“Meanwhile Anna sat looking intently down the road by which her son would come. When she caught sight of him coming, she said to his father.
Your son is coming!
So is the man who went with him!’”
Anna, the mother of Tobias, was in her usual position of looking down the road where Tobias had left. This time, she actually saw him with the other man. She cried out to her husband Tobit to look to make sure she was right.
“Tobias parted from Raguel with happiness and joy. He praised the Lord of heaven and earth, King over all, because he had made his journey a success. Finally, he blessed Raguel and his wife Edna.
‘I have been commanded by the Lord
To honor you all the days of my life.’”
Tobias left Raguel very happy. He praised the Lord of heaven and earth. God had made his journey a success. He then, in turn, blessed his new in-laws, Raguel and Edna. He was going to honor them all the days of his life.
“Then Edna said to Tobias.
‘My child and dear brother,
The Lord of heaven bring you back safely,
May I live long enough to see your children
By my daughter Sarah before I die.
In the sight of the Lord,
I entrust my daughter to you
Do nothing to grieve her all the days of your life.
Go in peace, my child.
From now on,
I am your mother
Sarah is your beloved wife.
May we all prosper together
All the days of our lives.’
Then she kissed them both. She saw them safely off.”
Edna, the wife of Raguel, also blessed the new couple in much the same way as her husband Raguel. She wanted the Lord of heaven to bring them home safe. She, too, wanted to live long enough to see children. She did not want Tobias to do anything to grieve her daughter Sarah since she wanted peace. She was now his and her mother, so that all of them could prosper. She then kissed them both and sent them off safely.
“Then Raguel saw them safely off. He embraced Tobias and said.
‘Farewell, my child!
Have a safe journey!
The Lord of heaven prosper you,
The Lord of heaven prosper your wife Sarah,
May I see children of yours before I die.’
Then he kissed his daughter, and said to her.
Honor your father-in-law.
Honor your mother-in-law.
From now on they are as much your parents
As those who gave you birth.
Go in peace, daughter!
May I have a good report of you as long as I live.’
Then he bade them farewell and let them go.”
Raguel blessed both Tobias and Sarah his daughter. This is a beautiful blessing. He wanted them to have a safe journey. He wanted them to prosper. He referred to God as the God of heaven, the Persian way of speaking of God. Then he had the wish of all parents, to see grandchildren before he died. For his daughter, he reminded her to honor her new father and mother in-law. She should respect her in-laws like her own parents. He wanted to hear a good report about her as long as he lived. Finally, he said good-bye in this touching farewell.
“Good and noble son of a father good and noble,
Upright and generous!
May the Lord grant the blessings of heaven to you!
May the Lord grant the blessings of heaven to your wife!
And to your wife’s father and mother!
Blessed be God!
I see in Tobias the very image of my cousin Tobit.”
This is the prayer or blessing of Gabael for Tobias. He called him the good and noble son of a good and noble father. They were both upright and generous. He wanted the Lord to grant the blessings of heaven to Tobias, his wife, and her parents. He blest God. Then he said that Tobias looked just like his father, Tobit, his cousin.
“Then Tobias called Raphael and said to him.
Take four servants and two camels with you!
Travel to Rages!
Go to the home of Gabael!
Give him the bond!
Get the money!
Then bring him with you to the wedding celebration.
You know that my father must be counting the days.
If I delay even one day I upset him.
You are a witness to the oath that Raguel has sworn.
I cannot violate his oath.’
So Raphael with the four servants and two camels went to Rages in Media. He stayed with Gabael. Raphael gave him the bond. He informed him that Tobit’s son Tobias had married, so that he was inviting him to the marriage celebration. So Gabael got up and counted out to him the money bags, with their seals intact. They loaded them on the camels. In the morning they both got up early and came to the wedding celebration. When they came into Raguel’s house, they found Tobias reclining at table. He sprang up and greeted Gabael, who wept and blessed them.”
The time between Ecbatana and Reges was about 11 days one way. It would have been difficult to get him back for the wedding celebration. I do not understand why Tobias did not send Raphael back to Nineveh to get his parents to come to the wedding celebration. Where did Raphael get the 4 servants since he and Tobias were alone? Probably Raguel gave them to him with the camels. Anyway, the trip was very quick. Raphael stayed overnight and then set out the next day. Gabael gave the money to Raphael after counting it out. He accepted the invitation to the wedding. Gabael wept when he saw and greeted Tobias.
“Then Raguel ordered his servants to fill in the grave before daybreak. After this, he asked his wife to bake many loaves of bread. He went out to the herd. He brought in two steers and four rams. He ordered them to be slaughtered. So they began to make preparations. Then he called for Tobias. He swore an oath to him in these words. ‘You shall not leave here for fourteen days, but shall stay here eating and drinking with me. You shall cheer up my daughter, who has been depressed. Take at once half of what I own. Return in safety to your father. The other half will be yours when my wife and I die. Take courage, my child. I am your father and Edna is your mother. We belong to you as well as your wife, now and forever. Take courage, my child.’”
Raguel had his servants fill up the grave that he had dug before morning. He did not know that Tobias had chased away the evil spirit. He asked his wife to bake many loaves of bread. He took 2 steers and 4 rams from his herd and had them slaughtered. The he asked Tobias to take an oath. Tobias had to stay for a 14 day wedding festival, where he would eat and drink. This was twice as long as the usual 7 day wedding festival. This is somewhat reminiscent of the marriage of Rebecca and Isaac in Genesis, chapter 24. Tobias was to cheer up his new wife Sarah because she was depressed. In fact, Raguel was giving half his possessions to Tobias now and he would inherit the rest at the death of himself and his wife Edna. He asked him to take courage and return safely to his father.
“So they blessed the God of heaven. Raguel said.
‘Blessed are you, O God,
With every pure and blessing.
Let all your chosen ones bless you.
Let them bless you forever.
Blessed are you
Because you have made me glad.
It has not turned out as I expected.
But you have dealt with us
According to your great mercy.
Blessed are you,
Because you had compassion on two only children.
Be merciful to them, O Master.
Keep them safe.
Bring their lives to fulfillment in happiness and mercy.’”
Raguel blessed the God of heaven, not the God of his ancestors. All of God’s chosen ones should bless God forever. Raguel was happy because things had not turned out as he had expected. Great mercy was given to the 2 only children. Raguel asked for compassion to keep them safe. He wanted their lives full of happiness and mercy, like any father. He was glad that he was wrong. He only hoped for the best for these 2 young people.
“However, Raguel arose. He called his servants to him. They went and dug a grave. He said.
‘It is possible that he will die.
We will become an object of ridicule and derision.’
When they had finished digging the grave, Raguel went into his house. He called his wife Edna.
‘Send one of the maids to have her go in to see if he is alive.
But if he is dead,
Let us bury him without anyone knowing about it.’
So they sent the maid, lit a lamp, and opened the door. She went in, and found them sound asleep together. Then the maid came out. She informed them that he was alive and that nothing was wrong.”
Raguel decided that he was going to dig a grave that night. He got some of his servants and they dug the grave. He was going to the hide the body so that no one would know that Tobias had died. He did not want to be ridiculed. When the grave was done, he went into see his wife. He wanted her to get a maid to look and see if Tobias had died like the other 7 husbands. If he had died, they were going to bury him immediately. The maid went into the bedroom and found them both alive, but sleeping. She then informed Raguel and his wife that there was nothing wrong. This was a busy night for everyone.
“Tobias began by saying.
‘Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors.
Blessed is your name in all generations forever.
Let the heavens and all the creation bless you forever.
You made Adam.
For him you gave his wife Eve
As a helper and support.
From the two of them
The human race has sprung.
‘It is not good that the man should be alone.
Let us make a helper for him like himself.’
I now am taking this kinswoman of mine
Not because of lust,
But with sincerity.
Grant that she and I may find mercy.
Grant that we may grow old together.’
They both said. ‘Amen. Amen.’ Then they both went to sleep for the night.’”
This prayer of Tobias is an ode to creation. It is one of the first prayers that talks about Adam and Eve. In fact, it uses the words of Genesis, chapter 2. This prayer combines the God of his ancestors with the God of heaven. Tobias maintained that he did not marry out of lust but because of sincerity for his family. He asked for God’s mercy, and the famous saying, “Grant that we may grow all together.” They both say amen and go to sleep. There is no mention of sexual intercourse.