Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tobit Chapter 12

*Raphael Reveals His Identity*
1. Tobit summoned his son Tobias and said to him, "My son, see to the wages of the man who went with you, and we must add to them."+ 2. He replied to him, "My father, it is no harm for me to give him half of what I brought. 3. For he brought me safely to you, healed my wife, and brought me the silver. Likewise he healed you." 4. The elderly man replied, "He more than earned it." 5. So he called the angel and said to him, "Take half of everything you brought."

6. Then Raphael secretly called the two of them, and said to them, "Bless God and give Him thanks. Ascribe greatness to Him and give thanks in the presence of all the living for what He has done for you. It is good to bless God and to exalt His name. Make known the words of God's works honorably and do not delay to give thanks to Him. 7. It is noble to keep hidden the secret of a king, but glorious to unveil the works of God. Do good, and evil will not find you. 8. Prayer is good with fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A few prayers with righteousness are better than many with wrongdoing. It is better to do almsgiving than to lay up gold.+ 9. For almsgiving rescues one from death, and it will wash away every sin. Those who do almsgiving and are righteous will be full of life. 10. But those who sin are enemies of their own life.

11. "I will not hide anything from you. Indeed, I did say that it is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to reveal gloriously the works of God. 12. Now when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought the remembrance of your prayer before the Holy One. When you also buried the dead, I was likewise present with you.+ 13. Then too, when you did not hesitate to stand up and leave your dinner so as to depart and care for the dead, your doing what is good did not escape me; but I was with you. 14. Now God sent me to heal you and Sarah your daughter-in-law. 15. I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who report the prayers of the saints and who enter before the glory of the Holy One."+

16. The two of them were troubled and fell upon their faces, for they were afraid. 17. But he said to them, "Do not be afraid, for peace shall be with you. But bless God forever. 18. For I did not come of my own good will, but rather by the will of our God. Therefore bless Him forever. 19. All these days I appeared to you I did not eat or drink; but you were seeing a vision. 20. Now give thanks to God, because I am ascending to Him who sent me. Write in a book everything that was accomplished."+

21. Then they stood up, but no longer saw him. 22. They acknowledged the great and wondrous works of God, and how the angel of the Lord had appeared to them.

+12:1-5 - Note the spirit of generosity in Tobit and Tobias. Whereas many modern believers hesitate to return even ten percent to God, these men offered God's servant half of everything they brought!

+12:8,9 - The Archangel Raphael's exhortation is remarkably similar to one section of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 6, Jesus spoke of fasting (6:16-18), almsgiving (6:1-4), prayer (6:5-13), and righteousness (6:33).

+12:12-14 - Raphael's ministry to Tobit's family is that of a guardian angel. Note he carries Sarah's prayer before the Holy One, he is present with those he serves, and he is sent by God to bring healing. "Angel" means "messenger".

+12:15 - Raphael reveals himself to Tobit and Tobias as one of seven holy angels who appear before the glory of the Holy One (see Rev. 1:4). These seven are also called archangels. The names of four of them are revealed: Raphael, Gabriel (Dan 9:21; Lk 1:19, 26-28), Michael (Dan 10:21; Jude 9) and Uriel (2 Esdras 4:1).

+12:20 - Raphael is ascending to God to appear "before His throne" (Rev 1:4).


  1. "+12:1-5 - Note the spirit of generosity in Tobit and Tobias. Whereas many modern believers hesitate to return even ten percent to God, these men offered God's servant half of everything they brought!"

    Wow! I wish I had a generous spirit like this. Or maybe the better word is that I wish I could trust God enough to give away half my goods instead of hoarding them as if they are my security in life.:-/

  2. I think it's because our lives are so much easier now than they were in ancient (or even not so ancient) times. Back then, you worked to survive. Not in some cushy office job, with a/c and health benefits and vacation time, but on a farm, or at some trade, in the heat, in the rain, and if something went wrong, if the weather didn't do as it should, or a disease wiped out your flocks, or you were injured, you could die. *snaps fingers* Just like that. Lives were more dependent on the 'whims' of nature and God. So the people were far more viscerally aware of their need for God, and their need for other people. They were aware that everything they had could disappear in and instant, and they were more willing to trust in God, even when they didn't 'have to', because they knew that they always had to.

  3. You put that so eloquently! And the finger snap added a relevant dramatic twist.

    Great point!


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