The Human Truth Foundation


By Vexen Crabtree 2012

This story is about Tobit, a captive Jew in Nineveh. "He is persecuted for burying the Hebrew dead, and becomes impoverished and blind. He send shis son Tobias to collect a debt. Tobias is guided by the archangel Raphael in disguise. He falls in love with his cousin Sara, whose previous seven bridegrooms have been killed by the demon Asmodeus. Tobias, helped by Raphael, defeats Asmodeus and restores Tobit's sight by means of a fish he has caught in the River Tigris."1

"Written in a Semitic language, probably Aramaic, around 180 BCE, and in Palestine - not in Egypt - Tobit is not a historical book, as some earlier critics claimed. It is a romantic story that attempts to edify the reader and to illustrate that God is efficacious and helps the righteous. The author fills the text with striking anachronisms: the tribe of Naphtali was exiled by Tiglathpileser, not Shalmanaser (Tb. 1:2); Shalmaneser's successor was Sargon, not Sennacherib (Tb.1:15); Nineveh was captured by Nabopolassar and Cyaxeres, not Nebuchadrezzar and Ahasuerus (Tb.14:15). These errors may have served to warn the attentive reader that the work is intended to be taken not as a history but as a folk tale, or fictional short story"2.

1. The text contents of Tobit (0 verses)