“They shall feed along the ways.
On all bare heights
Shall be their pasture.
They shall not hunger.
They shall not thirst.
There shall not be a scorching wind.
There shall not be the sun
To strike them down.
He who has pity on them
Will lead them.
By springs of water,
He will guide them.
I will turn all my mountains
Into a road.
My highways shall be raised up.”
Yahweh explains that this will be an easy road back from the Exile. There will be food along the way and plenty of pastures. They will not be hungry or thirsty. There would be no scorching wind or dangerous sun to strike them with sun stroke. People will take pity on them, and lead them to springs of water. The mountains will become easy roads, while highways will appear out of nowhere.
The valiant cry in the streets!
The envoys of peace weep bitterly!
The highways are deserted!
The travelers have quit the road!
The treaty is broken!
Its cities are despised!
Its obligations are disregarded!
The land mourns.
The land languishes.
Lebanon is confounded.
Lebanon withers away.
Sharon is like a desert.
Bashan shakes off their leaves.
Carmel shakes off their leaves.”
Now we have a lamentation. Things are in bad shape. Once again, there is the continual plea to listen. The valiant ones are crying in the streets. The peace envoys are also weeping. The highways are deserted, since no travelers are going any place. The treaties have been broken. The city is despised since no one keeps their obligations. The land itself mourns and languishes. Even the northern neighbor Lebanon is confused and withering away. Sharon and Carmel on the west and Bashan on the southeast are like dying trees in a desert. Everybody is having troubles.
“Judas made war on the descendents of Esau in Idumea, at Akrabattene, because they kept lying in wait for Israel. He dealt them a heavy blow. He humbled them and despoiled them. He also remembered the wickedness of the sons of Baean, who were a trap and a snare to the people as they ambushed them on the highways. They were shut up by him in their towers. He encamped against them. He vowed their complete destruction. He burned with fire their towers and all who were in them.”
The descendents of Esau are not exactly gentiles since Esau was the brother of Jacob. In fact they were all Semites, not gentiles, since they were all related. Nevertheless, Judas Maccabeus attacked them in Idumea in Akrabattene, which was on the border of Judea and Idumea, south of Judea. They were wicked people who would attack people on the highways like highway robbers. He burned them in their towers.
“When King Shalmaneser died, his son King Sennacherib reigned in his place. The highways into Media became unsafe, so that I could no longer go into Media. In the days of King Shalmaneser, I performed many acts of charity to my kindred. I would give my food to the hungry. I would give my clothing to the naked. If I saw the dead body of any of my people thrown out behind the wall of Nineveh, I would bury it. I also buried anyone that King Sennacherib put to death, in those days of judgment, when they came fleeing from Judea because of his blasphemies. In his anger, King Sennacherib put to death many Israelites, but I would secretly remove the bodies and bury them. So when King Sennacherib looked for them, he could not find them.”
Apparently, things were pretty good when King Shalmaneser (727-722 BCE) was in charge. When he died, things deteriorated so that the roads were not safe. When King Shalmaneser was alive, Tobit was active in charitable works of feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. He also began burying the dead outside the walls of Nineveh. However, things changed under King Sennacherib (689-681 BCE). He was killing Israelites when he was angry. Tobit began burying the dead Israelites.