Tobit warns against marriage with strangers (Tob 4:12-4:13)

“Beware, my son, of every kind of fornication.

First of all,

Marry a woman from among the descendants of your ancestors.

Do not marry a foreign woman,

Who is not of your father’s tribe.

We are the descendents of the prophets.

Remember, my son,

That Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,

Our ancestors of old,

All took wives from among their kindred.

They were blessed in their children.

Their posterity will inherit the land.

So now, my son,

Love your kindred.

In your heart do not disdain your kindred,

The sons and daughters of your people,

By refusing to take a wife for yourself from among them.'”

Tobit warns his son against immorality and fornication. This is like a sex talk. He was not to marry a foreign women but someone from his descendents, someone from the tribe. This was and is fairly common, even today, where ethnic groups want their children to intermarry within the same ethnic group, not perceived foreigners. They were the descendents of prophets, people who had direct contact with God.   The ideal was Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Noah has been added to the list here since normally it would be Abraham, Isaac, and Israel or Jacob. If he married among his own people, Tobias would be blessed with children and land. He was not to forget his family. Refusing to marry with another from his tribe, he would show disdain for his wider family.

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