The value of the prophets (Tob 14:3-14:4)

When he was about to die, he called his son Tobias and the seven sons of Tobias. He gave them his command.

‘My son, take your children and hurry off to Media.

I believe the word of God that Nahum spoke about Nineveh.

All these things will take place and overtake Assyria and Nineveh.

Everything that was spoken by the prophets of Israel,

Whom God sent,

Will occur.

None of their words will fail.

All will come true at their appointed times.

It will be safer in Media than in Assyria and Babylon.

I know and believe that whatever God has said

Will be fulfilled

And will come true.

Not a single word of the prophecies will fail.

All our kindred,

Inhabitants of the land of Israel,

Will be scattered.

They will be taken as captives from the good land.

The whole land of Israel,

Even Samaria and Jerusalem,

Will be desolate.

The temple of God in it will be burned to the ground.

It will be desolate for a while.’”

As Tobit was about to die, he called his son Tobias and his 7 grandchildren. See the number 7 again. He told them to go to Media because there was going to be trouble in Nineveh. Tobit believed in all prophets and how valuable their prophecies were. He was a strong believer in the prophets proclaiming the word of God. He even said that not a single word of the prophecies would fail. Nahum was considered a minor prophet of the 7th century that he would have known. Nahum saw the destruction of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, but he predicted the downfall of Nineveh, which of course led to the ascent of the Persians. Tobit here also predicted the ruin of both the north and south in Israel, including Jerusalem and also the Temple itself. There would be desolation.


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Raphael reveals that he is an angel (Tob 12:11-12:15)

“I will now declare the whole truth to you. I will conceal nothing from you. Already I have declared to you when I said.

‘It is good to conceal the secret of a king,

But to reveal with due honor the works of God.’

So now, when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed,

It was I who brought and read the record of your prayer

Before the glory of the Lord.

Likewise, whenever you would bury the dead,

I was present with you.

That time when you did not hesitate to get up

And leave your dinner to go and bury the dead,

I was sent to test you.

At the same time,

God sent me to heal you and Sarah your daughter-in-law.

I am Raphael,

One of the seven angels who stand ready

And enter before the glory of the Lord.’”

Raphael said that he would reveal the whole truth and conceal nothing. He had hinted at that when he said that it was good to conceal the secrets of the king. He told Tobit and Tobias that when Tobit and Sarah had prayed in despair, he was the one who recorded this and brought it to the Lord. He was present when Tobit buried the dead. He was sent to test him. God sent him to heal both Tobit and Sarah. Then he revealed that he is the angel Raphael. However, he is not just any angel, but one of the 7 who stand before the glory of the Lord. Literally, his name means, “God heals,” so that this was a perfect project for him. The naming of angels did not take place until after the Persian captivity, in the Second Temple time, so there is a Persian influence here. Sometimes, he is referred to as an archangel, because of his place among the top 7 angels. Perhaps he might have a place among the guardian angels as he protected Tobias here.

The prayer of Raphael (Tob 12:6-12:7)

“Then Raphael called the two of them privately. He said to them.

‘Bless God!

Give thanks to him!

Acknowledge him in the presence of all the living

For what he has done for you.

Bless God!

Sing praise to his name!

With fitting honor,

Declare to all the people

The deeds of God.

Do not be slow to acknowledge him.

It is good to conceal the secret of a king,

But to acknowledge the works of God

But to reveal the works of God.

Do good!

Evil will not overtake you.’”

Raphael revealed his prayer to Tobit and Tobias. Bless and give thanks to God. Acknowledge his presence in all living things. Bless God for all that he has done for you. Sing praises to his name. Declare to all the people his great deeds. Do not be slow to acknowledge God and his works in your life. Do good so that evil will not overtake you. Here it is not the God of Israel or what he has done to his people. Here God works in their private lives. We have to proclaim the good news in our lives that God has provided for us.

How much should they give Raphael? (Tob 12:1-12:5)

“When the wedding celebration was ended, Tobit called his son Tobias.

‘My child,

See to the paying the wages of the man who went with you.

Give him a bonus as well!’

He replied.

‘Father, how much shall I pay him?

It would do no harm to give him half of the possession

That I brought back with me.

He has led me back to you safely.

He cured my wife.

He brought the money back with me.

He also healed you.

How much extra shall I give him as a bonus?’

Tobit said.

‘He deserves,

My child,

To receive half of all that he brought back.’

So Tobias called him.

‘Take for your wages half of all that you two brought back.

Farewell!’”

After the big celebration, Tobit called his son aside and asked him if he had paid the man who went with him. They both agreed that he should be paid a bonus. However, Tobias wanted to know how much he should pay him. He wanted to give him half of all the possessions he had brought back with him. After all, he had done a lot. Besides bringing him back safely, he also cured his wife, and his father, as well as got the money from Rages. Then Tobit agreed to give him half of what had come back to the house. Tobit called Raphael and told him to take half the possessions. Then he simply said “farewell.”

Tobit meets and blesses his daughter-in-law (Tob 11:16-11:18)

“Then Tobit, rejoicing and praising God, went out to meet his daughter-in-law at the gate of Nineveh. When the people of Nineveh saw Tobit coming, walking along in full vigor and with no one leading him, they were amazed. Before them all, Tobit acknowledged that God had been merciful to him. God had restored his sight. When Tobit met Sarah, the wife of his son Tobias, he blessed her, saying.

‘Come in, my daughter!

Welcome!

Blessed be your God!

God has brought you to us, my daughter.

Blessed are your father and your mother!

Blessed be my son, Tobias!

Blessed be you, my daughter!

Come in now to your home!

Welcome with blessing and joy!

Come in, my daughter!’

On that day there was rejoicing among all the Jews who were in Nineveh. Ahikar and his nephew Nadab were also present to share Tobit’s joy. With merriment they celebrated Tobias’ wedding feast for seven days. Many gifts were given to him.”

Tobit was all excited to greet his new daughter-in-law. He was rejoicing and praising God. When the people of Nineveh say that Tobit was getting around without any help, they were all amazed. Tobit said that God had been good to him and took mercy on him. God had restored his sight. When Tobit met Sarah, the wife of his son, he blessed God and her. He welcomed her into his house. He blessed God, Tobias, Sarah, and the parents of Sarah. He especially welcomed her into his house as he said, “Come my daughter.” Tobit’s nephew the Persian official Ahikar with his nephew Nadab was there at the wedding feast also.

 

Tobit praises God for healing his eyes (Tob 11:14-11:15)

“Then Tobit said.

‘Blessed be God!

Blessed be his great name!

Blessed be all his holy angels!

Blessed be his holy name

Throughout all the ages.

Though he afflicted me,

He had had mercy upon me.

Now I see my son Tobias!’”

Tobit went rejoicing, and praising God at the top of his voice.

Tobit said that God and his name should be blessed. He also wanted to bless all his holy angels. His name should be blessed through all ages. God afflicted Tobit, but he had mercy on him so that now he can see his son Tobias. Thus like Job, he praised God despite all the personal problems he had. He went rejoicing and praising God at the top of his voice.

Raphael wants Tobias to anoint the eyes of Tobit (Tob 11:7-11:8)

“Raphael said to Tobias, before he approached his father.

‘I know that his eyes will be opened.

Smear the gall of the fish on his eyes.

The medicine will make the white films shrink.

Then peel off the white films from his eyes.

You father will regain his sight.

He will see the light.’”

Raphael told Tobias to get the gall bladder of the fish ready so that they would open the eyes of his father. He wanted him to smear the fish gall on his eyes. Then the while film on his eyes would shrink and peel off. After that, his father would regain his sight and see again.