The fight of Tobit with his wife over the goat (Tob 2:11-2:14)

“At that time, also, my wife Anna earned money at women’s work. She used to send what she made to the owners. They would pay wages to her. One day, on the seventh of Dystrus, when she cut off a piece she had woven and sent it to its owners, they paid her full wages. They also gave her a young goal for a meal. When she returned to me, the goat began to bleat. So I called her and said. ‘Where did you get this goat? It is surely not stolen, is it? Return it to its owners. We have no right to eat anything stolen.’ She said to me. ‘It was given to me as a gift in addition to my wages.’ But I did not believe her. I told her to return it to its owners. I became flushed with anger against her over this. Then she replied to me.

‘Where are your acts of charity?

Where are your righteous deeds?

These things are known about you!’”

His wife did women’s work, clearly the classic way of thinking about the work that only women would do. She was some kind of seamstress working with cloth, perhaps making or mending things, for which she got paid for this work. The 7th of Dystrus is the Greek name for the Semitic month of Adar in our February/March time frame. So one day, Anna showed up with her wages plus a goat. Tobit did not like the bleating or noise of the goat. He insinuated that she had stolen the goat. He would not believe that anyone would give her goat. He got angry about it. She then mocked him about his acts of charity and righteousness. Tobit was too self-righteous and would not believe his own wife.

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