am. They still wouldn’t admit me, but they told me that they talked to someone in the surgical clinic and that I should go there between 730 and 8am. They are apparently only the clinic for internal medicine and quit looking where the neck begins. They then gave me some pain-killers so I could pass out for about an hour. We went to the surgical clinic at the prescribed time and of course no one had every heard of me. The surgeons then made a big deal about how everyone just sends all their patients to the surgeons because they are the best doctors (they were just acting like stereotypical surgeons in doing this) and then told me that I should go to the Ear-Nose-Throat clinic here in Erlangen. We walked there about 805am.

When I arrived, I was given a number (16) and told to wait. I also had to pay the 10 Euro fee, since the emergency time had expired (at 7am…meaning had we come straight here from the emergency room, we wouldn’t have had this problem at all). I finally got in to see a doctor about 845am I guess and she told me to get an ultra-sound after carrying out some pretty painful examinations. I waited at least 90 minutes for that and then they brought me and checked everything out. The technician asked the doctor to join him and take a look at it, which she did. After waiting another while, they brought me back in for the consultation, where the doctor told me that it obvious that I was having some inflammation problems, but there was no recognizable reason for them. She wanted to admit me. I broke down in tears at this point, not because I was worried about what that meant, but was finally just so relieved that someone was taking a minute to consider the kind of pain I was in and was going to take care of me. The circumstances had also fundamentally exhausted me to the point that I was about to break down. When I started to cry, the doctor seemed worried that I was flipping out and tried to comfort me, completely misinterpreting the situation. While she was getting everything read to admit me, she told me that I would be in the hospital for 24 hours. We finished the registration process and everything about 1pm (the duration sent me to the nurses’ station in the mean time to get some more pain-killers) and I went upstairs and they gave me a little lunch while I moved into the room with my roommate, another young man. The anesthesiologist immediately hooked up the IV (the doctor tried 3 times and failed; I told her not to feel bad, it happens to everyone who tries on me), took blood samples, and sent me back to finish my lunch (soup, since I couldn’t open my mouth more than a few centimeters). They got me on cortisone and antibiotics immediately and the results were good. The nurse let it slip at some point while she was in the room that I would most likely be there a few days, and not just 24 hours.

They also gave me something that looked like half of a bikini to where on my face with some gauze soaked in goo to keep it cool. That is the picture above. I told them that that really wasn’t the worst place for the pain, so they taped some to the front of my face. This was also uncomfortable, so the next day I made a mask out of some netting and put it around my face to hold the stuff in place. That worked the best, but looked the worst. Therefore, there will be no pictures of it.

My roommate was in there to have a stone removed from his salivary gland (it turned out to be two stones) and he left on Thursday morning. Then I got a new roommate, who snored so loudly, you might think the world was ending. That was one reason he was there. He spent Thursday night in the room with me and then was taking to surgery about 1 pm on Friday, but was not brought back into the room. The operation must have been more intensive than originally planned. At any rate they told me that he was doing well and at some point one of the nurses came and got all of his medications out of the room, implying that he must have at least been able to take meds. What that meant is that I had the room to myself for the last night in the hospital. About 10pm last night the nurse came in and gave me my last IV, which didn’t really work, so he took it out and said that I would just continue the therapy today with pills. It was nice to have that thing out of my hand, especially since the last time was pretty painful. What that meant for me is that they were actually letting me go.

This morning I got up and hectically tried to take care of everything to make sure that I didn’t show up late for the last doctor’s appointment that would get me out of the hospital. It was easy to get everything resolved pretty quickly since I didn’t have a roommate that I needed to regard. They gave me a letter for my GP (who by the way told me that my problem was that I didn’t exercise enough, when I went in there with these pains…but before the swelling; I’m curious is she’s going to have anything to say) and told me to go home. Since then I have been kind of bumming around here, primarily because I’m not really at 100% yet and still get tired pretty easily. I wanted to go watch the soccer match today, but it was just too risky for me. I stuck around the apartment and snoozed.

Overall, the visit in the hospital was a positive experience. Everyone made a very competent impression and the nurses were friendly (even though it was awkward the first time that one nurse came in, having never spoken to or seen me before, and asked “have you had a bowel-movement today, Mr. Robker?”). Seeing the people in there really makes you wonder about smokers though. I was just about the only person on the floor who didn’t smoke (I don’t count my monthly pipe) and everyone was in there with crazy throat cancers and such. It was horrific. My first roommate asked the nurse if he would have time to smoke and go to the bathroom before his operation when they called him or if he would just have to run down there as fast as possible. She told him instead of smoking a last cigarette before the operation, he should take a look at all of the other patients in the hospital.she wasn’t kidding. Some of them were seriously gnarly. In spite of this, many of them would still go out and smoke, through their stomas sometimes. That is just crazy.

Anyway, I’m pretty glad to be back in my apartment, but sorry that I won’t be getting food prepared for me every day. The pain and the swelling are also essentially gone, so that is great. I am hoping tomorrow or at the latest Monday that I will have the wherewithal to finish preparing my course for Tuesday so that I don’t have to cancel it again. Today I’m just not back up to capacity, but that will hopefully be better by tomorrow.

We’ll just have to see…

A first attempt…

Microsoft gave me all kinds of new “Live” software today and there was some blogging stuff in there, so I thought that I would give a test and see how it works.

Not too much has been going on here these days. Anja has been in Dresden for the last several days and before that she was at home. That means that I was living the bachelor’s life again for about a week and was able to get pretty significant amounts of work done. It still isn’t as much as I’d like, but that is generally the way this works for me; I always seem to think that I never get enough done. We’ll see what comes of it in the coming weeks though.

My professor asked me to turn in everything that I have finished for my dissertation this week. That is the reason that I have been burning the midnight oil for the last several days. The extra time and effort has allowed me to put some material together that should satisfy him. This means that I have had to put some other projects on the back burner for a while, most significantly is the preparation for the Aramaic course that I am teaching this semester (which starts in two weeks!). I will have to devote more time to that over the Easter break.

The added pressure also meant that I hadn’t been swimming anymore. It was so bad with the extra stress and lack of sleep and such that I thought I was going to blow up on Friday. My head hadn’t stopped aching in about 3 days. So after lunch I called it quits, went for a jog (too long…my legs are still a bit cramped), and then took the afternoon off. It was a great idea. That evening I watched Ben-Hur (the Charlton Heston one), but my copy is messed up, so I only got to see up to the intermission.

Saturday was going to be a day off for me as well, but just before I woke up I dreamt about the resolution to a problem in my dissertation that had been troubling me all week. Once I came out of this dream, I got up, made some notes, and worked all morning. Then I went to watch the Bayern-Munich game with my friend Caro and witnessed them getting obliterated 5-1, the worst loss of the day, which took them out of the immediate running for taking the championship. They still have time to win it though. The rest of the evening was pretty relaxing, although I did get some more work done. I concluded my evening by watching The Maltese Falcon (I’m on kind of a classic film kick right now, in case you hadn’t noticed).

Today has been a little productive, but I felt it time to take a few minutes and pause, listen to a little music, and write some nonsense to publish on the Internet so that stalkers can find out more about me. Other than that, not too much to report. Tobi, Petra, and I went out to get lunch today because a restaurant we frequent was serving a Franconian delicacy known as Schäufele, which is pork shoulder served on the shoulder blade with potato dumplings, and a vegetable similar to collard greens. It was fantastic. Since then I have just been working again. Anja will be back soon though, so I don’t know how much I will get done today. I may try to knock one more book out today and then call it quits. We’ll see if the spirit moves me…

Anyway, I think that I am out for now. I hope that you have a nice Palm Sunday. I know I’m looking forward to the end of Lent so that I can enjoy a beer in the evening again (I gave up alcohol this year, and it was obviously the right choice for me to give up).

Hopefully I’ll keep this blog up to date a little better than I have in the past…

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