Tobias (book of the Bible)

Tobias The book of TOBIAS was written around the year 200 a. C. and it has only been conserved in several Greek and Latin versions, quite different from each other. Like the books of Esther and Judith, it belongs to the genre of “edifying” stories or narratives elaborated with the aim of transmitting a moral and religious teaching.

Summary

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  • 1 Contents
  • 2 Outline of the book
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Sources

Content

The protagonists of the story are members of a family from the Naphtali tribe, deported to Nineveh when the Assyrians invaded and conquered the territory of Galilee (2 King. 15. 29). This setting outside of Palestine is an essential element of the narrative, since the teaching contained in the Book is primarily intended to sustain the faith of Jews scattered in a pagan and almost always hostile environment. To encourage them to remain faithful to the Lord, even in the midst of trials, the author proposes an exemplary model in the figure of Tobit, the father of the young Tobias. What stands out most throughout the story is the providential action of God. The facts that at first glance seem casual respond in reality to a divine plan – a “secret” – that only in the end is revealed (12. 11). And so,

In the book of Tobias, the executor of this divine design is an “angel” named Raphael, which means “God heals”. Whereas in the earliest biblical texts the Lord personally approaches men and speaks with them, at this stage of Revelation the sense of divine transcendence is emphasized. An infinite distance separates men from God, but that distance is bridged by the intervention of angels, whose function is to be the “messengers” of divine blessings and punishments, and to present to the Lord the supplications and needs of men (12. 12-15).

Along with the invitation to trust in divine Providence, the history of Tobias highlights other values ​​of deep evangelical content: the sanctity of marriage, filial respect, mercy towards the poor, the practice of almsgiving, the humble acceptance of trials and the effectiveness of prayer.

Book sketch

  • Introduction
  • Tobit in exile
  • Tobit’s good works
  • Tobit’s blindness
  • Tobit’s Prayer
  • Sara’s misfortunes
  • Sara’s prayer
  • The mission of the angel Raphael
  • Preparations for Tobias’ trip
  • Tobias’s encounter with the angel Raphael

Tobias went out to find a good guide, who knew the way to go with him to Media. Outside he found the angel Rafael, who was standing in front of him and, without suspecting that he was an angel of God, 5 asked him: “Where are you from, friend?” The angel replied: “I am one of your Israelite brothers, and I have come to look for work around here.” Tobias said to him, “Do you know the way to go to Media?” 6 “Of course! Replied the angel. I have been there many times and I know all the roads by heart. I have frequently gone to Media and I have stayed at the house of Gabael, one of our brothers, who lives in Ragués de Media .

  • The Tigris River Fish
  • The marriage proposal with Ragüel’s daughter
  • Tobias’ fear and the angel’s recommendations
  • The party and the wedding gift
  • Rafael’s visit to Gabael
  • Rafael’s manifestation

But God also sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sara. 15 I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand before the glory of the Lord and have access to his presence. ”

16 The two were puzzled and fell with their faces to the ground, full of fear. 17 But he said to them: “Do not fear, peace be with you. Bless God eternally. 18 When I was with you, it was not on my own initiative, but by the will of God. It is to him that you should bless and sing every day. 19 Even though you saw me eat, that was only an appearance. 20 Therefore, bless the Lord on earth and celebrate God. Now I go up to the One who sent me. Write down everything that has happened”. And immediately it rose. 21 When they joined, they could no longer see him. 22 They blessed God, singing hymns, and they celebrated him for having worked these wonders, since an angel of God had appeared to them

 

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