Luke indicated that Jesus told them to sell their possessions (Πωλήσατε τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ὑμῶν) and then give alms to charity (καὶ δότε ἐλεημοσύνην). They were to make their own purses (ποιήσατε ἑαυτοῖς βαλλάντια) that did not wear out (ὴ παλαιούμενα). Their unfailing treasure (θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον) should be in heaven (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς), where no thief could get near it (ὅπου κλέπτης οὐκ ἐγγίζει) and no moth would destroy it (οὐδὲ σὴς διαφθείρει). This is the only time that the word ἀνέκλειπτον appears in the New Testament literature, meaning unfailing, not giving up. The same idea but in different words can be found in Matthew, chapter 6:19-20. Matthew had Jesus say that they should not store up treasures (Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς) here on earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς), because it was too much trouble to store things. Either moths (ὅπου σὴς) would eat up the garments or rust would consume them. This is one of the 3 times that moths are mentioned in the biblical New Testament. The other was the Luke comparative and later in Matthew. Garments were often considered treasures. Rust was a more common term and applied to other goods. Otherwise, thieves might break in and steal it anyhow (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν). The opposite of the earthly treasures were the heavenly treasures (θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ) that you should store up. Moths and rust could not consume them (ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει). Thieves could not break in and steal them either (καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν). Clearly, heaven was a better place to store up treasures than the dangerous earth.
Sirach reminds us of the connection between keeping the law and offering the sacrificial rites. If you keep the law, you are like offering many sacrifices. If you keep the commandments, you are making the equivalent of a well-being or peace offering. When you return a kindness to someone, offer them the choice flour. If you give alms, you are like making a thanksgiving sacrifice. Whenever you keep from wickedness, you are pleasing to the Lord. When you stay away from unrighteousness, you are making an atonement for your sins. Keeping the law is like offering sacrifices.
Sirach warns that you should help the good people, but not the ungodly or the sinners. You should know who you are helping. They will thank you for what you are doing. If you help the devout, they will repay you. Even if they don’t, the Most High God will repay you. The persistent evil doers are compared to those who do not give alms. You should help the devout, but not the sinners. Help the humble, but not the ungodly. Don’t give bread to the sinners and the ungodly, because they might subdue you. You might end up with twice as much evil for all the good that you did. The Most High God does not like sinners so he will punish them. Simply put, give to the good people and not the sinners.
“Tobit died in peace when he was one hundred twelve years old. He was buried with great honor in Nineveh. He was sixty-two years old when he lost his eyesight. After regaining it, he lived in prosperity. He gave alms. He continued to bless God. He acknowledged God’s majesty.”
Tobit died peacefully at the age of 112 in Nineveh, where he was buried. He never returned to Jerusalem or Naphtali. He was 62 when he became blind, so being blind a few years before his recovery he lived 50 more years after that event. Once again he was prosperous in Nineveh, as he continued to give to the poor. He continued his last years blessing God and praising his great majesty. He seemed like a very nice guy.
Tobit wanted his son to give some of his food and clothing to the hungry and the naked, a very strong comment among the post-exilic Jews. All of the surplus things were to be given as alms. He was not to begrudge any gift that he gave. The placing of food on graves was a pagan custom forbidden by Deuteronomy, chapter 26. Here, however, Tobit only wanted this done for the righteous people, not the sinners. Cleary, he wanted his son to pass moral judgment on others as either righteous or sinners.