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The significance of the book of Tobit

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  1. Introduction
  2. Aspects of Jewish piety and morality
  3. Short genealogy of Tobit
  4. Entering the city of Media
  5. God as the greatest privilege
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

An unknown author wrote the Book of Tobit, written sometime during the second century B.C.E. (Bergant 1989, 832) or the third century B.C.E. (Mays 1988, 720), in an unknown location. Even though the date is not known exactly, it is widely thought to have been written during the Diaspora due to the intricate narrative story presented. The Book of Tobit was written ?for Jews who were concerned about being faithful to God and who were questioning God's fidelity to them in the midst of this cultural turmoil? (Bergant 1989, 833).There are two different versions of the book. Written originally in Aramaic, the text existed in two different Greek translations, a long form and a short form. Scholarly evidence of fragments from the Qumran and Aramaic manuscripts points to the longer form of Tobit to be more true to the original text.

[...] The book of Tobit encourages the Jewish people reading the text to continue following the Mosaic Laws and doing what is right even in the face of hardships, such as the ones seen by the people during the Diaspora (Mays 1988, 720). The story begins with a short genealogy of Tobit, the main hero of the story. Genealogies are important in many other Hebrew texts such as the genealogy of Abraham seen in Genesis 11:10-32. Genealogies provide family history and context to the family of the character. [...]

[...] After the wedding feast, Tobit instructed Tobias to give Raphael half of all he had received from Raguel. Raphael took the two men aside and explained to them that almsgiving and praise of God are very important. Many Jews believed praising God is the greatest privilege and duty towards God. Raphael then reveals himself to Tobit and Tobias as one of seven angels that intercedes in the lives of humans for God. The idea of angels and the whole development of Angelology was becoming a very large deal during the time of the text's creation (Attridge 2006, 1308). [...]

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