Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tobit Chapter 2

*The Charitable Tobit Becomes Blind*

1. When I arrived at my house, my wife Anna and my son Tobias were given back to me. It was the Feast of Pentecost, which is the holy feast of the seven weeks. A good dinner was prepared for me, so I sat down at the table to eat.+ 2. When I saw the abundance of meat, I said to my son, "Go and bring whomever you may find of our needy brethren who are mindful of the Lord. Behold, I will wait for you." 3. But he came back and said, "O father, one of our people was strangled and thrown into the marketplace." 4. So before I even tasted anything, I jumped up and carried the corpse into a room until sunset. 5. Then I returned, bathed myself, and ate my bread in sorrow. 6. Then I remembered the prophecy of Amos, how he said,

"Your feasts will be turned into mourning,
And all your gladness into a song of grief."

So I wept.+ 7. When the sun went down, I departed, and after digging a grave, I buried him. 8. My neighbors laughed at me and said, "He is no longer afraid to be put to death for doing such a thing. He ran away before, and now, behold, he is burying the dead again."

9. On the same night that I buried him, I returned home. But since I was defiled, I slept by the wall of the courtyard with my face uncovered. 10. However, I did not see the sparrows on the wall, for while my eyes were open the sparrows discharged their droppings into my eyes, and they became white films in my eyes. I went to physicians, but they could not help me. Then Ahikar supported me until he left for Elymais.

11. Then my wife Anna worked for hire at what women do.+ 12. She would send her work to the owners and they would pay her. On one occasion they paid her wages and also gave her a small goat. 13. But when she returned to me, it began to bleat. So I said to her, "Where is this goat from? Is it not stolen? Return it to the owners, for it is unlawful to eat what is stolen." 14. But she replied, "It was given to me as a gift. It was in addition to my wages." But I did not believe her, telling her to return it to its owners. I blushed in embarrassment for her sake. So she answered and said to me, "Are your acts of charity and righteous deeds lawful? Behold, you are a know-it-all!"+

OSB Notes:

+2:1 - The Jewish Feast of Pentecost (lit. "fifty") comes seven weeks or fifty days after Passover. These events are fulfilled (1) in the death, burial, and Resurrection of "Christ our Passover" (1 Cor 5:7) and (2) at the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

+2:6 - See Amos 8:10

+2:11 - Some scholars speculate Anna was a weaver.

+2:14 - Anna reproaches Tobit, suggesting his acts of charity and his righteous deeds have failed him. This is similar to the rebuke by Job's wife (Job 2:9).


  1. So glad to read this. Neat story! I had to grin though when she called Tobit a know it all. :)

  2. Susanne,

    I know. It's a neat little line, her calling him on his being so self righteous but doubting her without any proof. :)


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