“They cried aloud to Heaven, saying.
‘What shall we do with these?
Where shall we take them?
Your sanctuary is trampled down and profaned.
Your priests mourn in humiliation.
Here the gentiles are assembled against us to destroy us.
You know what they plot against us.
How will we be able to withstand them?
If you do not help us?’
Their problem was simple as they cried out to heaven where God was. They wanted to know what to do about these cultic items since there was no Temple. Where should they take the first fruits and the tithes? The sanctuary was trampled and profaned. The priests were mourning. The gentiles were plotting against them to destroy them. There is no way that they can withstand them other than help from God.
“But I alone went often to Jerusalem for the festivals, as it is prescribed for all Israel by an everlasting decree. I would hurry off to Jerusalem with the first fruits of the crops and the firstlings of the flock, the tithes of the cattle, and the first shearings of the sheep. I would give these to the priests, the sons of Aaron, at the altar. Likewise, I would give a tenth of the grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and rest of the fruits to the sons of Levi who ministered at Jerusalem. Also for six years I would save up a second tenth in money and go and distribute it in Jerusalem. A third tenth I would give to the orphans and widows, and to the converts who had attached themselves to Israel. I would bring it and give it to them in the third year. We would eat it according to the ordinance decreed concerning it in the Law of Moses and according to the instructions of Deborah, the mother of my father Tobiel. My father had died and left me an orphan. When I became a man I married a woman named Anna, a member of our family. By her I became the father of a son I called Tobias.”
Tobit goes on to explain why he is righteous. He went alone to the festivals at Jerusalem. The fact that he could take time to go to Jerusalem meant that he might have been among the rich of his area. He brought his tithes with him. He explained that he gave the tithes to the priests and Levites in Jerusalem. Every 3rd year, he would give a 10th to the orphans, widows, and converts to Judaism. This is one of the mentions of converts to Judaism. He followed the ordinances of the Law of Moses and his grandmother Deborah since his father had died and left him an orphan. Finally, he married Anna, from his family, and had a son called Tobias.
“Now before this, the priest Eliashib, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, was related to Tobiah. He prepared for Tobiah a large room, where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil. This was given by commandment to the Levites, the singers, and the gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.”
There was a strange relationship between the high priest Eliashib and Tobiah the Ammonite leader in Samaria. One of the grandsons of Eliashib, a son of the priest Joiada, married a daughter of Sanballat the Moabite, who was a fellow leader with Tobiah at Samaria. Tobiah had married the daughter of the Jewish priest Shecaniah. His son Johanan had married the daughter of Meshullam who was one of the main builders of the wall. This information was in chapter 6 of this book. Thus he had a strong relationship with the Jews at Jerusalem since they were part of his family. Both the Moabites and Ammonites were not allowed in the Assembly of God as in the preceding paragraph. Thus, the fact that Tobiah had a special room in the Temple court would seem outrageous, especially since this was supposed to be a storage place for frankincense, grain, wine, and oil for the Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and priests.