Friday, January 18, 2013

Significance: Of the Story of Tobit and Tobias.



The Book of Tobit is a book of scripture which was once the part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon. It is actually the story of Tobit, Sara and Tobias. The Council of Carthage consider it as canon in CE 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the Council of Trent (CE 1546).

The place and language of composition of the book is not known, but it may in Aramaic or Hebrew, since fragments of Tobit in both languages have been discovered at Qumran.[A.A. Di Lella, New English Translation of the Septuagint, "Tobit"] and "almost every region of the ancient world seems to be a candidate."-[Miller, at pp. 12–13] But significant errors in geographical detail (such as the distance from Ecbatana to Rhages and their topography) render this origin questionable.[Miller, at pp. 13] Arguments against and in favor of Palestinian or Egyptian composition also exist.-[Miller, at pp. 12-15]

The Book of Tobit is listed in the canon of the Councils of Hippo (CE 393), Carthage (CE 397), and Florence (CE 1442), and is part of the canon of both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Roman Catholics often refer to it as Deuterocanonical.-[Fitzmyer, at pp. 50, 55–57]

Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England lists it as a book of the "Apocrypha".-["Anglican Articles of Religion". Anglicansonline.org. 2007-04-15. Retrieved 2014-03-11.] Protestants regard Tobit as apocryphal because it was not included in the Tanakh nor considered canonical by Judaism.

Before the 1952 discovery of Aramaic and Hebrew fragments of Tobit among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Cave IV at Qumran, scholars believed Tobit was not included in the Jewish canon because of late authorship, estimated to 100 AD.-["Scrolls Content".The Dead Sea Scrolls. Retrieved 2014-03-11.] Qumran fragments of the text, which were copied between 100 BC to 25 AD, evidence a much earlier origin than previously thought.[Fitzmyer,] These fragments evidence authorship no later than the 2nd century BC and at least contemporary to the date modern scholars ascribe to the final compilation of the Book of Daniel, which did attain canonical status.-[R. Glenn Wooden, "Changing Perceptions of Daniel: Reading Chapters 4 and 5 of Daniel," in From Biblical Criticism to Biblical Faith, Brackney and; Evans eds., p. 10] Other scholars have postulated that Tobit was excluded from the Jewish Scriptures for a halakhic reason because Raguel, the bride's father, wrote the marriage document discussed in 7:16, instead of the bridegroom, as required by Jewish rabbinical law.-[Fitzmyer,]

Tobit and Anna
However, it could be hypothesized that some ancient Jewish rabbinic scholars considered Tobit to be historical. Midrash Bereishit Rabbah, an aggadic commentary on the Book of Genesis compiled circa 400–600 AD, includes a truncated Aramaic version of Tobit. -[Jared L. Olar, Introduction to the Apocrypha, Part VI] Tobit was also considered part of the Septuagint (the Greek translation/interpretation of the Hebrew bible). In more contemporary times, a number of Jews in Israel have sought to reclaim Tobit as part of the canon. [Mark Bredin, Studies in the Book of Tobit: A Multidisciplinary Approach, p. 3]

This book tells the story of Tobit, a righteous Israelite of the Tribe of Naphtali living in Nineveh after Sargon II had deported the northern tribes of Israel to Assyria in 721 BC. He was raised by his paternal grandmother, Deborah. He remains loyal to the worship of God at the temple in Jerusalem, refusing the cult of the Golden Calves that Jeroboam, king of Northern Israel, set up at Dan. He is particularly noted for his diligence in attempting to provide proper burials for fallen Israelites whom Sargon's successor Sennacherib has slain. For this behavior the king seizes his property and exiles him. After Sennacherib's death, he is allowed to return to Nineveh where he buries a man who has been murdered on the street. That night, he sleeps in the open and is blinded by bird droppings which fall into his eyes. The blindness caused by this injury strains his marriage and, ultimately, he prays for death. -["Tobit, book of", Jewish Encyclopedia]

Meanwhile, in faraway Media, a young woman named Sara has prayed for death in despair. The demon Jinn of lust, Asmodeus: ["the worst of demons"], abducts and kills every man whom Sara marries, on their wedding night before the marriage can be consummated. God sends an angel, disguised as a human, to heal Tobit and to free Sara from the demon Jinn.-["Tobit, book of", Jewish Encyclopedia]

In the story, Tobit sent his son Tobias to collect money which he was deposited to a man in distant Media. The Angel presents himself as Tobit's kinsman Azariah and offers to aid and protect Tobias. Under his guidance, Tobias journeys to Media with his dog, and over the objection of Tobit's wife Anna; whom Tobit's nagging has discouraged.-["Tobit, book of", Jewish Encyclopedia]

Along the way, whilst Tobias washes his feet in the river Tigris, a fish tries to swallow his foot and he captured the fish. Then his companion angel told him to collect the fish heart, liver and gall bladder to take with him carefully.["Tobit 6 GNT - Tobias Catches a Fish - So Tobias and". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2014-03-11.]

Upon arriving in Media, Angel told Tobias of the beautiful Sara, whom he has the right to marry because he is her cousin and closest relative. Then the angel instructs him to burn the fish's liver and heart to drive away the demon Jinn when he will be attacked on the wedding night.["Catholic Encyclopedia: Book of Tobias"]

The two married, and the fumes of the burning organs drive the demon Jinn to Upper Egypt, where the Angel binds him. Sara's father has been digging a grave secretly to bury Tobias (as he assumed he would die). But in the morning, when he found his son-in-law alive and well, he was surprised. He then secretly filled the grave and orders a double-length wedding feast assuming the feast will prevent Tobias from leaving. 

The Angel recovered the money. And they returned to Nineveh the feast was over with Sara. There, the Angel told the youth to use the fish's gall to cure his father's blindness. Raphael then reveals his identity and returns to heaven, and Tobit sings a hymn of praise.["Catholic Encyclopedia: Book of Tobias"]

Tobit tells his son to leave Nineveh before God destroys it according to prophecy (cf. the Book of Nahum). After the prayer, Tobit dies at an advanced age.[Tobit's age at death is variously given as 127 years in Greek I, 117 years in Greek II and the Vetus Latina, and 102 years in most manuscripts of the Vulgate, 112 years in others,]. After burying his father and mother,Tobias returns to Media with his family.

Significance:
The book is also closely related to Jewish wisdom literature; now here is this more clear than in Tobit's instructions to Tobias before his departure for Media. This instruction particularly praises the value of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; in the Latin Rite, readings from this section are often used in the liturgy. Because of the book's praise for the purity of marriage, it is often read during weddings in many rites. Doctrinally, the book is cited for its teaching on the intercession of angels, filial piety, and reverence for the dead.-["Introduction", Tobit, NAB, Libreria Editrice Vaticana]

The story in the Book of Tobit is set in the 8th century BC, and scholars traditionally thought that it was written at that time.-[Miller, at p. 10.] However, a number of historical errors rule out contemporaneous authorship,[Miller, at p. 11.] and most scholars now prefer situating the composition of Tobit between 225 and 175 BC.[ Fitzmyer, at p. 51.] The direct quote in Tobit 2:6 from the Book of Amos ("Your feasts shall be turned into mourning, and all your mirth into lamentation"-[cf. Tobit 2:5–7 and; Amos 8:10]) indicates that the prophetic books had become not only fixed but authoritative, signalling a post-exilic date.-[ Fitzmyer, at p. 51.] Moreover, reference to the "Book of Moses" (6:13, 7:11–13) and the "Law of Moses" (7:13) echo identical phrasing in the Book of Chronicles, which some believe was composed after the 4th century BC.-[Fitzmyer, at p. 51; Miller, at p. 11.] Contextually, dating Tobit's authorship to after 175 BC is problematic, as the author expresses no awareness of Seleucid attempts to Hellenize Judea (from 175 BC) or of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucids (165 BC), nor does it espouse apocalyptic or messianic expectations upon which later writings focused.-[Fitzmyer, at pp. 51–52; Miller at pp. 11–12.] Nevertheless, some scholars espouse a later date of composition of at least portions of Tobit.-[Fitzmyer, at p. 52.]

The Story:
Tobit ibn Tobiel, who in the time of Enemessar king of the Assyrians was led captive out of Thisbe, which is at the right hand of that city, which is called properly Nephthali in Galilee above Aser.
Tobit has walked all the days of his life in the ways of truth and justice, and he did many alms deeds to my brethren, and my nation, who came with me to Nineve, into the land of the Assyrians.

And when he was in his own country, in the land of Israel being but young, all the tribe of Nephthali his father fell from the house of Jerusalem, which was chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, that all the tribes should sacrifice there, where the temple of the habitation of the most High was consecrated and built for all ages.

Now all the tribes which together revolted, and the house of his father Nephthali, sacrificed unto the heifer Baal. But Tobit alone went often to Jerusalem at the feasts, as it was ordained unto all the people of Israel by an everlasting decree, having the first fruits and tenths of increase, with that which was first shorn; and them gave he at the altar to the priests the children of Aaron.

The first tenth part of all increase Tobit gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem: another tenth part he sold away, and went, and spent it every year at Jerusalem: And the third he gave unto them to whom it was meet, as Debora his father's mother had commanded him, because he was left an orphan by his father.

Furthermore, when Tobit was come to the age of a man, he married Anna of his own kindred, and of her he begat Tobias. And when they were carried away captives to Nineve, all his brethren and those that were of his kindred did eat of the bread of the Gentiles.

But Tobit kept himself from eating; Because he remembered God with all his heart. And the most High gave him grace and favour before Enemessar, so that he was his purveyor. And he went into Media, and left in trust with Gabael, the brother of Gabrias, at Rages a city of Media ten talents of silver.

Now when Enemessar was dead, Sennacherib his son reigned in his stead; whose estate was troubled, that Tobit could not go into Media. And in the time of Enemessar he gave many alms to his brethren, and gave hus bread to the hungry, And his clothes to the naked: and if he saw any of his nation dead, or cast about the walls of Nineve, he buried him. And if the king Sennacherib had slain any, when he was come, and fled from Judea, he buried them privily; for in his wrath he killed many; but the bodies were not found, when they were sought for of the king.

And when one of the Ninevites went and complained of Tobit to the king that he buried them, and hid himself; understanding that he was sought for to be put to death, he withdrew himself for fear. Then all his goods were forcibly taken away, neither was there anything left him, beside his wife Anna and his son Tobias.

And there passed not five and fifty days, kings two sons killed him, and they fled into the mountains of Ararath; and Sarchedonus his son reigned in his stead; who appointed over his father's accounts, and over all his affairs. Achiacharus Tobit brother Anael's son. And Achiacharus intreating for him, he returned to Nineve. Now Achiacharus was cupbearer, and keeper of the signet, and steward, and overseer of the accounts: and Sarchedonus appointed him next unto him: and he was Tobits brother's son.

Now when Tobit was come home again, and his wife Anna was restored unto him, with his son Tobias, in the feast of Pentecost, which is the holy feast of the seven weeks, there was a good dinner prepared for him, in the which he sat down to eat. And when he saw abundance of meat, he said to his son, "Go and bring what poor man soever thou shalt find out of our brethren, who is mindful of the Lord; and, lo, I tarry for thee".

But Tobias came again, and said, "Father, one of our nation is strangled, and is cast out in the marketplace". Then before Tobit had tasted of any meat, he started up, and took him up into a room until the going down of the sun.

Then Tobit returned, and washed himself, and ate his meat in heaviness, Remembering that prophecy of Amos, as he said, “Your feasts shall be turned into mourning, and all your mirth into lamentation.”

Therefore Tobit wept: and after the going down of the sun he went and made a grave, and buried him. But his neighbours mocked him, and said, “This man is not yet afraid to be put to death for this matter: who fled away; and yet, lo, he burieth the dead again.”

The same night also Tobit returned from the burial, and slept by the wall of his courtyard, being polluted and his face was uncovered: And he knew not that there were sparrows in the wall, and his eyes being open, the sparrows muted warm dung into his eyes, and a whiteness came in his eyes: and he went to the physicians, but they helped him not: moreover Achiacharus did nourish him, until he went into Elymais.

And his wife Anna did take women's works to do. And when she had sent them home to the owners, they paid her wages, and gave her also besides a kid. And when it was in his house, and began to cry, he said unto her, "From whence is this kid? is it not stolen? render it to the owners; for it is not lawful to eat any thing that is stolen".

But she replied, "It was given for a gift more than the wages". How be it he did not believe her, but bade her render it to the owners: and he was abashed at her. But she replied, "Where are thine alms and thy righteous deeds? behold, thou and all thy works are known".

Then Tobit being grieved did weep, and in his sorrow prayed, saying, “O Lord, thou art just, and all thy works and all thy ways are mercy and truth, and thou judgest truly and justly for ever. Remember me, and look on me, punish me not for my sins and ignorance's, and the sins of my fathers, who have sinned before thee: For they obeyed not thy commandments: wherefore thou hast delivered us for a spoil, and unto captivity, and unto death, and for a proverb of reproach to all the nations among whom we are dispersed. And now thy judgments are many and true: deal with me according to my sins and my fathers': because we have not kept thy commandments, neither have walked in truth before thee. Now therefore deal with me as seemeth best unto thee, and command my spirit to be taken from me, that I may be dissolved, and become earth: for it is profitable for me to die rather than to live, because I have heard false reproaches, and have much sorrow: command therefore that I may now be delivered out of this distress, and go into the everlasting place: turn not thy face away from me.”

It came to pass the same day, that in Ecbatane- a city of Media, Sara the daughter of Raguel was also reproached by her father's maids; Because that she had been married to seven husbands, whom Satan, the evil spirit [Jinns] had killed, before they had lain with her.

“Dost thou not know”, said they, “that thou hast strangled thine husbands? thou hast had already seven husbands, neither wast thou named after any of them. Wherefore dost thou beat us for them? if they be dead, go thy ways after them, let us never see of thee either son or daughter.”

Whe she heard these things, she was very sorrowful, so that the thought to have strangled herself; and she said, “I am the only daughter of my father, and if I do this, it shall be a reproach unto him, and I shall bring his old age with sorrow unto the grave.”

Then she prayed toward the window, and said, “Blessed art thou, O Lord my God, and thine holy and glorious name is blessed and honourable for ever: let all thy works praise thee for ever. And now, O Lord, I set I mine eyes and my face toward thee, And say, Take me out of the earth, that I may hear no more the reproach. Thou knowest, Lord, that I am pure from all sin with man, And that I never polluted my name, nor the name of my father, in the land of my captivity: I am the only daughter of my father, neither hath he any child to be his heir, neither any near kinsman, nor any son of his alive, to whom I may keep myself for a wife: my seven husbands are already dead; and why should I live? but if it please not thee that I should die,command some regard to be had of me, and pity taken of me, that I hear no more reproach.”

So the prayers of them both were heard before the majesty of the great God. And Angel Raphael was sent to heal them both, that is, to scale away the whiteness of Tobit's eyes, and to give Sara the daughter of Raguel for a wife to Tobias the son of Tobit; and to bind Asmodeus the evil spirit; because she belonged to Tobias by right of inheritance. The selfsame time came Tobit home, and entered into his house, and Sara the daughter of Raguel came down from her upper chamber.

In that day Tobit remembered the money which he had committed to Gabael in Rages of Media, And said with himself, “I have wished for death; wherefore do I not call for my son Tobias that I may signify to him of the money before I die?”

Tobit and Tobias
And when he had called him, he said, “My son, when I am dead, bury me; and despise not thy mother, but honour her all the days of thy life, and do that which shall please her, and grieve her not. Remember, my son, that she saw many dangers for thee, when thou wast in her womb: and when she is dead, bury her by me in one grave.

My son, be mindful of the Lord our God all thy days, and let not thy will be set to sin, or to transgress his commandments: do uprightly all thy life long, and follow not the ways of unrighteousness. For if thou deal truly, thy doings shall prosperously succeed to thee, and to all them that live justly.

Give alms of thy substance; and when thou givest alms, let not thine eye be envious, neither turn thy face from any poor, and the face of God shall not be turned away from thee. If thou hast abundance give alms accordingly: if thou have but a little, be not afraid to give according to that little: For thou layest up a good treasure for thyself against the day of necessity. Because that alms do deliver from death, and suffereth not to come into darkness. For alms is a good gift unto all that give it in the sight of the most High.

Beware of all whoredom, my son, and chiefly take a wife of the seed of thy fathers, and take not a strange woman to wife, which is not of thy father's tribe: for we are the children of the prophets, Noe, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: remember, my son, that our fathers from the beginning, even that they all married wives of their own kindred, and were blessed in their children, and their seed shall inherit the land.

Now therefore, my son, love thy brethren, and despise not in thy heart thy brethren, the sons and daughters of thy people, in not taking a wife of them: for in pride is destruction and much trouble, and in lewdness is decay and great want: for lewdness is the mother of famine.

Let not the wages of any man, which hath wrought for thee, tarry with thee, but give him it out of hand: for if thou serve God, he will also repay thee: be circumspect my son, in all things thou doest, and be wise in all thy conversation.

Do that to no man which thou hatest: drink not wine to make thee drunken: neither let drunkenness go with thee in thy journey. Give of thy bread to the hungry, and of thy garments to them that are naked; and according to thine abundance give alms: and let not thine eye be envious, when thou givest alms. Pour out thy bread on the burial of the just, but give nothing to the wicked.

Ask counsel of all that are wise, and despise not any counsel that is profitable. Bless the Lord thy God alway, and desire of him that thy ways may be directed, and that all thy paths and counsels may prosper: for every nation hath not counsel; but the Lord himself giveth all good things, and he humbleth whom he will, as he will; now therefore, my son, remember my commandments, neither let them be put out of thy mind.

And now I signify this to they that I committed ten talents to Gabael the son of Gabrias at Rages in Media. And fear not, my son, that we are made poor: for thou hast much wealth, if thou fear God, and depart from all sin, and do that which is pleasing in his sight.”

Tobias then answered and said, “Father, I will do all things which thou hast commanded me: But how can I receive the money, seeing I know him not?”
Then he gave him the handwriting, and said unto him, “Seek thee a man which may go with thee, whiles I yet live, and I will give him wages: and go and receive the money.”

Therefore when he went to seek a man, he found Raphael that was an angel. But he knew not; and he said unto him, “Canst thou go with me to Rages? and knowest thou those places well?”
To whom the angel said, “I will go with thee, and I know the way well: for I have lodged with our brother Gabael.”
Then Tobias said unto him, “Tarry for me, till I tell my father.”
Then he said unto him, “Go and tarry not.”
So he went in and said to his father, “Behold, I have found one which will go with me.”
Then he said, “Call him unto me, that I may know of what tribe he is, and whether he be a trusty man to go with thee.”

So he called him, and he came in, and they saluted one another. Then Tobit said unto him, “Brother, shew me of what tribe and family thou art.”
To whom he said, “Dost thou seek for a tribe or family, or an hired man to go with thy son?”
Then Tobit said unto him, “I would know, brother, thy kindred and name.”
Then he said, “I am Azarias, the son of Ananias the great, and of thy brethren.”

Then Tobit said, “Thou art welcome, brother; be not now angry with me, because I have enquired to know thy tribe and thy family; for thou art my brother, of an honest and good stock: for I know Ananias and Jonathas, sons of that great Samaias, as we went together to Jerusalem to worship, and offered the firstborn, and the tenths of the fruits; and they were not seduced with the error of our brethren: my brother, thou art of a good stock. But tell me, what wages shall I give thee? wilt thou a drachm a day, and things necessary, as to mine own son?”
“Yea, moreover, if ye return safe, I will add something to thy wages.”
So they were well pleased. Then said he to Tobias, “Prepare thyself for the journey, and God send you a good journey.”

And when his son had prepared all things far the journey, his father said, “Go thou with this man, and God, which dwelleth in heaven, prosper your journey, and the angel of God keep you company.”
So they went forth both, and the young man's dog with them.

But Anna his mother wept, and said to Tobit, “Why hast thou sent away our son? is he not the staff of our hand, in going in and out before us? Be not greedy to add money to money: but let it be as refuse in respect of our child. For that which the Lord hath given us to live with doth suffice us.”

Then said Tobit to her, “Take no care, my sister; he shall return in safety, and thine eyes shall see him. For the good angel will keep him company, and his journey shall be prosperous, and he shall return safe.”
Then she made an end of weeping.

And as they went on their journey, they came in the evening to the river Tigris, and they lodged there. And when the young man went down to wash himself, a fish leaped out of the river, and would have devoured him. Then the angel said unto him, “Take the fish.”

And the young man laid hold of the fish, and drew it to land. To whom the angel said, “Open the fish, and take the heart and the liver and the gall, and put them up safely.”
So the young man did as the angel commanded him; and when they had roasted the fish, they did eat it: then they both went on their way, till they drew near to Ecbatane.
Then the young man said to the angel, “Brother Azarias, to what use is the heart and the liver and the gal of the fish?”

And he said unto him, “Touching the heart and the liver, if a devil or an evil spirit trouble any, we must make a smoke thereof before the man or the woman, and the party shall be no more vexed. As for the gall, it is good to anoint a man that hath whiteness in his eyes, and he shall be healed.”

And when they were come near to Rages, The angel said to the young man, “Brother, today we shall lodge with Raguel, who is thy cousin; he also hath one only daughter, named Sara; I will speak for her, that she may be given thee for a wife.”

For to thee doth the right of her appertain, seeing thou only art of her kindred. And the maid is fair and wise: now therefore hear me, and I will speak to her father; and when we return from Rages we will celebrate the marriage: for I know that Raguel cannot marry her to another according to the law of Moses, but he shall be guilty of death, because the right of inheritance doth rather appertain to thee than to any other.

Then the young man answered the angel, “I have heard, brother Azarias that this maid hath been given to seven men, who all died in the marriage chamber. And now I am the only son of my father, and I am afraid, lest if I go in unto her, I die, as the other before: for a wicked spirit loveth her, which hurteth no body, but those which come unto her; wherefore I also fear lest I die, and bring my father's and my mother's life because of me to the grave with sorrow: for they have no other son to bury them.”

Then the angel said unto him, “Dost thou not remember the precepts which thy father gave thee, that thou shouldest marry a wife of thine own kindred? wherefore hear me, O my brother; for she shall be given thee to wife; and make thou no reckoning of the evil spirit; for this same night shall she be given thee in marriage.

And when thou shalt come into the marriage chamber, thou shalt take the ashes of perfume, and shalt lay upon them some of the heart and liver of the fish, and shalt make a smoke with it: And the devil shall smell it, and flee away, and never come again any more: but when thou shalt come to her, rise up both of you, and pray to God which is merciful, who will have pity on you, and save you: fear not, for she is appointed unto thee from the beginning; and thou shalt preserve her, and she shall go with thee. Moreover I suppose that she shall bear thee children.”

Now when Tobias had heard these things, he loved her, and his heart was effectually joined to her.
And when they were come to Ecbatane, they came to the house of Raguel, and Sara met them: and after they had saluted one another, she brought them into the house. Then said Raguel to Edna his wife, “How like is this young man to Tobit my cousin!”

And Raguel asked them, “From whence are ye, brethren?”
To whom they said, “We are of the sons of Nephthalim, which are captives in Nineve.”
Then he said to them, “Do ye know Tobit our kinsman?”
And they said, “We know him.”
Then said he, “Is he in good health?”
And they said, “He is both alive, and in good health:” and Tobias said, “He is my father.”
Then Raguel leaped up, and kissed him, and wept, And blessed him, and said unto him, “Thou art the son of an honest and good man.”

But when he had heard that Tobit was blind, he was sorrowful, and wept. And likewise Edna his wife and Sara his daughter wept. Moreover they entertained them cheerfully; and after that they had killed a ram of the flock, they set store of meat on the table. Then said Tobias to Raphael, “Brother Azarias, speak of those things of which thou didst talk in the way, and let this business be dispatched.”

So he communicated the matter with Raguel: and Raguel said to Tobias, “Eat and drink, and make merry: For it is meet that thou shouldest marry my daughter: nevertheless I will declare unto thee the truth. I have given my daughter in marriage te seven men, who died that night they came in unto her: nevertheless for the present be merry.”

But Tobias said, “I will eat nothing here, till we agree and swear one to another.”
Raguel said, “Then take her from henceforth according to the manner, for thou art her cousin, and she is thine, and the merciful God give you good success in all things.”

Then he called his daughter Sara, and she came to her father, and he took her by the hand, and gave her to be wife to Tobias, saying, “Behold, take her after the law of Moses, and lead her away to thy father.”

And he blessed them; And called Edna his wife, and took paper, and did write an instrument of covenants, and sealed it.

Then they began to eat. After Raguel called his wife Edna, and said unto her, “Sister, prepare another chamber, and bring her in thither.”

Which when she had done as he had bidden her, she brought her thither: and she wept, and she received the tears of her daughter, and said unto her, “Be of good comfort, my daughter; the Lord of heaven and earth give thee joy for this thy sorrow: be of good comfort, my daughter.”

And when they had supped, they brought Tobias in unto her. And as he went, he remembered the words of Raphael, and took the ashes of the perfumes, and put the heart and the liver of the fish thereupon, and made a smoke therewith. The which smell when the evil spirit had smelled, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, and the angel bound him.

And after that they were both shut in together, Tobias rose out of the bed, and said, “Sister, arise, and let us pray that God would have pity on us.”

Then began Tobias to say, “Blessed art thou, O God of our fathers, and blessed is thy holy and glorious name for ever; let the heavens bless thee, and all thy creatures. Thou madest Adam, and gavest him Eve his wife for an helper and stay: of them came mankind: thou hast said, It is not good that man should be alone; let us make unto him an aid like unto himself. And now, O Lord, I take not this my sister for lush but uprightly: therefore mercifully ordain that we may become aged together.”
And she said with him, “Amen.”

So they slept both that night. And Raguel arose, and went and made a grave, Saying, “I fear lest he also be dead.”
But when Raguel was come into his house, He said unto his wife Edna, “Send one of the maids, and let her see whether he be alive: if he be not, that we may bury him, and no man know it.”

So the maid opened the door, and went in, and found them both asleep, And came forth, and told them that he was alive. Then Raguel praised God, and said, “O God, thou art worthy to be praised with all pure and holy praise; therefore let thy saints praise thee with all thy creatures; and let all thine angels and thine elect praise thee for ever. Thou art to be praised, for thou hast made me joyful; and that is not come to me which I suspected; but thou hast dealt with us according to thy great mercy. Thou art to be praised because thou hast had mercy of two that were the only begotten children of their fathers: grant them mercy, O Lord, and finish their life in health with joy and mercy.”

Then Raguel bade his servants to fill the grave. And he kept the wedding feast fourteen days. For before the days of the marriage were finished, Raguel had said unto him by an oath, that he should not depart till the fourteen days of the marriage were expired; And then he should take the half of his goods, and go in safety to his father; and should have the rest when I and my wife be dead.

Then Tobias called Raphael, and said unto him, “Brother Azarias, take with thee a servant, and two camels, and go to Rages of Media to Gabael, and bring me the money, and bring him to the wedding. For Raguel hath sworn that I shall not depart. But my father counteth the days; and if I tarry long, he will be very sorry.”

So Raphael went out, and lodged with Gabael, and gave him the handwriting: who brought forth bags which were sealed up, and gave them to him. And early in the morning they went forth both together, and came to the wedding: and Tobias blessed his wife.

Now Tobit his father counted every day: and when the days of the journey were expired, and they came not, Then Tobit said, “Are they detained? or is Gabael dead, and there is no man to give him the money?”
Therefore he was very sorry.

Then his wife said unto him, “My son is dead, seeing he stayeth long;” and she began to wail him, and said, “Now I care for nothing, my son, since I have let thee go, the light of mine eyes.”
To whom Tobit said, “Hold thy peace, take no care, for he is safe.”
But she said, “Hold thy peace, and deceive me not; my son is dead.”

And she went out every day into the way which they went, and did eat no meat on the daytime, and ceased not whole nights to bewail her son Tobias, until the fourteen days of the wedding were expired, which Raguel had sworn that he should spend there.

Then Tobias said to Raguel, “Let me go, for my father and my mother look no more to see me.”
But his father in law said unto him, “Tarry with me, and I will send to thy father, and they shall declare unto him how things go with thee.”
But Tobias said, “No; but let me go to my father.”

Then Raguel arose, and gave him Sara his wife, and half his goods, servants, and cattle, and money: And he blessed them, and sent them away, saying, “The God of heaven give you a prosperous journey, my children.”

And he said to his daughter, “Honour thy father and thy mother in law, which are now thy parents, that I may hear good report of thee.”
And he kissed her.

Edna also said to Tobias, “The Lord of heaven restore thee, my dear brother, and grant that I may see thy children of my daughter Sara before I die, that I may rejoice before the Lord: behold, I commit my daughter unto thee of special trust; where are do not entreat her evil.”

After these things Tobias went his way, praising God that he had given him a prosperous journey, and blessed Raguel and Edna his wife, and went on his way till they drew near unto Nineve. Then Raphael said to Tobias, “Thou knowest, brother, how thou didst leave thy father: Let us haste before thy wife, and prepare the house. And take in thine hand the gall of the fish.”

So they went their way, and the dog went after them. Now Anna sat looking about toward the way for her son. And when she espied him coming, she said to his father, “Behold, thy son cometh”, and the man that went with him.
Then said Raphael, “I know, Tobias, that thy father will open his eyes.”

Therefore anoint thou his eyes with the gall, and being pricked therewith, he shall rub, and the whiteness shall fall away, and he shall see thee. Then Anna ran forth, and fell upon the neck of her son, and said unto him, “Seeing I have seen thee, my son, from henceforth I am content to die.”
And they wept both.

Tobit also went forth toward the door, and stumbled: but his son ran unto him, And took hold of his father: and he strake of the gall on his fathers' eyes, saying, “Be of good hope, my father.”

And when his eyes began to smart, he rubbed them; And the whiteness pilled away from the corners of his eyes: and when he saw his son, he fell upon his neck. And he wept, and said, “Blessed art thou, O God, and blessed is thy name for ever; and blessed are all thine holy angels: For thou hast scourged, and hast taken pity on me: for, behold, I see my son Tobias.”
And his son went in rejoicing, and told his father the great things that had happened to him in Media.

Then Tobit went out to meet his daughter in law at the gate of Nineve, rejoicing and praising God: and they which saw him go marvelled, because he had received his sight. But Tobias gave thanks before them, because God had mercy on him. And when he came near to Sara his daughter in law, he blessed her, saying, “Thou art welcome, daughter: God be blessed, which hath brought thee unto us, and blessed be thy father and thy mother.’

And there was joy among all his brethren which were at Nineve. And Achiacharus, and Nasbas his brother's son, came: And Tobias' wedding was kept seven days with great joy.

Then Tobit called his son Tobias, and said unto him, “My son, see that the man have his wages, which went with thee, and thou must give him more.”

And Tobias said unto him, “O father, it is no harm to me to give him half of those things which I have brought: For he hath brought me again to thee in safety, and made whole my wife, and brought me the money, and likewise healed thee.”
Then the old man said, “It is due unto him.”
So he called the angel, and he said unto him, “Take half of all that ye have brought and go away in safety.”

Then he took them both apart, and said unto them, “Bless God, praise him, and magnify him, and praise him for the things which he hath done unto you in the sight of all that live. It is good to praise God, and exalt his name, and honourably to shew forth the works of God; therefore be not slack to praise him.

It is good to keep close the secret of a king, but it is honourable to reveal the works of God. Do that which is good, and no evil shall touch you. Prayer is good with fasting and alms and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with unrighteousness. It is better to give alms than to lay up gold: For alms doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. Those that exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life: But they that sin are enemies to their own life.

Surely I will keep close nothing from you.” For I said, “It was good to keep close the secret of a king, but that it was honourable to reveal the works of God. Now therefore, when thou didst pray, and Sara thy daughter in law, I did bring the remembrance of your prayers before the Holy One: and when thou didst bury the dead, I was with thee likewise. And when thou didst not delay to rise up, and leave thy dinner, to go and cover the dead, thy good deed was not hid from me: but I was with thee. And now God hath sent me to heal thee and Sara thy daughter in law. I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.”

Then they were both troubled, and fell upon their faces: for they feared. But he said unto them, “Fear not, for it shall go well with you; praise God therefore. For not of any favour of mine, but by the will of our God I came; wherefore praise him for ever. All these days I did appear unto you; but I did neither eat nor drink, but ye did see a vision. Now therefore give God thanks: for I go up to him that sent me; but write all things which are done in a book.”

And when they arose, they saw him no more. Then they confessed the great and wonderful works of God, and how the angel of the Lord had appeared unto them.

Then Tobit wrote a prayer of rejoicing, and said, “Blessed be God that liveth for ever, and blessed be his kingdom. For he doth scourge, and hath mercy: he leadeth down to hell, and bringeth up again: neither is there any that can avoid his hand. Confess him before the Gentiles, ye children of Israel: for he hath scattered us among them.

There declare his greatness, and extol him before all the living: for he is our Lord, and he is the God our Father for ever. And he will scourge us for our iniquities, and will have mercy again, and will gather us out of all nations, among whom he hath scattered us.

If ye turn to him with your whole heart, and with your whole mind, and deal uprightly before him, then will he turn unto you, and will not hide his face from you. Therefore see what he will do with you, and confess him with your whole mouth, and praise the Lord of might, and extol the everlasting King. In the land of my captivity do I praise him, and declare his might and majesty to a sinful nation. O ye sinners, turn and do justice before him: who can tell if he will accept you, and have mercy on you?

I will extol my God, and my soul shall praise the King of heaven, and shall rejoice in his greatness. Let all men speak, and let all praise him for his righteousness. O Jerusalem, the holy city, he will scourge thee for thy children's works, and will have mercy again on the sons of the righteous.

Give praise to the Lord, for he is good: and praise the everlasting King, that his tabernacle may be builded in thee again with joy, and let him make joyful there in thee those that are captives, and love in thee for ever those that are miserable.

Many nations shall come from far to the name of the Lord God with gifts in their hands, even gifts to the King of heaven; all generations shall praise thee with great joy.

Cursed are all they which hate thee, and blessed shall all be which love thee for ever. Rejoice and be glad for the children of the just: for they shall be gathered together, and shall bless the Lord of the just.

O blessed are they which love thee, for they shall rejoice in thy peace: blessed are they which have been sorrowful for all thy scourges; for they shall rejoice for thee, when they have seen all thy glory, and shall be glad for ever.

Let my soul bless God the great King. For Jerusalem shall be built up with sapphires and emeralds, and precious stone: thy walls and towers and battlements with pure gold. And the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with beryl and carbuncle and stones of Ophir. And all her streets shall say, Alleluia; and they shall praise him, saying, Blessed be God, which hath extolled it for ever.”
So Tobit made an end of praising God.

And he was eight and fifty years old when he lost his sight, which was restored to him after eight years: and he gave alms, and he increased in the fear of the Lord God, and praised him.  And when he was very aged he called his son, and the sons of his son, and said to him, “My son, take thy children; for, behold, I am aged, and am ready to depart out of this life. Go into Media my son, for I surely believe those things which Jonas the prophet spake of Nineve, that it shall be overthrown; and that for a time peace shall rather be in Media; and that our brethren shall lie scattered in the earth from that good land: and Jerusalem shall be desolate, and the house of God in it shall be burned, and shall be desolate for a time; And that again God will have mercy on them, and bring them again into the land, where they shall build a temple, but not like to the first, until the time of that age be fulfilled; and afterward they shall return from all places of their captivity, and build up Jerusalem gloriously, and the house of God shall be built in it for ever with a glorious building, as the prophets have spoken thereof.

And all nations shall turn, and fear the Lord God truly, and shall bury their idols. So shall all nations praise the Lord, and his people shall confess God, and the Lord shall exalt his people; and all those which love the Lord God in truth and justice shall rejoice, shewing mercy to our brethren.

And now, my son, depart out of Nineve, because that those things which the prophet Jonas spake shall surely come to pass. But keep thou the law and the commandments, and shew thyself merciful and just, that it may go well with thee. And bury me decently, and thy mother with me; but tarry no longer at Nineve.

Remember, my son, how Aman handled Achiacharus that brought him up, how out of light he brought him into darkness, and how he rewarded him again: yet Achiacharus was saved, but the other had his reward: for he went down into darkness. Manasses gave alms, and escaped the snares of death which they had set for him: but Aman fell into the snare, and perished. Wherefore now, my son, consider what alms doeth, and how righteousness doth deliver.”

When he had said these things, he gave up the ghost in the bed, being an hundred and eight and fifty years old; and he buried him honourably.

And when Anna his mother was dead, he buried her with his father. But Tobias departed with his wife and children to Ecbatane to Raguel his father in law, Where he became old with honour, and he buried his father and mother in law honourably, and he inherited their substance, and his father Tobit's. And he died at Ecbatane in Media, being an hundred and seven and twenty years old. But before he died he heard of the destruction of Nineve, which was taken by Nebuchadnezzar and Assuerus: and before his death he rejoiced over Nineve.

In Qur'an Sura 31, Luqman, where we found Tobit is named as Luqman, The Sura emphasizing on the principles of moderation.[Oliver Ceaman, The Quran: An Encyclopedia, pg. 356] The sura uses the mustard seed analogy to emphasize the degree to which God maintains his purview over man's actions, possibly emphasizing the fact that any evil or good deed no matter how small is recorded and will be brought out by Allah during the day of judgement.[ Ibn Katheer, Stories of the Quran, pg. 4 of Chapter 16] A final point of focus for Sura 31 comes down to the purpose of God's creation. 31:29 and 31:20 show how God's intention through creation was to better mankind, and his signs are theoretically everywhere, from rain to vegetation.[Abdel Haleem, The Qur'an, Sura 31] This emphasis once again reminds people of their subservience to Allah while also driving home the idea that man is meant to do good on the Earth. Man's purpose is to serve God, while the Earth has been created in order to facilitate man's needs.[Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Quran, pg. 79]

Qur'an Says-
we bestowed (in the past) Wisdom on Luqman: "Show (thy) gratitude to Allah." Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul: but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, Worthy of all praise.

Behold, Luqman said to his son by way of instruction: "O my son! join not in worship (others) with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing."

And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.

"But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (and consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to me (in love): in the end the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that ye did."

"O my son!" (said Luqman), "If there be (but) the weight of a mustard-seed and it were (hidden) in a rock, or (anywhere) in the heavens or on earth, Allah will bring it forth: for Allah understands the finest mysteries, (and) is well-acquainted (with them).

"O my son! establish regular prayer, enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong: and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee; for this is firmness (of purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.

"And swell not thy cheek (for pride) at men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for Allah loveth not any arrogant boaster.

"And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice; for the harshest of sounds without doubt is the braying of the ass."

Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made his bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!

When they are told to follow the (Revelation) that Allah has sent down, they say: "Nay, we shall follow the ways that we found our fathers (following). "What! even if it is Satan beckoning them to the Penalty of the (Blazing) Fire?

Whoever submits his whole self to Allah, and is a doer of good, has grasped indeed the most trustworthy hand-hold: and with Allah rests the End and Decision of (all) affairs.

But if any reject Faith, let not his rejection grieve thee: to Us is their return, and We shall tell them the truth of their deeds: for Allah knows well all that is in (men´s) hearts.

We grant them their pleasure for a little while: in the end shall We drive them to a chastisement unrelenting.

If thou ask them, who it is that created the heavens and the earth. They will certainly say, "Allah". Say: "Praise be to Allah!" But most of them understand not.

To Allah belong all things in heaven and earth: verily Allah is He (that is) free of all wants, worthy of all praise.

And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom.

And your creation or your resurrection is in no wise but as an individual soul: for Allah is He Who hears and sees (all things).

Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and he merges Day into Night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon (to his Law), each running its course for a term appointed; and that Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do?

That is because Allah is the (only) Reality, and because whatever else they invoke besides Him is Falsehood; and because Allah,- He is the Most High, Most Great.

Seest thou not that the ships sail through the ocean by the Grace of Allah?- that He may show you of His Signs? Verily in this are Signs for all who constantly persevere and give thanks.

When a wave covers them like the canopy (of clouds), they call to Allah, offering Him sincere devotion. But when He has delivered them safely to land, there are among them those that halt between (right and wrong). But none reject Our Signs except only a perfidious ungrateful (wretch)!

O mankind! do your duty to your Lord, and fear (the coming of) a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true: let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.

Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does any one know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does any one know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things
).-[31:12-34]

The End,
Not Yet Verified.

Source: 
Wikipedia.
The Book of Tobit.
Fitzmyer, at pp. 50, 55–57
"Anglican Articles of Religion". Anglicansonline.org. 2007-04-15. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
"Scrolls Content". The Dead Sea Scrolls. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
R. Glenn Wooden, "Changing Perceptions of Daniel: Reading Chapters 4 and 5 of Daniel," in From Biblical Criticism to Biblical Faith, Brackney & Evans eds., p. 10 (Mercer Univ.Press 2007) ISBN 0-88146-052-4.
Jared L. Olar, Introduction to the Apocrypha, Part Six: The Book of Tobit.
Mark Bredin, Studies in the Book of Tobit: A Multidisciplinary Approach, p. 3 (T&T Clark 2006), ISBN 0-567-08229-6.
"Tobit, book of", Jewish Encyclopedia
"Tobit 6 GNT - Tobias Catches a Fish - So Tobias and". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
"CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Book of Tobias".
Tobit's age at death is variously given as 127 years in Greek I, 117 years in Greek II and the Vetus Latina, and 102 years in most manuscripts of the Vulgate , 112 years in others, (158) "an hundred and eight and fifty years old" in Tobit 14:11 KJV (Wikisource) (102) "a hundred and two years" Tobit 14:2 Douay-Rheims (Biblegateway)
"Introduction", Tobit, NAB, Libreria Editrice Vaticana
cf. Tobit 2:5–7 & Amos 8:10
Miller at pp. 11–15.
Four Aramaic fragmentary texts of Tobit (4QToba–dar [=4Q196-199]) and one Hebrew text (4QTobe [=4Q200]) were found at Qumran in Cave IV.
A.A. Di Lella, New English Translation of the Septuagint, "Tobit" (PDF), 2007Oliver Ceaman, The Quran: An Encyclopedia, pg. 356
Ibn Katheer, Stories of the Qur'an, pg. 4 of Chapter 16
Abdel Haleem, The Qur'an, Sura 31
Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Quran, pg. 79
Carl Ernst, How to Read the Qur'an, The University of North Carolina Press, pg. 117
Abdel Haleem, The Qur'an, Sura 31, pp. 261–263
Fazlur Rahman, Major Themes of the Qur'an: Second Edition, pg. 79

Qur'an
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