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The essays collected here approach the book of Tobit from a range of disciplines: literary, feminist, anthropological, i

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Studies in the Book of Tobit: A Multidisciplinary Approach
 0567082296, 9780567082299

Table of contents :
Studies in the Book of Tobit: A Multidisciplinary Approach
List of Abbreviations
List of Contributors
Mark Bredin: Introduction
1 Simon Gathercole: Tobit in Spain: Some Preliminary Comments on the Relations between the Old Latin Witnesses
Towards an Account of the Relations
The Textual Problem of Tobit 7.9
2 Stuart Weeks: Some Neglected Texts of Tobit: The Third Greek Version
3 Mark Bredin: The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8
1. Introduction
2. Is B’s Version of Tobit a Revision of S’s Version?
3. The Merciful God of the Book of Jonah and the Merciless God of Nahum
4. Redemption of the Nations
B and Its Social Setting
Possible Christian Influence
Summary and Conclusion
4 Hugh Pyper: ‘Sarah is the Hero’: Kierkegaard’s REeading of Tobit in Fear and Trembling
5 Trevor Hart: Tobit in the Art of the Florentine Renaissance
1. Introduction
2. Narrative Inconsistencies?
3. One for the Road?
4. Under the Banner of Raphael
5. Lapel Badges and the Penumbra of Salvation
5. Conclusion
6 Shalom Goldman: Tobit and the Jewish Literary Tradition
1. Introduction
2. Jewish Nationalism and Jewish Literature
3. Rethinking the Bible
4. Zionism and the Usable Jewish Past
5. Tobit and Zionist Thought
7 Nathan MacDonald: ‘Bread on the Grave of the Righteous’ (Tob. 4.17)
8 Pekka Pitkänen: Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel and in Tobit
Sources Which Have Influenced Tobit’s Thinking
Pentateuchal Influences and Family Life and Ethnicity in Tobit
Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel
Comparison between Early Israel and Tobit
9 Margaret Barker: The Archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobith
10 Hans J. Lundager Jensen: Family, Fertility and Foul Smell: Tobit and Judith
1. Confrontation of Texts: Preliminary Remarks
2. Theme and Message in the Book of Tobit
3. The Strong-Willed Widow and the Timid Man
4. The Dry Season
5. Burials and Foul Smell
6. The Place and the Road
11 Richard Bauckham: Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel
1. The Proposal
2. The Pattern of Judgment and Mercy
3. Tobit's Solidarity with his People
4. Images of Exile and Restoration
5. Sarah's Story as a Parable of the Desolation and Restoration of Jerusalem
6. The Personal Names
7. Restoration for the Northern Tribes
8. What Became of the Exiles of the Northern Tribes?
9. Geographical Errors?
12 Nathan MacDonald: Food and Drink in Tobit and Other ‘Diaspora Novellas’
1. Fasting and Feasting: Food and Jewish Identity
2. Consumption and the Comic: Food, Death and Sex
Index of References
Index of Names and Subjects
Index of Modern Authors

Citation preview


55 formerly the Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series

Editor Lester L. Grabbe Editorial Board Randall D. Chesnutt, Philip R. Davies, Jan Willem van Henten, Judith M. Lieu, Steven Mason, James R. Mueller, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, James C. VanderKam

Founding Editor James H. Charlesworth

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STUDIES IN THE BOOK OF TOBIT A Multidisciplinary Approach

edited by


Copyright © Mark Bredin and contributors, 2006

Published by T&T Clark A Continuum imprint The Tower Building, 11 York Road, London SE1 7NX 15 East 26th Street, Suite 1703, New York, NY 10010 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 0-567-08229-6 (hardback)

Typeset by CA Typesetting, Printed on acid-free paper in Great Britain by MPG Ltd, Bodmin

For Frank and Doreen Evans

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CONTENTS List of Abbreviations List of Contributors

ix xi
























Studies in the Book of Tobit





Index of References Index of Names and Subjects Index of Modern Authors

179 187 191


Alexandrinus Anchor Bible Ascension of Isaiah American Journal of Theology Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Alter Orient und Altes Testament The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament Sinaiticus Vaticanus 2 (Syriac) Baruch [= Apocalypse of Baruch] Biblical Archaeological Report A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, F. Brown, S. R. Driver, and C. A. Briggs. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft Ephraemi Rescriptus Catholic Biblical Quarterly Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature Classical Quarterly Bezae Discoveries in the Judean Desert 1 (Ethiopic) Enoch 2 (Slavonic) Enoch Forschungen zum Alten Testament Greek recension based on LXXABN and many minuscles s Greek recension based on LXX ,, includes manuscripts 319 (Tob. 3.6-6.16) and 910 (Tob. 2.2-5) A partially preserved (Tob. 6.8-13.8) Greek recension based on manuscripts 44, 106, 107, and Syr-0 Harvard Semitic Studies Yerushalmi (Palestinian Talmud) Journal of Biblical Literature Journal for the Study of the New Testament supplements Journal for the Study of Old Testament Journal for the Study of Old Testament supplements Journal of Semitic Studies Journal of Theological Studies Jubilees Lives of the Prophets Septuagint Massoretic Text Orbis biblicus et orientalis Odes of Solomon

x OL OTL PL Pss. Sol. Vulg RevBén RevB S Sib. Or. SPB T. Jud. T. Levi Sanh. Yeb. WBC WUNT ZAW

Studies in the Book of Tobit Old Latin Old Testament Library J.-P. Migne (ed.), Patrologia latina (Paris, 1844–64) Psalms of Solomon Vulgate Revue Bénédictine Revue Biblique Sinaiaticus Sibylline Oracles Studia postbiblia Testament of Judah Testament of Levi Sanhedrin Yebamot Word Biblical Commentary Wissenshaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft

Dead Sea Scrolls 1QH 1QM 1QSa 1QSb 4QDeutq 4Q197 4Q200 4Q400 4Q403 4Q544 CD

Hymns / Hodayot War Scroll Community Rule Community Rule 4Q44 b 4QTob ar Aramaic Fragments of Tobit e 4QTob hebr Hebrew Fragments of Tobit a Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice 4QshirShabb d Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice 4QshirShabb a-f a-f Visions of Amram Amram The Damascus Document

CONTRIBUTORS Margaret Barker, Independent Old and New Testament Scholar, Borrowash, Derbyshire, UK. Richard Bauckham, Professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor, University of St Andrews, UK. Mark Bredin, Associate tutor in New Testament at Westcott House, Cambridge, UK. Simon Gathercole, Lecturer in New Testament, University of Aberdeen, UK. Stuart Weeks, Lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew, Durham University, UK. Hugh Pyper, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Sheffield University, UK. Trevor Hart, Professor of Divinity, University of St Andrews, UK. Shalom Goldman, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University, USA. Nathan MacDonald, Lecturer in Old Testament, University of St Andrews, UK. Pekka Pitkänen, Course co-ordinator for the Open Theological College, University of Gloucestershire, UK. Hans J. Lundager Jensen, Professor in the Study of Religion, Aarhus University, Denmark.

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INTRODUCTION Mark Bredin It is my hope that the twelve essays in this volume will lead to greater interest and new ideas in various aspects of Tobit studies. The intention of this multiauthored volume is not that of presenting one underlying thesis and neither is it intended as a book introducing the beginner to Tobit. Rather this volume is aimed at both experienced scholars and those wishing to pursue Tobit as part of a course of higher studies. I expect that there will be something for everyone who is interested in Tobit ranging from theology, reader-response theory to textual criticism as all the authors are specialists in the area or in related disciplines. Readers will find that the methodological approaches pursued by the authors are diverse as are the disciplines from which the scholars come, ranging from those who are specialists in Hebrew Scriptures to those who normally focus on the New Testament. It should be noted that the authors, even within their own discipline, work from positions ranging from reader response to understanding the text in its original setting. Given that Tobit is strongly dependent on the Hebrew Scriptures, it seemed appropriate that specialists in Hebrew Scriptures, not known for their work on Tobit, should be given the opportunity to bring their own perspective to Tobit. Tobit is generally considered a good story, and a good story like a good poem aims to excite the imagination. It is for this reason that there is an essay on artistic depictions of Tobit. The correlation between Tobit, theology and imagination is not difficult to see. It seemed also right to include in the volume an essay from a modern Jewish perspective, as Tobit belongs very much to the Jewish people. The genre of Tobit has generally been accepted as a novella. As any scholar of literature knows, discerning the genre of a text is primary for understanding and respecting the text. In view of this, it has seemed relevant to have a detailed examination of the genre of Tobit. This study reaches some significant conclusions which will affect our reading of Tobit. Although there are no allusions to Tobit in the New Testament, as any New Testament scholar knows, the more we know about Jewish identity and theology the better. Only rarely do we see Tobit being discussed in terms of the New Testament with notable exceptions. Several treatments of Tobit from New Testament specialists are therefore included in this volume. While these studies do not relate Tobit directly to the New Testament, it is evident that Tobit is an important text for New Testament studies in adding to our knowledge of Jewish identity and theology in the Diaspora. Particularly we see the hope for all nations and the reunifications of the tribes of Israel. Tobit studies


Studies in the Book of Tobit

have over the years been dominated by the arduous task of piecing together the manuscripts and fragments of Tobit with the aim of establishing the original Tobit. This highly specialized area needs the eye of those who are fully cognizant in this field. There are two essays that deal in detail with the transmission of the texts. Anyone familiar with the synoptic problem in New Testament studies will know how important it is to develop, and have some understanding of, the complex history underlying the Synoptics. This is also the case in Tobit studies. There is no separate treatment of the Aramaic and Hebrew fragments discovered in cave 4 at Qumran in this volume, yet such are taken into account where relevant. As Fitzmyer has done this in various publications, there seemed little reason to have another separate treatment, but rather to simply assume the Qumran fragments. Having discussed something of the reasons lying behind my choice for including these essays in this volume, I will now briefly introduce the essays themselves. In Chapter 1, Simon Gathercole considers the relations between the various traditions that make up the Old Latin Witness (OL). He concludes with words of caution that scholarship must be more circumspect in the way it uses and refers to the OL because there is wide diversity in this very tradition. He demonstrates his point particularly in his close reading of Tobit 7.9 where he shows that treating the OL tradition as a single entity has led to misunderstanding of this text. Stuart Weeks in his detailed examination in Chapter 2 examines the neglected Third Greek (GIII) version of Tobit. Weeks examines the complex interrelationships between the Old Latin versions, the ‘Short’ version (of Vaticanus et al.) and the ‘Long’ version (as represented in Sinaiticus and MS 319). While the Third Greek generally lies closer to the Long text, it sometimes agrees rather with the Short, and this has led some to consider it a later, mediating text. Weeks, however, argues on the basis of the broader textual tradition, that it was an attempt to re-write an early form of the Long Greek, which was related to the Vorlage of the principal Old Latin tradition. It was probably motivated by stylistic concerns, and at times reflects very early readings. Mark Bredin in chapter 3 continuing with the similar interest of different manuscripts considers the different readings of Tobit 14.4 preserved in Sinaiticus (S) and Vaticanus (B). While the general scholarly consensus believes that S preserves the earliest and most reliable copy of Tobit, Bredin examines the relationship between the S and B and possible reasons why B differs from S in replacing Jonah with Nahum as the prophet that Tobit heard predicting the fall of Nineveh. This essay considers the idea that B intentionally interpolated Jonah into the text rather than it being an accident. Hugh Pyper’s interest in Tobit picks up on the question that is so topical among scholars of literature, namely what constitutes a misreading of a text. He ponders this question in such a way as to illuminate our own reading of Tobit. Pyper examines McCracken’s accusation that Kierkegaard’s reading of Tobit ‘is the most extreme misreading of Tobit’. The crucial point of dispute that McCracken has with Kierkegaard is that for McCracken Tobit must be considered comic. On the other hand, Kierkegaard believes the work is a work of grief. Pyper brings into



the debate Cousland who takes issue with what McCracken finds funny arguing that for the first readers this would not have been comic. Pyper concludes that none are wrong and indeed the fact that there is debate over whether Tobit is comic or not is a testimony to its subtlety as a communication. While Hugh Pyper considers the mismatch between what is written and what is read, between utterance and reception, Trevor Hart in Chapter 5 reminds the reader that expressions of the meaning of sacred texts are not just interpreted and expressed in written form. Hart examines and compares three paintings based on one aspect of the Tobit narrative from Florence circa 1425–1500. He considers the paintings as responses within their particular Sitz im Leben. To this extent the narrative of the Book of Tobit is not primary. The characters in the book of Tobit are only a convenient point of departure for the particular occasions which the artists of the paintings address. Hart sees the function of the paintings furnishing a visual symbolism for particular liturgical and devotional occasions. We see, for example, such a place in the lay confraternities in mid-fifteenth-century Florence. In Shalom Goldman’s essay we consider another reading approach to Tobit. This time Goldman invites us to look at Tobit through the lens of secular Jews and Zionists. As with Pyper’s and Hart’s essays, Goldman does not examine Tobit from the historical-critical point of view. Like Hart, Goldman discerns a focus on more recent non-rabbinic readings of Tobit that relates more to the particular Sitz im Leben of the readers than the original readers/listeners of Tobit. Tobit becomes an important text to secular Jews and Zionists having experienced pogroms and attempted genocide. Goldman elucidates for us how Tobit gave hope for modern Jews of reunification to the promised land. This is particular seen through the work of Buki ben Yagil. Goldman, like Pyper and Hart, draw us towards the subtlety of communication in Tobit. Particularly it is interesting to note that Goldman’s reading shows us that comedic elements are not a focus of Jewish readings. Also, the theme of the hope of reunification recurs in the work of Bauckham in this volume (see below). Nathan MacDonald considers the command to place food on the grave of the righteous but none to sinners (Tobit 4.17). He compares this verse with Deuteronomy 26.14 which appears to suggest that offering food to the dead was prohibited. MacDonald argues that the text was not understood as a prohibition of offering to the dead. MacDonald proposes that the connection between the abandoning of food for the sake of the dead elucidates the command to Tobiah in 4.17. In other words, Tobiah must be prepared to abandon his food when the dead need burying. Pekka Pitkänen drawing on insights from ethnic studies focuses on cultural and ideological differences between Tobit and early Israel. He observes that early Israel was an open society in which intermarriages occurred, whereas the Israel of Tobit is closed and that marriage is restricted within one’s own tribe. Therefore Tobit is particularly drawn to biblical sources that are pertinent to its own situation of exile. In particular, regulations regarding marriage outside one’s own tribe. Margaret Barker, like Hart, pays particular attention to the angel figure in Tobit. In focusing on the angel, she detects glimpses of the old religion of Jeru-


Studies in the Book of Tobit

salem which she argues was purged by the Deuteronomist. She focuses on the fact that Raphael is described as a holy angel who enters the glory of the Holy One. In a detailed discussion, Barker considers evidence relating to how the holy angel and angel of the presence relate to each other, concluding that Raphael is a high priest angel. Continuing with this argument, she points out that the Lord was remembered as a cluster of angels and therefore sees Raphael as a manifestation of the Lord functioning in the same way. In Tobit, Raphael taught in the manner of the original wisdom sayings of the First Temple when wisdom sayings were angelic revelations of the secrets of the creation as well as advising how to balance all things. Wisdom is currently seen as the secular teaching of diplomats in both the First and Second Temple periods. Barker provides an interesting First Temple reading of Tobit seeing in it major theological understandings more akin to pre-deuteronomitic theology suggesting the survival of the older tradition which the Deuteronomist attempted to destroy. Hans J. Lundager Jensen argues that Tobit is systematically anti-Judith. Therefore understanding Tobit will be much enhanced by a study that compares the two works. Using insights from structural analysis of myth he provides a detailed comparison of both texts observing the similarities but also the intentional differences. As the title of his article ‘Family, Fertility and Foul Smells’ suggests, Jensen focuses his comparative study around these concepts. He notes that Judith is the heroine who is sterile while Tobiah stands for peaceful passivity yet is fertile. Richard Bauckham discusses Tobit as a parable for the exiles of northern Israel, arguing that Tobit’s story is a parable of Israel’s story from exile to restoration. In other words, Tobit’s story models that of Israel. Bauckham shows that the message of the book of Tobit is the return of the northern tribes to the land of Israel and their reconcilation to Jerusalem. Bauckham points out that the centrality of Jerusalem to Tobit’s eschatological expectation is a genuinely pan-Israelite hope. For Bauckham, the book was indeed written mainly for the northern tribes in exile in Adiabene and Media. We have seen that Goldman also picks up this message of runification in his study of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Jewish readings of Tobit. Interestingly, this hope of reunification was seen as originating in the particular Sitz im Leben of Jews of the nineteenth and twentieth century, but as we see in Bauckham’s article, such a theme is central to the original intentions of the author. In a further essay MacDonald examines food and drink as cultural markers observing how Jewish attitudes to food contrasted with that displayed by their conquers. Consumption in Tobit is compared with the negative portrayals of the Persians in the other diaspora novellas such as Judith and Esther. He also explores the relationship between food and the comic, observing the juxtaposition of food with other forms of consumption. In particular, he notes that food occurs alongside sexual intercourse and death at significant points in the stories. This comedic theme also recurs in Hugh Pyper’s essay and raises again the question regarding what can be considered humorous in the book of Tobit.

TOBIT IN SPAIN SOME PRELIMINARY COMMENTS ON THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE OLD LATIN WITNESSES Simon Gathercole (University of Aberdeen) Introduction This brief study aims, as the title suggests, to clarify some aspects of the very complex genealogy of the various Old Latin (henceforth OL) texts of Tobit which have survived.1 The textual history is complicated because we have a long ‘tunnel period’ between the time when the first Old Latin translations were made on the one hand, and the date of the extant copies from northern Spain and elsewhere.2 The treatment here will focus on manuscripts of Tobit proper, and exclude discussion of the excerpts of Tobit in liturgical collections.3 The account here will be confined to the most significant texts; a fuller list of 18 OL manuscripts has been published by F. Vattioni,4 and proper descriptions of these and of additional texts which have come to light will be provided by JeanMarie Auwers in the official Beuron OL critical edition (forthcoming).5 The pre1. The texts and versification used in this chapter correspond throughout to that in S.D.E. Weeks, S.J. Gathercole, and L.T. Stuckenbruck, The Book of Tobit: Texts, Comparisons, Lexicon and Concordance to the Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Syriac Versions (Fontes et Subsidia ad Bibliam Pertinentes; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2004). 2. The rather facetious title refers not only to the fact that certain manuscripts were produced in Spain, but also that, in some Latin versions, Tobit’s actual adventures have something of a Spanish flavour to them. In 1.21, the king is killed by his two sons who then flee – in the majority of versions, to the mountain(s) of Ararat (Bobbiensis has the plural). The introduction of this plural montes, however, then led a presumably Hispanically-minded scribe to read montes Ararat as montes Sarrat, that is, as a reference probably to Montserrat, where Benedictine monks founded a monastery in 1125. Although this probably post-dates the manuscript (Gryson places it in the ninth century), there was probably already a chapel to the virgin in the late ninth century. Similarly, in Tob. 1.2 (R), Tobit is said to have been taken into captivity from Abiel, quae est in dextera partes Cades, where Cades could be a Latin spelling of Cadiz. 3. On the excerpts of OL Tobit in liturgies, see among others, Migne, PL 86, cols 171 and 183; A.W.S. Porter, ‘Cantica Mozarabici Officii’ [Latin], Ephemerides Liturgicae 49 (1935), pp. 126–45 (136); J.P. Gilson, The Mozarabic Psalter (Ms. British Museum, Add. 30.851) (London: British Museum, 1905), p. 173 (the text of the Mozarabic Breviary’s quotation of Tob. 13.11-12); J. Gribomont, ‘Le Mystérieux calendrier latin du Sinai’, Analecta Bollandiana 75 (1957), pp. 105–34 (110). For further bibliography, see Weeks, Gathercole and Stuckenbruck, Texts of Tobit, p. 53. 4. See the introduction to F. Vattioni, ‘Tobia nello Speculum e nella prima Bibbia di Alcalá’, Augustinianum 15 (1975), pp. 169–200. 5. See also Auwers’s publication of fragment BBL 2319v, forthcoming in Revue Bénédictine.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

liminary reflections on relationships offered in the present piece will no doubt be greatly expanded by Auwers. After brief consideration of the general relations of the manuscripts, we will take up the much discussed textual problems of Tob. 7.9. In the course of this discussion, it will become obvious that one of the problems in a good deal of scholarly use of the OL is the treatment of the OL en masse, without attention to the great diversity of the textual tradition within it.

Towards an Account of the Relations The manuscripts discussed here are as follows: • • • • • • • •

r: Codex Regius 3564 (9th cent.)6 P: Codex Corbeiensis (822) b: Codex Bobbiensis (9th/10th cent.)7 G: Codex Sangermanensis (early 9th cent.)8 M: Codex Monacensis (8th–9th cent.)9 c: Codex Reginensis (9th cent.)10 R: Bibbia di Roda (10th cent.)11 x: Bibbia di Alcala (9th cent.)12

Of these texts, it is probable that r most closely conforms to the Greek. Despite the fact that it dates from the ninth century, the translation in fact dates back much earlier, as we can see from a comparison of r with Cyprian’s text of Tobit. Cyprian cites Tobit at length in two of his works, Testimonia (c.248?) and De Opere et Eleemosynis (c.253?), and quotes a single verse in his Ad Fortunatum (c.253?). The long quotations of Tobit 4 in Op. et El. 20 and Testim. III.1 are very close to r (as well as to b). Historically, both Regius (r) and Corbeiensis (P) have provided the base texts for publications of the OL manuscripts.13 In particular, r has been the basis of 6. Editio Princeps: P.M. Sabatier, Bibliorum sacrorum Latinae versiones antiquae (Paris, 1751), fol. 709 sqq. See also ‘L1’ in Weeks, Gathercole, and Stuckenbruck, Texts of Tobit, pp. 62– 333. 7. Editio Princeps: A.M. Ceriani, Monumenta Sacra et Profana ex Codicibus Praesertim Bibliothecae Ambrosianae. Volume 1, Fascicle 3 (Bibliotheca Ambrosiana: Milan, 1866), pp. 210–23. See also Weeks, Gathercole and Stuckenbruck, Texts of Tobit, pp. 758–70. 8. Editio Princeps: Sabatier, Bibliorum sacrorum Latinae versiones antiquae, fol. 709 sqq. See also Weeks, Gathercole and Stuckenbruck, Texts of Tobit, pp. 783–91. 9. Editio princeps: J. Belsheim, ‘Liber Tobit, Liber Judit, Liber Ester’, Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter (Periodical for 1892, though not published until 1893), pp. 63–157 [Text of Tobit: pp. 93–112]. See also Weeks, Gathercole and Stuckenbruck, Texts of Tobit, pp. 746– 57. 10. See J. Blanchini (a.k.a. Giuseppe Bianchini), Vindiciae Canonicarum Scripturarum (Rome, 1740), fol. 350 sqq. 11. For the text, see F. Vattioni, ‘La Vetus Latina di Tobia nella Bibbia di Roda’, Revista Catalana de Teologia 3 (1978), pp. 173–200. 12. For the text, see Vattioni, ‘Tobia nello Speculum e nella prima Bibbia di Alcalá’, pp. 169–200. 13. Also closely related to r and P are the Mazarine fragments. See P.M. Bogaert, ‘Fragments de la vieille version latine du livre de Tobie’, Revue Bénédictine 80 (1970), pp. 166–69; Weeks,

GATHERCOLE Tobit in Spain


Sabatier’s printed edition, of Neubauer’s reprint,14 as well as of the Cambridge edition.15 And not without justification: r and P are closest to the long Greek version (Sinaiticus), and, as we now know, to the Qumran fragments as well. P is very close to r, but introduces a few variants. Regius tends to be closer to the Greek (references to the ‘Greek’ are, unless otherwise stated, to Sinaiticus), and so should be regarded as the text from which P is copied.16 For example, in 1.4, the Greek reads pa=ssa h( fulh/, the translation of which survives in r as omnis tribus. However, this is miscopied as omnibus tribubus in P. Again, soon after in 1.6, the equivalent of e0n prosta/gmati ai0wniw~| is in praecepto sempiterno in r, but sempiterno here becomes sermone in P (probably as a result of misreading or misunderstanding an abbreviation of sempiterno). As Sabatier notes in his explanatory preface, the manuscripts are of the same age, but it seems more likely that P is a copy of r, rather than that they are both copies (r more accurate than P) of the same parent text. The unpublished manuscripts of the Huesca version of Tobit, as well as the Tobit in Codex Gothicus Legionensis are also very similar to r.17 There are, in turn, two extant copies of Codex Gothicus Legionensis, one significantly better than the other.18 Also very close to r and the early Patristic evidence is Codex Bobbiensis. Bobbiensis (henceforth, b) preserves many of r’s readings, but also many that can be found in G, M and R. In fact, b contains few significant variants that are not found elsewhere. As the dates of the manuscripts – by comparison with the antiquity of the Patristic evidence – imply, neither r nor b is the autograph of a translation from the Greek. This is confirmed by hints such as the presence in 2.8 of et ecce in b, on the one hand, and et iterum in r on the other, whereas the Greek has kai\ i0dou\ pa/lin. Perhaps, however, they are both very close to an autograph: both are very close to the Greek, and by comparison with each other, almost equally so. The situation becomes more complex when one comes to G, M, and the other texts, and so conclusions become even more tentative, as there are clearly a great deal more manuscripts involved in the process than are extant. However, one helpful factor is that priority and posteriority are not impossible to determine, Gathercole and Stuckenbruck, Texts of Tobit, p. 55. They cover parts of Tobit 10–12, with only very minor differences from r and P. Bogaert’s article on this text notes only five words of difference. The direct dependence on r is confirmed by the fact that a phrase which is not legible in r is also missed out in the Mazarine fragments (quia manducabam sed uisu uibeatis in 12.19). As can be seen from the Cambridge Septuagint edition, where r and P differ, it is the readings from R survive in the textual tradition, except in a few cases which are sufficiently tiny that they can be regarded as coincidence: 1.4, where P and c agree on recessi against r’s recessit; 1.14, in which P and M agree on ciuitatem against ciuitate; and 6.12, where P agrees with G and M on possidet against possedit in r. The variations found in the Mazarine fragments, however, do not survive at all in other manuscripts. 14. A. Neubauer, The Book of Tobit (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1878), pp. lxviii–xc (‘Itala’). 15. A.E. Brooke, N. McLean, H.St.J. Thackeray, The Old Testament in Greek. Vol. III. Part I. Esther, Judith, Tobit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940), pp. 123–44. 16. Other tendencies include a preference in P for ablatives over accusatives (replaced in 1.6, 5.3, 5.6) and the substitution of commendo for commodo (1.14, 4.2). 17. Vattioni, ‘La Vetus Latina di Tobia nella Bibbia di Roda’, p. 174. 18. Vat. Lat. 4859 is described by Vattioni as a ‘trascrizione’, but of MS León 3 he says ‘non è una pura copia del C.G.L.’ (Vattioni, ‘Tobia nello Speculum e nella prima Bibbia di Alcalá’, p. 171).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

since we do at least have, in the Greek, something very close to the Vorlage of the Latin manuscripts. The r → b → G pattern can be seen in a number of places, although this is by no means to say that r is the parent text of b, and so on: the point is merely that sometimes signs of relative priority and posteriority can be seen in the context of what is clearly a very complex history. In the list of the tithes which Tobit offers in 1.6b, the final element in r is initia tonsurae pecorum; in b, it is initia tonsurae ouium, and finally, in G, tonsas ouium. Again, in 2.10, dolebant pro me (r) becomes contristabantur pro me (b) and finally contristabantur propter me (G). Similarly, 2.12 slowly shortens from et adducebant illam (r) to et ducebant illam (b) to et ducebant eam (G). In the final accusation of 2.14, iustitiae (r) becomes iustitiae…et elymosunae (b) and finally simply eleemosynae (G). Similarly, r’s uenientem et ambulantem in 11.16, by way of euntem et deambulantem (b) becomes euntem et ascendentem (G). In each of these examples, one element has changed in the transmission from r to b, and then another element again in the transmission from b to G. The genealogy in 1.1 might also support this: r has the longest (seven names), b has six, and G only four. The pattern is also confirmed by the absence of some r material in both b and G: for example, ut sacrificaret in ipso (1.4); quaecunque uolebat in usu suo (1.13; also other MSS); et quaerebat illa rex et non inueniebat (1.18; also M Luc); lanam faciens et conducens mea (2.12; also M); et cum occidisset sol introibat et lugebat (10.7; also Roda); et benedixit deum (11.14; also M). The frequency and size of these omissions common to both G and b would seem to point to a common ancestor for the two texts. Beyond the categorization of r and b as most ‘primitive’, and G, M, and R as more developed textual traditions, not much more can be said with certainty.19 The textual history is clearly very complex: much too complex to be described only on the basis of extant manuscripts. However, R and M are perhaps more closely related to each other than they are to b and G: they seem to represent a further stage in the transmission process. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that a number of the readings in R survive into the text of x. This is particularly apparent in two of the lists, in 1.1, and 3.4. This text x (Alcala) is the joker in the pack. On the one hand, it can be dated quite early: it is cited in pseudoAugustine’s Speculum (first half of the fifth century).20 But it is also the most expansive version: it has been described by Vattioni as ‘una parafrasi’.21 19. The list of the curses of exile in 3.4 is one place in which G can preserve more ancient readings, which have subsequently been subject to mutation in M and R. In 3.4, the seven curses are the same in the Greek text, and in r, P, and G. However, in M, only five of these are preserved, and in R only three (in exemplum, in fabulas, in improperium) survive. Since exemplum does not survive in M, it is unlikely that M and R got their lists from each other, but rather that both are dependent on an earlier tradition. 20. This Speculum is first cited in the first letter of Pope Anastasius II (496–498), and the De Vocatione Omnium Gentium (Migne, PL 51, 651) which dates from Rome, c. 450, cites Esther F.6-7 according to the version in the Alcala Bible. So, while it is not authentically Augustine’s, the work can still safely be assigned to the first half of the fifth century. 21. Vattioni, ‘La Vetus Latina di Tobia nella Bibbia di Roda’, p. 174. However, despite the

GATHERCOLE Tobit in Spain


Although the manuscripts which we have generally come from the end of the first millennium, then, we can see that there is considerable variation in the OL textual tradition even in the early Patristic period. This wide diversity of variation in the OL tradition, however, is something which is constantly ignored by scholars.

The Textual Problem of Tobit 7.9 One example of this neglect has been the discussion of the textual problem of Tob. 7.9, the most recent discussion of which has been from Couroyer.22 In Tob. 7.9, Raguel has just greeted Tobias and Raphael. Raguel’s family kill the goat, and after they have washed, they proceed to eat. However, the Vulgate changes around some of the material here and instead of ‘and after they had washed’ has ‘after they had spoken’. Couroyer at least notes that there is some variation in the OL tradition: since the Sabatier edition gives variant readings from G, Couroyer notes that lauerunt and loti sunt are both given in OL texts for the washing, while the Vulgate reads locuti sunt (‘they spoke’). He then discusses the possible solutions offered to the problem by Rosso23 – that whether locuti sunt was an error in the textual tradition of the Vulgate, or it was actually in Jerome’s autograph, it derives from loti sunt, which was subsequently misunderstood. Couroyer is convinced by neither of these solutions: he is puzzled, for one thing, as to how exactly loti sunt could be misunderstood, and is convinced that Jerome actually wrote locuti sunt in his translation. Couroyer then argues that understanding the Aramaic Vorlage is the key to understanding the variation between the OL and Vulgate texts. He comes up with the ingenious solution that the verb for ‘wash’ in the Aramaic original was shy. Naturally, because the Aramaic verb ‘to speak’ is swh or syh, Jerome could easily have misheard ‘they washed’ as ‘they spoke’, given the manner in which Jerome made his translation.24 The conclusion that Couroyer draws is that it can certainly be argued that Jerome made his translation from the Aramaic: ‘Elle [sc. the variant in 7.9] est du moins susceptible, je crois, de confirmer l’affirmation de Jérome qu’il a traduit ce livre de l’araméen’.25 There are several problems to note here, however. First, while Couroyer notes that there is a variation between lauerunt (r) and loti sunt (G) in the OL tradition, he only refers to two OL traditions: ‘laverunt (variante: loti sunt)’, alongside the Vulgate’s apparently unique locuti sunt.26 Unfortunately, however, the Vulgate is far from unique in its reading, as a more comprehensive examination of the OL evidence shows: idiosyncrasy of the Alcala version, Vattioni notes that some of its readings survive in mss h and l, as noted by Vattioni, ‘Tobia nello Speculum’, p. 199. 22. B. Couroyer, ‘Tobie, VII, 9: Problème de Critique Textuelle’, RevB 91 (1984), pp. 351–61. 23. L. Rosso, ‘Un’antica variante del libro di Tobit (Tob., VII, 9)’, RSO 50 (1976), 73–89. 24. This is an odd conclusion, however, since Jerome was not listening to Aramaic, but to the Hebrew which his helper was producing from the Aramaic text. 25. Couroyer, ‘Tobie, VII, 9’, p. 361. 26. Couroyer, ‘Tobie, VII, 9’, p. 352.


Studies in the Book of Tobit Tob. 7.9: r et postquam lauerunt P et postquam lauerunt b et postquam lauerunt G postquam loti sunt M et postquam locuti sunt R et postquam locuti sunt x et post hec cum loti fuissent Vulg postquam autem locuti sunt

Needless to say, the presence of locuti sunt in both the OL tradition and in the Vulgate casts considerable doubt upon Couroyer’s theory of two similar Aramaic verbs playing a role in generating the two different senses within the Latin tradition. This would require that (a) M and R (which attest locuti sunt) derive from a different translation from the Greek, by comparison with r, P et al., (b) thus going back to a Greek text which read ‘they said’. There is no evidence, however, for either (a) or (b). A less outlandish possibility is that M and R have been contaminated by the influence of the Vulgate at this point, a phenomenon which does occur elsewhere in the transmission of the OL. However, a serious problem for this view is the presence of a very similar variation at 2.9, to which Couroyer makes no reference. The context of this passage is Tobit’s surreptitious burials, after which he reports ‘and again I washed’, or in some witnesses, ‘I spoke’. Again, to list the variant readings: Tob. 2.9: r et iterum laui P et iterum laui b et iterum…laui G et iterum…lotus sum M et iterum locutus sum R iterum locutus sum x corpus lotus sum c et iterum locutus sum Vulg n/a Here again, there is variation in the OL witnesses, but this is almost certainly variation purely internal to the OL, with no influence from the Vulgate, for the simple reason that the Vulgate makes no reference to speaking or washing in the episode. Also, interestingly, the references to ‘speaking’ occur in exactly the same manuscripts in both 2.9 and 7.9: in 2.9, again, M and R have locutus sum, as does c.27 As a result, the variant is a purely intra-Latin variant. Since the same variation appears in two places in the same manuscript, however, it is highly unlikely that 27. The reading in c is not given above because after 6.12, the OL text of c is replaced by the Vulgate.

GATHERCOLE Tobit in Spain


the variation could be the result of damage in an early text. Misreading is still a possibility, since it is plausible that the same scribe could misread consistently. Another possibility suggests itself, however: LOTI SUNT could very easily have been read by a scribe as an abbreviation for LOCUTI SUNT. This seems to be the most likely possibility, given the extreme frequency of the verb loquor.

Conclusion The detailed evidence above will not be repeated even in summary form here. However, what is striking is that, as Bogaert and Vattioni have already noted, the manuscripts and the Patristic citations together point to how very early there is such a wide degree of variation in the text. While other scholars are equally guilty of treating the OL tradition as a single entity, we have seen that this tendency has led Couroyer down a blind alley in the particular case of Tob. 7.9. The variations in both 2.9 and 7.9 do not need to be explained by reference to Aramaic originals, but are almost certainly variants internal to the Latin tradition.

Bibliography Belsheim, J., ‘Liber Tobit, Liber Judit, Liber Ester’, Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter (Periodical for 1892, though not published until 1893), pp. 63–157. Blanchini, J. (a.k.a. Giuseppe Bianchini), Vindiciae Canonicarum Scripturarum (Rome, 1740). Bogaert, P. M., ‘Fragments de la vieille version latine du livre de Tobie’, Revue Bénédictine 80 (1970), pp. 166–69. Brooke, A.E., N. McLean, H.St.J. Thackeray, The Old Testament in Greek. Vol. III. Part I. Esther, Judith, Tobit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940). Ceriani, A.M., Monumenta Sacra et Profana ex Codicibus Praesertim Bibliothecae Ambrosianae. Volume 1, Fascicle 3 (Bibliotheca Ambrosiana: Milan, 1866). Couroyer, B., ‘Tobie, VII, 9: Problème de Critique Textuelle’, RevB 91 (1984), pp. 351–61. Neubauer, A., The Book of Tobit (Oxford: Clarendon, 1878). Porter, A.W.S., ‘Cantica Mozarabici Officii’ [Latin], Ephemerides Liturgicae 49 (1935), pp. 126–45. Gilson, J.P., The Mozarabic Psalter (Ms. British Museum, Add. 30.851) (London: British Museum, 1905). Gribomont, J., ‘Le Mystérieux calendrier latin du Sinai’, Analecta Bollandiana 75 (1957), pp. 105–134. Rosso, L., ‘Un’antica variante del libro di Tobit (Tob., VII, 9)’, RSO 50 (1976), 73–89. Sabatier, P.M., Bibliorum sacrorum Latinae versiones antiquae (Paris, 1751). Vattioni, F., ‘Tobia nello Speculum e nella prima Bibbia di Alcalá’, Augustinianum 15 (1975), pp. 169–200. —‘La Vetus Latina di Tobia nella Bibbia di Roda’, Revista Catalana de Teologia 3 (1978), pp. 173–200. Weeks, S.D.E., S.J. Gathercole, and L.T. Stuckenbruck (eds.), The Book of Tobit: Texts, Comparisons, Lexicon and Concordance to the Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Syriac Versions (Fontes et Subsidia ad Bibliam Pertinentes; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2004).

Chapter 2 SOME NEGLECTED TEXTS OF TOBIT: THE THIRD GREEK VERSION Stuart Weeks (Durham University) It had been recognised even before the discovery of Codex Sinaiticus, that the Old Latin texts (OL) of Tobit seemed to draw on an original which differed significantly from the standard Greek Septuagint text.1 When Tischendorf brought Sinaiticus to the West, it provided a Greek witness to that original, albeit one which was clearly faulty in many respects, and the modern editions now conventionally offer separate presentations of the ‘Short’, majority text, and the ‘Long’ Sinaiticus one. Recent decades have seen the publication of Aramaic and Hebrew fragments from Qumran which offer a version similar to that found in Sinaiticus,2 and it is highly probable, at least, that the version in Sinaiticus goes back to a translation from a Semitic original which was, itself, a Long text. 3 Further evidence for the development of the Long tradition has been offered both by the growing availability of Old Latin texts, and by Hanhart’s collation of readings from MS 319, which has many characteristics of a Long Greek text for part of its length.4 It might well be thought that we are now in a stronger position than ever to assess both the text-history of the tradition, and its relationship with the Short Greek text. There are, however, a number of preliminary tasks, with which few scholars have yet properly engaged. 1. For further discussion of the Old Latin see Gathercole in this volume. 2. J.A. Fitzmyer, ‘Tobit’, in M. Broshi et al. (eds.), Qumran Cave 4 XIV: Parabiblical Texts, Part 2 (DJD, 19; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp. 1–76, pls. I–X. See also alternative readings and notes in K. Beyer, Die aramäischen Texte vom Toten Meer. Ergänzungsband (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1994), pp. 134–47, and S. Weeks, S. Gathercole and L. Stuckenbruck, The Book of Tobit. Texts from the Principal Ancient and Medieval Traditions: With Synopsis, Concordances, and Annotated Texts in Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Syriac (Fontes et Subsidia ad Bibliam Pertinentes 3; Berlin, New York: W. de Gruyter, 2004) (henceforth WGS). 3. I am conscious of the important questions raised by Tobias Nicklas and Christian Wagner in their ‘Thesen zur Textlichen Vielfalt im Tobitbuch’, JSS 34 (2003), pp. 141–59, especially about the propriety of continuing to operate with a simplistic ‘Long’ versus ‘Short’ paradigm, and to some extent my comments below may serve to support their position. I think it remains useful to retain the distinction, however, so long as we do not apply it too rigidly. 4. For details of Hanhart’s edition, see n. 14, below. MS 319 is properly Batopaidioj 513 from Mt Athos; it dates from the eleventh century, and has ‘Long’ readings in 3.6-6.16. Nicklas and Wagner, ‘Thesen’, pp. 144–50, show that there are also agreements with OL and the Short text against Sinaiticus in this section.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


Foremost amongst these is establishing the nature and place of what is often called the ‘Third’ Greek version. An edition of this was first published separately, and one might say accidentally, by O.F. Fritzsche in 1853.5 Fritzsche had the misfortune to be writing between Tischendorf’s 1846 publication of Codex Friderico-Augustinus (the portion of Codex Sinaiticus which he had initially obtained, and which is now in Leipzig),6 and his publication of the rest of Codex Sinaiticus in 1862.7 Since Tobit is split between those two portions, Fritzsche had the Sinaiticus text only down to Tob. 2.2. It was already recognized that the Old Latin text published by Sabatier8 must reflect a separate Greek Vorlage, and the new manuscript confirmed that; not unnaturally, however, Fritzsche took it to be part of the same Greek recension as the text represented in a group of late cursive manuscripts, which also often agreed with the Old Latin against the standard Septuagint text. Those agreements in the cursives were confined to a section of the text roughly corresponding to chs 6– 12, so Fritzsche created a text of the alternative recension which combined the Greek texts from Sinaiticus and the relevant section of the cursives, filling the gaps with Sabatier’s Old Latin. As became clear when the rest of Sinaiticus was published, the cursives actually contain a quite separate text, which has much in common with that of Sinaiticus, but also corresponds frequently to the Short. Indeed, the most striking feature of this Third version was taken to be its apparent inclusion of readings from both the others, which subsequently led to its characterization as a ‘mediating’ text, or a sort of eclectic edition of the others.9 That verdict receives some superficial support from the late attestation of the text. The principal manuscripts (Biblioteca Comunale, Ferrara, 187 I and 188 I, Holmes-Parsons 106 and 107 respectively) are from the fourteenth century and the other manuscripts appear to derive from them.10 The recension itself, however, is certainly much earlier, although it is 5. O.F. Fritzsche, Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zu den Apokryphen des Alten Testamentes. Zweite Lieferung. Die Bücher Tobi und Judith (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1853), pp. 71–110. 6. C. v. Tischendorf, Codex Friderico-Augustanus sive Fragmenta Veteris Testamenti e codice Graeco omnium qui in Europa supersunt facile antiquissimo. In Oriente detexit. In patriam attulit. Ad modum codicis edidit Constantinus Tischendorf (Leipzig: K.F. Koehler, 1846). 7. C. v. Tischendorf, Bibliorum Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus. Auspiciis augustissimis imperatoris Alexandri II. Ex tenebris protraxit. In Europam transtulit. Ad iuvandas atque illustrandas sacras litteras edidit Constantinus Tischendorf (St Petersburg: s.n., 1862). 8. P. Sabatier, Bibliorum Sacrorum Latinae versiones Antiquae, seu Vetus Italica, et Caeterae quaecunque in Codicibus Mss. & antiquorum libris reperiri potuerunt: Quae cum Vulgata Latina, & cum Textu Graeco comparantur: Accedunt Praefationes, Observationes, ac Notae, Indexque novus ad VULGATAM è regione editam, idemque locupletissimus Volume 1 (Paris: F. Didot, reissue 1751), pp. 706–43. 9. E.g., D.C. Simpson, ‘The Book of Tobit’, in R.H. Charles (ed.), Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), pp. 174–241, esp. p. 176, ‘…a mediating redaction, representing a compromise between Rs and Rv. A sentence is preserved in part as it appears in the former, and in part recast in the mould of the latter.’ More recently, cf. J.A. Fitzmyer, Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003), p. 5: ‘…composite, a compromise between the other two Greek recensions, but basically related to GII’. 10. See A. Rahlfs, Verzeichnis der griechischen Handschriften des Alten Testaments für das


Studies in the Book of Tobit

difficult to assign a precise date.11 That it was once quite influential, at least in some areas, is suggested by the fact that it underpins the majority Syriac version in the second half of the book.12 Since Fritzsche’s book, which presented the readings from the cursives eclectically and somewhat unreliably, the Third Greek has also been offered separately by F. Vigouroux, whose 1902 polyglot Bible used a rather unsatisfactory, secondary manuscript from Paris (Bibliothèque Nationale Supplément 609, which has the Rahlfs/Göttingen siglum 610).13 In the Cambridge edition of the Septuagint, the readings of 106 and 107, along with some readings from the Zittau MS 44 appeared only in the apparatus to Vaticanus;14 Hanhart’s Göttingen edition later placed them in the apparatus to his GII (based on Sinaiticus), where he also supplied some further collations from the Moscow MS 125 and the Paris MS 610 used by Vigouroux.15 Neither the Cambridge nor the Göttingen editions make it easy to reconstruct the text – although the former, with its lengthier citations, is the better in this respect – but two separate presentations of the key text, MS 106, have appeared recently.16 Septuaginta-Unternehmen (Mitteilungen des Septuaginta-Unternehmens der Königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen 2; Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1914). 11. It was suggested more than a century ago that the ‘Third’ recension is reflected in the pseudonymous Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, XVI. See J.R. Harris, ‘The Double Text of Tobit’, AJT 3 (1899), pp. 541–9. The text in Lightfoot’s edition reads (p. 251 line 6 – p. 252 line 2): kalo_n ou]n e0lehmosu&nh w(j meta&noia a(marti/aj: krei/sswn nhstei/a proseuxh~j, e0lehmosu/nh de\ a0mfote/rwn: a0ga&ph de\ kalu/ptei plh~qoj a9martiw~n: proseuxh_ de\ e0k kalh~j suneidh/sewj e0k qana/tou r(u/etai. See J.B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers. Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp. Revised Texts with Introductions, Notes, Dissertations, and Translations (5 vols.; London: Macmillan, 2nd edn, 1889), vol. 2 part 1. For comparison, MS 106 reads (12.8-9a): a)gaqo_n proseuxh\ meta_ nhstei/(aj), kai\ e0lehmosu&nh meta_ dikaiosu&nhj: u9pe\r a)mfo&tera krei=sson poiei=n e0lehmosu&nhn: h2 qhsauri/zein xrusi/on: e0lehmosu&nh ga_r e0k qana&tou r9u&etai: At best, we are dealing with an indirect reference to, or paraphrase of this much cited passage, which should not be taken as conclusive evidence for the early existence of the ‘Third’ recension; the krei/sswn…a0mfote/rwn/u9pe\r a)mfo&tera krei=sson formulation is not found in the other Greek recensions, but may have been influenced by Sir. 40.24. 12. The only Syriac MS not to reflect readings from the Third Greek is Syr. MS 27 from Dair asSuryan, but even this has marginal corrections derived from that tradition. See J.C.H. Lebram, ‘Tobit’, in The Old Testament in Syriac According to the Peshitta Version, Part IV, fascicle 6: Canticles or Odes – Prayer of Manasseh – Apocryphal Psalms – Psalms of Solomon – Tobit – 1(3) Esdras (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1972). 13. F. Vigouroux, La Sainte Bible Polyglotte, contenant le texte hébreu original, le texte grec des Septante, le texte latin de la Vulgate et la traduction française de M. L’Abbé Glaire avec les différences de l’Hébreu, des Septante et de la Vulgate; des introductions, des notes, des cartes et des illustrations. Ancien Testament vol. III (Paris: A. Roger & F. Chernovitz, 1902), pp. 464–523. 14. A.E. Brooke, N. McLean, H.St J. Thackeray, The Old Testament in Greek. According to the text of Codex Vaticanus, supplemented from other uncial manuscripts, with a critical apparatus containing the variants of the chief ancient authorities for the text of the Septuagint. Vol. III part I Esther, Judith, Tobit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940). The text of Tobit is on pp. 85–110 (B), 111–22 (S). 15. R. Hanhart, Septuaginta. Vetus Testamentum Graecum Auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Gottingensis Editum. Vol. VIII, 5 Tobit (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983). 16. C.J. Wagner, Polyglotte Tobit-Synopse. Griechisch–Lateinisch–Syrisch–Hebräisch–Aramäisch.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


These publications of the text simplify the task of understanding its character and place in the tradition. What we still lack, unfortunately, is a proper understanding of the relationships between the various witnesses to the Long tradition, upon which it certainly draws. It is very clear that Sinaiticus differs in important respects from the Vorlage of the Third Greek, and a simple comparison with that text is likely to be misleading. Accordingly, careful comparison with all of the witnesses, and a certain amount of comparison between those witnesses, must be considered a prerequisite for a full account of the text upon which the Third Greek drew, and an understanding of the changes it made. Such a complete study would be a fairly major undertaking, so it is my intention here simply to deal with some of the preliminary issues, and to offer some conclusions based on a consideration of key texts, which is detailed but not comprehensive.17 It is sensible to begin by marking our territory. Amongst the various editions, there is no precise consensus on the points at which the Third Greek starts and finishes in the cursive manuscripts.18 This is not a difficult question to address, even if it is not one that can be answered with absolute precision. The relevant cursive manuscripts, as a group, have many idiosyncracies even outside Tobit, so deviation from the text of Vaticanus, or the majority Short text, is not itself an indication that the texts are following the Third Greek. Equally, since that texttype is frequently identical to the Short one, agreement between the cursives and the majority text cannot be taken to signify that they are not following the Third Greek. However, we can say with confidence that the Third Greek is in play when the text of the cursives agrees with the Long Greek against the Short. That puts the beginning of the section at, or close to, kai\ feu&cetai a)p' au0tou= in Tob. 6.8. Correspondingly, the ending must fall at least after e0k th~j a)pwlei/aj e0n th=| megalwsu/nh au)tou~ in 13.2, but probably not far after that point.19 The Third Greek seems to be picked up rather later in the Syriac, at 7.11,20 although it is impossible to say for certain whether this represents a similarly late start in some Greek Vorlage. The cursives present a reasonably consistent picture of the Third Greek, and its scope can be identified within them fairly accurately. The key question, then, is how this version of Tobit relates to the others, and it is at this point that matters start to become complicated. Essentially, there are two existing proposals: the Mit einem Index zu den Tobit-Fragmenten vom Toten Meer. (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen Philologisch-Historische Klasse Dritte Folge, Band 258; Mitteilungen des Septuaginta-Unternehmens 28; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003); WGS. 17. In particular, I have attempted no detailed consideration of the Syriac, or of MS 319’s place in the tradition. 18. See WGS, p. 14. 19. It is more difficult to establish the precise end, since Sinaiticus is lacking from the latter part of 13.6 up to 13.10 through a scribal error, and its agreements with 106 against Vaticanus are of a very minor character in 13.3-6. The judgment in some earlier works, that the recension runs as far as 13.8 is difficult to substantiate, but Hanhart’s 12.22 seems too restrictive, although the majority Syriac does return to a Short text after that verse. 20. The Dair as-Suryan text diverges from the main tradition from the beginning of the verse, but the Third Greek is not clearly reflected in that tradition until about kai nun fage kai pie.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

first, already mentioned, suggests that the Third Greek is mediating between the Short and Long Greek texts, drawing extensively on both, and the second that it is principally derived from the Long tradition, but has secondarily acquired some elements from the Short. Hanhart’s espousal of the latter position involves the qualification that the Long text on which the Third Greek drew was not identical to the text of Sinaiticus, but was much closer to the Vorlage of the Old Latin, with which the Third Greek frequently agrees against S.21 As we shall see, this is probably true – but it opens a can of worms, and brings into the equation a set of texts which themselves pose significant difficulties. It is not possible to speak of the Old Latin version of Tobit without considerable qualification.22 The text-type which is most widely represented amongst the witnesses, and which formed the basis for Sabatier’s edition, is best represented in the ninth-century French manuscripts Codex Regius 3564 and Codex Sangermanensis 4 (also known as ‘Corbeiensis’), which have the Beuron sigla 148 and 150.23 These texts are very similar, indeed, usually identical, and Sabatier merged their readings to form his text.24 Where they appear to be defective, Sabatier made use of another ninth-century French manuscript, Codex Sangermanensis 15 (Beuron siglum 7);25 this is broadly similar to the others, but offers many minor variants to their text. This general text-type is also reflected in unpublished and fragmentary sources,26 and it represents the nearest we have to a ‘majority’ Old Latin text. We must also, however, reckon with two very different Old Latin versions. The first is found in its entirety only in the ninth-/tenth-century Alcalà Bible (Beuron 109),27 but corresponds closely to the extensive citations in the early fifth-century Speculum, attributed falsely to Augustine.28 It is generally much fuller than the other Old Latin versions, and offers many interesting readings, but its tendency to paraphrase, along with its possible use of Greek sources in its revision, make it difficult to use text-critically. The other version is found in another ninth-century French manuscript, Codex Reginensis 7 (Beuron 143), and

21. See Hanhart, Tobit, p. 33; R. Hanhart, Text und Textgeschichte des Buches Tobit (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen MSU, 17; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984), pp. 44–5. 22. The Beuron edition is under preparation by J.-M. Auwers. For a general description of the Old Latin texts, with a useful list, see Fitzmyer, Tobit, pp. 6–8; also, WGS, pp. 21–6, 50–6, 58–9. For further discussion of the Old Latin see Gathercole in this volume. 23. See WGS, pp. 22–3, 54–5. 24. To save space in the discussion which follows, separate reference will not be made to the readings of 150. 25. See WGS, pp. 52, 783–91. 26. See WGS, pp. 55, 58–9. 27. See F. Vattioni, ‘Tobia nello Speculum e nella prima Bibbia di Alcalà’, Augustinianum 15 (1975), pp. 169–200; WGS, pp. 23–5. 28. Headed Liber de Divinis Scripturis in F. Weihrich, Liber qui appellatur Speculum et Liber de divinis scripturis, sive Speculum quod fertur S. Augustini (CSEL Augustini Opera, 3.1; Vienna: C. Geroldi Filium, 1887). See generally, J. Machielsen (ed.), Clavis Patristica Pseudepigraphorum Medii Aevi vol. 2 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1994), no. 1864.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


was published in 1740 by Bianchini.29 The Old Latin in this manuscript extends only to 6.12, after which a Vulgate text is given, but it is wholly distinctive in character, to the extent that it may represent a quite separate translation from Greek. These versions, or others now lost to us, may have influenced some of the distinctive readings found in the other published manuscripts, 30 Codex Monacensis (Beuron 130)31 and Codex Bobbiensis (Beuron 135),32 which also both date from the 9th century, and the 11th century Bible de Rosas (Beuron 62).33 These all belong, broadly, to the ‘majority’ Old Latin, but each has a very distinctive character, and diverges at times from that tradition. It may be that the relationships between these texts will become clearer in future studies, but in the meantime we are faced with serious difficulties in assessing what constitutes a significant agreement with the ‘Old Latin’. A minimalist approach, using just the Regius and Sangermanensis texts, is likely to exclude a number of significant correspondences: the ‘majority’ text has quite clearly gone through many internal developments. A maximalist approach, on the other hand, would raise serious problems of method, if it included the revisions and paraphrases of the Alcala text, and the quite distinctive readings of the Reginensis one. It is most practical, until the situation is better understood, to treat those two texts separately, but to allow that the others may reflect early readings from the Long tradition.34 Taking that approach, we may identify a number of places where internal developments have probably led Sabatier’s Regius text to differ from the ‘original’ Old Latin and its Vorlage, and comparison with Sinaiticus and the Qumran

29. G. Bianchini (= J. Blanchinus), Vindiciae canonicarum scripturarum vulgatae latinae editionis. Seu, Vetera sacrorum bibliorum fragmenta juxta graecam vulgatam, et hexaplarem, latinam antiquam italam, duplicemque S. Eusebii Hieronymi translationem, nunc primum in lucem edita atque illustrata opera et studio Josephi Blanchini (Rome: S. Michaelis, 1740), pp. cccxlvi, cccl–ccclv. A collation (often apparently inaccurate) is also given in the notes in Sabatier. See WGS, pp. 25f. 30. So for example, in 1.22, the Monacensis text is close to the Reginensis reading, and both probably misunderstand the Greek in the same way. The other OL texts are suspiciously short here, and may have lost some material, so it is possible that Monacensis is using the other version to repair a perceived hole in his primary source. 31. Properly, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm 6239. See J. Belsheim, ‘Liber Tobit, Liber Judit, Liber Ester’, Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter (1892), pp. 63–157, esp. pp. 93– 112; this edition has been much criticized, but is the only one currently available. See WGS, pp. 50– 51, 746–57. 32. Biblioteca Ambrosiana E.26. See (the elusive) A.M. Ceriani, Monumenta Sacra et Profana ex Codicibus Praesertim Bibliothecae Ambrosianae. Volume 1, Fascicle 3 (Milan: Bibliotheca Ambrosiana,1866), pp. 210–23; WGS, pp. 51, 758–70 33. Bibliothèque Nationale fond. lat. 6. See F. Vattioni, ‘La Vetus Latina di Tobia nella Bibbia di Roda’, Revista Catalana de Teologia 3 (1978), pp. 173–200; WGS, pp. 52, 771–82. 34. The situation is very complicated, even amongst texts within the ‘main’ OL tradition, and the possibility exists that some revisions have been introduced in the light of Greek texts – which might explain why the OL versions sometimes line up individually on both sides of a disagreement between the Greek versions. See, for example, nos. 100, 109, 112, 152, 157, 166, 191, below. The influence of the Vulgate is sometimes probable also, as in, e.g., no. 110.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

texts is often enlightening here.35 It is very clear, however, that the Vorlage differed in many ways from Sinaiticus,36 and there are, incidentally, agreements between the Old Latin and the Qumran materials, which suggest that Sinaiticus does not always represent the earliest reading, even outside those sections of its text which are self-evidently faulty.37 A number of the readings which are lacking, or different in Sinaiticus, but which were probably present in the Vorlage of the Old Latin, have been preserved independently in the Greek MS 319,38 but it is clear anyway that a Greek text rather different from Sinaiticus must have served as the basis for the Latin translation. Where the Third Greek diverges from Sinaiticus, it is often obviously, as we shall see, revising or re-writing. Where this is not the case, however, its distinctive readings almost always find a parallel in one or more of the key Old Latin texts.39 This is true even in most of the cases where it appears to be agreeing with the Short Greek against the Long,40 lending weight to Hanhart’s views about its origin. The relatively few remaining agreements with the Short Greek are mostly very minor,41 and some may be coincidental. They provide little or no basis, therefore, for the old idea that the Third Greek was written as a bridge between the Short and Long.42 Equally, though, it is difficult to sustain Hanhart’s assertion that they are secondary in character. It is possible that some, or even most, represent genuinely early readings from the Long tradition, and we must not forget either that the Old Latin quite commonly supports the readings of Vaticanus,43 or 35. For instances where comparison with Sinaiticus indicates that the original reading has been lost in some OL versions, see below, nos. 44, 49, 54, 77, 79, 87, 110, 115, 123, 139, 143, 144, 145, 148, 149, 150, 155, 158, 161, 163, 167, 168, 169, 172, 179, 183, 185, 186, 196, 197, 201, 207, 208, 211, 214, 215, 217, 221, 222, 229, 230. Where the same is indicated by Qumran readings: 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 15, 22, 23, 29, 114, and perhaps 53. We may also note some more general habits: where 148 the Greek refers to Raphael, L , for example, is inclined to have Raphahel angelus (cf. 6.11, 7.9, 8.2, 8.3, 9.1, 9.5), and Edna has consistently, confusingly been re-named Anna, as in the Vulgate (7.2, 7.8, 7.15, 8.21, 10.12). 36. See nos. 50, 68, 75, 86, 91, 92, 95, 97, 99, 189, 190, 219. 37. See nos. 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 24, 31, 35, 38, 39, 43, 48, 52, 55, 58, 60, 65, 136, 170, 171, 194, 223, 228, 239, 240, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248. Of course, the Qumran fragments also sometimes support S against the OL (see nos. 2, 5, 20, 21, 25, 26, 40, 45, 56, 59, 61, 135, 238), and, surprisingly often, have no close correspondence to the readings of any Greek or Latin version (see nos. 6, 18, 19, 30, 41, 63, 64, 66, 67, 71, 130, 131, 132, 133, 227, 231, 235, 236, 237, 241). 38. See, e.g., nos. 32, 33, 35, 38. 39. See nos. 27, 34, 42, 47, 48, 69, 70, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, 85, 88, 89, 100, 111, 113, 118, 122, 123, 126, 128, 129, 138, 140, 142, 151, 154, 156, 160, 171, 173, 174, 181, 184, 193, 194, 195, 202, 206, 213, 218, 225, 232, 233, 234, and perhaps 94, 96, 98, 101, 107, 108, 109, 114, 119, 120, 121, 125, 127, 157, 159, 177, 178, 180, 182, 205. See also the readings where 106 agrees with the OL and B, listed in n. 39. 40. See nos. 28, 37, 48, 51, 90, 93, 102, 103, 106, 116, 141, 162, 165, 185, 187, 188, 199, 203, 212, 228, and perhaps 46, 62, 72, 73, 83, 84, 112, 117, 122, 137, 152, 166, 210. 41. See below, nos. 53, 81, 199 (in part), 220, 226, and perhaps 104. 42. There are, of course, many places where readings common to both the Short and Long versions are found also in 106, but the fact that such readings are, conversely, often omitted or replaced is significant in this respect. 43. Cases where the OL and B agree against Sinaiticus, but the Third Greek does not follow them: nos. 105, 135, 146, 147, 153, 175, 176, 192, 198, 200, 204, 209, 216, and perhaps 134, 191.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


that the Short text, in some rare cases, actually reflects the readings of the Qumran fragments more closely than does any other version.44 That is an issue which belongs with questions about the origin of the Short Greek, and we cannot deal with it here. We may content ourselves with saying that the Third Greek belongs firmly within the Long tradition, to which it is an important witness, and that it merely shares a few readings with the Short. In that case, we must ask why the Third Greek exists at all; why was its creator not content simply to transmit the Long version of Tobit? To the extent that it makes any real changes to the substance or ideology of the story, these changes are apparently minor and superficial in character. It would be hard to sustain any argument that the writer of the Third Greek somehow ‘disagreed’ with what the Long Greek had to say. On the other hand, there is no indication that the writer is simply attempting to strip the story down to its essentials, or to create a sort of Reader’s Digest, condensed version of Tobit. The Third Greek is shorter than the Long, but it does introduce material of its own, and often has what appear to be clarificatory additions. An intention simply to abbreviate, furthermore, can hardly explain the many occasions when it appears only to move material around, with no net reduction in length. It seems most likely that we are dealing, in fact, with an attempt to improve the Long Greek version stylistically. Such matters are difficult for us to judge, but anyone who has attempted to translate the Long Greek may have some sympathy with the view that it is crude, confusing, and sometimes barely comprehensible. Those features may, of course, have had something to do with the fact that the Long Greek tradition was ultimately all but extinguished. Time and again, we see the Third Greek re-cast sentences in a way which seems to improve the clarity and sense, and sometimes similar changes are made at the narrative level. There is no space here to give many examples, but two may suffice to make the general point. The first is interesting as an illustration of the way in which the Third Greek and the OL (or its Vorlage)45 set about addressing the same problem in different ways. In 10.14, after having Tobias praise God for ‘prospering his way’, S reads kai ei0pen au0tw| eu0odwqh soi timan au0touj pasaj taj h9meraj thj zwhj au0twn. It is not clear from the context who is speaking, who is being addressed, and to whom they are referring, although, in the absence of any other plural candidates, it seems that au0touj can only be Sarah’s parents, and it is likely also that we should read eu0odwqh|. Since it is unlikely that God is the speaker, it is probable that we should understand the sense of the verb to be similar to its unusual use in 1 Chron. 13.2 LXX, despite its use with the more common meaning in the previous clause, so the passage would mean, ‘(Tobias) said to him (God), “May it be your will to honour them (Sarah’s parents) for all the days of their lives” ’. If this is indeed the intended sense, then it is awkwardly phrased, and OL paraphrases by having Tobias explicitly bless his parents-in-law, and tell them that he has been commanded to honour them by God. The Third Greek, on 44. See nos. 16, 57, and perhaps 166, 224. On one occasion, incidentally, the Third Greek is closest to a Qumran reading (no. 164). 45. There are parallels between the Short Greek and the OL in this verse.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

the other hand, omits the preceding clause and shortens the initial blessing, before having Tobias pray, legwn genoito moi timan ton penqeron46 mou w(sper touj e0mautou goneij pasaj taj h9meraj thj zwhj au0twn. The changes in the context bring this into much closer connection with 10.12, as does the addition of w(sper touj e0mautou goneij, while the object of timan is made explicit, and the confusing address to God dropped. The result is arguably not only clearer but more coherent, while remaining close at least to the wording of the original. A second example relates not so much to a particular problem in the Long Greek, as to the working-out of a comic subplot. In 8.9-10, after Tobias and Sarah have retired for the night, Raguel summons his servants, and goes out with them to dig a grave, ‘in case he dies, and we become a laughing-stock and disgrace’. When the grave has been dug, they all return, and that is when Raguel arranges for a discreet check on the newly-weds. After his subsequent expressions of astonished praise, he speaks to the servants again in 8.18, and tells them to fill the grave in before daybreak. There is nothing wrong with this telling of the story, which slyly and humorously evokes the earlier burials by Tobit, and sets up Raguel as canny and socially self-conscious. The Old Latin stays close to Sinaiticus, and the Short Greek preserves the general outline, but has Raguel dig the grave by himself, with the simpler motive that Tobias might die (arguably, this strips out the satirical elements, so that Raguel is merely taking a pious precaution). The Third Greek, on the other hand, expands the speeches and alters the structure. In 8.9-10 Raguel’s orders make more explicit his desire for secrecy, to protect his personal (no longer family) reputation: the grave is to be dug during the night, ‘so that if he’s a dead man, I’ll bury him by night, and no-one will know – so that I won’t become an object of shame and ridicule’. With its clear intention to make Tobias simply disappear, this has a sinister edge to it, as well as a selfish one. Furthermore, Raguel himself no longer digs the grave. Rather it is left to the servants, who depart on their mission in 8.11, while Raguel remains to organize the check on the couple. They only return in 8.18, at which point, with the grave dug, they are sent straight back out to fill it in again before the coming of day. None of these changes are compelled by the original version (although Raguel’s Greek is arguably polished up a bit); what we encounter here is straightforwardly an attempt to sharpen the dialogue and enhance the narrative flow. In line with all this, we find some minor changes or preferences which run throughout. So, for example, the ‘demon’ regularly becomes an ‘unclean spirit’ in the Third Greek, perhaps reflecting the ideas of its community, or a perception that spirits are more biblical than demons.47 We also find some broader changes in the ordering of events, most notably when Raphael’s instructions are moved from 11.7-8, where they crudely interrupt a dramatic moment in S, to 11.4. The 46. It seems likely that the object was originally plural, but note that S uses the singular for both parents-in-law in the preceding verse. 47. See 6.14, 6.15, 8.3. In 8.7, where the Third Greek has probably sought to explain an erroneous sugkatarghsai, inherited from its base text (cf. B, S sunkataghrasai), the mixed a)kaqartw| daimoniw| is introduced.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


changes are never really radical, however: this is a revision of the Long Greek, not a fundamental reworking of the story. If it is indeed the case that the writer is mostly attempting to produce a more stylish and readable version of the book, then this raises questions, again, about the Short Greek – to which a similar intention is often attributed.48 Although that version has problems of its own, its style and language are much less difficult than those of the Long, and we can only speculate about why the writer of the Third Greek should have chosen to base his text on the Long Greek, or even to undertake it at all, if he knew of the Short version. One possibility is that he did not, in fact, know of it, and that his work pre-dated the composition or, at least, the widespread distribution of the Short Greek;49 alternatively, he might have placed high value on the Long Greek, and wished to popularize it without making the substantial changes found in the Short Greek. One further problem which surrounds the Third Greek is the question of its extent. We have already seen that its presence in the cursives can only be fixed between 6.8 kai\ feu&cetai and 13.2 megalwsu/nh au)tou~; the majority Syriac version, which translates it, does so only from 7.11, and reverts to the Short Greek after chapter 12. There has been a general inclination to assume that the work originally covered the whole book of Tobit, and that the first half has simply disappeared, along with the closing chapters.50 This is a reasonable assumption, despite the very neat integration of the new material with the readings of the Short Greek in 6.8, but it must lead us to ask whether we can detect the influence of the Third Greek in earlier chapters of any extant texts. Here there are two main possibilities. The more obvious is the Greek text on a small vellum leaf from Oxyrhynchus (Oxyrhynchus 1076, now John Rylands Gk. P. 448), published by Hunt in 1911,51 and dated by him to about the sixth century. It contains a fragmentary text, corresponding to 2.2-2.5 and 2.8: 2.2 … [pol]la: eipa TSwbia tw uSi=w mou: badize kai aSgage on~ ean eurhj ek twn adelZfwn hmw[n] ptwxwnZ … [paragene]sqai se → 2.3 kai eporeuqh TwbiajX kai aSneSstreYyaj eipen moi idou e=ij twnZ aSpSo tou eqnZouj hYmw(n) … 2.4 … kai hra 48. Such an explanation can, I think, be at best only a part of the answer: there is too much completely different material in the Short Greek for us to view it simply as a derivative of the Long. It is interesting to note that Paul Deselaers, Das Buch Tobit. Studien zu seiner Enstehung, Komposition und Theologie. (OBO, 43; Freiburg CH, Göttingen: Universitätsverlag, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982), p. 20, actually argues that, on the contrary, ‘In S…gibt es gegenüber BA deutlich Verbesserungen inhaltlicher und stilistischer Art’. This only goes to show how subjective many of the judgements in this area are (although Deselaers is guilty, in the examples he cites, of taking the text of Sinaiticus to be identical to the text of the ‘original’ Long Greek, and neglecting evidence for internal, secondary development within that tradition). 49. In this context, we might note that the Short and Third Greek sometimes agree substantially against the Long, but express themselves quite differently (see, e.g. nos. 81, 224); it is hard to see, in such cases, why the Third Greek should not have used the Short reading if it was aware of it. 50. It is possible that all or most of chs 13 and 14 were actually not included in the Third Greek. They are not necessary to the narrative, and are all but omitted in some later versions. 51. See A.S. Hunt, The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Part VIII (London: Egypt Exploration Society, 1911), pp. 6–9; WGS, pp. 15–17. The transcription here follows WGS, the restorations, Hunt. I have represented superline nu by (n).


Studies in the Book of Tobit auto(n) ek thj plateiaj eij e=n twn oikhmatwn mexri duZeYiZ(n) ton hlion kai qaptw auton[.] 2.5 kZai … 2.8 … ekinduneusen apoqYaSnein kai apedra: kai apwlZeXsen panta ta u=parxonYta autou kai i=dou …

This is different overall from any other extant Greek version, and Hunt took it to be a fragment of the Third Greek, arguing thus: The relation of 1076 and C [i.e. the cursives] to BA and ) respectively is closely similar. Both 1076 and C belong to the ) type, but are more concise, while at the same time they occasionally add points of their own. In ii. 3, for instance, the elaborate forms of address in ) disappear in 1076, just as in vi.11 they are omitted in C … On the other hand, the insertion of kai\ a)pw&lesen pa&nta ta_ u9pa&rxonta au0tou= in 1076 32–5 (ii. 8) has parallels in C, e.g. in vi.15 the addition of a)po_ tou= pneu&matoj tou= a)kaqa&rtou and filei= au0th\n. These like characteristics strongly suggest a common origin; and corroborative evidence for this theory is supplied by the Old Latin version. A peculiarity of that version is that while generally following ) it occasionally reflects C … It therefore seems highly significant that … in ii. 8 the Old Latin alone of the versions reproduces the phrase kai\ a)pw&lesen pa&nta ta_ u9pa&rxonta au0tou= of 1076 with et perdidit substantiam suam.52

The argument is clearly not a strong one, but the conclusion has been accepted by subsequent commentators; even were there no argument at all, Occam’s Razor might lead us to avoid postulating yet another Greek text-type. Certainly, although there are points of contact with the Short Greek, we are dealing with what is essentially a Long text; not only is the whole close to S, but the first part is very close to 4Q197: [... )ny]xX)b xk#h[t yd] NXmS lkl rbd lz) yrb yrb hybS[w+l t]rXm)w Ny)yg#.

As Hunt points out, we can also find a parallel to kai apwlZeXsen panta ta u=parxonYta in the Old Latin texts, so the only significant feature which cannot be explained from within the Long tradition is the absence, in 2.3, of an equivalent to the zhth=sai/ tina ptwxo_n tw~n a)delfw~n h9mw~n of Sinaiticus. This could represent the economic removal of redundant and repetitious material, which would be characteristic of the Third Greek, but we can really go no further than to say that the identification is a possibility: all the evidence elsewhere suggests that there may have been considerable diversity among Greek texts belonging strictly to the Long text-type, even without invoking the Third Greek. If the Oxyrhynchus fragment does indeed belong to the Third Greek, it still only contributes a few additional verses. A more interesting witness lies on the Latin side, in a text which we have already had cause to mention: the Vatican Codex Reginensis 7 (L143). This text, it may be recalled, offers an Old Latin version of Tobit only up to 6.12, so its overlap with 106 and the other cursives is short. In the few verses where we do have both, the texts are not identical, but they do display some striking similarities. In the following, I have bracketed words in each text which have no correspondent in the other; it should be clear that there are substantial differences of word-order and phraseology in 6.8 (which may be a melding of Short and Third Greek readings in the Greek cursives), but thereafter the order and content is almost identical. 52. Hunt, Oxyrhynchus Papyri, p. 7.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


6.8 106: kai\ ei]pen au0tw~| h9 kardi/a kai\ to_ h[par, e0a&n tina o0xlh=| daimo&nion h2 pneu=ma ponhro&n tau=ta qumia&seij e1mprosqen au0tou= {kai\}53 feu&cetai a)p' au0tou= 6.8 L143: et dixit ei cor eius atque iecor ad incendendum in conspectu hominis si fuerit in eum occursio daemonis uel spiritus malignus fugabit ab eo 6.9 106: {kai\}54 h9 xolh/ e0gxri=sai o0fqalmouj e0n o4ij a)n leukw&ma{ta55 h)\ e)mfusi=sai ei)j au)tou\j kai\} u9giai/nousin 6.9 L143: de fel ad unguendos oculos in quibuscunque fuerit albugo sanabuntur 6.10 106: kai\ paragi/nontai ei0j70Ekba&tana 6.10 L143: et uenerunt in Ecbathana 6.11 106: kai\ ei]pen o9 a!ggeloj e0n toi=j79Ragouh\l dei= h9ma~j sh/meron au0lisqh=nai kai\ o9 a!nqrwpoj suggenh/j sou e0sti\ kai\ qugath\r mi/a u9pa&rxei au0tw~| kai\ au0th\ kalh\ tw~| ei1dei 6.11 L143: et dixit angelus {ad Tobi} in eis quae sunt Raguel hodie necesse est nos manere et homo ex fines tuos est et filia unica est ei et haec speciosa forma 6.12a 106: kai\ to_ dikai/wma au0th=j e0sti klhronomh=sai pate/ra au0th=j 6.12 L143: et aequitas est eius ut possedeat haereditatem patris sui

Caution is required, especially since the earlier parts of the Reginensis version do not wholly share the Third Greek’s tendency to support the majority Old Latin text when it disagrees with Sinaiticus, but there is an a priori case for suggesting that this idiosyncratic Latin Tobit is derived from a version of the Third Greek.56 If so, it would rather neatly plug the existing gap, but we would also then have to exclude the possibility that the Oxyrhynchus fragment is Third Greek – the two differ substantially where they overlap. Since, at the very least, it seems probable that the Reginensis version derives from a Long Greek version rather different from both Sinaiticus and MS 319, this would seem to indicate that either the Oxyrhynchus or the Reginensis text must reflect the existence of yet another Greek text-type within the Long tradition. We do not (and probably cannot) understand the early development of the Greek Tobit in fine detail; it is certainly questionable whether we should still be pursuing an Urtext. It appears, however, that an initial Greek translation was made from a Semitic original which was close, but not wholly identical, to that reflected in the Qumran fragments. Subsequently, a version of that translation formed the basis for the main Old Latin version, but it is clear that there was already considerable variation amongst the Greek texts: from comparison with the Qumran fragments, it appears that Sinaiticus, MS 319 and the Old Latin each individually reflect readings which are not present in the others, but which have a good claim to be early. The significant divergences between Sinaiticus and the Old Latin, in particular, are not wholly explicable in terms of later developments 53. kai > MS. 44. 54. All Third Greek MSS. except 106 lack kai. 55. Ms. 44 here in fact has leukwma. 56. In connection with the origin of L143, it is interesting to observe a series of corrections to S in 1.7, yielding … proj to qusiasthrion pantwn twn genhmatwn kai thn dekathn tou sitou kai tou oi0nou kai e0laiou kai r(own kai twn sukwn kai twn loipwn a0kroduwn e0didoun toij c.a ui9oij Leuei … . This is not apparently from the Short Greek, as are most corrections by S , but cf. L143 ad aram et decimam frumenti, uini et olei et fici et maligranati et […] grandis dabam filiis Leui.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

within the Greek and Latin traditions, and we must suppose that there were already a number of different Long Greek texts in existence when the Old Latin was first created. Amongst other things, this should warn us against a simplistic equation of the text in Sinaiticus with the ‘original’ Long Greek text. The phenomenon of multiple versions is familiar in our dealings with much ancient literature, but the diversity is more than usually pronounced in the case of Tobit. It is tempting to suppose that this early variation reflected not only the status of the text, in a canonical sense, but also a degree of dissatisfaction with the original translation. At some point, certainly, an attempt was made to re-write the Greek in a more coherent and succinct way; this attempt, based on a text which had much in common with the Vorlage of the Old Latin, gave rise to the Third Greek, and indirectly, perhaps, to a separate Old Latin version preserved in our Reginensis manuscript. This was probably only one of several, more or less independent, re-writings: if the Reginensis version does not draw on the Third Greek, then it probably draws on some similar attempt, and likewise the Oxyrhynchus fragment. The Short Greek may have a more complicated origin, but can be considered, at least in part, a re-writing of the Long.57 The Old Latin daughter of the original Greek provoked no similarly comprehensive revision, but did prove to be the unsteady foundation of a highly unstable tradition, so it may have inherited some of the features which proved so unsatisfactory to readers of the Greek text. In the light of all this, it seems unfortunate that the Third Greek has so often appeared as little more than an afterthought in discussions about the early textual development of Tobit. Despite its relatively late attestation, it is a potentially important witness to that branch of the Long Greek which gave rise to the principal Old Latin translation, and which often seems to preserve readings more original than those to be found in Sinaiticus. More importantly, perhaps, its very character offers insights into the extraordinary fragmentation and instability of the tradition overall.

Readings 1. 2.

1.19: 4Q196 )]klml, cf. S, B tw| basilei. L148, L109 have illi, but other OL regi (as also L143, Vulgate, Lucifer, De non parcendo in deum delinquentibus). 1.19: 4Q196 ]tSqr(w tlxd˚ lS[+qml h(b ylw] yb (dy [yd] t(dy ydkw; S kai o9te e0pegnwn o9ti e0gnw peri e0mou o9 basileuj kai o9ti zhtoumai tou

57. Pace Deselaers and others, it is hard to accept the idea that the Long Greek and Qumran fragments together simply represent a secondary adaptation of a Short Greek original. It is very possible, however, that the Short Greek should be viewed less as a mere adaptation of the Long, and more as a deliberate attempt to create from it (and possibly from other sources also) a new version of the story (see Bredin in this volume). Correspondingly, I am doubtful about any suggestion that it simply reflects the consolidation of a separate strand which developed organically within the mass of early Tobit versions. The textual situation is complicated, to be sure, but we are dealing with texts, copyists, and revisers, not primeval gloop.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


a)poqanein, e0fobhqhn kai a)pedrasa (cf. L143 quod cum recessissem (= resciuissem) abscondi me cum requiri me iusserat rex et occidere et timui et refugi; B e0pignouj de o9ti zhtoumai a)poqanein, fobhqeij a)nexwrhsa). OL et quaerebat me occidere (L62 interficere) ego autem fugi; L109, creatively, commotus ira querebat animam meam et cum uiderem propositum malignitatis eius occultans me fugii. 3. 1.21: 4Q196 +rr) yrw+l; S ta o0rh 70Ararat (cf. B); L135 in montes ararat, cf. L130 in montes sarrat. Probably influenced by common usage, however, L148 in montem Ararath (and L143 in montem Arath). 4. 1.22: S kai kathlqon … e0k deuteraj and the equivalent in 4Q196 is lacking in most OL, but cf. L130 tunc descendi in Nineue. et erat amicus meus que erat superatt(endatus) et procurator domus. et exactor. et suasit regi Assiriorum. et restituit me rex Archedonosor iterum. This is close to L143 tunc descendi in Niniue et erat amicus meus qui erat propositus super annulis et procurator et suasit regi Assyriorum et praestituit me rex Acedonossar iterum, and it is possible that it does not represent the original reading of the main OL tradition. Note erat amicus meus for h0n o9 a)rxioinoxooj; cf. the proposed hwh yXxS)X of 4Q196. 5. 1.22: 4Q196 ytxp#m Nmw yb) tyb Nmw hwh yx)X rXbX; only partially reflected in S h0n de e0cadelfoj mou kai e0k thj suggeniaj mou, but the OL, like B (h0n de e0cadelfoj mou), is even shorter: most of the texts have no equivalent, and L148 has just erat enim consobrinus meus. Note, however, that L143 has equivalents to all three elements of the Aramaic, although the last is a strange one: erat autem Achicarus compatruelis meus ex cognatione mea et ex cognatione regis; compatruelis meus would seem to be the equivalent of yb) tyb Nm, which is the element missing in S. 6. 2.1: 4Q196 [y]l [twh )y(]wb# gx lacks the explanatory note found in B, S h9 e0stin a(gia e9bdomadwn; cf. OL qui sanctus est a septimanis (or similar, although this has become a septem annis in L148!). 7. 2.1: 4Q196 )k[lm] Nwdxrs) ymwybw; S kai e0pi Saxerdonoj basilewj; > OL except L62 et cum sub Archedonasa rege. 8. 2.1: 4Q196 ydk, cf. L7, L62 (and L109) cum, B o9te); > S. 9. 2.2: 4Q196 yrb2; S paidion; > OL, except L62, L135 fili. (It is interesting to note that it also occurs in the 1519 Constantinople edition, which has ynb hybw+ ynbl ytrm)58). 10. 2.2: 4Q196 ymX(X (rather dubious); S met' e0mou; the OL texts divide between mecum and nobiscum. 11. 3.6: 4Q200 rp(X; cf. S, B gh. DJD wrongly links with OL desuper terra(m) 58. This is the Hebrew version which was published in an edited and corrected form by Paul Fagius in 1542, and is commonly associated with his name, although the version is attested as early as the beginning of the thirteenth century in Cairo Genizah fragments. See WGS, pp. 35–37, 56. It is difficult to know what to make of such instances, where the Qumran texts correspond to individual readings in later Hebrew or Aramaic versions, but note also, e.g. 3.15 in the 1519 text wnytwlg Cr)b, where 4Q196 has )nyb# t(r) lkb, but the other ancient versions have ‘my captivity’. See also notes 61, 62, below.





15. 16.



Studies in the Book of Tobit (L130 a faciae terrae), which actually corresponds to S a)po proswpou thj ghj. OL may have been influenced by the Vulgate here, and the only Latin equivalent is in L143 (a facie terrae ut fiar) terra. 3.6: 4Q200 ] xywrhl rwm) ym( hbr[ tbc(w; cf. 319 kai luph pollh met' e0mou e0pitacon ou0n o9pwj a)n a)poluqw, B luph e0stin pollh e0n e0moi e0pitacon a)poluqhnai me. A direct address to the deity appears in S kai luph pollh met' e0mou kurie e0pitacon o9pwj a)poluqw, and in most OL et in magno sum taedio praecipe ergo domine ut dimittar (L130 recipiar). Note, however, L7 which has iam for domine. L143 has et tristitia multa est in me domine imperaui requiescam, the end of which looks like a mistranslation. 3.10: 4Q196 hwb)] tyb tyl(l, cf. L62, L130 in locum superiorem domus patris sui (and note L109 in domum patris sui in superiora,). S has ei0j to u9perw|on tou patroj au0thj, cf. L7, L135, L148 in locum superiorem patris sui. (L143 has in superiora patris sui). 3.10: 4Q200 yb)] (Sm#y )wlw (m#)S [dw( )wl, cf. 319 kai mhketi … a)kouw e0gw kai o9 pathr mou. S has kai mhketi … a)kousw e0n th| zwh| mou. L148 combines both endings et iam nullum … audiam in uita mea neque ego neque pater meus; most OL is similar, but lacks in uita mea. L143 refers only to the father: et non audiat … pater meus amplius. 3.15: 4Q196 ym]# tl(X[g )lw; S kai ou0xi e0moluna mou to o0noma mou; L148, L135 et non coinquinaui corpus meum, but L130 (cf. L143) et non coinquinaui nomen meum; other OL texts omit any reference to Sarah herself.59 3.15: 4Q196 h[wh) y]d rbl y#pX[n r+n) yd h]l [yty) )]l bXyXrXqXwX hl x)Sw,X hl cf. B ou0de a)delfoj e0gguj ou0de u9parxwn au0tw| ui9oj, i9na sunth– rhsw e0mauthn au0tw| gunaika. S has ou0de a)delfoj au0tw| e0gguj ou0te suggenhj au0tw| u9parxei, i9na sunthrhsw e0mauthn au0tw| gunaika; cf. L148 neque frater est illi quisquam, uel proximus aut propinquus, ut custodiat me illi uxorem. Other OL is similar (note, however, L143 nec frater est illi iuxta neque cognatus meus superest, qui conseruet me illi et tradat in matrimonio). 4.6: 4Q200 tm)]hX tw#(b yk. 319, B make the second person explicit dioti poiountoj sou (B thn) a)lhqeian; cf. OL quoniam agente te ex ueritate, or similar (some make ‘truth’ the direct object, as does L143 quoniam facientem te ueritatem). Probably influenced by what follows, S has dioti oi9 poiountej a)lhqeian. 5.19: 4Q197 ]◦)kw yrb P[skb] qbdy l)S[; S, B a)rgurion tw| a)rguriw| mh fqasai a)lla periyhma tou paidiou h9mwn genoito; L148 nunquam esset pecunia illa sed purgamento sit. Other OL is similar, but L7, L135 add filio meo at end, and L62 adds sine filio meo. Note the expansive L109 et utinam necesset pecunia illa et haberetur pro purgamento tantum ut unica spes domus nostre non peregrinatur filius meus. L143 has just omnis pecunia purgamento.

59. Since o0noma is more easily confused with swma than nomen with corpus, this confusion may indicate correction toward a Greek text, if it is not just the result of influence from the previous verse.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


19. 5.21: 4Q197 yrb; S to paidion h9mwn, cf. OL filius noster. > B. 20. 5.21: 4Q197 ytx) hl ypct l)w ylxdt l)X; S mh logon e0xe mh fobou peri au0twn a)delfh. OL nihil timueris de illo soror, or similar (but > L62). > B. 21. 6.3: 4Q197 )]mZyl(1; S to paidion; cf. B to de paidarion. All OL names him: Thobias, or similar. 22. 6.3: 4Q197 )]myl( lgr; S ton poda tou paidariou. In OL (as B), the fish seeks to eat the boy himself, but L135, L148 precede with et circumplexus pedes illius. 23. 6.6: 4Q197 lk)w (cf. 4Q196 l[k)w); S kai e0fagen; the only OL text to have this is the distinct L143 et manducauerunt (cf. B e0fagon). The issue may be complicated by a desire to avoid any suggestion that the angel actually ate. 24. 6.6: 4Q196 )xrw)l; cf. L148 in uia. Other OL is similar, except L7 (in uictu) and L62, where it is lacking, as in S. (L143 has reliquum autem eius in uiam reliquit!). Note 319 ei0j thn o9don. 25. 6.6: 4Q197 )dx[k] N[w]hXySrt Nylz); S kai e0poreuqhsan a)mfoteroi koinwj (B kai w(deuon a)mfoteroi). The main OL tradition has just et coeperunt iter agere or similar. Note, however, L143 et abierunt utrique. 26. 6.7: 4Q196 ]hdXbSkw )nwn bSbSl[b, cf. 4Q197 hdb]kSbwS )nwn bblb. S e0n th| kardia| kai tw| h9pati tou i0xquoj (kai e0n th| xolh|). OL has the order hoc fel cor et iecor piscis; cf. B to h9par kai h9 kardia kai h9 xolh tou i0xquoj. 27. 6.9: S e0mfushsai e0p' au0touj e0pi twn leukwmatwn; 106 h0 e0mfusisai ei0j au0touj; OL likewise has it as an explicit alternative:60 uel ad flandum (L7 ad fiendum, L130 afflatur) in ipsis oculorum maculis (L62 just et aflatur in illis, which lacks the vel, but is otherwise very like 106); cf. 319 h0 e0mfushsai ei0j au0touj e0pi twn leukwmatwn. 28. 6.11: 106, B kai (> B) ei0pen o9 a)ggeloj, cf. L143 et dixit angelus; S legei79Rafahl. OL (et) dixit Raphahel angelus, or similar. 29. 6.11: 4Q197 hl rm)w hn) )h hXlS[ rm)w yx)X hyXbX[w]+X )mS[yl(l; S tw| paidariw| Twbeia a)delfe kai ei0pen au0tw| i0dou e0gw kai ei0pen au0tw|. Abbreviated to Tobias frater or omitted in most OL (cf. B), but L7 has Tobias frater ille dixit quid est cui dixit and L130 Tobiae frater et ille respondit quid est et dixit. Note the elaborated L109 (dixit Rafael angelus) ad Tobiam audi me frater Tobia et non pretereas consilium meum et respondens Tobi ait et quod consilium tuum frater et dixit angelus ad eum. 30. 6.11: 4Q197 )nwb) tyb Nm; S, B, 106 suggenhj sou; cf. OL propinquus tuus, or similar. (L143 ex fines tuos). 31. 6.11: 4Q197 ]hryp#; 106 kalh tw| ei0dei,61 cf. L143 speciosa forma. 319 kalh (o0noma Sarra), OL speciosam (nomine Sarram), or similar (L130 bonam). > S, B. 60. Fitzmyer, Tobit, pp. 200, 209, translates S as though it also had h0 here, but the clause, as it stands, is more naturally read as a specification of the previous statement. 61. Note that this phrase has been repeated at the beginning of 6.12 through a typographical error in WGS, p. 188.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

32. 6.12: OL accipe illam uxorem (L135 ipsam ergo accipe uxorem), cf. 319 kai tauthn labein gunaika. > S, B, 106. 33. 6.12: OL et constabilita, cf. 319 kai e0stamenon. > S, B, 106. 34. 6.12: S kai o9 pathr au0thj kaloj; 106 kai o9 pathr au0thj a)gapa| au0thn (=319); L148 et pater ipsius diligat illam (other OL similar). 4Q197 hl ]Mxr hwb)Xw. 35. 6.12: 4Q197 )hwb)[ … ] K[ … ; very fragmentary, but cf. 319 kai o9sa kekthtai au0th didwsin kai soi dedikaiwtai klhronomhsai ton patera au0thj kai soi kaqeikh labein au0thn, OL et quaecunque possedit illi tradet tibi ergo destinata est haereditas patris eius (or similar). > S, B, 106. 36. 6.13: S kai ei0pen dedikaiwtai soi labein au0thn, OL et te oportet accipere illam; cf. 4Q197 hbs]mXl rzg )+#q Nyd Kyl(w. > 106, B. 37. 6.13: 106, B nun; cf. OL nunc. > S. 38. 6.13: 4Q197 hnmyqtX … llmtX[. S has first-person forms: kai lalhsw … i9na lhmyomeqa, cf. 106 kai lalhsw … kai a(rmwswmeqa. 319 has kai lalhson … kai lhmyomeqa. B has just the initial lalhsw. Most OL is similar to L148 et loquere … et accipiemus, and so corresponds to 319, but note L130 accipe for accipiemus. Regarding the initial tX on each of the verbs, DJD, 19 p. 49 notes that nw might also be read: Beyer p. 139 adopts that reading in both places, but hnmyqnw … llmt would correspond to the 319, OL readings. 39. 6.13: S tw| patri (cf. B tw| patri au0thj) > 106, OL, 4Q197. 40. 6.13: 4Q197 )d )t[m]lS(Sb,S cf. S peri tou korasiou1. 319, 106 peri au0thj, cf. OL de illa (L62 illam). 41. 6.13: 4Q197 hnbstw: Greek and OL only reflect the first two verbs directly. 42. 6.13: S e0k79Ragouhl; 106 e0k79Ragwn; OL ex Rages, or similar. (319 apparently e0p’ au0tw|, but Hanhart’s note is confusing). 43. 6.13: 4Q197 (dy )Swh ySd;X cf. 319, 106 o9ti ginwskei, OL nouit enim quia, or similar (but cf. L7 certus sum). > S. 44. 6.13: OL accepta filia illius (cf. S labein thn qugatera au0tou) has apparently dropped out of L148. 45. 6.13: 4Q197 Nd )ylyl, cf. S thn nukta tauthn2. > OL, 319. 46. 6.14: 106, B tw| a)ggelw|. S tw| 79Rafahl. OL has both: Raphahel angelo, or similar. 47. 6.14: S kai a)peqnh|skon; > 106, 319, OL 48. 6.15: 106 a)po tou pneumatoj tou a)kaqartou o9ti filei au0thn kai; OL hoc daemonium quoniam diligit illam et, or similar (cf. 319 a)po tou daimoniou toutou o9ti filei au0thn kai); B is rather different, but includes (foboumai) … o9ti daimonion filei au0thn. Note 4Q197 )d#,62 4Q196 hlS MX[x]rX yXdX (reading doubtful, but cf. 4Q197 ] yd). > S (and L109). 49. 6.15: S, B, 106 ei0j ton tafon au0twn, cf. L7 in sepulturam, L62, L135 in sepulchrum (L62 sepulcra) eorum. The other OL readings L148 ad inferos, L130 ab inferos may show Vulgate influence. 62. The second reference found to a demon in this verse on 4Q196 by DJD would be paralleled in none of the versions, but the reading is very doubtful.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


50. 6.15: L148 et possideat h(a)ereditatem illorum, or similar (> L62). L7 has qui sit eis haeres, and no reference to burial. > S, B, 106. 51. 6.16: 106, B kai ei0pen au0tw| (B ei0pen de au0tw|; au0tw| > 107) o9 a)ggeloj; cf. OL et dixit Raphahel angelus, or similar, cf. 319 kai legei au0tw| 9Rafahl. S kai legei au0tw|. 52. 6.17: 4Q196 ] bbl Nm b[s; L135 tolle cor et iecor piscis, cf. 106 thn kardian tou i0xquoj kai to h9par. S e0k tou h9patoj tou i0xquoj kai thn kardian and other OL reverse the order. Note, though, that S is otherwise closer to the Aramaic. 53. 6.18: 106, B a)po tou ai0wnoj; S pro ou ai0wnoj, cf. OL ante saecula (>L62). Note that 4Q197 has a lacuna here, but the size of this, and the preceding ‫ךלו‬, suggest that additional material was present; cf. L7 tibi enim destinata est et disposita ante saecula. 54. 6.18: S mh logon e0xe > L148, but cf. L7, L62 noli uerere; L130 noli ergo uereri; L135 et nunc noli uerere. 55. 6.18: 4Q197 Nmw; cf. OL et de. S e0k. 56. 6.18: S leian h0gaphsen au0thn is reflected only in L109. (Note 4Q196 hmx]r )ygX#; 4Q197 hmxr )ygX[#) 57. 6.18: 4Q197 )[dxl]; cf. B sfodra. The reading is uncertain, but there is nothing to correspond with it in S, OL. 58. 7.1: 4Q197 hybw+; cf. OL T(h)obias. > S. 59. 7.1: 4Q197 hlS [rm); cf. S legei au0tw|. OL dixit … angelo (L109, L130 ad angelum). 60. 7.1: 4Q197 l)w(r tybl )+y#q, but S eu0qeian proj 9Ragouhl. OL is mixed: L62 recte ad Raguelem, L135 rectum ad Raguel, L148 uiam rectam ad Raguhelem, but L7 recto in domum Raguel, L130 rectae ad domum Raguelis, cf. L109 recte me duc ad domum Raguel. 61. 7.1: 4Q197 )nwx), cf. S ton a)delfon h9mwn. > OL. 62. 7.1: S kai a)phgagen au0ton ei0j ton oi0kon 79Ragouhlou. L148 has just et uenerunt, and other OL is similar (on L109, see below); the verb corresponds more closely to B kai paregeneto ei0j thn oi0kian 79Ragouhl, and to 106 kai paregenonto proj 79Ragouhl. 4Q197 l)w(r [tybl w]lz)w hrbdw has equivalents to both the a)phgagen au0ton of S and the paregenonto of 106; the only other text to do so is L109 (et his dictis) direxerunt ducante angelo ad domum illius, which is probably a secondary reconciliation of the different traditions. 63. 7.1: 4Q196 bty l)w(rXl wxkX[#]hw, cf. 4Q197 btS[y l])XwX(XrX[l w]xXk#)w. S, 106, OL have only a pronominal object. 64. 7.1: 4Q197 yx)S [M]lS#b wl(w Nwtyt) Ml#l, cf. 4Q196 NwtSyt)S MSl#Sl ]Ml#[b w]lS(w. S has xairete polla a)delfoi kai kalwj h0lqate u9giainontej, and OL bene ualeatis, fratres, intrate salui et sani is probably derived from this, or something similar. 106 is rather different: e0n ei0rhnh a)delfoi ei0selqete ei0j ton oi0kon tou a)delfou u9mwn. None of the versions seem to render Nwtyt) directly, and it is possible that yx) or similar has been read in its place. (Note B just has kai e0xairetisen au0ton kai au0toj au0touj.)


Studies in the Book of Tobit

65. 7.2: 4Q197 ydd rb; reflected in OL consobrini mei / consobrino meo. S, 106 have tw| a)delfw| mou, perhaps an error for the tw| a)neyiw| mou found in B. 66. 7.4: S kai ei0pen au0toij u9giainei (cf. A), OL et illa dixit; the Third Greek mss. are confused in this section, but all read ei0pen / ei0pan u9giainei. 4Q197 has just )wh Ml#h. 67. 7.5: S kai zh| (cf. A), OL et uiuit. >4Q197, 106. 68. 7.5: OL de quo quaeris, or similar; > S, B, 106, 4Q197. Perhaps explicatory. 69. 7.7: S kai e0lalhsen (cf. B kai eu0loghsen); > 106, OL. 70. 7.9: S e0k probatwn (cf. B probatwn); 4Q197 x]bX+S. > 106, OL. 71. 7.9: 4Q197 ] ht#mlw lk)ml [ . S deipnh=sai, 106 ei0j to_ dei=pnon; cf. OL ad cenandum (various spellings, and note L135 cenam). This might just be a loose rendering. 72. 7.9: 106, B lalhson; S ei0pon. It is, of course, hard to say which of these underlies OL dic. 73. 7.10: 106, B proj Twb(e)ian, cf. L135 Tobiae (other OL illi). S tw| paidi. 74. 7.10: S a)delfe; >OL, 106. 75. 7.10: OL et tibi Sarra; >S. 76. 7.11: S kai kurioj poihsei e0n u9min; > 106, OL. 77. 7.11: L148 ex his dictis adiecit, dicens; > S, 106, other OL 78. 7.11: S eu0odwsei u9maj paidion, cf. B eu0odwsei u9min;106 eu0odwsei h9min; OL bene disponat uobis, or similar. The first person plural form in 106 is probably an error within the Third Greek transmission; note 44, 610 u9min, and the Syriac. 79. 7.13: S, 106 thn mhtera au0thj (B 70Ednan thn gunaika au0tou); OL matrem puell(a)e (L148 matrem et puellam,). 80. 7.13: 106 kai h0negken h9 mhthr au0thj kai e0graye kai e0sfragisanto, OL et attulit mater illius chartam et ille scripsit et signauit or similar (L109 et cum detulisset mater illius cartam scripsit uerbas promissionis ei signabit) (cf. B, 4Q196 ]Mtxw[ ); > S. 81. 7.16: 106 kai e0poihsen ou9twj70Edna (70Edna > 107) is superficially similar to B kai e0poihsen w(j ei0pen, but both probably summarise S kai badisasa e0strwsen ei0j to tameion w(j ei0pen au0th|. 82. 7.17: S qarsei qugater2 (=B); > 106, OL. Cf. on 8.21. 83. 8.1: 106, B ei0shgagon Twbian; S a)phgagon ton neaniskon. The OL is mixed, and lends support to both readings: L62, L148 (de)duxerunt iuuenem; L135 deduxerunt Tobiam (L7 induxerunt illum). 84. 8.3: 106, B e0fugen; S a)pedramen. OL refugit. 85. 8.4: S au0th|; 106 proj Sarran cf. OL Sarr(a)e. (> B.) 86. 8.4: S, 106 kai swthrian; > OL (cf. B, but the whole expression is differently phrased there). 87. 8.5: L62, L148 dixerunt, L135 et dixit Tobias; >L7. The Greek versions make the verb sing., with Tobit as subject, so L135 is probably original. 88. 8.5: S o9 qeoj; 106 kurioj o9 qeoj cf. OL domine deus (but L62 deus). 89. 8.5: S ei0j pantaj touj ai0wnaj2; > 106, OL

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


90. 8.6: 106, B kai e0dwkaj; cf. OL et dedisti. S kai e0poihsaj. 91. 8.6: S thn gunaika au0tou (cf. B, 106); > OL. 92. 8.6: S kai su ei0paj o9ti ou0 kalon ei0nai ton a)nqrwpon monon poihswmen au0tw| bohqon o9moion au0tw| (cf. B, 106); > OL. 93. 8.7: 106 kurie su ginwskeij; OL domine tu scis. Note B kurie. > S. 94. 8.7: S, B e0lehsai me kai au0thn (B au0th|); 106 e0pi tw| e0lehqhnai h9maj kurie e0me te kai au0thn (107 omits e0me te kai au0thn); OL ut (> L7) miserearis nostri (L135 nobis) domine. 95. 8.7: L148 sani cum pace; L135 sana pariter cum pace; L7, L62 pariter sani. > S. 96. 8.7: 106 kai doj h9min kurie tekna kai eu0logian; cf. L135, L148 et da nobis filios (> L135) in benedictione (L135 +filios), but lacking in L7, L62; > S, B. 97. 8.8: S meq' e9autwn; 106 koinh|; B (ei0pen) met' au0tou; > OL. 98. 8.9: 106 tafon th| nukti tauth|, cf. L148 foueam per noctem, but other OL just fossam, as S tafon. 99. 8.10: S (cf. B) a)poqanh|; OL moriatur Tobias. Probably explicatory. 100. 8.10: S genwmeqa; 106 genwmai, cf. L148 fiam, L7 sum, but L62 simus. L135 has impersonal fiat. 101. 8.12: 106 ei0j ton koitwna, cf. L148 ad cubiculum (but > other OL). > S, B. 102. 8.12: S ei0selqousa; >106, B, OL. 103. 8.13: S kaqeudontaj kai u9pnountaj; 106 kaqeudontej, cf. B kaqeudontaj; OL dormientes. 104. 8.14: 106, B a)phggeilen, but the subject in 106 is Edna, and in B is the maid, as for S u9pedeicen (and OL nunciauit, although the subject is not explicit there). Note that the other Third Greek mss. 44, 107 and 610 read e0chlqe70Edna| kai a)phggeile. 105. 8.15: OL Raguhel (or similar), cf. B 79Ragouhl; the name also appears in L109 and Vulg. > S, 106, both of which also make the verb here plural. 106. 8.15: S ton qeon tou ou0ranou … qee, cf. B ton qeon … o9 qeoj; 106 ton qeon … kurie o9 qeoj tou ou0ranou kai thj ghj; OL deum coeli (L130, L135 caeli) … domine, but note L7 dominum coeli … deus, L62 domino … deus. Note Hanhart’s group ‘a’ MSS. (& MS. 126) in the Short Greek read ton kurion … kurie o9 qeoj. It is hard to establish relationships, but B, 106 and OL show similarities over and against S. With the longer address in 106, cf. )(r)w )ym#d )hl) `yy t) Kyrb in the late Aramaic version published by Neubauer.63 107. 8.15: S kaqara|; 106 a(gie kai (> 44, 107, 610) kaqare kai a)miante; OL sanct(a)e et munde (L148 sancta et munda; L135 sancte benedicte). > B. 108. 8.15: 106 eu0loghsatwsan se pantej oi9 ai0wnej sou (eu0loghsatwsan … sou > 44, 107, 610) o9 tuptwn kai i0wmenoj eu0loghsatwsan se pantej oi9 a)ggeloi sou eu0loghsatwsan se (for eu0loghsatwsan se: 44, 107, 610 kai) pantej oi9 e0klektoi sou; cf. B kai eu0logeitwsan se oi9 63. A. Neubauer, The Book of Tobit. A Chaldee Text from a Unique Ms. in the Bodleian Library with Other Rabbinical Texts, English Translations and the Itala (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1878). See WGS, pp. 44–46.


109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132.

Studies in the Book of Tobit a(gioi sou kai pasai ai9 ktiseij sou pantej oi9 a)ggeloi sou kai oi9 e0klektoi sou eu0logeitwsan se ei0j touj ai0wnaj; L148 et benedicant tibi omnes electi tui et omnis creatura tua benedicat tibi, in omnia saecula saeculorum, L62, L130 benedicant te omnes (h)electi tui benedicant (> L62) te (> L62) in omnibus s(a)eculis s(a)eculorum, L135 benedicant te omnes sancti tui et omnis creatura tua in omnia saecula saeculorum, L7 benedicant te omnes sancti tui in saeculum saeculi. 106, B, OL differ somewhat in content and order, but contrast S eu0logeitwsan se ei0j pantaj touj ai0wnaj. 8.17: S, B eu0frosunhj kai e0leou (B e0leouj); 106 e0leouj kai eu0frosunhj; OL misericordia et laetitia, but L135 iocunditate et misericordia, L7 just et laetitia, cf. L62 laeticia. 8.18: OL quam fecerant = Vulg.; >S, B, 106. 8.19: S kai h0rcanto paraskeuazein; > 106, OL. 8.21: 106, B to h9misu twn u9parxontwn moi (B au0tou), cf. L130 dimidium facultatum mearum; S o9sa moi u9parxei … au0toqen to h9misu (cf. L7, L62, L148 ex eo quod possideo … partem dimidiam, L135 similar). 8.21: S qarsei paidion2; > 106, OL. Cf. on 7.17. 9.2: S kai h9ke, cf. 4Q197 ht)tX[w; > 106, most OL – but cf. L135 et perueni. 9.2: S meta sou (=106); > L148 (but cf. L135 tecum). 9.2: 106, B ton gamon; S touj gamouj, cf. OL nuptias / nupcias. 9.4: 106, B mou; cf. OL meus (but > L7). > S. 9.5: S thj Mhdiaj; > 106, OL. (Note Vulg. Medorum.) 9.5: 106 79Rafahl2; L148 Raphahel2; > S, other OL. 9.5: 106 thn qugatera79Ragouhl; L62, L148 (cf. L109) filiam Raguhel; > S, L130, L135. 9.5: 106 e0pi taj kamhlouj; L148 supra camelos (cf. L109 conpositis camelis); > S, other OL. 9.6: 106, B* h0lqosan; S ei0shlqon1. From preference in translation elsewhere, it is probable that OL uenerunt reflects the former. 9.6: S kai ei0shlqon2 > 106, OL. 10.2: L148 Thobias >S, B, 106, other OL. Note that 106 (not 44, 107) adds Twbiaj in 10.3. 10.6: S, B u9giainei, cf. L7, L62, L130 saluus est. 106 parestai o9 ui9oj h9mwn u9giainwn, cf. L135, L148 saluus est (L135 ueniet) filius noster. Note L109 uibit filius noster. 10.6: S e0kei; > 106, OL. 10.7: S, B kaq' h9meran; > 106, OL (but cf. L130, L135 cot(t)idie). 10.7: 106 kai ou0k e0geusato ou0denoj, cf. B a)rton ou0k h0sqien, OL et nihil gustabat. > S. 10.7: S poihsai th| qugatri au0tou (B poihsai au0ton); > 106, OL. 10.7: 4Q200 hmhl. The only possible correspondence is L109 illi, which refers to Tobias. 10.7: 4Q200 wtb hr#l tw#(l. S th| qugatri au0tou lacks the name; B au0ton. > 106, OL. 10.7: 4Q200 [y]nS)rt r#) tnm)m hnny) ym) P)[w Nym)m wnny) yb) ]; the

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit

133. 134.

135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140.

141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146.

147. 148. 149.


restoration is broadly confirmed by the legible verbs. S o9 pathr mou kai h9 mhthr mou ou0 pisteuousin o9ti o0yontai me, and B o9 pathr mou kai h9 mhthr mou ou0keti e0lpizousin o0yesqai me consolidate the subjects, as does OL pater meus et mater mea non credunt se uisuros (L130 uisurum) me. Note the distinctive reading of L62 parentes mei non credunt se uisuros faciem meam, cf. 106 o9 pathr mou kai h9 mhthr mou a)gwniwsin ei0 e0ti o0yontai to proswpon mou. 10.7: 4Q200 MytbXzX(S. S a)fhka au0ton, and the object is illum / eum in OL. The sentence > 106, B. 10.8: 4Q200 yt) KxS ynb, cf. S paidion meinon met' e0mou. B meinon par' e0moi, and 106 su de meinon e0ti o0ligaj h9meraj met' e0mou (met' e0mou > 44, 107) lack an equivalent to ynb, as does most OL: remane hic penes me; however, L62 adds fili at the end. 10.8: 4Q200 ybw+; cf. S Twbein, 106 Twbht. > B, OL (but note Tobiam in some Vulgate mss.). 10.8: S meinon1 > 4Q200, B, 106, OL. 10.9: 106, B Twb(e)iaj, cf. L62, L130 Tobias (also L109), but > S, other OL. 10.10: S, B Sarran thn gunaika au0tou; 106 Sarran thn qugatera au0tou; OL Sarram filiam suam. 10.11: S au0touj (=106, B); OL illum, but cf. L109 illos. Note that S, 106 switch to a singular object in the next clause, which has probably influenced the change here. 10.12: S kai ei0pen Sarra| th| qugatri au0tou (cf. B kai ei0pen th| qugatri au0tou). 106 kai e0filhse Sarran thn qugatera au0tou kai Twbian kai ei0pen au0th|; cf. L62 et osculatus est eum et Sarrae filiam sue dixit, but other OL includes a reference to seizing: et adpr(a)ehendit illam (L7, L135 -um) et salutans (> L7, L135) osculatus est (L7, L135 +et) Sar(r)am filiam suam et dixit illi. 10.12: 106, B tima, cf. OL honorem habe (L62 defer); S u9page proj. 10.12: S proj ton penqeron sou subsequently picked up with plural pronoun (cf. B touj penqerouj sou); 106 ton penqeron sou kai thn penqeran sou; OL socero tuo et socrui tuae, or similar. 10.12: OL et gaudium (L62 ut gaudeam) > S, B. 10.12: S a)pelusen au0touj; L148 dimisit illam. Note illam > L7, L130; L62 has eam, only L109 illos. 10.12: S kurioj … e0nwpion tou kuriou; 106 … e0nwpion tou kuriou; OL dominus coeli … coram domino coeli. 10.12: S kai i0doimi sou tekna e9wj zw kai Sarraj thj qugatroj mou; L148 et det mihi ut uideam filios de Sarra filia mea (cf. B kai dw|h moi i0dein sou paidia e0k Sarraj thj qugatroj mou). L62, L135 (and L109) filios tuos; L130 tibi filios. The sentence > 106. 10.12: S pro tou me a)poqanein; OL antequam moriar ut delecter (cf. B i9na eu0franqw). 10.12: OL Sarram2 (> L135) > S, B, 106. 10.12: S Sarra a)delfh; 106 Sarra h9 a)delfh sou; L148 et Sarra uxor tua, but cf. L130, L62, L135, L7 Sarra soror tua.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

150. 10.12: S eu0odwqeihmen pantej e0n tw| au0tw| pasaj taj h9meraj e0n th| zwh| h9mwn; L148 diligat te dominus et illam, ut sitis in loco sanctitatis omnibus diebus uitae uestrae. > 106, B. L109, L130, L62, L7 dirigat for diligat. Probably based on a misreading of the Greek. 151. 10.13: S u9giainwn; > 106, OL. B lacks both this and xairwn. 152. 10.13: 106, B ton qeon, cf. L130, L148 deum. However, L7, L62, L135 dominum supports S tw| kuriw|. 153. 10.13: B kai kateulogei 79Ragouhl kai 70Ednan thn gunaika au0tou, cf. OL et benedixit Raguheli et Annae uxori illius, or similar. > S, 106. 154. 11.1: S kai w(j h0ggisan; 106 kai e0poreuqhsan thn o9don au0twn kai h0lqon (cf. B kai e0poreueto mexrij ou9 e0ggisai), cf. OL et profecti sunt (L135 -us est; L62 et proficiscentes) et (> L62, L135) ibant (> L135) donec uenirent. (L130 et proficiscebatur deueniret, L7 et profectus ibat). 155. 11.1: S Kaserein; 106 Kaisareian; L148 Charam (other OL similar; note L7 Caracha). 156. 11.2: B, 106 proj Twb(e)ian; L130, L135 Tobiae frater, L148 Thobias frater (= Vulg.); L62 ad Tobiam Tobia frater (cf. L109 ad Tobiam … frater). > S. 157. 11.2 S a)fhkamen; 106 a)fhka (but 107, 44 a)fhkaj cf. B a)fhkej). OL reliqueris (L62 dimiseris); but L135 reliquerimus. 158. 11.3: OL et eamus (> L109) > S. 159. 11.3: S e0n w(| e0rxontai; 106 h9 de gunh sou paresti kata sxolhn o0pisw h9mwn; OL dum prosequitur nos puella (puella > L7, L130, L135; L62 et uilla (corr. to illa) prosequatur nos). A fuller reading, close to 106, seems to be preserved in L109 et illa cum reliquiis insequatur nos ut ueniens omnia que necessaria sunt inueniat parata ad utilitatem, and Vulgate et lento gradu sequantur nos familiae simul cum coniuge tua et cum animalibus. 160. 11.4: S kai sunhlqen au0toij o9 kurioj e0k twn o0pisw au0tou kai tou ui9ou au0thj; 106 kai o9 kuwn proetrexen e0mprosqen au0twn (cf. B kai sunhlqen o9 kuwn o0pisqen au0twn); OL et (h)abiit cum illis et canis. Famously, and rather funnily, S reflects a misreading of kuwn as kurioj; its closing au0tou kai tou ui9ou au0thj probably originated in an accidental insertion from the next verse. 161. 11.5: OL in uia (L62 ad uiam) > S. Cf. Vulg. secus uiam, but possibly a double translation of ei0j thn o9don (B) or e0pi thn o9don (106). 162. 11.9: 106, B 79Anna; OL Anna (L148 mater sua); > S. 163. 11.9: L148 Thobias etiam lacrymatus est (L130, L135, L7 et Tobis for Thobias etiam); > S, L62. 164. 11.10: 4Q200 wnSb trXq[l. DJD takes this to correspond to S kai e0badisen Twbeiaj proj au0ton, OL et occurrit illi T(h)obias, or similar. Apart from the fact that the meanings and the subjects of the verb are different, this offers nothing to fill the following, quite lengthy lacuna, only after which 11.11 begins. A better equivalent is found in 106 (kai o9te h0kouse thj fwnhj tou ui9ou au0tou h0lqen) a)panthsai au0tw| (for the first part, cf. L109 et Tobi audiens proximantem hosteo domus filium suum). Note also the

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit

165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170.


172. 173. 174. 175.

176. 177. 178. 179. 180.


Vulgate occurrit in obuiam (or Thobiam) filio suo, and the reading of the Constantinople 1516 edition: wnb t)rql (Klyw ybw+ Mqyw).64 11.10: 106, B prosedrame(n); S e0badisen. OL occurrit is closer to the former. 11.11: 106 e0pese (44 e0pase e0pi), B prosepasen ; cf. L62, L130 aspersit (and 4Q200 Cwpnw). S has e0nefushsen, which is close to the insufflauit of L135, L148, and is the verb used in 6.9. L7 has iniecit. 11.11: S o0fqalmouj au0tou (= 106); L148 oculis Thobis patris sui (cf. Vulgate; = L130, L62, L7; Thobis > L135; L109 oculos illius). 11.11: L148 illi1; > S, 106. (only in L148, L7, L130). 11.11: S e0p' au0ton; OL in oculis eius (or similar; > L109, cf. 106, L62). 11.11: 4Q200 qwrxw lends weight to Hanhart’s suggestion that S e0pedwken is an error for e0pedakh.65 The OL probably reflects e0pedakh: note especially L7 et momordit eum (!), although the usual morsum illi praebebat (or similar) could be understood as an attempt to elucidate either e0pedwken or e0pedakh. 11.13: 4Q200 ]tS) )ryw wySny(; cf. B twn o0fqalmwn au0tou (ta leukwmata) kai i0dwn (ton ui9on au0tou), OL oculorum illius et uidit filium suum (or similar). 106 has two references to seeing: kai ei0de to fwj … kai a)nebleye ei0j ton ui9on au0tou. > S. 11.14: L148 et benedixit deum. > S, other OL. 11.14: S au0tw|; > 106, B, OL. 11.14: S to fwj twn o0fqalmwn mou kai ei0pen; > 106, B, OL. 11.14: S genoito to o0noma to mega au0tou e0f' h9maj kai eu0loghtoi pantej oi9 a)ggeloi ei0j pantaj touj ai0wnaj, partly reiterating the preceding clauses; L148 sit nomen illius sanctum in omnia saecula saeculorum. The OL is somewhat varied here: note L62 sitque nomen eius benedictum in secula seculorum; L7, L130 sit nomen sanctum eius benedictus (L7 -um) in omnibus saeculis; L135 sit nomen eius sanctum et benedictum in omnia saecula. It seems likely that the original reading was close to B eu0loghton to o0noma sou ei0j touj ai0wnaj, although the OL, like S, puts the whole blessing in the third person. 11.15: OL ipse misertus est mei (L130 es mihi); B kai h0lehsaj me; > S. 11.15: 106 kai 79Anna h9 gunh au0tou; OL et Anna uxor eius (> L7, L62, L130); > S. 11.15: 106 peri pantwn twn gegenhmenwn au0toij; OL pro omnibus quae sibi euenerant (>L7, L62, L130); > S. 11.15: L148 a domino deo; > S. Other OL similar, but probably interpretative. 11.16: S xairwn kai eu0logwn ton qeon (=B); 106 kai e0xarh Twbht kai 79Anna; OL et gauisi sunt Thobis et Anna or similar (>L7, L62, L130).

64. This is the version which formed the basis of Sebastian Münster’s version, published with editions of his Hebrew grammar from about 1542. The same version is partly preserved in a Cairo Genizah text, T-S A 45.26. See WGS, pp. 32–35. 65. Hanhart, Tobit, p. 150 ad loc.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

181. 11.16: 106 Twbit; OL Thobin; > S. 182. 11.17: 106 megalh| th| fwnh|, cf. OL magna uoce (> L7, L62, L130). > S, B. 183. 11.17: L148 et ambulabat cum gaudio > other OL, S, B, 106, but cf. L109 ibat. 184. 11.17: S kai h0ggisen; 106 kai o9te h0ggise (cf. B w(j h0ggisen); OL et ut (L7 cum) adpropinquauit. 185. 11.17: S Twbeiq Sarra| th| gunaiki Twbia tou ui9ou au0tou; 106, B Twbit Sarra| th| numfh| au0tou (=B; 44 reads Sarran thn numfhn); L148 Thobias adducens Sarram uxorem suam. Of the other OL versions, L7 is closest with Tobias adducens Sarram ad eum; L130 has Tobis adducens nurum suam; L62, L135 have Tobis (L62 Tobi) ad Sarram nurum suam, which is close to 106 and is probably the original reading. The following +Thobis in L148 is probably added as a consequence. 186. 11.17: L7, L148 Sarra; > S, B, 106. 187. 11.17: S qugater2; > 106, B, OL. 188. 11.17: 106, B, Sc.a kai h9 mhthr sou, cf. OL et (…) mater tua (> L7, L62). > S*. 189. 11.17: S ei0selqe qugater > OL. It is redundant in the Greek. 190. 11.17: OL magnum (> L62) >S, B, 106 (but note Syriac )tBr). 191. 11.18: L135, L148 auunculus illius; cf. B o9 e0cadelfoj au0tou. However, for S, 106 oi9 e0cadelfoi au0tou, cf. L130 consobrini illius; note the eccentric L62 sorores illius, and L7 in nauis soceri illius. 192. 11.19: B kai h0xqh o9 gamoj Twbeia met' eu0frosunhj e9pta h9meraj; cf. OL et consummatae sunt nuptiae cum gaudio septem diebus (+et data sunt illi munera multa), or similar; > S, 106. 193. 12.1: S paidion (cf. B teknon); > 106, OL (but cf. L62 fili). 194. 12.1: S o9ra dounai … prosqeinai (cf. B o9ra … kai prosqeinai au0tw| dei); 106 a)podwmen … kai e0piprosqwmen; OL reddamus … et adiiciamus (L7, L62 adponamus, L130 apponamus, L135 augeamus). (Cf. 4Q196 ]hXrg) hl Ntnw). 195. 12.3: 106 dioti (cf. B o9ti); OL enim (>L62, which has abbreviated the whole speech); > S. 196. 12.4: S pantwn w(n (=B, 106); L148 horum quae (= toutwn w(n?); other OL similar. 197. 12.5: S, 106 kai e0kalesen au0ton kai ei0pen, cf. L135, L7 et uocauit illum et dixit; but L148 et uocauit illum Thobias et dixit ei, L62 et uocauit Tobias Raphael angelum et dixit illi (cf. B kai e0kalesen ton a)ggelon kai ei0pen au0tw|). Note the Syriac hL rM])w yhYrQ]w, which has an equivalent to ei/illi without the proper names. 198. 12.6: B megalwsunhn didote au0tw| kai e0comologeisqe au0tw|; OL et ipsius maiestati date honorem et confitemini illi or similar (but > L62, which then has et illum glorificate); > S, 106. 199. 12.6: 106, B a)gaqon gar (>B) to eu0logein ton qeon kai u9youn (B u9yoin) (note all > 44, 107); S a)gaqa tou eu0logein kai u9mnein. The construction of S, where a)gaqa agrees with the preceding a( e0poihsen meq'

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


201. 202. 203. 204.


206. 207. 208. 209. 210. 211. 212. 213. 214. 215. 216. 217. 218. 219.


u9mwn, is difficult. OL bona ut benedicatis (L62 -ite) deo (L130 deum, L62 eum) et decantetis (L62 -ate) follows it in this, but reflects the ton qeon of 106, B. 12.6: B touj logouj twn e0rgwn tou qeou e0ntimwj u9podeiknuontej; S touj logouj tou qeou u9podiknute pasin a)nqrwpoij e0ntimwj (cf. 106 touj logouj tou qeou a)paggeilate e0ntimwj); OL et sermones de operibus eius honorifice ostendite. 12.6: S mh o0kneite e0comologeisqai au0tw| (=B); OL et confitemini illi; > 106. 12.7: S to a)gaqon poieite kai kakon ou0x eu9rhsei u9maj (cf. B a)gaqon poihsate kai kakon ou0k eu9rhsei u9maj); > OL, 106 (but note the Syriac )tB8+ )L) .nwKB xKt$N )L 4Y]Bdw )tB8+ dB(MLw). 12.8: 106, B nhsteiaj, cf. OL ieiunio; S a)lhqeiaj. 12.8: B a)gaqon to o0ligon meta dikaiosunhj h0 polu meta a)dikiaj; OL melius est modicum (L135 parum) cum iustitia quam plurimum cum iniquitate (melius … iustitiam > L62); S mallon h0 ploutoj meta a)dikiaj (referring to the preceding e0lehmosunh meta dikaiosunhj); > 106. 12.8: 106 u9per a)mfotera; OL super utrumque autem (> L62, L135); > S. In 106 it may have been intended as an assertion that e0lehmosunh meta dikaiosunhj is better than proseuxh meta nhsteiaj; the following saying, with which it is linked in OL, is lacking in 106. 12.9: 106 gar; OL quia (L130 enim; > L62); > S. (> B and many other MSS., but cf. A). 12.9: S pasan (=B, cf. 106 pashj); > OL, cf. Vulgate. A doctrinal change? 12.9: L148 et miserationem ; > S, B, 106. Probably a double rendering of e0lehmosunhn; cf. L135, which omits the preceding eleemosynam but has miserationes; > L130, L62, L109. 12.9: B kai dikaiosunaj; OL et iustitiam (> L62); > S, 106. 12.9: 106 e0mplhsqhsontai, cf. B plhsqhsontai; S xortasqhsontai. OL saturabantur could reflect either. 12.10: S zwhj (=B, 106); L148 uita aeterna. Interpretative/doctrinal; > L130, L62. 12.12: 106, B kai h9 numfh sou, cf. L62 nurus tua; > S, other OL.66 12.12: S kuriou; 106 qeou; OL dei. 12.12: L130, L148 et legi; > other OL, S, B, 106. 12.14: S kai a(ma a)pestalken me o9 qeoj i0asasqai; > L148, but present in other OL (scribal error). 12.15: B a(giwn; OL sanctis (>L62); > S, 106. 12.15: OL makes the second and third verbs first person plural (cf. Vulg.). 12.15: 106 qeou, cf. OL dei; S kuriou (the sentence as a whole is rather different). B has a(giou. 12.17: OL Raphahel,or similar, > S, B, 106.

66. Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 294, takes numfh here to mean ‘bride’, which would be awkward, but the sense ‘daughter-in-law’ is probable in 1 Kgdms (1 Samuel) 4.19, and perhaps Mt. 10.35; cf. H.J. Liddell, R. Scott and H.S. Jones, A Greek–English Lexicon (2 vols, 9th edn, Oxford: Clarendon, 1940).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

220. 12.18: S e0gw o9te h0mhn meq' u9mwn ou0xi th| e0mh| xariti h0mhn, cf. OL etenim cum essem uobiscum non mea gratia eram, or similar; cf. also 4Q196 Nwkm( tywX[h, unless that corresponds to the second h0mhn meq' u9mwn. 106, B o9ti ou0 th| e0mh| (B e0mautou) xariti. Note P. Oxy 1594 e0gw meqS(') u9mwn ou0xX oZti th|X e0mautou xariti h0mhn, which seems to have elements of both the S and the 106/B readings. 221. 12.18: S meq' u9mwn2; > L148, cf. L135; it is present, however, in L130 and L62. 222. 12.19: S o9ti ou0k e0fagon ou0qen a)lla o9rasij u9min e0qewreito; > L148 (cf. Mazarine 257 [Beuron 159A], which has only et uidebatis67). Scribal error; Sabatier emends his text from L7 quia manducabam sed uisu uestro uidebatis. Note also L130 manducantem uisui uestro uidebatis me quia bibebam; L135 quia manducabam sed uiso uestro uidebatis; L62 manducare uisu uestro uidebatis. (L109 paraphrases). Note that the negatives of S are lacking throughout OL, giving a less confusing explanation. 223. 12.19: 4Q196 ] tSyt#) )[l; B, 106 ou0de e0pion; cf. L130 quia bibebam (on the other OL, see above). S ou0qen. 224. 12.20: 4Q200 hzh h#(mh[ lwk. B panta ta suntelesqenta, cf. 106 tauta panta. There is no equivalent to the personal pronoun in S panta tauta ta sumbanta u9min; cf. OL omnia (haec) quae contigerunt uobis (L62 haec que uobis contigerunt). 225. 12.20: S eu0logeite e0pi thj ghj; 106 a)nasth|te e0k thj ghj; L135, L148 surgite a terra (but other OL are similar to S). 226. 12.20: 106, B ei0j biblion; > S, OL. 227. 12.22: 4Q200 Myhmwtw lwdgh wX#X[(m l(.68 B is closest ta e0rga ta megala kai qaumasta au0tou, but all make the ‘deed’ plural, effectively generalising: S e0pi ta e0rga au0tou ta megala tauta; OL in omnibus operibus magnis (or magnis operibus) illius; 106 e0pi ta e0rga au0tou. 228. 13.1: 4Q200 tSXxwb#tb hlht bwtkw ybw+ rbd Nkb; cf. OL tunc locutus est Thobis et (L130 sed) scripsit orationem in laetitia (L135 et laetitiam). Note L62 tunc Tobi scripsit oracionem in laeticia, cf. B kai Twbeit e0grayen proseuxhn ei0j a)galliasin, 106 kai e0graye Twbeit thn proseuxhn tauthn ei0j a)galliasin (and also L109 et tunc Tobi scribens orationem). > S. 229. 13.1: The second-person address to God is found only in L148, L62. Note that it returns to the third person before the end of the verse (illius/eius). Probably Vulgate or liturgical influence. 230. 13.1: S o9 zwn (=B, 106, 4Q200); L148 quia magnus es et uiuis. Possibly combining two readings, one from Jerome: et uiuis > L130, L62, L7, L109; magnus es(t) (cf. Vulgate) > L135 (L62 has et magnus). 231. 13.1: 4Q200 wtwklm h)yh Mymlw(h lwkl r#). S, B link the perpetuity with ‘living’: ei0j ton ai0wna (B touj ai0wnaj) kai h9 basileia au0tou. 106 duplicates it: ei0j touj ai0wnaj o9ti ei0j pantaj touj ai0wnaj h9 basileia 67. See P.-M. Bogaert, “Fragments de la Vieille Version Latine du Livre de Tobie”, RevBén 80 (1970), pp. 166–9; two short fragments from a binding, which reflect a text very close to 148. 68. DJD p. 71 suggests reconstructing w#[(m.

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


233. 234.


236. 237. 238. 239. 240. 241.



au0tou; cf. OL in aeternum (L7 aeuum) quoniam (in) (omnia) saecula regnum est illius (but L62 in secula et regnum eius). 13.1: S, B kai h9 basileia au0tou; 106 o9ti ei0j pantaj touj ai0wnaj h9 basileia au0tou; OL quoniam in omnia saecula regnum est illius (but L62 et regnum eius). Note also, though, that there is probably strong Vulgate influence on the OL in this section, and Vulgate here reads et in omnia saecula regnum tuum. 13.2: S katwtatw thj ghj; 106 katw (> 44, 107); OL deorsum (> L62, L135; cf. Vulgate). > B. 13.2: S a)nagei e0k thj a)pwleiaj thj megalhj; 106 a)nagei e0k thj a)pwleiaj e0n th| megalwsunh| au0tou (for a)nagei e0k thj a)pwleiaj 107 has just a)nagei, as B); OL reducet a perditione maiestate sua, or similar, but L62 has only reducit (cf. B, Vulgate reducis). 13.3: 4Q200 Myxdn hmSt) r#). There is disagreement among both the Greek and the Latin sources about whether it should be ‘you’ (S, L62, L130, L148) or ‘us’ (B, 106, L109, L135) here, but all have the pronoun as the object of a verb, with God as the subject: perhaps through an interpretative change, the dispersal becomes explicitly a divine act. 13.4: 4Q200 [hm]kSynd) (the w is a superlinear correction); DJD p. 72 states definitely that the kS cannot be n, but all Latin and Greek versions have ‘our’ Lord. 13.6: 4Q196 NwXkXbbl l(; B e0pistreyate a(martwloi; S is lacking here, but cf. OL conuertimini peccatores. 13.11: 4Q196 Nyrdl NyXrX[d Nm; S, B geneai genewn; L130, L148 et terrae, > other OL. 13.11: 4Q196 ]br M#[w; OL nomen magnum or similar (but L62 nomen sanctum). S o0noma thj e0klekthj. (> B). 13.13: 4Q196 ydx; OL gaude, cf. B xarhqi. S poreuqhti. 13.16: 4Q196 … )ty]((w Nynbtt bh[d Ml#wry yldgm]; S oi9 purgoi 70Ierousalhm xrusiw| oi0kodomhqhsontai kai oi9 promaxwnej au0twn xrusiw| kaqarw| (cf. B kai oi9 purgoi kai oi9 promaxwnej e0n xrusiw| kaqarw|). OL is similar to S, with no reference to ‘wood’, so either the texts are different, or another reconstruction/meaning must be sought for ]((w (equivalent to promaxwnej?). 13.18: 4Q200 [ ... r]#) Myhl)h [ , 4Q196 )yml([ … hywl]lhXl. This is a difficult section, where OL is variable, but all differs substantially from S; the fragmentary Qumran evidence here tends to support OL, at least in the second part. OL et omnes uici (L148; L130 uicus; Mozarabic Breviary69 omnis uicus; L135 uicini; L62 uncertain) eius loquentur(> L62, L130, Mozarabic Breviary) alleluia (> L148) benedictus dominus (L148, Mozarabic Breviary; others deus) qui exaltat te, et benedictus in omnia saecula saeculorum (L62 est in omnibus seculis); cf. B kai e0rousin pasai ai9 r9umai au0thj a(llhlouia kai ai0nesin legontej eu0loghtoj o9 qeoj o9j u9ywsen pantaj

69. On this eleventh century breviary, see WGS, pp. 53, 792.


243. 244. 245. 246.

247. 248.

Studies in the Book of Tobit touj ai0wnaj. S kai pasai ai9 oi0kiai au0thj e0rousin a(llhlouia eu0loghtoj o9 qeoj tou 70Israhl. 13.18: 4Q196 ykybd; OL quoniam in te (cf. DJD’s suggested correction ykb yd); S kai eu0loghtoi. 14.2: 4Q196 hn]mtw Ny#mx Nyn#, 4Q200 My]#mxw hnwm# Nb )[whw; L148 quinquaginta … et octo annorum (other OL similar, but > L62), cf. B e0twn penthkonta o0ktw. S has cb´ e0twn. 14.2: 4Q200 (b]rX);S OL (quinquaginta) quattuor. >S, B. 14.2: 4Q198 )hl)l lxdml Pswhw; cf. B proseqeto fobeisqai kurion ton qeon, L62 et adiecit timorem ad colendum deum. S has proseqeto eu0logein ton qeon, and other OL proposuit magis deum colere, or similar. (Note the Vulgate cum bono profectu timoris dei perrexit in pace, and, strikingly, the Constantinople 1519 ~hbh l# wm# h)ryl Pyswhw). 14.3: 4Q196 yhwnb t[(b#w; OL et septem filios eius; B kai touj ui9ouj au0tou (A has kai touj e9c ui9ouj au0tou). > S. 14.10: 4Q198 xplX lpn. The fragment is damaged and the placement uncertain, but if DJD is correct, this corresponds to S e0pesen ei0j thn pakida (for pagida). This lies in a section (e0n tw| poihsai … a)pwlesen au0ton) which has a counterpart in B, but not in OL.

Bibliography Belsheim, J., ‘Liber Tobit, Liber Judit, Liber Ester’, Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrifter (1892), pp. 63–157. Beyer, K., Die aramäischen Texte vom Toten Meer. Ergänzungsband (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1994). Bianchini, G. (= Josephus Blanchinus), Vindiciae canonicarum scripturarum vulgatae latinae editionis. Seu, Vetera sacrorum bibliorum fragmenta juxta graecam vulgatam, et hexaplarem, latinam antiquam italam, duplicemque S. Eusebii Hieronymi translationem, nunc primum in lucem edita atque illustrata opera et studio Josephi Blanchini (Rome: S. Michaelis, 1740). Bogaert, P.-M., ‘Fragments de la Vieille Version Latine du Livre de Tobie’, RevBén 80 (1970), pp. 166–9. Brooke, A.E., N. McLean, and H.St J. Thackeray, The Old Testament in Greek. According to the text of Codex Vaticanus, supplemented from other uncial manuscripts, with a critical apparatus containing the variants of the chief ancient authorities for the text of the Septuagint. Vol. III part I Esther, Judith, Tobit (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940). Ceriani, A.M., Monumenta Sacra et Profana ex Codicibus Praesertim Bibliothecae Ambrosianae. Volume 1, Fascicle 3 (Milan: Bibliotheca Ambrosiana,1866). Deselaers, P., Das Buch Tobit. Studien zu seiner Enstehung, Komposition und Theologie. (OBO, 43; Freiburg and Göttingen: Universitätsverlag, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982). Fagius, P., Sententiae Morales Ben Syrae vetustissimi authoris Hebraei, quia Iudaeis nepos Hieremiae prophetae Suisse creditor, cum succincto commentaria. Tobias Hebraice ut is adhuc hodie apud Iudaeos invenitur, omnia ex Hebraeo in Latinum translate in gratiam studiosorum linguae sanctae per Paulum Fagium (Isny im Allgäu: P. Fagius, 1542).

WEEKS Some Neglected Texts of Tobit


Fitzmyer, J.A., ‘Tobit’, in M. Broshi et al. (eds.), Qumran Cave 4 XIV: Parabiblical Texts, Part 2 (DJD, 19; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), pp. 1–76, pls. I–X. —Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003). Fritzsche, O.F., Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch zu den Apokryphen des Alten Testamentes. Zweite Lieferung. Die Bücher Tobi und Judith (Leipzig: S. Hirzel, 1853). Hanhart, R., Septuaginta. Vetus Testamentum Graecum Auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Gottingensis Editum. Vol. VIII, 5 Tobit (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983). —Text und Textgeschichte des Buches Tobit (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen MSU, 17; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984). Harris, J.R., ‘The Double Text of Tobit’, AJT 3 (1899), pp. 541–9. Hunt, A.S., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri Part VIII (London: Egypt Exploration Society, 1911). Lebram, J.C.H., ‘Tobit’, in The Old Testament in Syriac According to the Peshitta Version, Part IV, fascicle 6: Canticles or Odes – Prayer of Manasseh – Apocryphal Psalms – Psalms of Solomon – Tobit – 1(3) Esdras (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1972). Lightfoot, J.B., The Apostolic Fathers. Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp. Revised Texts with Introductions, Notes, Dissertations, and Translations (5 vols.; London: Macmillan, 2nd edn, 1889). Machielsen, J. (ed.), Clavis Patristica Pseudepigraphorum Medii Aevi vol. 2 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1994). Münster, S, ybw+ rps Historia Tobiae iuxta hebraismum versa in some copies (from c.1542 onwards) of Ml#h qwdqdh tk)lm Opus grammaticum consummatum (Basil: H. Petrum, 1541). Neubauer, A., The Book of Tobit. A Chaldee Text from a Unique Ms. in the Bodleian Library with Other Rabbinical Texts, English Translations and the Itala (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1878). Nicklas, T., and C. Wagner, ‘Thesen zur Textlichen Vielfalt im Tobitbuch’, JSS 34 (2003), pp. 141–59. Rahlfs, A., Verzeichnis der griechischen Handschriften des Alten Testaments für das Septuaginta-Unternehmen (Mitteilungen des Septuaginta-Unternehmens der Königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, 2; Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1914). Sabatier, P., Bibliorum Sacrorum Latinae versiones Antiquae, seu Vetus Italica, et Caeterae quaecunque in Codicibus Mss. & antiquorum libris reperiri potuerunt: Quae cum Vulgata Latina, & cum Textu Graeco comparantur: Accedunt Praefationes, Observationes, ac Notae, Indexque novus ad VULGATAM è regione editam, idemque locupletissimus Volume 1 (Paris: F. Didot, re-issue 1751). Simpson, D.C., ‘The Book of Tobit’, in R.H. Charles (ed.), Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), pp. 174–241. Tischendorf, C. von, Codex Friderico-Augustanus sive Fragmenta Veteris Testamenti e codice Graeco omnium qui in Europa supersunt facile antiquissimo. In Oriente detexit. In patriam attulit. Ad modum codicis edidit Constantinus Tischendorf (Leipzig: K.F. Koehler, 1846). —Bibliorum Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus. Auspiciis augustissimis imperatoris Alexandri II. Ex tenebris protraxit. In Europam transtulit. Ad iuvandas atque illustrandas sacras litteras edidit Constantinus Tischendorf (St Petersburg: s.n., 1862). Vattioni, F., ‘Tobia nello Speculum e nella prima Bibbia di Alcalà’, Augustinianum 15 (1975), pp. 169–200. —’La Vetus Latina di Tobia nella Bibbia di Roda’, Revista Catalana de Teologia 3 (1978), pp. 173–200. Vigouroux, F., La Sainte Bible Polyglotte, contenant le texte hébreu original, le texte grec des Septante, le texte latin de la Vulgate et la traduction française de M. L’Abbé Glaire avec


Studies in the Book of Tobit

les différences de l’Hébreu, des Septante et de la Vulgate; des introductions, des notes, des cartes et des illustrations. Ancien Testament vol. III (Paris: A. Roger & F. Chernovitz, 1902). Wagner, C.J., Polyglotte Tobit-Synopse. Griechisch–Lateinisch–Syrisch–Hebräisch–Aramäisch. Mit einem Index zu den Tobit-Fragmenten vom Toten Meer. (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen Philologisch-Historische Klasse Dritte Folge, Band 258; Mitteilungen des Septuaginta-Unternehmens 28; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003). Weeks, S., S. Gathercole, and L. Stuckenbruck, The Book of Tobit. Texts from the Principal Ancient and Medieval Traditions. With Synopsis, Concordances, and Annotated Texts in Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Syriac. (Fontes et Subsidia ad Bibliam Pertinentes 3; Berlin, New York: W. de Gruyter, 2004). Weihrich, F., Liber qui appellatur Speculum et Liber de divinis scripturis, sive Speculum quod fertur S. Augustini (CSEL Augustini Opera 3.1; Vienna: C. Geroldi Filium, 1887).

Chapter 3 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JONAH IN VATICANUS (B) TOBIT 14.4 AND 8 Mark Bredin (Cambridge) 1. Introduction In the final chapter of the book of Tobit, Tobit exhorts his son to flee from Nineveh with his family to Media. In modern translations of the speech, which prefer to follow the longer tradition (GII) witnessed primarily in Codex Sinaiticus (S),1 we are told that Tobit’s advice is inspired by the word of God spoken through Nahum that Nineveh would be destroyed (NRSV 14.3-4): When he was about to die, he called his son Tobias and the seven sons of Tobias and gave this command: ‘My son, take your children and hurry off to Media, for I believe the word of God that Nahum spoke about Nineveh, that all these things will take place and overtake Assyria and Nineveh…’

In considering this scene, I imagine a setting in which the family are gathered around Tobit’s bed discussing Nahum’s prediction and whether they should take it seriously. Tobit, the conscientious father and grandfather, seizes on the sombre moment, and gives his advice: ‘Flee the city! Nahum is speaking God’s word’. According to the shorter tradition (GI) witnessed primarily in Codex Vaticanus (B),2 it is not the ‘word of God’ spoken through Nahum that Tobit hears; rather it is the prophet Jonah’s own words: I have now grown old and am about to depart from this life. Go to Media, my child because I believe what the prophet Jonah said about Nineveh, that it will be overthrown.3

My view of this scene, with the readjustment of Jonah, would be no different to the way I imagine it with Nahum. Both prophets declared that Nineveh would perish and as far as Tobit is concerned this is reliable. I would, however, wish to emphasize that Jonah is not attributed with speaking God’s word.4

1. The longer version is also based on MSS 319 and 910. It is very easy to confuse GII with Sinaiticus, but GII does not mean Sinaiticus. 2. Also sometimes known as Rv. The shorter tradition is based also in Codex Alexandrinus, Basilianno-Vaticanus and many minuscules. 3. Translation from J.A. Fitzmyer, Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003), p. 321. 4. Modern translations of this tale are based on Codex Sinaiticus with help from other manuscripts. GII is the longer version and accepted by most scholars as the most original version.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Textual critics, on the whole, believe Nahum is the original. My aim in this chapter is to draw out the significance of this insertion of Jonah for Nahum in B and why the variation occurred. Textual criticism is concerned with establishing the original Vorlage and assumes that variant readings are either accidents or intentional.5 It is my contention that the variant reading ‘Jonah’ was intentional and I want to explore why. We must assume that for the original readers and listeners of both versions the mention of either Nahum or Jonah would affect the meaning of the text. The following questions will be kept in mind as I develop my enquiry: What is the relationship between the two traditions? How likely is it that one version altered the other? If so, did the redactor of the altered version intentionally or accidentally make the revision? Further, if there is a possible intentional editing, what motives underlie the alteration?

2. Is B’s Version of Tobit a Revision of S’s Version? Thomas observes: Since two-thirds of the fourteen chapters of Rv6 has almost exact interdependence with Rs,7 we are forced to the conclusion that one of these texts is a recension of the other and the reviser had before him a written form of the other text when he made his revision. Such a degree of interrelation could not be possible on the basis of oral transmission.8

Most accept that the shorter version of Tobit is an intentional shortening recension of the longer to improve its Greek phraseology and literary character.9 Thomas, especially, has argued that B had a clear-cut purpose for each detail of its revision and that one could not do so for S.10 Further, it is argued, especially by Simpson, that B is a revision of S because it presupposes the ideas and historical conditions and theological developments ‘of an age long subsequent to that in which Rs was written’.11 In this study Simpson dates B ‘to the second century of the Christian era’.12 5. To be more precise textual critics assume that variations occur through misspellings omissions, repetitions, the writing of a word similar to the right one but misheard or misread and there is also intentional alteration. 6. I.e., Vaticanus 7. I.e., Sinaiticus. 8. D. Thomas, ‘The Greek Text of Tobit’, JBL 91 (1972), pp. 463–71 464). 9. J.R. Harris, ‘The Double Text of Tobit: Contributions toward a Critical Inquiry’, AJT 3 (1899), pp. 541–54; D.C. Simpson, ‘The Chief Recensions of the Book of Tobit’, JTS 14 (1913), pp. 516–30; F. Zimmerman, The Book of Tobit: An English Translation with Introductions and Commentary (Jewish Apocryphal Literature. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958); Thomas, ‘Greek’, pp. 463–71; J.A. Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 5; C.A. Moore, Tobit: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (The Anchor Bible, 40A. New York: Doubleday, 1996), pp. 53–60; pace P. Deselaers, Das Buch Tobit: Studien zu seiner Entstehung, Komposition und Theologie (OBO, 43; Freiburg Schweiz/Göttingen: Universitätsverlag-Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982); see summary of research in B. Otzen, Tobit and Judith (Guides to Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002) p. 60–2. 10. Thomas, ‘Greek’, p. 468. 11. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, p. 519; Moore, Tobit, p. 56; Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 6. 12. D.C. Simpson, ‘The Book of Tobit’, APOT 1 (1913), pp. 175 and 183; 175; also Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 52.

BREDIN The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8


Most scholars concur that the shorter version, preserved in B, is a recension of the longer one, preserved in S, based on linguistic, theological and historical arguments. As we compare 14.4 in both it is clear that the shorter version intentionally or accidentally substituted Jonah for Nahum. Which is it? The books of Jonah and Nahum explain why Nineveh would be destroyed. Jonah points out that Nineveh is violent (3.8) while Nahum recounts that it is a city of bloodshed (3.1). However, according to the book of Jonah, Nineveh repented on hearing Jonah’s words (4.8). As a result of Nineveh’s penitence, God had mercy on the city (4.10). This detail would initially appear not to fit the context of Tobit’s speech that Nineveh was about to be destroyed because Jonah prophesied it and his son Tobias rejoiced when he heard it was destroyed (14.15);13 yet it was not destroyed as Jonah predicted according to the book of Jonah. This observation was first put forward by Grotius in the seventeenth century before S was discovered.14 S recounts that Nahum was the prophet Tobit relied on for his knowledge that Nineveh would be destroyed. So, even without the witness of S’s mention of Nahum, the reference to Jonah in B was seen as out of context with Tobit’s speech.15 Zimmerman writes in a similar vein with S at hand: It would seem to me that Vaticanus substituted Jonah for Nahum out of imperfect knowledge. From his mistranslations, it is clear that Vaticanus did not have the command of Hebrew that Sinaiticus had. It seems likely that he knew the more simple story of Jonah and his connection with Nineveh, rather than the more intricate elevated prophecy of Nahum. Vatincanus thought Nahum was a mistake and put in an error of his own.16

However, these arguments fail to ask why S would not know Nahum; they do not consider that S’s Nahum was a mistake to B which then intentionally altered it. Nahum seems a fairly straightforward text: God will take vengeance on Israel’s enemies. Nahum 1.1-2 states that the oracle of destruction preached by Nahum concerned Nineveh: An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh. A jealous and avenging God is the Lord, the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and rages against his enemies (Nineveh is mentioned on two other occasions in 2.8 and 3.7).

Fitzmyer writes similarly: In the OT the prophet Nahum of Elkosh is the author of a triumphal ode composed against the Assyrians and their capital, Nineveh. It is certainly the more fitting allusion for Tobit to cite, as he does in GII, than the oracle of Jonah, which is found in GI instead. Nahum foretold indeed the coming destruction of Nineveh (Nah. 1.1; 2.8–10, 13; 3.18– 19), whereas at the preaching of Jonah (3.4: ‘yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’) the king, nobles, and people of Nineveh repented; and so they escaped judgement (Jonah 3.10).17 13. In S Tobias hears and sees that Nineveh was destroyed but in B he only hears. 14. Discovered in 1877. 15. H. Grotius, Annotationes in Vetus Testamentum (3 vols.; Amsterdam. Repr. 3 vols. in one; ed. J.L. Vogel; Halle a. d. Saale; J. Curth, 1775–76), 3.1–10; see also Moore Tobit, p. 290. 16. Zimmermann, Tobit, p. 41; Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 326. 17. Fitzmyer, Tobit, pp. 325–26.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Simpson mentions briefly Tob. 14.4 suggesting that B has made the connection with Jonah because it connects more obviously the situation of the destruction of Nineveh in Tobit with that of the Old Testament than Nahum would.18 Unfortunately, Simpson does not discuss why. I find none of these arguments persuasive. If B makes an intentional substitution of Nahum for Jonah, would the reviser not simply have left well alone if he was ignorant of Nahum? Also, what evidence is there for the speculation by Zimmerman and Fitzmyer that B was more familiar with Jonah. If it was so familiar with Jonah, it seems strange why B would use Jonah if it were so obviously out of context with the book of Tobit. Also, B refers to Amos which is as much an elevated and intricate text as Nahum (Tob. 2.6; see also Mic. 4.2 and Zech. 8.22 in Tob. 13.11; Mic. 5.5; Zeph. 2.13 in Tob. 14.4; Isa. 2.18; Jer. 16.10 in Tob. 14.6). These points are not dealt with in the argument that B made a mistake. Also, what evidence is there that Jonah was better known and more widely recognized than Nahum? Nahum, for example, was a muchused book and an inspirational Pesher for the Qumran community. Simpson’s argument also fails as the context of the preaching of the destruction of Nineveh is as clear in Nahum as in Jonah. So there is no evidence to say that B was not as familiar with Nahum as it was with Jonah. I agree with the general consensus that supports S and the presence of Nahum as the most original.19 In accepting that B is a revision of S it seems probable that Nahum was the original and B revised it for particular reasons and not accidentally as the consensus contends. My task is to ask: why B altered Nahum to Jonah? We could speculate, at this point, that B had other versions perhaps older than S. S after all has gaps that are filled by modern translations through drawing on B; therefore, we know that B has some material unique to itself. Also, Qumran occasionally agrees with B suggesting B had material similar to Qumran that S did not have.20 However, we could say more confidently that S did not make sense to B or that B wanted to emphasize a point for its readers that S did not make. In concluding this section, Thomas’s claims that B had a clear-cut purpose for each detail of his revision are correct. This leads us to consider in a more sophisticated way, than previously, why B substituted Jonah for Nahum. I suggest that B 14.4 is an intentional revision of Tobit’s speech in S sometime in the second century CE.21 In testing this proposal, the following question needs to be considered: Are there reasons to think that Jonah would be the most appropriate prophet for Tobit to refer to? In tackling this question, we should keep in mind that the theology of both the book of Jonah and Tobit expect the nations to repent. However, there is no such expectation in Nahum. 18. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, p. 528. 19. Yet it must be noted that Old Latin version (OL) and Vulgate (Vulg) have neither Nahum nor Jonah while the relevant lines of 4Q198 are not preserved. The absence in OL and Vulg might hint that both Nahum and Jonah are both secondary insertions into the Greek texts (see Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 326 who does not necessarily accept this view). 20. Moore, Tobit, p. 57; B. Otzen, Tobit, p. 63. 21. Thus following Simpson’s dating.

BREDIN The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8


3. The Merciful God of the Book of Jonah and the Merciless God of Nahum Jonah cries out: ‘Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!’ (3.4). He delivers this message in Nineveh to its citizens; this is the message Tobit hears about on his deathbed. From the perspective of the narrative, Tobit does not know that the city repented, only B and the reader knows this detail. Interestingly, Josephus says nothing of the fact that Nineveh repented and God had mercy on the city (Ant. 9.214). This supports the possibility that some readings of Jonah ignored the fact that Nineveh repented and B was aware of this; indeed, the story about Jonah was remembered primarily for Jonah’s preaching that Nineveh would be destroyed rather than Nineveh repenting. So it is no surprise that Jonah is the prophet Tobit refers to. We have, however, a different tradition regarding understanding Jonah preserved in the Lives of the Prophets,22 in which Jonah confesses: So shall I remove my reproach, for I spoke falsely in prophesying against Nineveh. (10.3)23

So according to this tradition Jonah prophesied the destruction of Nineveh but it was not God’s will to destroy it. As a result he lived his life ‘in Sour, a territory inhabited by foreign nations’ in repentance (Lives 10.3). Therefore, perhaps B knew of an interpretative tradition that believed Jonah was wrong because he wanted Nineveh to perish. Such a tradition fits with early Christian influence on the strongly Jewish Lives of the Prophets.24 There may be some connection with Deut. 18.22: If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it.

Lives of the Prophets may have considered Jonah a fallen prophet because what he declared did not come true. It is possible then that B also had this in mind in referring to Jonah. Its readers would be fully aware of the fact that Nineveh repented according to the book of Jonah. However, we should not be surprised that Jonah was angry with God for having mercy on Nineveh. Jonah rants at God: He prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord!’ Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country? That is why I fled to Tarshish at the beginning; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and ready to relent from punishing. (4.2)

22. See J.H. Charlesworth, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vol. 2 (New York: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 385–99. 23. Cf. B Tobit 14.8 that states Jonah’s prophecy will come true. 24. Originally of Jewish origin, the text is only extant in Christian manuscripts. There is a further suggestion that the text has Christian interpolations. See Charlesworth, Pseudephigrapha 2, pp. 380–1. I suggest that the Jonah component may be a Christian interpolation.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

It is understandable that Jonah felt like this because in Jonah 3.10 God had intended to destroy Nineveh but changed his mind. Jonah’s integrity as a prophet had been questioned (cf. Deut. 18.22). Yet the reader of Tobit and the book of Jonah would know, that as Jer. 18.8 testifies, God can change his mind. Therefore, although Jonah’s anger was justifiable in some circles, in others, he was not seen as a reliable vehicle of God’s word. In B, for example, Jonah is not said to speak the word of God whereas in S Nahum speaks God’s word: Because I believe what Jonah the prophet spoke about Nineveh, that it shall be overthrown.

Compare this to S which states that God spoke through Nahum: For I believe the word of God that Nahum spoke about Nineveh, that all these things will take place and overtake Assyria and Nineveh.

According to B, Tobit speaks the words that Jonah uttered against Nineveh. Tobit, unlike the storyteller and the reader, does not know that God will have mercy on Nineveh. The storyteller, according to B, simply makes the point that Jonah spoke these words of destruction The fact that Nineveh repented and God had mercy is irrelevant to the characters of the story just as it was irrelevant to Josephus, but is relevant to the storyteller and the reader and the tradition preserved in the Lives of the Prophets. This point is illustrated by B refraining from saying that Jonah spoke God’s word. This may be redactional on the part of B to reduce Jonah’s reliability as messenger of God. Jonah is grafted into the story as one whom the story’s characters would respect, but the reader knows that Jonah’s words were not God’s words because he did not speak as one with God. B’s readers are invited to learn the lesson Jonah was taught. Goodhart sums up the content of that lesson: ‘what God would teach him, what the Book of Jonah would teach us, is that to begrudge salvation to the Ninevites is not simply snobbish: it is anti-Jewish’.25 These words support the argument I am making, viz. that B identifies with a tradition that understood Jonah as a fallen prophet. This is in contrast to those who emphasized only that Jonah preached Nineveh’s destruction. But essential to being truly Jewish, was the role of being God’s witness and light to the nations (cf. Isaiah 2.1-2 and 40–55 et al.). Although B does not mention God’s mercy on Nineveh, the reader would know that according to the Jonah tradition God had mercy on the city. In making the alteration, we should consider that B had in mind 13.11 and 14.5-6 where God is described as merciful (cf. Jon. 4.2).26 Israel will be re-established (v. 5).27 All nations will repent and reverence God as true and they will bury their idols. B, in mentioning Jonah, both alludes to the mercy that God showed to Nineveh, and, looks hopefully to the salvation of all nations.

25. S. Goodhart, ‘Prophecy, Sacrifice and Repentance in the Story of Jonah’, Semeia 33 (1985), pp. 43–63 (53). 26. GI and GII are in accord in these verses. 27. GII has Israel but GI does not mention the word Israel.

BREDIN The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8


This understanding also explains B 14.8 which says: ‘Now, my child, depart from Nineveh, because of what the prophet Jonah said will all come true’. B 14.8 differs from S 14.8 as it reiterates the command Tobit gives to his son and grandsons in 14.4. B states that Tobit believed Jonah’s words ‘will all come true’ viz. that Nineveh will be destroyed. However, unlike the storyteller, B, the reader, and the characters of the story, including Tobit, did not know that Nineveh would repent and did not have hindsight like the reader of the book of Jonah. Rather, they are in the situation of deciding whether to flee the city or not. Tobit believes the testimony of the prophet Jonah must be believed. This is a plausible setting of the patriarch of the family. In his dying words he is cautious in telling his loved ones to flee the city. But, we, the reader are invited to reflect upon the wider context of Jonah as pointing to Nineveh’s repentance. The original readers are taught a lesson that Jonah had to learn: ‘Gentiles should not be grudged God’s love’.28 So Jonah is not out of context in B 14.8 in terms of the narrative’s characters. Jonah was a well-known and righteous prophet; some even ignored the fact that his prophecy did not come true (i.e. Josephus). Jonah brought to mind that Nineveh repented and that God had mercy on its inhabitants in spite of his prophecy. Yet the characters of B’s narrative did not consider the possibility that Nineveh might repent and God would be merciful. Indeed, some of the original readers of B might be surprised and troubled by the hope for the nations recorded in Tobit’s speech. The original reader could not possibly miss the wider context of Jonah in which Nineveh repents, and then the hope for the nations following closely. Moreover, the reader would be familiar with those traditions that refused to acknowledge that Nineveh repented as well as those that stated Jonah got it wrong and Nineveh turned to God. Those who were against the idea of hope for the foreign nations would be challenged by this speech as the book of Jonah challenged them. B, therefore, addresses those who believe salvation is only for Jews is actually anti-Jewish. This leads us to consider the problems B faced with Nahum and the solution of inserting of Jonah. A comparison of the wider contexts of the books of Jonah and Nahum will help this enquiry. Leo Lefebure in comparing the two prophetic books concludes: When the reluctant Jonah finally does go to Nineveh, his preaching is an abbreviated form of what another prophet, Nahum, had proclaimed: Let Nineveh be utterly destroyed; let the wrath of God come down and destroy them.29

Lefebure makes the obvious, but forgotten point, that both Nahum and Jonah preached the destruction of Nineveh. They are similar prophets yet the book of Jonah’s theology is very different from the book of Nahum. Lefebure draws rightly on these two texts to illustrate their sharply contrasting perspectives on revelation and violence.30 Both books record events that are set in the period of a powerful and violent Assyrian empire with its capital in Nineveh. In Jonah, we 28. Rabbi J.H. Hertz quoted in Goodhard, ‘Prophecy’, p. 52. 29. L.D. Lefebure, Revelation, the Religions and Violence (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2000), p. 62. 30. Lefebure, Revelation, p. 62.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

see the mercy of God being extended to this superpower when it repents, but there is no such showing of mercy in Nahum. For example, Nahum proclaims that Nineveh will be a heap of dead bodies (3.2-3). Nahum anticipates the destruction of Nineveh by the hand of Yahweh (1.14). The Ninevites deserve to die – this is the message of Nahum and within it is the central belief that it is also God’s will. Nahum’s theology expresses what Walter Wink calls ‘redemptive violence’.31 The oppressor will be destroyed and thus the oppressed will be redeemed. Jonah on the other hand preaches the same message and hopes for the same end, but he is clearly not seen as one with God. In other words, as B points out implicitly, Jonah speaks his own words. Lefebure argues that the book of Jonah reverses the redemptive ideology of Nahum.32 We see this through the Ninevites repenting, particularly of its violence (3.8b), and further the way Jonah responds to God’s reaction. He goes away in a sulk because the Lord is not the god he, Jonah, wants God to be. Through the unexpected repentance of violence by the Ninevites (3.8b), Jonah is revealed as wanting the god of violence to destroy his enemies (4.1-2). Jonah wants blood and laments that the Lord will not carry out the threat he made. Jonah feels a failure because his God has not done what he expects a god to do. But Israel’s God is not the god of the foreign nations whose power is measured by how successful his worshippers are in battle. Lefebure concludes: ‘The juxtaposition of the books of Nahum and Jonah in the Bible presents both sacred violence and the renunciation of violence as part of the heritage of Israel’.33 These insights of Lefebure are helpful as we discern the dissimilar theologies of these two prophetic books. These different theologies are particularly exemplified in the way the two books end. Coincidently, only two books in the Bible finish with a question and that is Jonah and Nahum. I believe this is a significant coincidence and one that B and his readers did not miss. In fact the questions at the end of both books was one perhaps that B puzzled over. Let us look at the questions: Jonah 4.11 And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?

Nahum 3.19 There is no assuaging your hurt, your wound is mortal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands over you. For who has ever escaped your endless cruelty?

These questions set in contrast the separate theologies of the books of Jonah and Nahum. In the book of Jonah the merciful God enquires: ‘should I not be concerned about Nineveh…?’ But Nahum asks: ‘For who has ever escaped your endless cruelty?’ I suggest B distanced itself from S for fear of propagating the nationalist theology of Nahum. B answers Nahum’s question with the affirmative 31. W. Wink, Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), pp. 13–31. 32. Lefebure, Revelation, p. 63. 33. Lefebure, Revelation, p. 63.

BREDIN The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8


that God is concerned about Nineveh and its inhabitants. This theology fits Tobit’s dying words to his family regarding the nations coming to worship in Jerusalem. The question in Jonah in the final verse expresses the sentiments and question of those who supported a more positive approach to the foreign nations. It is suggested that the book of Jonah was directed against Jewish intolerance. Childs writes: ‘the case for seeing Jonah’s resistance arising because of the inclusion of the nations is not to be dismissed as a later Christian bias, but is a genuine Old Testament witness directed against a misunderstanding of the election of Israel’.34 These points are insightful but we must also perhaps see Jonah expressing a more affirmative understanding towards an enemy. Ernst Bloch writes: For Jonah had indeed been sent to inform Nineveh of its destruction after forty days, but when the city did penance and the evil did not occur, he was wrongly but exceedingly displeased (Jonah 4,1) – as if he had told an untruth to the people of Nineveh, whereas it was the change in them that had caused a change in Yahweh (Jer. 18. 7; cf. 26. 3 and 19).35

In concluding this section, although Nahum and Jonah preach the same message, the theologies of the books are systematically different. The theology of the book Jonah can be read as a critique of the person Jonah because he rejected God’s mercy. He wanted to see violence done against his enemies. It is possible to see in Jonah a representative of some Israelites who rejected God’s mercy and ignored that the basis of their elect status, viz., that they should be a blessing to all nations (cf. Gen. 12.1-3; 15 and Isaiah 40–55). This theology fits with the book of Tobit as we will see in the next section.

4. Redemption of the Nations I have proposed that Jonah seemed more preferable to B because the theology of the book of Jonah reflected that of Tobit’s, particularly its eschatological hope for all nations expressed concisely in 13.11 and 14.6. Particularly, in 14.6 we read: Then the nations in the whole world will all be converted and worship God in truth. They will all abandon their idols, which deceitfully have led them into their error.36

It is difficult to see how 13.11 or 14.6 can connect with the hostile theology of Nahum. But are there elements in Tobit that can be considered hostile to the foreign nations? Yes there are.37 In 14.12 Tobit commands his son not to marry a Gentile. But this is understandable for surely Israel must remain pure, the foreign 34. B.S. Childs, Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (London: SCM Press, 1979), p. 427. 35. E. Bloch, Man on His Own (New York: Herder and Herder, 1970), p. 207; also Wink, Powers, p. 302. 36. There are only minor differences between GI and GII. 37. These elements actually presented problems to some because they seemed not at all typical of Tobit. See J. Dancy, The Shorter Books of the Apocrypha (Cambridge Bible Commentary; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972), p. 66.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

nations were a real threat to exiled Jews keeping the covenant as is recounted in ch. 1. The people of Israel had forsaken their customs and adopted the way of the Gentiles. This led to the path of deception and murder as Tobit points out in 14.10 as he observed what happened in Nineveh: For I see that there is much wickedness within it [Nineveh], and that much deceit is practiced within it, while the people are without shame. See, my son, what Nadab did to Ahikar who had reared him. Was he not, while still alive, brought down into the earth? For God repaid him to his face for this shameful treatment. Ahikar came out into the light, but Nadab went into the eternal darkness, because he tried to kill Ahikar. Because he gave alms, Ahikar escaped the fatal trap that Nadab had set for him, but Nadab fell into it himself, and was destroyed.

However, this does not mean that Tobit refused to mix with foreign people. On the contrary, we are told that he was in ‘good standing with Shalmaneser’ (1.13) despite his assiduous practice of eating the right foods and his general devotion to Jewish law. Perhaps we should understand that such high practice impressed Shalmaneser.38 We are told that God punishes his enemies (13.2). Yet it is no surprise that God punishes those who do not repent. But he is also the merciful and forgiving God (3.2-5; 8.15-17; 11.15; 13.1-9; 14.3-7).39 Still, the book of Tobit does not preach love of the nations or Nineveh. But why would it? Nineveh is an evil and violent place wherein sons rise up against their father and murder him (1.21 and 14.10). In S and B 14.15 Tobias rejoices over the destruction of the people of Nineveh as the faithful rejoice over the fall of Babylon in Rev. 18.20. Can anyone be surprised when a powerful oppressing force is destroyed? I think not. But such rejoicing presents problems to some commentators. Fitzmyer points out that this rejoicing is quite different from the message of the book of Jonah.40 However, the message is no different. The God of Tobit is a God who afflicts and shows mercy as is the God of the book of Jonah. We can be sure that if Nineveh did not repent it would have been destroyed. We have already seen that in B 14.8, what Jonah says will come true. For Tobit this was true. Tobit tells his family this because he wants his family to be safe. Tobit did not know it was not true according to the book of Jonah. We also know that Nineveh did not repent and was destroyed, but the mention of Jonah reminds the reader that repentance is a possibility. But the verses following Tobit’s death also suggest that Jonah was wrong in the narrative of Tobit as Nineveh was not destroyed in forty days as he prophesied (Jon. 3.4). According to the shorter and longer recensions Tobias was very old and heard (and saw according to the longer version) of the destruction of Nineveh before he died. This detail suggests a short time before he died he heard Nineveh had been destroyed. So it took some time before Nineveh was destroyed and not the forty days according to Jonah. We must also see in the collapse of Nineveh every reason to rejoice because Nineveh was unjust and violent. Therefore Tobias, the righteous Jew, would rejoice over the actions of a 38. This brings to mind Daniel and his three comrades who refused to eat the royal food (1.8) and how their devotion impressed the king, Nebuchadnezzar (1.19). 39. Otzen, Tobit, p. 28. 40. J. Fitzmyer Tobit, p. 337.

BREDIN The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8


righteous God. Tobias would see the destruction as a time of hope for all nations. There is nothing, however, in the text to suggest that Jonah was out of place. In emphasizing all that Jonah said will come true, B was responding to events in the community. We know there was some dispute regarding Jonah’s credentials, and this dispute must be read into B 14.8. For B Jonah was wrong in his attitude and that in fact there was some delay in the destruction of Nineveh. Therefore, the book of Tobit believes that God is concerned with the place of the foreign nations in his work of salvation. Tobit like some other texts in the Old Testament believes that Israel’s election is intimately connected with its role as being a blessing and witness to all nations. There are some important texts supporting this view. In Tob. 13.3 we read:41 Acknowledge him before the nations, O children of Israel; for he has scattered you among them.42

This is an unusual request to the people of Israel in the Old Testament. However, it is not unprecedented. In 1 Chronicles 16 the people of Israel are called to make known the works of God among the peoples (vv. 8, 24; also Pss. 9.11; 57.9; 77.14 [not called to declare]; 96.3,19; 105.1; 108.3; Isa. 43.9–10; Ezek. 20.41; 28.25; Zeph. 3.20). Compare also Isa. 61.9: Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.

The author of the book of Tobit has combined several traditions in 13.3. The picture of Israel as one who is scattered and reviled among the nations is seen regularly in the Old Testament (cf. Tob. 3.4; see Deut. 4.27-28; 28.37, 64; 1 Kgs. 9.7 et al.). The author then combined this with traditions about Israel being a blessing to all nations (Gen. 12.3 et al.).43 It is, therefore, not hard to see how this fits with the presentation of God in the book of Jonah – one who had mercy on the Ninevites because they had repented on hearing Jonah (3.10). B substituted Jonah to fit more with the sentiments expressed in Tob. 13.11 and 14.6-7. It is probable that S had Nahum in mind because Nineveh would be destroyed as it indeed was. S never really considered the implications of this in terms of 13.11 and 14.6-7. 41. A further text is the speech of Raphael to Tobit and Tobias in 12.6. According to both GI and GII the archangel tells the two men to ‘acknowledge before all the living what he has done for you…’ Further the angel says: ‘It is good to praise God…recounting with due honor the story of God’s acts’. 42. Preserved only partially in 4Q196 17 I 13; Vulg: adds that God as scattered them for the only purpose of witnessing to the nations. Zimmermann, Tobit, p. 113 translates e0comolei~sqe in 13.3 ‘thank’. But the word is more commonly used for ‘to confess’ or ‘ to acknowledge’ as the NRSV have taken it (see W. Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (ed. W.F. Arndt and F.W. Gingrich; Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1957). 43. This hope is not so common particularly among the intertestamental texts (exceptions are: Joseph and Aseneth; Sib. Or 3.710–95; cf. also 4Q541).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Is it possible that B was responding to those who were against the inclusion of the foreign nations? N.T. Wright observes that ‘later rabbinic discussion of the place of the Gentiles within the divine purpose shows that there was continuing uncertainty, not to say disquiet, on this matter’.44 Such Jews could easily have pointed out that there is no hope for the foreign nations in Nahum. This would be a possible position that many Jews held in the second century CE given their increased sense of being in exile.45 Yet by mentioning Jonah, B emphasizes God’s nature as merciful. Further, the reference to Jonah alludes to those B is responding to in his community: those who taught that there is no place for the foreign nations in God’s salvation history. Jonah, like many Jews, preached God’s curse on the nations rather than God’s blessing. I suggest that B intentionally makes the point that Jonah did not preach God’s word just as B’s own contemporaries who preach against the nations do not. For B, perhaps its sense is that exile is a fact for all Jews because the foreign nations have not repented and that Israel has not been faithful to its God.46 Their role, like Jonah, is to preach judgment and curses upon all who deny God unless they repent. But they must also preach blessings to those who repent. This role of witness is expressed explicitly in 13.12. Everyone will be cursed who hates you; but blessed forever will be all who love you.47 This verse is generally seen to be an allusion to Gen. 27.29, Num. 24.9 and Bar. 4.31.48 I suggest, however, that there is more likely an allusion to Gen. 12.3a: ‘I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse’.49 Corroborating this allusion is the final part of Gen. 12.3: ‘and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’. Tob. 13.12 follows the important 13.11 which tells us that many nations from afar will come to the Lord God, bearing gifts in their hands, gifts for the King of heaven. Central to Tobit is the hope that all will be blessed but some will reject God’s witnesses. Again, this fits with the story and message of the book of Jonah. B was reminding his community that too many ignore the blessing aspect. Indeed, even when thinking of Jonah, it is forgotten that Nineveh repented (i.e. Josephus). In sum, B, by interpolating Jonah into the text instead of Nahum, responds to those who argued that God’s will was to preach and desire the destruction of the nations. B, by way of counter argument, adduces the story of the book of Jonah to remind his readers of the lesson Jonah was meant to learn from his experiences of Nineveh’s repentance.

B and Its Social Setting Given that B was translated in the second century CE, it is important to consider the issues distinctive to this period. Simpson places it during the reign of 44. Wright, People of God, p. 268. See for more detailed discussion E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (London: SCM Press, 1977), pp. 206–12. 45. Wright, People of God, p. 267. 46. Cf. work of N.T. Wright. 47. GII is considerably longer. 4Q196 Frag. 18 supports GII’s reading. 48. Moore, Tobit, p. 281. 49. Tob. 13.12 is preserved in 4Q196 Frag. 17 col. II line 15.

BREDIN The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8


Emperor Antoninus Pius (138–161 CE).50 B, therefore, took its final form under different historical conditions from S and, indeed, of the original writing.51 The temple had been destroyed, and Christianity was on the increase. Also, the Bar Kokhba revolt would be fresh in the mind of Jews and thus their hostility to the nations. Such historical developments would surely shape B. Simpson interestingly detects in B a concern to remove from the story of Tobit anything that might offend the Roman ruler.52 We see such an example when we compare B and S 1.11: S but I kept myself from eating the food of the nations.

B but I kept myself from eating.

It could be disputed that the removal of ‘bread of the nations’ by B is not significant as it has this phrase in 1.10. However, Simpson argues that the removal of the words ‘bread of the nations’ is motivated by the need not to give offence to the Romans. Fitzmyer disputes this view seeing that there is nothing offensive in S 1.11 to a Gentile as Tobit was being only loyal to God.53 But Fitzmyer fails to see the differences between B and S; he thereby misses the redactional element. I believe it is plausible with Simpson to suggest that it could be seen as offensive and seditious to a Roman, especially in the light of recent major Jewish revolts in 66 CE and 113 CE. Moore also misses the fact that B does not repeat ‘food of the nations’. Yet he too thinks the repetition of the phrase in S is significant and that it underscores the importance of the food of nations.54 Therefore, B’s deletion of this phrase is surely significant as it seeks to avoid offending Roman sensibilities by not repeating the phrase. As the text reads in B, it sounds that Tobit is simply saying that he fasted rather than saying he would not eat Gentile food. Another example suggested by Simpson is 1.18. In S, Sennacherib killed many in anger as he took flight from Judea when the King of Heaven passed judgement on him for all his blasphemies. B however omits that the King of Heaven passed judgement on the king. Moore writes: ‘Simpson is probably correct in arguing that the editor of GI deleted this passage for fear of offending the foreign rulers of his day’.55 In line with Simpson’s argument, it is possible that B’s substitution of Jonah for Nahum also fits with B’s concern not to offend the Roman authorities and to address those who were hostile to the nations.56

50. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, pp. 516–30; Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 52. 51. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, p. 520. 52. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, p. 520. 53. Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 113. 54. Moore, Tobit, p. 117. 55. Moore, Tobit, p. 121; Simpson, Recensions, p. 520 also points out that GI has played down the prayer of vengeance against the enemy in 13.12b. 56. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, p. 520.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Possible Christian Influence Scholarship has increasingly and rightly urged caution in drawing too much distinction even in the second century CE between Jews and Christians.57 For many Gentiles, Jews and Christians were from the same branch and both worshipped together and developed the same literary and exegetical traditions. I would like to consider in the light of my study on whether B originates among Jews with openness to Christian thought and maybe even Christians. My argument above has been: 1) 2)

In B Jonah alludes to the mercy of God at a repentant heart Jonah represents B’s contemporaries who argue against Gentiles being included in God’s salvation history

Simpson as far back as 1912 wrote: ‘Possibly large numbers of these Jewish circles in which Rv had flourished were converted to Christianity…’.58 We cannot be certain about this. E.P. Sanders points out that although there was some debate among the rabbis about the place of those outside the covenant, it was of little interest to them and they had established no systematic view.59 But we know this theme was greatly debated among Jews who were influenced by Jesus.60 So is it possible that B originates among those influenced by Christian ideas? I think the answer is: possibly. Simpson observes that B was rejected eventually by Jewish authorities who settled on S. Further, he notes that B: ‘remained for the undisputed use of the Christians, who would not be slow to use it since it contained nothing definitely anti-Christian…’.61 Therefore, that B Tobit was much preferred by the churches and that the Jewish authorities rejected B in favour of S, it is possible to argue in favour of a Christian influence on the B account of Tobit. Further, the little evidence among the rabbis of a dispute regarding the place of Gentiles in God’s Heilsgeschichte, might suggest that B reflects an intra-church dispute on the place of Gentiles among Jewish Christians. We know that there was such discussion on this issue as is reflected in the New Testament. Further, the portrayal of Jonah may have been due to a Christian influence in the Lives of the Prophets. B represents those who see God as concerned with Gentiles and this may point in the direction of a Christian influence of the Jonah insertion. In sum, B was influenced by a debate among Jewish Christians. Such a view fits with the arguments made above for the reasoning behind the substitution of Jonah for Nahum. To resent God’s love for Gentiles is anti-Jewish.

57. See especially P. Lampe, Die Stadtrömischen Christen in der ersten beiden Jharhunderten (WUNT, 2, Reihe 18; Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck] 1982). 58. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, p. 529. 59. Sanders, Paul, p. 211. 60. M. Bredin, ‘Gentiles and the Davidic Tradition in Matthew’, in A. Brenner (ed.), A Feminist Companion to the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament (Sheffield: Sheffield Acadamic Press. 1996), pp. 95–111. 61. Simpson, ‘Recensions’, p. 529.

BREDIN The Significance of Jonah in Vaticanus (B) Tobit 14.4 and 8


Summary and Conclusion B, in inserting Jonah, responds and teaches those who were against the inclusion of the foreign nations as God’s people. Jonah and Nahum are similar types who preached destruction (i.e. Josephus saw Jonah only as one who preached). Nahum would have been a favourite text for the nationalists (see 4Q169). God’s forgiveness is emphasized through mentioning Jonah and so alludes to the wider contexts of both Jonah and Nahum. The storyteller, B, in particular invites his readers to compare the questions at the end of each book. The prophet Jonah represents those B is responding to in his community who taught that there is no place for the foreign nations in God’s plan of salvation and that God will destroy all Israel’s enemies. The Jews and Jewish Christians of the second century CE knew of danger and the possible threat of genocide against them. In alluding to Jonah, B challenges any preaching against the nations that does not hope for their repentance. B hopes that all nations will come to Yahweh and repent. Their role, like Jonah, is to preach that judgment will come upon the nations unless they repent, but if Israel resents their repentance they become like the nations and will themselves be destroyed as their history recounted in the Old Testament testified. Finally, it is possible that underlying this insertion of Jonah is also a dispute in the strongly Jewish Christian church on the issue of God’s place for Gentiles.

Bibliography Bauer, W., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (W.F. Arndt and F.W. Gingrich (eds.); Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 1957). Bloch, E., Man on His Own (New York: Herder and Herder, 1970). Bredin, M., ‘Gentiles and the Davidic Tradition in Matthew’, in A. Brenner (ed.), A Feminist Companion to the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament (Sheffield: Sheffield Acadamic Press, 1996), pp. 95–111. Charlesworth, J.H., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Vol. 2 (New York: Doubleday, 1983). Childs, B.S., Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture (London: SCM Press, 1979). Dancy, J.C., The Shorter Books of the Apocrypha (Cambridge Bible Commentary; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972). Deselaers, P., Das Buch Tobit: Studien zu seiner Entstehung, Komposition und Theologie (OBO, 43; Freiburg: Universitätsverlag and Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982). Fitzmyer, J. A., Tobit (CEJL, 40a; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003). Goodhart, S., ‘Prophecy, Sacrifice and Repentance in the Story of Jonah’, Semeia 33 (1985), pp. 43–63. Grotius, H., Annotationes in Vetus Testamentum (3 vols.; Amsterdam. Repr. 3 vols. in one; ed. J.L. Vogel; Halle a. d. Salle: J. Curth, 1775–76, 3.1–10). Harris, J. R., ‘The Double Text of Tobit: Contributions toward a Critical Inquiry’, AJT 3 (1899), pp. 541–54. Lampe, P., Die Stadtrömischen Christen in der ersten beiden Jharhunderten (Wissenschaftliche Unterschungen zum Neuen Testament, 2, Reihe 18, Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck] 1982]). Lefebure, L. D., Revelation, the Religions and Violence (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2000).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Moore, C., Tobit: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996). Otzen, B., Tobit and Judith (Guides to Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; London/New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). Sanders, E.P., Paul and Palestinian Judaism (London: SCM Press, 1977). Simpson, D. C., ‘The Chief Recensions of the Book of Tobit’, JTS 14 (1913), pp. 516–30. —‘The Book of Tobit’, in R.H. Charles (ed.) The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, (vol. 1; London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1913), pp. 174–241. Thomas, D., ‘The Greek Text of Tobit’, JBL 91 (1972), pp. 463–71. Wink, W., Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992). Wright, N. T., The New Testament and the People of God Vol 1 (London: SPCK, 1992). Zimmerman, F., The Book of Tobit: An English Translation with Introductions and Commentary (Jewish Apocryphal Literature; New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958).

Chapter 4 ‘SARAH IS THE HERO’ KIERKEGAARD’S READING OF TOBIT IN FEAR AND TREMBLING Hugh Pyper (Sheffield University) ‘Perhaps the most extreme misreading of the book of Tobit is Søren Kierkegaard’s deliberately “imaginary” reading’. So claims David McCracken in his stimulating article ‘Narration and Comedy in the Book of Tobit’.1 Such a remark throws down a challenge which is hard to resist. It would be fascinating, if unfair, to take this as an incentive to trawl the literature for more extreme misreadings. In any case, to pinpoint definitively the most extreme would require us to subject the notion of misreading to more scrutiny than it could perhaps bear. We can more profitably ask what leads McCracken to read Kierkegaard this way and how such disagreements over what constitutes a misreading may illuminate our reading of Tobit. As the title of his paper indicates, McCracken reads Tobit as a comedy. By contrast, Kierkegaard, or, more accurately, his pseudonym Johannes de Silentio,2 devotes four pages of Fear and Trembling, his astonishing attempt to work out the consequences of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, to a discussion of the plight of Sarah and writes, ‘I have read about many griefs, but I doubt that there is to be found a grief as profound as the one in this girl’s life’.3 It is de Silentio’s insistence that Sarah is a tragic figure that seems to be at the root of McCracken’s accusation of misreading. ‘No reader is likely to be in tears’ while reading Sarah’s story, claims McCracken.4

1. David McCracken, ‘Narration and Comedy in the Book of Tobit’, JBL 114 (1995): 401–418 (401). McCracken’s verdict is the more surprising in view of the fact that he is also the author of The Scandal of the Gospels: Jesus, Story and Offence (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1994), a remarkable, perceptive and too little known book which draws explicitly and insightfully on Kierkegaard’s hermeneutics of scandal. 2. The implications of Kierkegaard’s use of pseudonyms and particularly the question of how far their opinions reflect those of Kierkegaard himself are the subject of a voluminous literature in Kierkegaard studies. In this paper, I adopt the pragmatic approach of attributing quotations to the pseudonym while taking it that any opinion expressed by the pseudonym has at least occurred to Kierkegaard, even if it may not represent his settled view on the matter. 3. S. Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling/Repetition [Kierkegaard’s Writings Vol 6] (ed. and trans. H.V. and E.H. Hong; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983), p. 102. 4. McCracken, ‘Narration and Comedy’, p. 402.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

How are we to adjudicate between these two positions? Humour, after all, is in the eye of the beholder. Events a reader finds amusing may not amuse the characters, as indeed McCracken concedes when he writes that the assurance of a happy outcome ‘does not preclude the tears of the characters’.5 Graham Greene’s short story ‘A Shocking Accident’ illustrates the real point at issue well. The story turns on the varied reactions of the characters and the reader to the fact that the narrator’s father was killed when a pig fell on him from a balcony in Naples. As a boy and young man, the narrator learns to dread telling the story because of the laughter, outright or suppressed, that it provokes. When he brings his new fiancée home to meet his aunt, the aunt insists on telling the story, and his heart sinks. ‘And then the miracle happened. Sally did not laugh. Sally sat with open eyes of horror while his aunt told her story and at the end, ‘How horrible’, Sally said. ‘It makes you think, doesn’t it? Happening like that. Out of a clear sky.’6 Greene’s story is itself a comedy in the classic sense. It moves from disruption to a positive resolution and ends in a marriage. He has made comedy out of the mismatch between the comic and tragic apprehensions of a story. It is certainly a tragic story for the father and for the orphaned boy, made all the more poignant by the ridicule it attracts. What clinches the narrator’s feeling that Sally is the girl for him is that she goes on to ask the same question that he had asked his headmaster when the news of his father’s death was broken to him: ‘What happened to the pig?’ It is a tragedy for the pig, too, although the headmaster took his question as a sign of heartlessness and the reader may find it hard not to smile. Who best reads the incident of the father’s death? Who gets to say how we ‘ought’ to read it and by what moral criteria? Who is misreading the story? Who then is misreading Tobit? To answer this question, we need to delve further into the presuppositions and purposes behind these readings of the book. Intriguingly, it turns out that there is a common precursor for both readings in Luther’s preface to Tobit in his bible of 1534.7 ‘A fine, delightful, devout comedy’ is Luther’s description of the book which he summarizes as being about the problems of the harmony of the home. It culminates, as comedies so often do, in a happy marriage. It instils the hope which should encourage married couples to endure hardships and difficulties with patience. Luther is agnostic as to whether the events of the book really happened. Tobit, like Judith, may be a ‘holy history’ or else an invention, a ‘beautiful and instructive fiction or drama’; either way, he concludes, it is worth reading. The idea of the book as drama is expanded upon when Luther makes the suggestion that the Greek version of Tobit might have at one time been written as a play, taking as evidence its use of dialogue and the first person narration in the outer chapters, which was later recast as a narrative. Indeed, he goes as far as to hypothe5. Ibid. 6. Graham Greene, Collected Stories (London: The Bodley Head and William Heinemann, 1972), pp 110–17 (117). 7. Martin Luther, ‘Preface to the book of Tobit [1534]’, in Words and Sacraments I (ed. and trans. E. Theodore Bachmann; Luther’s Works, 35; Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960), pp. 345– 7 (345).

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size that the Jewish community had a custom of presenting plays at their festivals to entertain and instruct the young and that it was from this source that the Greeks learned the art of drama. If this were true, although all historical evidence would suggest it is not, Tobit would be not just any comedy, but the prototype of the whole tradition of comedy in the classical world. McCracken’s reading follows similar lines, although he makes no reference to Luther. In his view the book is comedy in so far as it leads to a happy ending for all concerned, and the suffering that occurs is relieved as part of a more general restoration of all good people. In addition, many of the details and episodes in the story are ludicrous – the means by which Tobit is blinded and the fish entrails which are supposed to be the cure for example. McCracken’s most original point is that the narrative structure itself is comic. One important aspect of this is the change between first and third person narration in the book which McCracken sees as involving a radical change in point of view. The limited first-person narrative of the outer chapters is replaced by a truly omniscient third-person narrator. In McCracken ‘s view, this change makes manifest the comic limitations of Tobit’s perspective. He also points out the discrepancy between ‘Tobit-as-character’ and ‘Tobit-asnarrator’, picking up in a different way on the change of narrative voice that Luther notes. The Tobit who tells the story is the older Tobit who has been cured of his blindness and has received back his son and new daughter-in-law. He paints a picture of his younger self as a fallible character, one who mistakenly accuses his own wife of stealing and then complains of being the victim of unjust insults when she responds vigorously to this groundless charge. Yet even the later Tobit proves to be fallible and not, as he presents himself, a unique paragon of faithfulness. McCracken makes much of the contradiction between Tobit-asnarrator’s claim in 1.6 that he alone went often to the festivals in Jerusalem and his acknowledgment in 5.13 that Hananiah and Nathan, sons of Shemaliah, used to go with him. As with Elijah on Horeb, his claims to be the only faithful member of his generation turn out to be exaggerated. McCracken points out his emphasis on his particular tribe and insistence on marriage within this narrow grouping. At this point, it is appropriate to introduce another reading to the discussion. In his article ‘Tobit: A Comedy in Error?’, which is a direct response to McCracken, J.R.C. Cousland takes issue with many of his contentions.8 McCracken is now the misreader. Cousland argues that Tobit is not an intentionally comic book and that many of the details that strike the modern reader as humorously incongruous would not have seemed so to its ancient readers. In particular, he reads the thirdperson narrator as confirming Tobit’s self-evaluation rather than contradicting it. On the point of the contradiction between 5.13 and 1.6, he argues that McCracken misses the force of the word ‘often’ in 1.6. Tobit’s claim that he was the only one who went ‘often’ to Jerusalem does not imply that no-one else ever went.9 8. 9.

J.R.C. Cousland, ‘Tobit: A Comedy in Error?’, CBQ 65 (2001), pp. 535–53. Cousland, ‘Tobit’, p. 542.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

This is a fair point, but Cousland is on more shaky ground when he argues that Tobit was justified in feeling aggrieved at Anna’s reproaches when it is he who falsely accused her of theft. The justification is that by taking on work at all she was humiliating her husband ‘even if she was technically in the right about the goat’. Cousland cites Sir. 25.22 in defence of this view. This may not satisfy a modern readership, he concedes, but an ancient readership would have taken Tobit’s point. I am not sure how we know that. ‘Technically right’ is right in this case and Tobit is wrong. This rather strained argument becomes understandable in the light of Cousland’s more general statement that if Tobit is seen even partially as a figure of fun, his status as an exemplar is devalued. To preserve the serious message of the book, Tobit must be taken as a moral, if not infallible, guide. The problem here is this: is this ethical criterion for preferring certain readings intrinsic to the book, or is it rather a product of its canonization? If the latter, then Cousland and McCracken are not asking quite the same question. There is a difference in asking how can a particular book be read and how should it be read, both in the answer that may be given, but also in what counts as a valid methodology. One might agree with Cousland on his readings of some details without thereby affirming his overall stance. Cousland does concede that the narrative contains what he calls ‘outlandish circumstances’.10 He sees these as part of the narrator’s attempt to depict a kind of dystopia, but for purposes which are not comic. The point is to set the scene for a divine restoration of an ordered world. In this connection he makes the interesting observation that Sarah’s plight is an inversion of Genesis 1.28, the injunction to be fruitful and multiply. Not only does Sarah fail to add humans to the earth, she subtracts them. Instead of life, she brings death. Cousland also detects echoes of Genesis 6.1-4 with Asmodeus taking the part of one of the Watchers who lust after daughters of men, although again the effect is to prevent rather than to further procreation. Details apart, Cousland and McCracken are closer than might appear. Cousland ends by acknowledging that Tobit is not a work of unremitting high seriousness. Its irony may make the reader smile and its exoticism has charm. McCracken, on the other hand, is far from dismissing the suffering in the story. His view is summed up as follows: ‘The author’s comic view requires that the suffering be serious but not so serious or pathetic that the affliction eclipses the joy of God’s order’.11 Both of them are responsible enough readers to allow that the text itself resists the broader interpretative stance each wishes to take towards it. Already, however, this would seem to reduce the force of McCracken’s critique of Kierkegaard. Johannes de Silentio does not deny its comedy as he notes the ‘almost unavoidable’ comic effect of the seven husbands, which puts him in mind of ‘a student who failed his examination seven times’.12 In the context of 10. Cousland, ‘Tobit’, p.548. 11. McCracken, ‘Narration and Comedy’, p. 418. 12. Fear and Trembling, p. 102, a sentence which, to give him his due, McCracken also notes. Another group of readers who may be responding, but in a very different way, to the incongruity of

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Tobit, however, this heightens the danger to Tobias and brings to the fore his status as an only son. What he is interested in, though, is to understand Sarah’s situation before she is aware of the possibility of a cure. Kierkegaard does not attempt to give an overall reading of the book. He focuses entirely on Sarah. The reasons for this, and the reason he is drawn to this episode to the first place are in themselves intriguing and do raise some important questions about the book. Just as McCracken’s characterization of Tobit as comedy can be traced to Luther’s preface, so can Kierkegaard’s concentration on Sarah. The importance of the feminine element in Tobit is something Luther emphasises in his Table Talk, where he sums the book up as a comedy dealing with women, which is an exemplum of domestic economy.13 In the preface itself, Luther singles Sarah out and gives the derivation of her name from the Hebrew for a champion or a victor: ‘one who comes out on top’ as his translator Bachmann has it, as close as we may expect to finding her called a hero. What influence might these remarks of Luther’s have had on Kierkegaard’s reading of the book? Kierkegaard was brought up and educated in a Lutheran context, although he had a complex relationship to Luther. In the discourse ‘What is Required in Order to Look at Oneself with True Blessing in the Mirror of the Word?’ which forms the first part of For Self-Examination he performs the interesting rhetorical feat of enlisting Luther’s support for his promotion of the Letter of James, which Luther had notoriously described as a ‘right strawy epistle’.14 In this essay at least, Kierkegaard shows his knowledge of Luther’s biblical writings but is also prepared to challenge him. In the case of Tobit, Kierkegaard makes no direct reference to Luther’s reading in either his published or unpublished works. What his journals do contain, however, are selections from Tobit in a context which suggests, at least to their editors, that they relate to lectures given in 1839 by H.N. Clausen, the remarkable biblical scholar who was professor of New Testament at Copenhagen at the time and with whom Kierkegaard studied.15 The evidence is tantalizingly brief and incomplete, but it is at the very least plausible that Clausen would have alluded the ‘seven’ husbands are the Sadducees in Mark 12.18-23. P.G. Bolt argues persuasively that the story of Sarah is a good candidate as a source for the case they present as a reductio ad absurdum of any doctrine of resurrection. (P.G. Bolt, ‘What were the Saducees Reading? An Enquiry into the Literary Background of Mark 12.18–23’, Tyndale Bulletin 45 (1994), pp. 369–94. 13. ‘Iudith videtur mihi esse tragoedia, in qua finis describitur tyrannorum, Tobias vero comoedia, quae de mulieribus loquitur; illa est exemplum politicum, his est exemplum oeconomicum’, Dr Martin Luthers Werke Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Tischreden 1–6. Vol 1 (Weimar, Hermann Böhlhaus Nachfolger, 1912), §697, p. 338. 14. For Self-Examination/Judge for Yourselves (ed. and trans. H.V. Hong and E.H. Hong; Kierkegaard’s Writings, 21; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), pp. 7–52. For a further discussion of Kierkegaard’s argument and its consequences, see Hugh S. Pyper, ‘The Apostle, the Genius and the Monkey: Reflections on Kierkegaard’s “Mirror of the Word” ’, in Kierkegaard on Art and Communication (ed. George Pattison; London: Macmillan, 1992), pp. 125–36. 15. See H.V. Hong and E.H. Hong, Søren Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers Vol 5 (Bloomington IN, Indiana University Press, 1978), §5419, p. 138 which lists the books and n. 556, ‘Presumably related to H.N. Clausen’s lectures during the academic year 1839–40’, p. 498.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

to Luther’s preface in the course of his comments on Tobit, and more than likely that Kierkegaard would have looked at it in his own reading. However Kierkegaard came across Luther’s views, the theme of perseverance in marriage could hardly have failed to strike a chord with him in his own struggles over his engagement to Regina Olsen. The idea that Sarah rather than Tobias is the hero may also be one that he could have picked up from Luther. The importance of this for Kierkegaard should not be underestimated even though Sarah occupies only four pages in his huge output. On the face of it, this might suggest that his interest in her was slight and passing, hardly worth much further examination. Those four pages, however, contain the following sentence, in de Silentio’s voice: ‘She is the one I want to approach as I have never approached any girl, or been tempted in thought to approach anyone of whom I have read’.16 There could hardly be a stronger expression of interest or of Sarah’s importance as a character. She takes precedence over all women, real or imagined. Climacus adds a passing remark that he admires her more than Tobias loved her. What is it that is so heroic about Sarah, then? De Silentio sees Sarah’s tragedy in her being deprived of the ability to give herself in love. This is an infinitely greater cause for grief than the merely contingent sorrow of a young girl who has not yet found love. For de Silentio, Sarah is unique in the deprivation she suffers, a fact made the more tragic in that she is innocent. It is not that she is psychologically incapable of love or indifferent to it but she knows she is doomed to bring death on any man she loves. She is, as Kierkegaard rather brutally puts it, ‘a botched job’, a ‘damaged specimen of humanity from birth’,17 but through no fault of her own. As so often in Kierkegaard’s works, it is an irresistible temptation to find an analogy here with his understanding of his relationship with his one-time fiancée Regina Olsen, although it should be remembered that it remains a potentially misleading temptation. In his Journals, Kierkegaard records that his decision to induce Regina to break their engagement arose from his sense that he was so infected with melancholy that he could not ask Regina to share his life. The sense of some intrinsic flaw that debars one from the possibility of love, of being a ‘damaged specimen’ is something that he certainly shared with Sarah.18 What he admires in Sarah, what makes him see her as a truly heroic character, is her courage and her love of God that allows her to ask for and accept help even 16. Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling, p. 104. 17. Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling, p. 104. 18. As an example, in one of the many journal entries dealing with the reasons for his rupture with Regina he writes, ‘There is – and this is the good and the bad about me – something spectral about me, something which no one can endure who has to see me every day and have a real relationship with me’ (Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers vol 6; ed. H.V. and E.H. Hong; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978), §6488, p. 217. For a succinct account of the circumstances surrounding Kierkegaard’s relationship to Regina, see the section headed ‘Regina’ in Walter Lowrie, A Short Life of Kierkegaard (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1942), pp. 135–43 and also Kierkegaard’s extended journal entry in Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers vol 6, §6772, pp. 191– 201.

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when she is a damaged specimen. A man could not do this, de Silentio is sure. No man could have the humility to bear Tobias’s sympathy and his courageous self-sacrifice as she does. This is why de Silentio sees Sarah as the heroine, rather than Tobias. To the poetic sensibility, Tobias is the hero for risking death for his betrothed. For de Silentio, it is Sarah’s humble acceptance of the fact that Tobias is willing to make such a sacrifice that is the truly courageous act. Yet is this not itself a poetic romanticization of Sarah’s circumstances, a piece of psychological and spiritual eisegesis on Kierkegaard’s part? Here, an understanding of the dilemma in which all the characters find themselves is in order. Underlying the story are assumptions that are bound up in the general understanding of marriage and procreation in ancient Israel, compounded by the more particular constraints of the Law, which are best understood by the similarities and differences between Sarah’s case and that of another woman who lost more than one husband, Tamar in Genesis 38. In that chapter, Tamar is married to the patriarch Judah’s son Er who is killed by the Lord because of his wickedness. Under the levirate law as set out in Deut. 25.5-10, Tamar as his widow has a legal right to be married to his brother Onan, but he refuses to impregnate her as any child would be accounted an heir to his dead brother rather than as his own. The Lord then punishes Onan with death, leaving Judah with only one son left. Judah’s dilemma is that Tamar is entitled to marry this son, and indeed has no other obvious option. All Judah knows, however, not being privy to the Lord’s designs, is that through association with this woman two of his sons have died childless. Can he risk his only surviving son? His death will bring Judah’s own line to an end as Judah’s wife has already died. Judah opts to withhold him from Tamar and his choice is to some extent vindicated by a later rabbinic ruling which Frank Zimmerman helpfully cites in relation to Sarah: In the later rabbinic thought, a woman who had buried three husbands was called a qatlanit as if there were something in her that was man-killing. Cf. Yeb. 64b: ‘If a woman is married to one husband and he dies; to a second, and he dies; she should not be married to a third. Such is the opinion of R. Judah. R. Simon ben Gamaliel avers, ‘She may be married to a third, but not married to a fourth’. R. Huna declares, ‘The source is the cause’ i.e. such is the nature of this woman. R. Ashi says, ‘It is her evil fortune’.19

Sarah, under this ruling, is indisputably a qatlanit (literally, a ‘killer’) and by the time Tobias arrives on the scene has had more than her share of husbands.20 The 19. Frank Zimmermann, The Book of Tobit (New York: Harper and Brothers; 1958), pp. 62–3. 20. It is impossible to know whether the author of Tobit was aware of legal material cognate to the rabbinic teachings, but the intertextual links between Genesis and Tobit are extensive and not limited to this chapter (see on this George W.E. Nickelsburg, ‘Tobit, Genesis and the Odyssey: A Complex Web of Intertextuality’, in D.R. MacDonald (ed.), Mimesis and Intertextuality in Antiquity and Christianity (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 2001), pp. 41–55. In addition, one wonders if the story of Judah and Tamar may lie behind the disagreement between R. Judah and R. Simon. Under Rabbi Judah’s ruling, Judah is justified in withholding his third son from Tamar, as Tamar has had the two husbands she is entitled to. This exonerates him from some of the guilt of needlessly creating the dilemma Tamar finds herself in, but it raises the problem of Judah’s own


Studies in the Book of Tobit

statements of R. Huna and R. Ashi would justify the assumption that, even if she is technically an innocent party (and the maidservants doubt even that), responsibility if not blame for the deaths rests with her. Something in her nature, some ill fortune, brings this dreadful situation about. Indeed, Asmodeus could be seen as a personification of the deadly power of which the qatlanit is innocent and unconscious, but which is bound up with her most intimate being. Zimmermann puts Sarah’s resulting predicament succinctly: We now see the poignancy of Sarah’s plight. Her past seems black without redemption and her future without hope. She has killed off seven husbands, and there is no surviving levir (apparently) to marry her. As she puts it herself, her father has neither close brother or relative for whom she should keep herself as a wife (6.15)… Were she to be married to another man aside from Tobias, she would be guilty of zenunim, a violation of the law of Moses and punishable by death.21

The levirate law itself is intrinsically unsettling, as Dvore Weisberg has pointed out.22 It exists in order to ensure that the line of the dead can continue, but at the same time it can threaten the continuation of the line of the living. For this reason, in Weisberg’s view, it is met with male reluctance whenever it is invoked. Even the programmatic statement of the law in Deut. 25.5-6 immediately goes on to give the sanctions which a woman can apply to a man who refuses to perform the duty, which indicates that such refusals can be expected. Her recourse is to pull off his sandal and spit in his face, but the lasting sanction is that the man’s own line becomes a source of perpetual disgrace. Instead of being remembered with reverence, his line will be known as the ‘house of him who had his sandal pulled off’ (Deut. 25.10). Boaz, who may seem to be the exception in his willingness to marry the widow Ruth to maintain the inheritance of her dead husband Mahlon, can rely on the reluctance of her unnamed nearer kinsman to undertake this marriage, even at the cost of losing the chance to redeem some of Naomi’s land. His plea is that it will ‘damage his own inheritance’ (Ruth 4.6).

commerce with Tamar and the status of the twin sons subsequently born to her who are vital in the genealogy of David. We are not told that Judah married Tamar (indeed, Gen. 38.26 states flatly that ‘he did not lie with her again’), but the children are acknowledged as being Judah’s sons in 1 Chron. 2.3. In that sense he takes his place as Tamar’s third husband. Rabbi Simon would seem to allow for this. The fact that the two rulings sit in tension reflects the intrinsic moral ambiguity of the story and Judah’s ambiguous status as husband and not-husband. It may also be that the two statements of R. Huna and R. Asha reflect a disagreement about how far the woman is ontologically culpable, so to speak. Is she the source of the fault, as R. Huna claims, intrinsically a qatlanit with no other option, or is she a victim herself: the innocent sufferer from an evil fortune, as R. Ashi suggests, which could have turned out differently? The difference is subtle but real. For a discussion of the legal conundrums in this area, especially in the light of prohibitions against sexual relations between father-in-law and daughter-in-law such as Lev. 20.12, see E.M. Menn, Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38) in Ancient Jewish Exegesis (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1997), specifically the section on ‘Levirate Law and Incest’, pp. 55–64. 21. Zimmermann, Tobit, p. 83. 22. D.Weisberg, ‘The Widow of our Discontent: Levirate Marriage in Israel and the Bible’, JSOT 28 (2004), pp. 403–429.

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From Tobias or Tobit’s point of view, the danger is real and the potential sacrifice is great. Tobias is the only son of elderly parents and the tragedy of his death would be compounded as it would bring Tobit’s line to an end. It would be understandable if Tobit were to react in the same way as Judah. Of course he is not available to be consulted. On the other hand, his absence, together with his age and his continuing marriage, means that the solution found by Tamar is not open to Sarah and so the moral pressure on Tobias is all the stronger. Sarah’s tragedy is a product of a legal and social system designed to contain the tension generated by male anxieties over procreation. Levirate marriage is a way of ensuring the reproductive rights of dead men and their living widows. It brings the inextricable but repressed connection between sex and death into the open. In a society where procreation is understood as the carrying forward of the male line, legitimate sons are necessary for a man’s survival, but by the same token a reminder that he himself is mortal. There is no explicit description of how the processes of conception and childbirth in ancient Israel were understood, but what clues there are point to the common view in the ancient world that the male seed is the carrier of life and the woman provides the ‘field’ in which that seed is planted. Much of the legal material that deals with sex is understandable under this model. The seed itself becomes holy, and therefore can convey uncleanness. Any activity involving that seed that does not take into account its sacred purpose as the conveyor of life is forbidden. Again, the physiology of sex is not described in detail anywhere in the Hebrew Bible, but there are almost inevitable conclusions that those who understand the process in this way will be led to. The biblical traditions are clear that life is situated somehow in the blood. Male seed is the quintessence of that life-giving fluid. Men are the carriers of this life-giving substance. This means both that they are deserving of respect and that they are open to particular sorts of danger. If seed is precious then it stands to reason that there are those who will steal it. In particular, the demonic world has an interest in this potent and life-giving substance. Legends abound of succubi, demonic female figures who need human seed to bring to material life their demonic offspring, but the other side of this is the impotent anger and envy of male demonic figures who are denied this quasidivine power. Sarah is Judah’s nightmare, every Israelite male’s nightmare, and her own nightmare. In the world of the text, de Silentio’s sympathy for her as the unhappiest of women is not a romantic exaggeration, but a sober description of her state in her own eyes and the eyes of her community. That this is embedded in a comic narrative does not detract from that reality. It is not a misreading of Sarah but one borne out by the intertextual allusions of the book. In the light of this, McCracken’s charge against Kierkegaard is hard to sustain. As we have seen, both he and Cousland from their different positions end up with the paradox of a comedy that encompasses genuine suffering and grief and the problem of reading such a book. Kierkegaard’s reading seems to me defensible, and, to put it cautiously, no more of a misreading than either McCracken or Cousland’s.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Kierkegaard, I would claim, is not only exonerated from the accusation of an extreme misreading, but also provides us elsewhere in his works with a particularly powerful analysis of the causes of just this tension between readings of a book like Tobit. In the Concluding Unscientific Postscript, ascribed to the pseudonym Johannes Climacus, there is a typically telling but condensed footnote that describes the difference between the ironist and the humorist. When confronted with human expressions of pain, ‘Irony would promptly be distinguishable by its not expressing the pain but teasingly replying with the aid of the abstract dialectic, which protests the excessiveness that is in the unfortunate person’s cry of pain’.23 In other words, irony shields itself from pain by placing individual misfortune into an abstract picture where it becomes easy to depict the individual as almost comically unaware of where he fits in the great scheme of things. So you lost your beloved – so do millions every day. Climacus goes on to contrast this with the humorist who is: Inclined to think that it [sic. the cry of pain] is too little, and the humorist’s indirect expression for suffering is also much stronger than any direct expression. The ironist levels everything on the basis of abstract humanity; the humorist on the basis of the abstract relationship with God, inasmuch as he does not enter into the relationship with God. It is precisely there that he parries with a jest.

In that sense, de Silentio has a humorist’s relationship to Sarah. He understands the nature of her anguish, and indeed states it in extreme terms that far outrun the rather more matter-of-fact if still poignant description of her state in Tobit itself, but it is precisely on the faith in God that she represents that he ‘parries with a jest’ and excuses himself. Just the absurdity of the cure with fish-gall would lead the humorist to a rather patronizing smile at the desperation and concreteness of immediate suffering which puts its faith in what seems so trivial and even absurd a cure, with perhaps a touch of envy at so simple and naïve a faith. If we wish to find a biblical parallel, we could turn to 2 Kings 5 and the reaction of the Syrian general Naaman to Elisha’s prescription for his leprosy. Furious and insulted at the apparent triviality of being asked to bathe in the Jordan seven times, he stalks off and refuses the cure. It is his servants who make the point: ‘If the prophet asked you to do something difficult, would you not do it? How much more when he has only said to you “Bathe and be clean”?’(5.13). It is of a piece with the context of the Elisha cycle that there is humour and bathos in this scene – the image in 5.14 of the mighty general’s flesh being restored to that of ‘a little boy’ points out the healing but also the humbling of the man who has such pride in his own status, riches and homeland. For all the humorist’s seriousness with which de Silentio treats Sarah’s situation, there is a lighter side manifested in Kierkegaard’s treatment of Tobit. The story of Sarah is set alongside other secular literary works: the tale of Agnes and the merman, Shakespeare’s Richard the Third and the legend of Faust in his 23. S. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments (ed. H.V. Hong and E.H. Hong [Kierkegaard’s Writings 12]; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), p. 448.

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treatment of what he calls ‘Problema III’ in Fear and Trembling. The reason he is reading the story at all is that it offers another aesthetic example in his wider investigation of the question: ‘Was it ethically defensible of Abraham to conceal his purpose from Sarah, from Eleazar, from Isaac?’ He does not appeal to it as scripture at any point. Yet the point at issue is a profoundly religious one. The relationship between the religious and the comic is most clearly set out by Kierkegaard’s pseudonym Johannes Climacus: The religious person is one who has discovered the comic on the greatest scale and yet he does not consider the comic as the highest, because the religious is the purest pathos. But if he looks upon the comic as the highest, then his comic is eo ipso lower, because the comic is always based on a contradiction, and if the comic itself is the highest, it lacks the contradiction in which the comic exists and in which it makes a showing, that is why it holds true without exception that the more competently a person exists, the more he will discover the comic.24

To discover the comic in a religious work such as Tobit, then, is not to trivialize it. It is the mark of a religious sensibility, and insofar as both reader and writer take seriously the religious, the comic will come to the fore in the writing. To see the comic as the point, however, is not only a misreading of its religious power, but actually reduces the comic force of the book. Taking the comic seriously means it must not be taken too seriously. McCracken and Cousland are aware of the tightrope to be walked between jest and earnest, but, I would argue, fall on either side of it; McCracken overemphasizes the jest, whereas Cousland is too earnest. What is at issue here is a problem that Kierkegaard knew well and which he analyses as subtly as anyone; the mismatch between what is written and what is read, between utterance and reception. In his account of indirect communication, he takes as a prime example the ambiguity between jest and earnest. There is nothing intrinsic to any statement that makes it incontestably one or the other. Indeed humour, is the prime showcase of the problems of intention in language.25 A comedian can intend to make us laugh and we can be perfectly aware of that without feeling in the least amused, while being convulsed with laughter at an unintentional blunder. Yet that response itself is not entirely voluntary: no-one can guarantee to make us laugh, but we can certainly be made to laugh despite our best efforts. The response to the comic complicates the distinction between voluntary and involuntary. That is why the comic appears in Kierkegaard’s account of the three stages of life, the aesthetic, the ethical and the religious. How these stages should be interpreted and how far Kierkegaard himself was committed to this schema are much debated questions which cannot be settled here. The point is that for Kierkegaard the comic is the transition between the ethical and the religious. 24. Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, p. 462. 25. A more extended and illuminating examination of these points is to be found in John Lippitt’s Humour and Irony in Kierkegaard’s Thought (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000), particularly in the discussion of the joke as the paradigm case of ‘seeing as’ on p. 111.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

What this implies is that the comic is a way of comprehending the world, not a distinguishable element within it. This comic view should not be understood as failing to take things seriously. That particular error would be one that the aesthete might fall into. On the contrary, the comic is a step beyond the high seriousness of the ethical approach that takes the world and its woes entirely seriously, but also takes too seriously any one individual’s capacity to be responsible for the world. In the ethical stage, a laudable sense of responsibility fails to be tempered by humility and risks becoming absurd itself. The humorist knows how incommensurate his own powers are in the face of the ills of the world. For Kierkegaard, the religious response means learning to rely on God’s power and re-establishing one’s engagement with the world in a completely new way. The humorist does not make this move as he fails to see the possibility of a new kind of earnestness that never loses the sense of absurdity but is not disempowered by it. In Kierkegaard’s telling phrase, he ‘closes the book and goes home’. In this sense, the debate over whether Tobit is comic or not can be taken as a testimony to its subtlety as a communication. How we respond to Tobit says more about us as readers than it does about the intentions of its writer. Writers can write better than they know, as well as worse, and they can certainly be comic without meaning to be. To rule out the comic in Tobit simply because the book has acquired scriptural status is certainly an extrinsic and restricted reading, one towards which Cousland veers, as it would be to use the possibility of a comic reading to deny scriptural status to the book. Any book that addresses human existence is bound to contain the absurd and the painful. Whether we laugh or cry, or whether we ought to laugh or cry, are questions the text may pose us as readers. The answers, however, as Kierkegaard will never let us forget, are ours and so is the responsibility.

Bibliography Bolt, P. G., ‘What were the Sadducees Reading? An Enquiry into the Literary Background of Mark 12:18–23’, Tyndale Bulletin 45 (1994), pp. 369–94. Cousland, J.R.C., ‘Tobit: A Comedy in Error?’, CBQ 65 (2001), pp. 535–53. Greene, G., Collected Stories (London: The Bodley Head and William Heinemann, 1972). Hong, H.V., and E.H. Hong (eds.), Søren Kierkegaard’s Journals and Papers (8 vols.; Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1978). Kierkegaard, S., Fear and Trembling/Repetition (ed. and trans. H.V. and E.H. Hong; Kierkegaard’s Writings, 6; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983). —For Self-Examination/Judge for Yourselves (ed. and trans. H.V. Hong and Edna H. Hong; Kierkegaard’s Writings, 21; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990). —Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments (ed. and trans. H.V. Hong and E.H. Hong; Kierkegaard’s Writings, 12.1; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992). Lippitt, J., Humour and Irony in Kierkegaard’s Thought (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000). Lowrie, W., A Short Life of Kierkegaard (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1942). Luther, M., Tischreden 1531–46: Band 1 (ed. E. Kroker; D. Martin Luthers Werke Kritische Gesamtausgabe; Tischreden; 6 vols.; Weimar: Hermann Böhlhaus Nachfolger, 1912).

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—‘Preface to the Book of Tobit [1534]’, in Words and Sacraments I (ed. and trans. E.T. Bachmann; Luther’s Works, 35; Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960), pp. 345–47. Menn, E.M., Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38) in Ancient Jewish Exegesis (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1997). McCracken, D., ‘Narration and Comedy in the Book of Tobit’, JBL 114 (1995), pp. 401–18. —The Scandal of the Gospels: Jesus, Story and Offence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994). Nickelsburg, G.W.E., ‘Tobit, Genesis and the Odyssey: A Complex Web of Intertextuality’, in D.R. MacDonald (ed.), Mimesis and Intertextuality in Antiquity and Christianity (Harrisburg PA: Trinity Press International, 2001), pp. 41–55. Pyper, H.S., ‘The Apostle, the Genius and the Monkey: Reflections on Kierkegaard’s “Mirror of the Word” ’, in G. Pattison (ed.), Kierkegaard on Art and Communication (London: Macmillan, 1992), pp. 125–36. Weisberg, D., ‘The Widow of our Discontent: Levirate Marriage in Israel and the Bible’, JSOT 28 (2004), pp. 403–29. Zimmermann, F., The Book of Tobit (New York, Harper and Brothers, 1958).

Chapter 5 TOBIT IN THE ART OF THE FLORENTINE RENAISSANCE Trevor Hart (University of St Andrews) 1. Introduction In the history of art, images related in one way or another to the book of Tobit are not evenly distributed, but clustered very clearly in particular times and places. There are, in fact, two main clusters which together account for the vast majority of extant Tobiasbilden. As Ernst Gombrich notes, such images were relatively rare in the Middle Ages, which makes the veritable explosion of interest in them which we find in mid-fifteenth-century Florentine art all the more striking.1 The other ‘hot-spot’ occurs two whole centuries later and across the geo-physical and theological barriers represented by the Alps and the Reformation respectively, in seventeenth-century Amsterdam and at the heart of the socalled ‘Golden Age’ of Dutch culture. Rembrandt alone painted, drew or etched no fewer than twenty.2 Like all cluster patterns, these two naturally arouse curiosity about what might have caused them. Artists must sell their work in order to eat, after all, and to some extent at least, therefore, the choice of subject by a master or his ‘workshop’ may be taken broadly to reflect an existing interest and concern with it on the part of potential patrons. In this essay I shall concentrate on the first of these clusters, which erupted largely without precedent between c.1425–1500, laid claim to the attention and energy of some of the great names of the Italian Renaissance, and produced many visually very similar images depicting the figures of Tobias and the archangel. In attending to some examples, and some hypotheses concerning the background to them, we shall see that their relationship to the text of Tobit is in reality a curious one, indirect and in some instances strained, a fact which compels us to recognize a variety of ways in which biblical texts may serve as the basis for religious visualization, and perhaps to adopt a broad understanding of the senses

1. See the essay ‘Tobias and the Angel’, in Ernst Gombrich, Symbolic Images: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance (London: Phaidon, 1972), p. 26. 2. Simon Schama, Rembrandt’s Eyes (London: Allen Lane, Penguin, 1999), p. 238. Most of these are helpfully reproduced in Hidde Hoekstra, Rembrandt and the Bible: Stories from the Old and New Testaments illustrated by Rembrandt in paintings, etchings and drawings (Weert, Netherlands: Magna Books, 1990), pp. 164–95.

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in which a painting might nonetheless be said to constitute a ‘visual interpretation’ of some such text. The history of interpretation of biblical texts is not one comprised of other texts alone. Texts may dominate that history (or appear to do so) for a host of perfectly good reasons. But within the church many other forms of life must properly be spoken of as interpreting, rendering and realizing meanings from the foundational texts of Old and New Testaments.3 Central among these we find various artistic practices including music, drama, architecture, sculpture, poetry and painting. Indeed, viewing things for a moment from the standpoint of art history rather than the history of biblical interpretation, it is apparent that the two streams converge and substantially overlap. The history of western painting in the Christian era up to the seventeenth century is in large measure the history of a sustained artistic engagement with these same founding texts; with ideas, symbols, and stories drawn from them, and with forms of life through which they were made sense of in the church and in a wider Christian society. In the sanctuary, in the home and in various public contexts,4 images of one sort or another have played vital roles in the formation, development and transmission of Christian faith. A number of recent studies have reminded us that the precise contributions of particular images and sorts of images (what they have been intended and held to ‘do’ religiously) within this broad pattern of visualization have varied significantly.5 So have the ways in which these contributions have duly been made. Failure to recognize this, generating a mismatch between expectations and findings, can easily result in the misunderstanding and misappropriation of images. In an older essay germane to our own study, Ernst Gombrich notes that Renaissance depictions of Tobias and Raphael have often been approached as if their primary purpose were as illustrations of some significant moment in the narrative, and subsequently censured for the alleged inconsistencies with the text to be found in them.6 A different angle of approach, he suggests, affords a very differ3. That Tobit is not, for Protestant Christians, a canonical text need not concern us here. The Florentine painters of the fifteenth century, with whose work we shall be concerned, certainly held it to be such. 4. Not, though, we should remind ourselves, in galleries or museums, which are peculiarly modern inventions tied to a specific notion of ‘the arts’ that divorces them rather than acknowledging their inextricability from the mesh of life as actually lived. See on this helpfully Paul Oskar Kristeller, Renaissance Thought and the Arts (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980), pp. 163–227 and Nicholas Wolterstorff, Art in Action: Toward a Christian Aesthetic (Carlisle: Solway, 1997). 5. See, e.g., David Morgan, Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images (Berkeley, LA and London: University of California Press, 1998); David Brown, Tradition and Imagination (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); William A. Dyrness, Reformed Theology and Visual Culture: The Protestant Imagination from Calvin to Edwards (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Jane Boyd and Philip Esler, Visuality and Biblical Text: Interpreting Valázquez’ Christ with Martha and Mary as a Test Case (Florence: Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki, 2004). 6. See Gombrich, Symbolic Images, pp. 26–30.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

ent way of making sense of these images, and preserves us as viewers from precisely the sort of interpretive naivety we might otherwise be tempted to ascribe to the artist.

2. Narrative Inconsistencies? Muizelaar and Phillips remind us that in fifteenth-century Italy most works of visual art were religious paintings ‘intended for churches and other religious buildings, created as objects of veneration, mystical contemplation, and religious instruction’.7 The subjects of these paintings were mostly biblical, scenes from the life and ministry of Jesus (predominantly his nativity, passion and resurrection), portrayals of the Virgin Mary, the four evangelists and other saints, and certain characters and scenes from the Old Testament.8 These visual subjects were mostly continuous with established iconographic traditions inherited from the mediaeval period, but, as we have already noted, there arose a sudden and pronounced interest in the production of images related to the book of Tobit, chiefly among Florentine artists. As Gombrich notes, the level of productivity was remarkable, almost industrial. The services of some of the greatest studios and workshops were engaged to turn out these pictures.9 And it is likely that a single artist or his ‘school’ would often have turned out multiple copies of the same image for different patrons.10 Almost all of the pictures painted conformed to a similar pattern, centring upon Tobias, Azarias/Raphael and the dog seemingly journeying through the wilderness en route from Nineveh to Ecbatana. Figure 1 is a familiar and helpful example of the type. Quite apart from anything the artist (or a title supplied by later dealers) may tell us about his theme, we can identify the subject visually by the unusual composition of the group (as travelling companions go, a boy, an archangel and a dog probably don’t crop up together very often!). And we can identify the stage of the journey, because Tobias here is still carrying a fish, the guts of which have not yet been used to exorcise the demon Asmodeus from Sarah, daughter of Raguel. So the image begins to make sense to us as we set it alongside the text, and situate it accordingly in narrative time and space.

7. Klaske Muizelaar and Derek Phillips, Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paintings and People in Historical Perspective (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003), p. 87. 8. See Bruce Cole, The Renaissance Artist at Work (New York: Harper & Row, 1983), pp. 35– 6, 138–47. 9. Extant examples attributed to Bicci, Botticini, Lippi, Perugino, Pollaiolo, Verrochio. ‘The Master of Pratovecchio’ and others all date from the period c.1440–c.1500 and, as Gombrich observes, ‘Many more must have been lost’ (Gombrich, Symbolic Images, p. 26). 10. Records confirm that the Florentine painter Neri di Bicci produced as many as nine versions of the same motif for different patrons, and this is unlikely to have been an isolated instance. See Gombrich, Symbolic Images, p. 26.

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Figure 1. ‘Tobias and the Angel’, School of Verrochio , National Gallery, London.

As soon as we have said this, though, something odd strikes us about the relationship of the painting to the story.11 In fact, more than one aspect of it, on 11. At this juncture the issue of different versions of Tobit must be addressed. The story of Tobit would have been familiar to quattrocento readers from two primary textual sources, the Vulgate (Vulg) and Voragine’s Golden Legend. Vulg is mostly close to the Greek version derived from MSS Vaticinus and Alexandrinus (GI) which forms the basis for older English renderings such as the RSV. This version differs from that derived from Sinaiticus (GII) which NRSV mostly follows. In what follows, I have followed Vulg and, where relevant, indicated differences from RSV, NRSV and Legend respectively. On sources and translations see Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Tobit (Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter, 2003); Carey A. Moore, Tobit (New York: Doubleday, 1996); Vincent T.M. Skemp, The Vulgate of Tobit Compared with Other Ancient Witnesses (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000). For the text of Vulg I have used the edition by Jouby and Roger (Paris: Facultatis Theologiae Bibliopolas, 1870). Translations of Vulg are those provided by Skemp. For Legend (which, for the purposes of this essay, mostly paraphrases Vulg fairly directly) I have used The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints as Englished by William Caxton (ed. F.S. Ellis; Vol. 2; London: J.M. Dent & Co., 1900), pp. 57–77. References to particular verses of Tobit are to the text in NRSV, and variants indicated in footnotes as relevant.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

careful consideration, seems to fly directly in the face of the narrative. And the capacity for flight is indeed part of the problem! As readers we have been told clearly in 5.4 that ‘Azarias’ is indeed none other than the angel Raphael, but we also know that Tobias is blithely ignorant of this fact.12 The ‘handsome young man’ who will be Tobias’s travelling companion duly introduces himself to old Tobit as ‘the son of the great Hananiah, one of your relatives’ (5.13),13 a white lie14 which duly wins him the acceptance and trust needful for his angelic mission 12. NRSV: ‘So Tobias went out to look for a man to go with him to Media, someone who was acquainted with the way. He went out and found the angel Raphael standing in front of him; but he did not perceive that he was an angel of God’. RSV: ‘So he went to look for a man; and he found Raphael, who was an angel, but Tobias did not know it’. Vulg (5.5–6a): ‘Tunc egressus Tobias, invenit juvenum splendidum, stantem praecinctum, et quasi paratum ad ambulandum. Et ignorans quod angelus Dei esset, salutavit eum…’ (‘Then Tobias went out and found a handsome young man standing about, dressed as if ready to set off on a journey. Not knowing that he was an angel of God, he greeted him…’). Legend follows Vulg . 13. Vulg 5.18. Vulg is closer to NRSV than RSV in its longer rendering of this particular passage, including the assertion by Raphael/Azarias that Tobit will soon be healed of his blindness, and the accompanying exhortation to ‘take courage’ (Vulg ‘forti animo esto’; ‘be strong in spirit’). Again, Legend follows Vulg closely (‘be of strong belief’). The reader is now in possession of both a secret and a promise. Given Raphael’s secret identity, his words must amount to much more than an expression of good intent, effectively leaking the story’s happy ending already at its beginning. For Tobit, though, they constitute a stern test of the faith and trust in God which, at the story’s outset, we have been told that he possesses in spades, but which, through the random infliction of blindness (as Moore puts it ironically, in effect Tobit’s ‘reward’ for an act of charity – see Moore, Tobit, p. 125) is now put deliberately under duress. The initial indications are not good. Like Job, Tobit has already appealed to God to take his life. In response to Raphael’s (in context, heavily ironic!) opening gambit (‘Guadium tibi sit semper’; ‘Joy be always with you!’ [Vulg 5.11]), he has expressed his sense of utter hopelessness (though VG lacks the hyperbolic ‘Although still alive, I am among the dead’ [NRSV 5.10, cf. Vulg 5.12]). Like Job, Tobit must now learn obedience through continued suffering. Unlike Job, though, he is offered angelic rather than merely human counsel in the midst of his suffering and a promise – if he will trust it – of God’s intention to restore what has been taken from him. But, since Tobit himself is not party to the secret identity of his counsellor, the advice given, prima facie, is of merely human rather than heavenly provenance, and his words in vv. 14 and 17 (Vulg vv. 19 and 21) are thus indicative of the faith which Raphael urges upon him, rather than the inevitable response of one confronted unambiguously with God’s messenger. (Cf. the response to Raphael’s self-revelation in 12.16.) As well as having a vital religious and theological point to make, though, the fact that Tobit himself (and Tobias – whose faith and obedience are also subjected to testing in the story – together with him) must act in ignorance of what the reader already knows about Raphael, and thus anticipates by way of the story’s outcome, is essential to its quality as literary entertainment. On ironic aspects of the narrative see further Moore, Tobit, pp. 24ff. 14. On Raphael’s ‘bogus credentials’ and the attendant ‘deceit’ perpetrated on Tobit and his family see Moore, Tobit, pp. 192–3 and Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 192. Both commentators allude to the etymology of the name Azariah (‘Yahweh has helped’) as a mitigating consideration. No doubt this is relevant, but the name is only part of a wider yarn which Raphael spins, and its appeal to what is ‘strictly speaking true’ can hardly be taken in isolation. Moore seems closer to the point when he links this element in the narrative to its wider ‘comic’ nature. Thus, ‘It would be in keeping with the book’s wider irony to concede that Raphael “was no angel” ’ in this sense (192). But to go on to say that ‘by offering bogus credentials he proved himself to be quite deceitful’ is rather to miss the point. Later comic genres are notoriously laden with instances of pseudonymity and the circumstances

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of testing, guidance and protection, and healing, and sets up a comic irony and tension duly resolved at the story’s effective climax in 12.15. The ‘holy man who went with you’ (12.1), when offered his wages, will take no payment, and finally reveals his true identity to his human hosts (12.11), a truth familiarity with which alone has enabled the reader to make sense of much of what has happened as it happened to this point, and which now promises Tobias and his parents, once they have recovered from the inevitable shock (12.16), retrospective epiphanies enabling them to enjoy their own narrative as such. Having delivered this final flourish, Raphael was, we are told simply, ‘taken away from their sight’ (12.2021), a reserved description more fitting to the nature of the event, perhaps, than some artistic representations of the moment from later centuries (I am aware of none pertaining to this episode dating from the Renaissance).15 Some things are definitely better unspecified, left to the imagination, because there the visual effects are so much better done. But if the pseudonymity of Azarias constitutes such an obvious and vital element in the plot of the book, how is it, then, we may reasonably ask, that in the ‘Verrochio’ painting we find him strolling along, large as life, apparently in full angelic garb? Perhaps his red cloak constitutes at least a gesture in the direction both of social contextualization and disguise, but what about the halo and those unmistakable wings? Is Tobias also blind, or stupid, we may wonder? Or has the artist only the slightest familiarity with the detail of the text, being thus unaware of his visual faux pas? The answer, of course, is almost certainly none of the above! A large part of the actual answer lies in the fact that we should not expect a painting ever simply to produce something wholly akin to a visual transcript of ‘what it would have looked like if we had been there ourselves’. In even the most naturalistic of paintings the artist deploys a visual code of some sort to enable our recognition of its subject.16 If this encoding occasionally (mostly ultimately ‘redemptive’) which arise in connection with it. Raphael’s purpose in veiling his identity is, of course, wholly good, and deceit (while in our own ‘real’ world perhaps often difficult to differentiate from disguise as such) hardly seems an appropriate category in the world of the text before us. 15. Significantly, Vulg makes no explicit mention of ascending, a theme concentrated upon with some relish by later visual depictions. It has: ‘Tempus est ergo ut revertar ad eum qui me visit … Et cum haec dixisset, ab aspectu eorum ablatus est, et ultra eum videre non potuerunt’ (‘ “It is time, then, that I return to the one who sent me…” After he had said this, he was taken away from their sight, and they were unable to see him any more’. RSV follows GI: ‘ “I am ascending to him who sent me…” Then they stood up; but they saw him no more’. NRSV follows GII: ‘ “See, I am ascending to him who sent me…” And he ascended. Then they stood up, and could see him no more’. 16. See on this especially the essay ‘Visual Discovery Through Art’ in Ernst Gombrich, The Image and the Eye: Further Studies in the Psychology of Pictoral Representation (London: Phaidon, 1982), pp. 11–39. For further discussion of the issues involved see the essay ‘Image and Code: Scope and Limits of Conventionalism in Pictorial Representation’ in the same volume; also Ernst Gombrich, Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation (London: Phaidon, 5th edn, 1977), Nelson Goodman, Languages of Art: An Approach to the Theory of Symbols (Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co. Ltd., 1976) and Kendal L. Walton,


Studies in the Book of Tobit

extends noticeably beyond straightforward verisimilitude then we must learn not to be too literalistic in our expectations and standards of judgment, but should acknowledge instead that this is in fact one of the strengths of the image – it can show us things not visible to the eye, and can thereby interpret reality efficiently for us. In this instance, the wings enable the viewer quickly and easily to identify the subject of the painting. It is not uncommon for titles attached to paintings in the modern period to have been added to them decades, or even centuries, after they were painted, the original ascription having been lost. It is worth asking ourselves whether, in the absence of any formal identification, and had the larger of the two figures in this painting been shorn of wings, halo and other distinctive markers of angelic identity, we should have been quite so confident in our association of it with the book. Might we not have been looking simply at the portrayal of a pair of brothers out walking the dog, and having called in at the fish shop on the way home? Who is to say? In visual terms, then, the wings matter a great deal in situating confidently what we see within the terms of a particular familiar story. And, of course, the wings correspond nicely to the comic irony embedded in the text. In effect they are the visual manifestation of all that the reader knows and Tobias does not, and one may argue that, in this sense, their presence captures the meaning of the text far better than the ‘accuracy’ of their absence in a more naturalistic rendering could have. The fish, of course, is another bone of contention in narrative terms. Careful fifteenth-century readers of the text would have known perfectly well that Tobias’s encounter with the fish in ch. 6 is in fact with a ‘huge fish’ which threatens to devour him whole, and not the relative tiddler dangling inertly from the string in the picture.17 Furthermore, they would know that in the text the fish never actually makes it intacto beyond 6.6, Tobias having followed Azarias’s instructions carefully and gutted it in that verse ready for miscellaneous ghost-busting Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1990). 17. NRSV’S version, in which GII’s ichthus megas tries ‘to swallow the young man’s foot’ (6.3) also presupposes something reasonably substantial. But Vulg has: ‘He went out to wash his feet, and behold, a huge fish (piscis immanis) came out to devour him (ad devorandum eum). Terribly afraid, he shouted loudly, saying, “Lord, it will attack me!” ’. (The description is redolent of Jonah 2.1 [‘Et praeparavit Dominus piscem grandem ut deglutiret Jonam’], building on the parallel between the two stories already furnished by their shared geographical centre of gravity in the city of Nineveh.) Yet Tobias proceeds, under angelic instruction, to grab the fish by the gills and drag it ashore to meet its own doom (Vulg 6.4). There is thus a certain humourous ambiguity implicit in the fish incident as a whole. It is certainly hard to imagine anyone other than an acute piscophobe being terrorized by an encounter with Verrochio’s trout (which is typical of the visual genre), and one is led to wonder whether the diminutive size of the painted ‘monster’ is an attempt faithfully to reproduce the note of humour via a visual joke. In pursuit of further possible comic content, Moore reminds us of the deliberate ambiguity in Hebraic idiom of the ‘feet’ which, we are told by both versions, Tobias is washing in the river when the attack occurs. For if, indeed, in GII/NRSV the fish merely ‘nips at Tobias’s genitals’ causing him to cry out (see Moore, Tobit, p. 199) then the element of humour is undoubtedly amplified (so too, arguably, the corresponding visual joke of painting so small a specimen). According to Vulg, having been dragged onto dry land, the fish duly ‘began to wriggle at his feet’.

HART Tobit in the Art of the Florentine Renaissance


and medicinal purposes later in the story.18 And all this happens before they resume their journey, so there is no way it could ever have been carried along unscathed, as the trophy of a (somewhat meagre) day’s angling. Again, the painting departs identifiably from the text, and we may demand justification for this. Again, part of the answer probably lies in considerations of visual identification. Tobias is the more easily recognized because of his association with the fish, just in case we are actually familiar with other archangel–boy– dog combos, and might mistake this one when we see it. Also, the fish plays a vital role in the story in one way or another, and its visual depiction stimulates a sort of ‘backwards and forwards’ flickering of the imagination which here enhances, surely, rather than detracts from the narrative meaning of the moment shown.19 Tobias and Raphael have had their encounter with the fish, and are on their way now to Ecbatana where its heart and liver will be vital to the redemption of Sarah from demonic possession, and eventually back to Nineveh, where the gall bladder will provide a cure for Tobit’s blindness. In its way, then, the ‘erroneous’ depiction of the fish here locates the image within and evokes the narrative as a whole, rather than being a stumbling block to our appreciation of it. And if, not yet wholly cured of our literal-mindedness, we are inclined to complain about the fish being too small and unfilleted, we might want to reflect on the options facing the artist in visual terms for depicting unambiguously and decorously the offal of a hefty fish, or why anyone might be carrying it unwrapped in public! Thus far I have addressed these issues of translation as though one important function of our Renaissance Tobias paintings was indeed as visual depictions and interpretations of the story which the text tells. I have, I think, shown that such a way of viewing them can reasonably be sustained; in other words, the painting we have considered thus far, despite initial appearances, once we ‘decode’ it, does not do interpretive violence to the text, but renders elements of it helpfully. Now, though, we must consider some alternative readings of this tradition of Florentine Tobias paintings which render such questions of interpretive detail more or less irrelevant. We must reckon with the possibility, perhaps even the 18. Where RSV has Tobias and Raphael also roasting and eating the fillets of fish, NRSV restricts the eating to Tobias, and Vulg avoids mention of eating altogether, having them cook the fish ‘to go’. Fitzmyer traces this silence to a desire for consonance with 12.19 where Vulg has ‘I seemed indeed to eat and drink with you, but I use invisible food and drink, which cannot be seen by human beings’. This ‘docetic’ strand, though, would appear to leave the way fully open for Raphael to share in Tobit’s fish supper, otherwise the ‘seeming’ would hardly be meaningful. In any case, the text of Vulg 6.6 does refer to a portion which, in addition to roasting, ‘they salted, so that it would be enough for them until they arrived in Rages’, a phrase which certainly suggests that they were planning to eat it rather than anything else, and thus breaches any alleged proscription on angelic munching. Legend, while following Vulg closely, follows through on the implication: ‘When he had (gutted it) he roasted of the fish, and took it with them for to eat by the way, and the remnant they salted’. etc. (6.5). Nonetheless, for the reader of Vulg, the fish is still strictly unconsumed immediately after 6.6; but it has been eviscerated, filleted, roasted and (in part) salted, unlike the apparently unviolated pisciform corpse in Verrochio’s painting (and other familiar examples of the genre). 19. On this capacity for temporal ‘pregnancy’ in a painting, see ‘Moment and Movement in Art’, in Gombrich, The Image and the Eye, pp. 40–62.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

likelihood, that the purpose of these paintings (and the reason for the sudden, almost industrial proliferation of them in Florentine art from c.1425 for some 50 years) had little to do with interest in the book of Tobit as such at all, but something else quite peripheral to it.

3. One for the Road? In 1901 the German art historian Hans Mackowsky, in a monograph on the work of Verrochio,20 discussed the painting in Figure 1 and others closely associated with it, and suggested that their role was not as illustrations or interpretations of Scripture, but much more as the ‘folk-religious’ paraphernalia of a form of visual piety directly analogous to the sort documented by Morgan’s study.21 Mackowsky cites the observation of Burckhardt that paintings of the journey of Tobias with one (or even three) angels were commissioned predominantly, although not exclusively, for the home where they served not just as decoration, but as ‘recommendations’ (Empfehlungen) designed either to secure or give thanks for heavenly protection for particular young men.22 The young men in question, Mackowsky indicates, were the sons of wealthy Florentine merchants recently sent off on long and potentially dangerous trading journeys. In their absence, the image of this scene from Tobit (possibly enhanced by the provision of not just one but now three archangels, which, together with the ubiquitous dog,23 must surely count as a belt and braces approach to travel insurance!) duly hung on the wall of 20. Hans Mackowsky, Verrochio (Bielefeld and Leipzig: Verlag von Velhagen und Klafing, 1901). 21. Morgan, Visual Piety. 22. Mackowsky, Verrochio, p. 84. 23. Mackowsky (85–6) is disparaging about depictions of the dog in the Verrochio painting and related images, describing it as a ‘shaggy little mutt’ (zöttige Kötte), a complete failure in artistic terms, and an unworthy descendant of the dog portrayed by the biblical poet. In western art the small dog is, typically, symbolic of fidelity, an association not natural to the Hebrew mind, but appropriate enough to this particular story. Here, therefore, from the visual point of view, the details and the big ideas of the Tobit narrative coincide helpfully. The story is precisely about God’s faithfulness to his promise (in protecting Tobias and healing Tobit), Raphael’s faithfulness to his task, and the faith of Tobit and Tobias in entrusting their well-being to God. In narrative terms the fact that the dog is taken along on the trip at all is also an index of Tobias’s ‘blindness’ to the reality of his situation (which we as readers can see). The most obvious function of a dog in Middle Eastern society, where dogs were not (unlike Hellenic culture which duly influenced western practice) kept as domestic pets, was as a form of security for the household or, as in this case, on a journey (see, e.g, Isa. 56.10). Tobias has an archangel at his elbow, but, unaware of this, takes the family dog with him as an extra pair of eyes and ears. And, despite wider biblical associations, the dog described in this story is apparently also a domestic pet, and not necessarily, therefore, of the large, fierce sort one might select for purely utilitarian ends. Vulg in particular reinforces this perception of the animal. While it lacks the references in (RSV) 5.16 and (RSV and NRSV) 11.4 to the dog’s departure and return with Tobias and Raphael, it adds its own elaboration in 11.9: ‘Then the dog, which had also been on the journey, ran ahead and, as a messenger that arrives, took pleasure in wagging its tail’. Perhaps, then, the portrayal of some sort of lapdog has something to be said for it. Such a dog, rushing home excitedly to greet the family after a long walk, would probably been more familiar, and thus have made more sense to Florentine patrons in both symbolic and narrative terms than most of its snarling biblical cousins, scavenging in packs, consuming the corpses of the unburied (1 Kings 14.11).

HART Tobit in the Art of the Florentine Renaissance


the parlour or the family chapel as a religious ex-voto, granting some comfort to the parents in those anxious months prior (hopefully) to a safe return. What has happened here, then, if this theory is correct, is the application of a particular hermeneutic to the text of Tobit, reading it very much from within the concerns of a practical Sitz im Leben, and allowing those concerns to steer the visual moment depicted. Tobit here becomes the story of another, earlier dangerous journey conducted for ‘business’ purposes (the retrieval of Tobit’s money from Rages), and one in which divine protection is secretly proffered from beginning to end, resulting in a safe (and prosperous) return for the traveller. To capture this key theme from the story, what more appropriate than a portrayal of Tobias in the wilderness with his dog and archangel (better yet, three archangels) by his side? Figure 2 is ascribed to Botticini, and we can see at once the visual likeness to Figure 1 which seems, in fact, as Mackowsky and Gombrich both note, simply to have been lifted from its midst.

Figure 2. ‘The Journey of Tobias’, Botticini, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

In this image, we might think, serious liberties have been taken with the text, and ones to which no amount of allowance for visual encoding or anything else could grant warrant. But if Mackowsky’s theory is correct, of course, then measuring the image by the story is not an appropriate thing to do at all. For, while it is obviously rooted in an idea or theme taken from the story of Tobit, the painting is


Studies in the Book of Tobit

not intended to depict a moment in the story, but as a symbolic treatment of an idea lifted from it (angelic protection on a dangerous journey) and treated now in abstracto. The image is not meant to inform the viewer about the story, or enhance understanding of it. Its purpose is to secure divine favour in a specific life circumstance. This being the case, extra archangels are clearly a good rather than a bad thing, because visually they invoke extra supernatural ‘muscle’ for the cause. To suggest that their presence misrepresents the detail or obscures the thematic heart of the text, therefore, is simply to miss the point of what the artist is and is not attempting in this particular work (whatever we may think he should be attempting). What the painting is for, what it is expected to do, necessarily dictates what the artist depicts and how he depicts it. The unashamed portrayal of Tobias and his dog (and his fish) with Gabriel and Michael as well as Raphael, in other words, cannot reasonably and should not be understood as quirky misrepresentation of the text. Something else is obviously going on (whether Mackowsky has identified that something correctly or not). Indeed, these more elaborate pictures (which abound in the period) are better (because less ambiguous) indicators of the real burden of Renaissance concern with Tobiasbilden, and perhaps, therefore, we should interpret their less elaborate counterparts (such as Figure 1) in the light of them, rather than vice-versa. In his essay on the subject Gombrich refers to Mackowsky’s theory as ‘attractive’, but treats it with caution because it rests on no documentary evidence.24 It remains speculation, albeit of a compelling and ‘reasonable’ sort. Pictures were indeed commissioned and used for just the sort of purpose Mackowsky describes, but, while we can certainly imagine these particular pictures having such a use (and can make good sense of their visual focus and composition, as well as their surprising success as consumer goods, in these terms), we cannot know for sure. Silence cuts both ways, of course, and in the absence of anything more solidly founded, Mackowsky’s view remains an attractive one. Unsurprisingly, it has been widely adopted and rehearsed in the literature since it was first aired. Perhaps, in any case, it tells part of the human story behind the pictures (there is, after all, no reason to suppose the existence of just one contributory factor, and it is unlikely that any single account can bear the weight of explanation singlehandedly). But, Gombrich suggests, we can be reasonably confident that it does not tell the whole story, having in our possession evidence (more substantial now, indeed, than when Gombrich’s short essay was published thirty years ago) which points to a more likely primary explanation for the eruption of Tobitrelated paraphernalia in Florentine society in the quattrocento.

4. Under the Banner of Raphael Drawing on an earlier article by Mesnil (published, in fact, just a year after Mackowsky’s book, in 1902),25 Gombrich refers his readers to a likely con24. Gombrich, Symbolic Images, p. 27. 25. J. Mesnil, ‘Un peintre inconnu du Xve siècle: Chimenti di Piero. Le “Tobie et les Trois

HART Tobit in the Art of the Florentine Renaissance


nection between images derived from the book of Tobit and the existence in mid-fifteenth-century Florence of various lay confraternities, two of which in particular had at least ostensible links with the book. Confraternities were lay religious movements which played an important part in the lives of many devout Christians, affording a much less austere and forbidding embodiment of ‘the Church’, perhaps, than some of its more familiar and official manifestations. As one recent study observes: ‘At a time when the official church spoke a language that was not understood by the vast majority of the faithful, celebrated mysteries behind rood screens, excluded the laity from active participation, and assumed for itself dignities and prerogatives that separated it from the people’, confraternities provided instead ‘a language of devotion, a context for sacrificial action, a social network in Christ, a basic education in Christian faith and morals, and a closer bond with God above and mankind below’.26 Such organizations enjoyed considerable influence in society, and we now know that they were an especially prominent feature of life in Florence during the fifteenth century.27 Some were predominantly adult (such as the powerful Compagnia della Misericordia to which Gombrich refers), while the membership of others as limited to the city's ‘youth’ (in practice, young males between the ages of 13 and 24). In addition to regular activities of religious education, corporate piety and social good works (all designed, in effect, to assist in the formation of Christian character), these youth associations were also well known in Florence for their involvement in elaborate festive pageantry. The first such youth confraternity to be founded in Florence (in 1411) enjoyed a very high profile indeed, eventually attracting direct papal attention and favour. In 1430 Pope Eugenius IV took the ‘Company of the Nativity of Our Lord’ (as it was at first known) under his wing and, in addition to recognition, property and various other benefits, granted the association its own official patron saint – the archangel Raphael. So the Compagnia di Raffaello was born. What we have here, then, at the very time and place when paintings like those considered above were being turned out by artists’ workshops as though there were no tomorrow, is the simultaneous flourishing of a prominent youth organization dedicated to the archangel Raphael. In our own day, youth organizations typically have some visual identifying motif or emblem which adorns their meeting place and equipment, and plays a central part in their ceremonies. These

Archanges” de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts de Florence’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. XXVII, 1902, I, pp. 252–6. 26. Konrad Eisenbichler, The Boys of the Archangel Raphael: A Youth Confraternity in Florence, 1411–1785 (Toronto and London: University of Toronto Press, 1998), p. 7. On Florentine youth confraternities see also Lorenzo Polizzotto, Children of the Promise: The Contraternity of the Purification and the Socialization of Youths in Florence 1427–1785 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), esp. pp. 1–106. Due to the nature of surviving archival evidence, Polizzotto’s account of the practices and institutions of the Purification is more complete than Eisenblicher’s of the Archangel Raphael. 27. Eisenbichler cites statistics indicating an increase from 52 to 156 such groups in the city between 1400 and 1500. See Eisenbichler, The Boys of the Archangel Raphael, p. 12.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

may even appear as ‘brands’ on everyday household objects to be purchased by grateful and supportive parents. And, while a Botticelli painting is hardly comparable in many respects to a pennant or shield depicting the trefoil of the Scout Association, mutatis mutandis the analogy may not be altogether far-fetched. Records show that buildings used by the Confraternity of Saint Raphael were decorated extensively with images comparable to those by Botticini and ‘Verrochio’, both paintings on canvas and frescoes, and Gombrich claims that the Uffizi Botticini itself was commissioned directly by the association.28 Statutes from a later stage in the group’s history (1636) urge its members to recall that they should live their lives ‘under the glorious banner of our saintly father the Archangel Raphael’, an injunction intended both metaphorically and literally, as archives speak of a number of canvas segni, painted on both sides with images of Raphael and Tobias, and hung in the Compagnia’s oratory when they were not being processed through the streets of Florence as part of some festal event. In other words, in all these ways and no doubt many others still obscure to us, visual images depicting the archangel evidently played a vital role in the piety and other practices of this vibrant and socially dominant youth organization. As well as full-size paintings, it is apparent that etchings and engravings of the same basic visual motif on objects of various sorts and sizes also proliferated.29 If, additional to the images commissioned and acquired by the or– ganization itself for official purposes, only a small proportion of members or their families also elected to decorate or dedicate their homes with what was effectively a logo marking their confraternal allegiance, then the surge in demand for such images in Renaissance Florence would be more than adequately accounted for. It is beyond reasonable doubt, surely, that the existence of the Compagnia di Raffaello was at least a factor of some importance in generating that demand.

5. Lapel Badges and the Penumbra of Salvation Where does this leave us, then, in terms of how we should ‘read’ such paintings? It certainly reinforces our earlier suggestion that, whatever incidental merits some of them may have as renderings of a biblical episode, their primary function is not representational, and thus to measure them by their degree of fidelity 28. Gombrich, Symbolic Images, p. 30. 29. Polizzotto’s work consolidates this impression. Of parallel (and better documented) patterns of practice in the Purification he writes: ‘Every possession used in public was clearly marked with the Purification’s symbol and in such a way as to bestow credit on the sodality’. ‘The confraternity was continually engaging painters for a variety of tasks. Though often menial, these recurring commissions must have been welcomed by artists for whom irregular employment often meant a hand-tomouth existence. No fewer than twenty painters, miniaturists and gilders, many of them members, were employed by the confraternity between 1444 and 1490’ (Polizzotto, Children of the Promise, p. 106). Given the superior social standing enjoyed by the Archangel Raphael (of which the Purification was, as Polizzotto notes, an offshoot formed in 1427) we may safely suppose that something analogous was true of it, though much of the archival evidence has perished.

HART Tobit in the Art of the Florentine Renaissance


to the Tobit narrative is to misread them. If we do, then, as Gombrich notes, most of the paintings from this period appear to manifest a cavalier disregard for much that is in the text, misrepresenting it in all sorts of ways; but in reality they do not, since their purpose is not representation in the first place, but a very different one. They are designed to furnish a visual symbolism for particular liturgical and devotional occasions, and it is in terms of faithfulness to this alone that they should be measured. The fact that such pictures date from a period in the history of painting when ‘naturalistic’ styles had recently been rediscovered no doubt encourages us in the mistake of treating them as cameos from the narrative. Following the style of the time, they present us with what could easily be ‘what we might have seen if we had been there on the road to Rages’. And this, of course, makes us even more impatient when certain things fall foul of standards we habitually attach to ‘realistic’ depiction. But we must resist the mistake, and see these as transitional pieces, works highly charged with symbolic significance (related, but only more or less tangentially, to the story of Tobit). Which is why some of the details are ‘wrong’, and why some of the images import objects and characters wholly alien to the book. As viewers of the pictures, we are not meant to be transported into the world of the story, but into a timeless and placeless symbolic cosmos for which incidents and characters in the story of Tobit provide little more than a convenient point of departure, having acquired a distinct life and significance of their own. Of course, original viewers would ideally have had some familiarity with the text, enough to be able to identify the central figures depicted and what they stood for. But that is really the point; here they are not important in themselves, but for ‘what they stand for’. And to that extent, it is familiarity with the developed symbolic association rather than grasp of its precise narrative provenance that matters. A further level of detachment from the Tobit narrative becomes apparent once we recognize that even Tobias himself is to some extent a symbolic adjunct to the main focus of interest in these pictures. It is possible, of course, that the posited link with an association dedicated to the moral and spiritual formation of young men would have kept some level of interest in Tobias for his own sake alive and kicking. The papal choice of patron saint for the group can hardly have been accidental, and no doubt the image of an archangel watching over and guiding the steps of another, biblical young man stuck clearly enough in the mind’s eye of parents and guardians when they saw these pictures. But it remains true that the primary focus is Raphael himself, to whom our attention (and, if we imagine ourselves among the faithful for whom the pictures were painted, our devotion and intercession) is directed. It is not Tobias, but the archangel, who is the patron saint. All else falls relatively into the background. He is the central visual symbol. And Tobias participates in the symbolism as, in his turn, a symbolic pointer (together with his companions, the dog and the fish!) to Raphael’s significance.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Figure 3. ‘Madonna enthroned with St Nicholas, the Archangel Raphael, Tobias, St Anthony of Egypt, St Domninus, and St. Julian’, Neri di Bicci, Museo di Arte Sacra, Tavernelle in Val di Pesa

Here we may note in passing a distinction drawn by Monroe Beardsley between different sorts or levels of symbolic function. There are, Beardsley suggests, symbols which serve in a merely emblematic way, doing little more than to point to some thing or some one else. So, Gombrich suggests, for instance, that the dog/fish together ‘stand for’ Tobias, and Tobias duly ‘stands for’ Raphael.30 The use of such visual identifiers by artists, Beardsley notes, is ‘not very different from having the saints wear lapel-cards with their names’.31 The visual effect is rather different of course, but the function is just the same. So long as we know the relevant code, we can tell who or what it is that we are looking at. Thus Gombrich insists that images such as that by Botticini, depicting Tobias with the three archangels, should simply be labelled ‘The three Archangels’,32 since Tobias 30. Gombrich, Symbolic Images, p. 29. 31. Extract from Monroe C. Beardsley, Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2nd edn, 1981), incorporated in Philip Alperson (ed.), The Philosophy of the Visual Arts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 146–51. 32. See Gombrich Symbolic Images, p. 28. Mackowsky refers to the picture as ‘Die Reise des Tobias’. See Mackowsky, Verrochio, p. 87.

HART Tobit in the Art of the Florentine Renaissance


is, in reality, an adjunct to the main visual concern, little more than an identifying token for Raphael, just as Michael carries a sword and Gabriel a lily. And the aptness of this suggestion is reinforced further by an image such as Figure 3 in which no meaningful visual connection with the story of Tobit any longer exists. Here, even the rural landscape has fallen away to be replaced by a background more suited to the main theme – the enthronement of the Virgin as Queen of Heaven, the infant Christ (in another rather obvious break with pictorial realism) still in her lap. And, as Jesus marks out Mary for us, so too does Tobias mark out Raphael, for, despite his independent mention in despatches in the painting’s given title, he surely has no other pretext for being present among this gathering of heaven’s great and good? Raphael, too, of course, performs a symbolic function in the images we have been considering. What he ‘stands for’, though, is not a person but a spiritual reality which is bound up with his own person; protection, healing, ultimately ‘the drama of salvation enacted in the universe’.33 Furthermore, his image is no mere token, pointing us away from itself to another visual focus of concern; instead, Raphael himself is the focal point. As a symbol, he has what Beardsley calls a ‘vital basis’, being perceived as having ‘valuable qualities in itself, in virtue of its symbolic function’.34 Contemplation of his image was not undertaken in a bid to learn anything about the story of Tobit, but rather – in an endless variety of different circumstances – to invoke and hopefully to come to share in that same saving power within the penumbra of which Raphael himself belongs.

5. Conclusion May such an image as Figure 3 count, then, as a ‘Tobit painting’? That begs the question of whether there is really anything much in the Florentine Renaissance helpfully so described. In visual terms the picture before us clearly cannot be mistaken as a painting ‘from’ Tobit, being too far removed from the world of the story as such. And it is not the only instance from the period to manifest such unambiguous visual dislocation.35 But it does depict both Tobias (with fish and dog) and Raphael. And, if the considerations aired above are accommodated, then one might argue that, on these grounds alone it has no less claim to inclusion within any genre defined by their presence. Perhaps, though, the real point of this paper has been precisely to question whether, despite the remarkable popularity of images depicting Tobias and the angel in the Florentine Renaissance, any such genre really existed at all. That is not to suggest that individual narrative paintings deriving their subject from the book of Tobit were unknown. Indeed, we know that some existed. Bicci di Lorenzo (father of the aforementioned Neri di Bicci) painted a series of panels depicting key incidents from the

33. Gombrich, Symbolic Images, p. 29. 34. Beardsley in Alperson, Visual Arts, p. 149. 35. So, for example, Raphael paints a ‘Madonna with a fish (in the hand of young Tobias accompanied by the Archangel Raphael)’ (date unknown, Museo del Prado, Madrid).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

story.36 But such occasional exceptions merely serve to highlight the peculiarity of that enthusiastic visual appropriation and adaptation of one such scene for a whole range of religious purposes, for most of which the narrative itself was only tangentially relevant.

Bibliography Alperson, P. (ed.), The Philosophy of the Visual Arts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992). Beardsley, M.C., Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2nd edn, 1981). Boyd, J. and P. Esler, Visuality and Biblical Text: Interpreting Valázquez’ Christ with Martha and Mary as a Test Case (Florence: Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki, 2004). Brown, D., Tradition and Imagination (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Cole, B., The Renaissance Artist at Work (New York: Harper & Row, 1983). Dyrness, W.A., Reformed Theology and Visual Culture: The Protestant Imagination from Calvin to Edwards (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). Eisenbichler, K., The Boys of the Archangel Raphael: A Youth Confraternity in Florence, 1411–1785 (Toronto and London: University of Toronto Press, 1998). Ellis, F.S. (ed.), The Golden Legend or Lives of the Saints as Englished by William Caxton (Vol. 2, London: J.M. Dent & Co., 1900). Fitzmyer, J.A., Tobit (CEJL; Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter, 2003). Gombrich, E., Symbolic Images: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance (London: Phaidon, 1972). —Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation (London: Phaidon, 5th edn, 1977). —The Image and the Eye: Further Studies in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation (London: Phaidon, 1982). Goodman, N., Languages of Art: An Approach to the Theory of Symbols (Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co. Ltd., 1976). Hoekstra, H., Rembrandt and the Bible: Stories from the Old and New Testaments illustrated by Rembrandt in paintings, etchings and drawings (Weert, Netherlands: Magna Books, 1990). A. Jouby and Roger (eds), Biblia Sacra - Vulgatae Editionis (Paris: Facultatis Theologiae Bibliopolas, 1870). Kristeller, P.O., Renaissance Thought and the Arts (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1980). Mackowsky, M., Verrochio (Bielefeld and Leipzig: Verlag von Velhagen und Klafing, 1901). e Mesnil, J., ‘Un peintre inconnu du XV siècle: Chimenti di Piero. Le “Tobie et les Trois Archanges” de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts de Florence’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. XXVII (1902), I, pp. 252–6. Moore, C.A., Tobit (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996). Morgan, D., Visual Piety: A History and Theory of Popular Religious Images (Berkeley, LA and London: University of California Press, 1998). Muizelaar, K. and D. Phillips, Picturing Men and Women in the Dutch Golden Age: Paintings and People in Historical Perspective (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003). 36. ‘Tobias bids farewell to Tobit’, ‘Tobias guts the fish’, ‘Tobias marries Sarah’ and ‘Raphael leaves Tobit and family’, as well as the more familiar ‘Tobias with Raphael’. These fall more or less within the relevant period, and are currently housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

HART Tobit in the Art of the Florentine Renaissance


Polizzotto, L., Children of the Promise: The Contraternity of the Purification and the Socialization of Youths in Florence 1427–1785 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). Schama, S., Rembrandt’s Eyes (London: Allen Lane, Penguin, 1999). Skemp, V.T.M., The Vulgate of Tobit Compared with Other Ancient Witnesses (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000). Walton, K.L., Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1990). Wolterstorff, N., Art in Action: Toward a Christian Aesthetic (Carlisle: Solway, 1997).

Chapter 6 TOBIT AND THE JEWISH LITERARY TRADITION Shalom Goldman (Emory University, USA) The apocryphal writings, although they were read and handed down by the Christian church, were not written by Christians and originally had nothing to do with Christianity. They were written by Jews and for Jews, and the fact that they were preserved by Christians and forgotten by Jews is a quirk of history. They are no more Christian documents than are the Old Testament Scriptures, which were also adopted by the church. And, like those Scriptures, they have every right to be considered a part of the Jewish heritage.1

1. Introduction As the book of Tobit was not accepted by the rabbis who shaped the canon of the Hebrew Bible it remained a ‘sefer hitzon’, an outside book, among Jewish communities of the pre-modern period. Tobit achieved varying degrees of canonicity in the Christian churches, and as a canonical or deutero-canonical book it generated commentary, imitation and elaboration in Christian writings. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Jewish scholars, influenced by intellectual trends both internal to and external to Jewish discourse, fashioned a renewed engagement with Tobit and other post-biblical books. Nationalism and questions of exile and Diaspora played a central role in this re-evaluation. The aspect of the book that these scholars highlighted was that Tobit and his family are exiles from the land of Israel; the implications of this exilic status drive the plot of the book. The Assyrians, under Shalmaneser, have swept down on the land and exiled the ten tribes of the north, among them Tobit’s tribe, Naphtali. The memory of the clan’s hometown, Thisbe, is still strong among the exiles (1.2). The drama of this book is played out against the background and theological meaning of exile. The tale of Tobit concerns the relative safety or danger of the different lands of exile; the book opens in Nineveh, capital of Assyria, where Sennacherib rules. The adventures of Tobit and his son Tobias take us to Ecbatana in Media, and it is in the safety of Media that Tobias will later dwell. The relative security of places of exile are considered, but the reality of exile from the Holy Land is ever1. De Lange, Apocrypha: Jewish Literature of the Hellenistic Age (New York: The Viking Press, 1978), p. 2.

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present. There are better or worse places of exile, but they are all inferior to the land of Israel. In the land, as Tobit relates in the book’s first chapter, one can worship God in Jerusalem. There one can tithe of one’s crops and animals to the priesthood. These are among the ‘mitzvot hatluyot baaretz’, the commandments which can be observed only in the land of Israel. Tobit goes beyond the biblical injunction to tithe; he donates an additional two-tenths to the poor and to the people of Jerusalem – ‘as Deborah his grandmother had instructed’. The picture that emerges from the book’s first chapter: strong ties to temple, family, and tribe coupled with observance of the ‘commandments observed in the land’. Tobit, a book composed after later exiles, is situating itself in an earlier experience: not in the formative exile to Babylon of the sixth century BCE, but in the earlier eighthcentury BCE exile of northern Israel by the Assyrians – the exile of ‘Ephraim’ – the symbolic name of the northern kingdom (as ‘Judah’ is the symbolic name of the southern kingdom.) The absence of a secure Jewish home in the land of Israel and the presence of Assyrian rule – renowned for its cruelty and capriciousness – are constants in the narrative. The uncertainty and tenuousness of Jewish existence is expressed in Tobit’s dilemma. The Assyrians forbid the proper burial of the Jewish dead; Tobit defies the local law to obey the higher law – the Jewish injunction to give the dead a ritual burial. Because he defies the Assyrian law all his property is seized and he reports that ‘nothing was left to me’ (1.20). Fidelity to the Mosaic law is presented as the highest ideal. The church fathers were aware that the rabbinic tradition rejected Tobit and the books of the Apocrypha. Origen in his letter to Africanus, notes that ‘we must recognize that the Jews do not use Tobit; nor do they use Judith. They do not have them even among the Apocrypha in Hebrew, as we know, having learned this from them’.2 In the history of biblical scholarship, the books of the Apocrypha have concerned Christian exegetes and were not often studied within Jewish scholarly domains. This essay will look at the ways that Tobit was re-evaluated, appropriated and interpreted in the modern Hebrew revolution of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The political emancipation of western European Jews, the ‘Jewish Enlightenment’ of the nineteenth century, and the rise of Jewish nationalism/Zionism – all involved a renewed encounter with the Jewish textual tradition. Among the texts re-evaluated were the books of the Apocrypha, especially Tobit. The move here was to make the Apocrypha a Jewish collection of texts. In modernity, the totality of the Jewish situation in exile was reconsidered, and soon rose to the forefront of Jewish concerns. What was the price of exile? What were its benefits? A reconsideration of the exilic situation was the catalyst for emergent Jewish nationalism and the rise of political Zionism. The ensuing political and cultural revolutions in Jewish life were predicated on and preceded by an internal Jewish cultural struggle – a Kulturkampf which continues at present. The 2.

Quoted in J. Fitzmyer, Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003), p. 19.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

reconsideration of the Jewish past – by Jews and non-Jews – took place in many cultural realms: political, religious, and cultural/literary. Classical Hebrew-Jewish literature, including Tobit, was reexamined in the light of the question of exile, and later in light of Jewish emancipation.

2. Jewish Nationalism and Jewish Literature The intimate relationship between modern Hebrew literature and Jewish nationalism has been described and chronicled by a number of scholars. In contrast to other nineteenth-century European nationalisms, in which the aspiration for national independence was expressed in poetry, fiction and essays written in the national language, Hebrew literature, produced in central and eastern Europe and written in a revived ancient language, preceded and made the case for Zionism.3 Hebrew literature, written by European Jewish speakers of European languages, enabled the emergence of the Jewish national movement which culminated in political Zionism. Early nineteenth-century Hebrew novels utilized a biblical vocabulary, and often retold Biblical stories, refashioning them for the contemporary reader. The Bible came alive in the hands of these writers; it was lifted out of theology and into the realm of history. In similar fashion post-biblical Hebrew literature, including the Apocrypha, were retold in modern garb. This move from theology and law to history and political activism profoundly affected modern Jewish life. One consequence was the lessening of rabbinic authority and the introduction of modern European ideas into traditional Jewish communities. As the Bible was re-imagined as an historical document it became a blueprint for political action. The idea of the return to the land, an idea which so powerfully resonated with many Jews, had both religious and secular overtones – and thus Jews of varying degrees of belief – or unbelief were attracted to Zionism’s political programme. Zionism represented a return to a ‘biblical’ reality. Skipping over and thus rejecting the preceding two millennia of Jewish exile, Zionist ideology was based on the denial of the exilic experience. This rejection implied the jettisoning of rabbinic authority and its foundational texts, the Talmud and the vast literature that had grown up around it. Thus the revival of Hebrew called upon biblical themes and distanced itself from rabbinic themes. But the distancing of one corpus of literature, the rabbinic, also involved the search for other bodies of usable Jewish classics, especially those unacceptable to the rabbinic tradition. The Apocrypha or Sefarim Hitzoniyim, the books left out of the canon of the Hebrew Bible, were a repository of Jewish tradition, a Jewish tradition not related to the rabbinic. In a sense these books could serve as a replacement for the legal material in the Talmud. Though political Zionism based its primary claim to Palestine on Jewish need for refuge from persecution, the biblical claim was always implicit in Zionist thinking. And it was that biblical claim that influenced Christian supporters of Zionism, particularly in England. Seen in this light, for both Zionist insiders 3.

R. Alter, The Invention of Hebrew Prose (Seattle: University of Washington, 1991).

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(Jews) and outsiders (Christians) the idea of the biblical promise of the land was a major component of Zionist thought (though surely not the only component). A return to a biblical understanding of Israel as land and people entailed for many a rejection of the rabbinic understanding of Israel as a people of the Torah. The exception to this unusual Jewish–Christian agreement was Orthodox Judaism, for whom rabbinic Law, based on the Talmud, was the essence of Judaism. If the Jews are ‘the people of the book’, that book, for rabbinic Jews, is the Talmud, not the Bible. As Jewish secularism and Zionism grew in both number of adherents and degrees of intellectual engagement and sophistication, it engaged the biblical and post-biblical legacy in new and surprising ways. By the 1930s, with the establishment of Zionist educational and cultural institutions in Palestine, the idea of the Bible was reshaped and molded for new purposes. And this reshaping meant the expansion of the Jewish literary canon, with a concomitant ‘lookingback’ to books that the rabbinic tradition rejected. Among them was the book of Tobit. The message: there were areas of Jewish cultural experience other than those sanctioned by the rabbis. The ‘new Jew’ of Zionist ideology could turn to those newly rediscovered books as a source of wisdom and inspiration.

3. Rethinking the Bible This new Jewish canon, one that could include previously rejected books, can only be understood against the background of the rabbinic view of the Bible’s arrangement, liturgical use, and religious meaning. For if rabbinic Judaism was being challenged by secularist Zionist thought, a rethinking of the Bible’s place in Jewish culture was a necessity. In rabbinic thought, the twenty-four books of the Bible (the numbers of books accepted in the canonization process described in the Babylonian Talmud) are not of equal sanctity or importance. The Five Books of Moses, a section of which is read each Sabbath in the synagogue, is most sacred, central, and normative– prescriptive. The Prophets, which includes the narrative histories of ancient Israel (Joshua–Judges–Samuel–Kings) is read selectively – one thematically-related chapter of the Prophets is read after the weekly Torah portion. (This is the Haftarah.) The third section, the Writings, is known through holiday liturgies (e.g. Esther, the Song of Songs) and through public and personal prayers taken from the Psalms. Modern Hebrew literature and political Zionism rearranged this order of importance. This rearrangement was not achieved in a direct textual manner, but, rather through a change in emphasis. The historical books, particularly Joshua and Judges, which told of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, became primary texts – studied in British Mandate Palestine and later Israeli schools, researched by Israel academicians, and put to political-rhetorical use by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister.4 From the perspective of the rearrangement of canon, one might compare this rearrangement of biblical books to the early 4. A. Shapira, ‘The Bible and Israeli Identity’, Association for Jewish Studies Review (2004), pp. 11–41.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

church’s rearrangement of the biblical books. For placing the Prophets after the Writings and thus creating a thematic relationship between the last Hebrew prophets – Haggai, Malachai, Zachariah – and Jesus emphasized the continuity between the Old and New Testaments. By emphasizing Joshua and Judges at the forefront of biblical study and discourse, Israeli educators conveyed the centrality of the conquest and settlement of the land achieved through military strength. By the 1950s the Bible in Israeli culture had a well-defined meaning and purpose; a meaning and purpose at odds with the rabbinic tradition. That tradition emphasized the Law, the new Israeli tradition emphasized the land.

4. Zionism and the Usable Jewish Past With the Zionist and Israeli ‘return to the Bible/return to the land of the Bible’ and the ascendancy of Jewish secularism, came a renewed engagement with postbiblical texts. A search for usable texts and artifacts led to the rise of Israeli biblical archaeology. (American and European biblical archaeology had long preceded political Zionism and Israeli statehood.) Archaeology attempted to relate the ‘return to the biblical land’ to a return to the biblical past through excavation and decipherment. This nexus of text, archaeology, and nationalism was evident in other emerging modern states – e.g. Greece’s struggle for independence from the Turks and the Greek claim on classical archaeology and the use of the Indian past in the struggle against the British and the Hindu–Muslim struggles during and after Partition, are other examples of this nexus. Thus in Zionist Israeli culture, both in the pre-State British Mandate Palestine and in the post-1948 period there was a continuous search for a usable Jewish past in texts and in artifacts. This past was soon renamed: it was no longer ‘Jewish’, but ‘Hebrew’; ‘Jewish’ had the connotations of exile and passivity, ‘Hebrew’ of the return to the land and activism. ‘Jewish’ was weak, ‘Hebrew’ strong. Hence the naming of Zionist institutions such as the ‘Union (Histadrut) of Hebrew workers’, and the related concept of ‘Avodah Ivrit’, Hebrew labour, and not Jewish labour. ‘Hebrew literature’ was presented as an overarching category that included the Bible and all Hebrew writings subsequent to it. ‘Jewish literature’ included Yiddish culture, which Zionism denigrated.5 Directly related to this struggle were the Jewish ‘language wars’ of the early twentieth century and the struggle between Hebrew and Yiddish. Hebrew was ‘masculine’ and Yiddish ‘feminine’. Hebrew was a usable ‘old-new’ language linked to a usable past. Yiddish was the language of weakness and passivity. The ingathering of the exiles could thus be shaped by the use of Hebrew as the national language. This search for a usable past extended to texts previously unrelated to rabbinic Judaism – those of the Apocrypha, Samaritans, Karaites, Sabbateans, Frankists – and to the great enthusiasm over the discoveries in the Judean Desert of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient manuscripts. In Israel, Jewish life in the past 5.

D. Katz, Words on Fire (New York: Basic Books, 2004), p. 318.

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was presented as more heroic, varied, and literary, than the rabbis had imagined. Jews were now a ‘people of the Land’ and not only a ‘people of the book’. Claiming these previously unknown, unconsidered and rejected texts, involved a degree of reclamation: taking the texts back from other claimants. In Zionist thought the Holy Land needed to be reclaimed from its Palestinian Arab inhabitants, and reclaimed, theologically, from ‘Christian Holy Land’ status. Similarly, Hebrew texts were reclaimed, re-examined and put to new rhetorical use. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in the late 1940s and early 1950s, were first studied for their relevance to the early history of Christianity and mined for any possible relationship to New Testament narratives (e.g. John the Baptist as Essene, etc.). However, Israeli national feeling and the discovery of the texts in the years that the Jewish State emerged, weighted them with powerful symbolic value and meaning for Jews. The confluence of events in 1947–8 in which the Declaration of the State of Israel and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls occurred in the same period lent a meta-historical, supernatural aura to that historical moment. We could think of this as a ‘Zionist’ claim to the scrolls. Only in the past decade, in the work of Lawrence Schiffman, do we see a specifically Judaic reclamation of the Dead Sea Scrolls – that they reflect the life of a religious community with its own halakhah, calendar, and rules of purity. This reclamation implies a rejection of Christian claims to the Scroll, and a tempering of the Nationalist/Zionist claim. For a halakhic religiously prescriptive idea is evident in the Manual of Discipline and other Dead Sea documents.6 Zionism and Israeli culture reclaimed and reorganized the biblical text and basing its claims on the Bible, renamed the physical sites of Palestine, replacing Arabic names with their Hebrew ‘equivalents’ or cognates – most often with biblical place names. Israeli culture mined the Bible for personal names – reviving names such as Yael, Nadav, Jephtah, and Nimrod – names that were never part of the Jewish tradition but now became part of the Israeli tradition. With the remarkable rise of Religious Zionism and ultra-Orthodox ‘non-Zionism’ (and its predecessor ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionism) the contest over the usable Jewish past – and the definition of its parameters and materials – has become a permanent feature of the Israeli Kulturkampf. The most refined form of this culture war is the debate over ownership of ‘the Jewish bookshelf’ and the secularist effort to make claims on the classics of the rabbinic tradition. The other culture-war, at present embedded in a real war, is the Israeli–Palestinian struggle. Here too texts, archaeology, and the search for a usable past, are elements of the cultural struggles that accompany the political and military struggles.

5. Tobit and Zionist Thought Similarly, the books of the Apocrypha became a contested cultural sphere. In the western tradition they were thought of as Christian, particularly by those churches who deem some Apocryphal books canonical. In rabbinic tradition they are 6.

L. Schiffman, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls (Philadelphia: JPS, 1994), pp. 273–87.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Sefarim Hitzoniyim, ‘the outside books’ – outside the canon. But in modernity, with the rise of Jewish nationalism, Hebrew literature and the secularist rebellion against rabbinic authority, the Apocrypha came in for reconsideration. These ‘Christian’ texts were reclaimed as ‘Jewish’, but not as rabbinic. For the Talmud and later rabbinic writings are very clear on the limits of the canon: ‘Whoever allows more than twenty-four books into his house brings confusion into it’ (Midrash Kohelet 12). In the first Zionist reconsideration of Tobit, Y.L. Katznelson, whose Hebrew nom de plume was ‘Buki ben Yagli’, wrote glowingly of the literary and spiritual qualities of the book, which he dubbed a novel. The whole story is suffused with the spirit of faith and high moral values. A delicate modesty, family purity, mercy and forgiveness towards the unfortunate – these are the bases of this novel of the early Hebrews. And even though the novel is not free of an admixture of superstitions derived from the ancient Persians, it does add honor and prestige to the creative spirit of the ancient Hebrews – no less so than the Visions of the Prophets.7

Katznelson implies that ‘faith and high moral values’ are not the sole property of Christian scripture – they are key elements in Jewish post-biblical texts. For Zionists Tobit is now presented as a ‘novel of the early Hebrews’.8 A parallel recovery move in modern Jewish thought, parallel to the recovery of language and land, is the restoration of the unity of the nation. Two aspects to this: (1) forward looking and (2) backward looking. In the first aspect the return of the Jews to Palestine – implies that the scattered tribes/communities will be reunited. In the second aspect, the retrospective use of the Bible and other texts to make the case that the lost tribes were not as ‘lost’ as historians suggest. Here the book of Tobit was used as evidence of an earlier Jewish unity – the unity of the united kingdom of David and Solomon which was rent asunder by the rebellion of Jeroboam. In Katznelson’s analysis Tobit is a post-biblical book that tells of Hebrews from the ‘lost’tribe of Naphtali who adhere to biblical law and are faithful to their fellow ‘Jews’. He writes: The primary benefit of the Babylonian Exile was that the Judeans met in Babylon their brethren of Ephraim, who had been exiled a century earlier to Assyria and Media… most of the exiles of the Ten Tribes settled in Northern Mesopotamia, and this large group never ‘disappeared’; rather this group joined with the Judeans who arrived a century later.9

One cannot prove Katznelson’s assertion and most historians reject it – but I quote it here to demonstrate the power of the ideal of the reunification of the tribes. Katznelson, an ardent Zionist, was making the case in 1929 for a not-toodistant-future unification of Jewish ‘tribes’ and citing an earlier exilic model for 7. Y.L. Katznelson, ‘Religion and Politics in the Works of the Ancient Hebrews’, Hatekufah 25 (1929), pp. 323–78 (362). 8. Katznelson, ‘Religion’, pp. 361–2. 9. Katznelson: ‘Religion’, p. 354.

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such a reunification. A longing for Jewish unity was evident in Tobit’s religious behavior.10 This longing would be fulfilled by Zionism. Solidarity between northern ‘Israel’ and southern ‘Judah’ is expressed in the first chapter of Tobit. Tobit relates that he alone of the tribe of Naphtali did not separate himself from the people and rituals of Jerusalem (1.6). Despite the northern rebellion, in consequence of which the ten tribes separated themselves from the Judeans and Jerusalem, Tobit continued the annual pilgrimage rites in Jerusalem: ‘So all the tribes which had revolted with it would offer sacrifice to the heifer Baal. But I alone went many a time to Jerusalem for the festivals’ (1.6). Though Tobit is of the tribe of Naphtali, his religious loyalty is to Jerusalem and its temple – this is set out clearly in the opening of the book. And it is reiterated at the book’s conclusion. In the final chapter, Tobit’s instructions to his son Tobias, we read: ‘Once again God will show them mercy, and God will bring them back to the land of Israel…’ (14:5). Further it says: ‘They will come to Jerusalem and will dwell forever in the land of Abraham in safety, and it will be given over to them’ (14.7).11 As I noted earlier the Dead Sea Scrolls were ‘reclaimed’, first by Zionists, then by scholars of rabbinic law. This is relevant to our discussion of Tobit, as sections of that book were found among the Dead Sea manuscripts. Speaking of the various documents found in the Judean desert, among them sections of Tobit, Lawrence Schiffman has noted that ‘the presence of these texts at both Qumran and Masada suggests that they were widespread among various elements of the Jewish population. These documents were apparently part of the wider literature of Second Temple period Judaism’.12 Prior to the discovery of the Tobit fragments at Qumran – most of them in Aramaic, some in Hebrew – many scholars posited that Greek was the original language of the book. Fitzmyer leans towards Aramaic as the original language.13 But others insist on a Hebrew language original of Tobit. Asserting that Tobit was first composed in a Semitic language, either Hebrew or Aramaic, fits in with Jewish pride about the renewal of the Hebrew language. In this somewhat mythologized renewal, there has been a constant search for the ‘glories of the Hebrew past’. Their pride in the past, and that pride is coupled with a search for a reservoir of vocabulary and ideas that could be useful in the shaping of a ‘reborn’ Hebrew literature. For the most part this Jewish reclamation of Tobit and other books of the Apocrypha has been accepted by Christian scholars. We might note that the 2003 de Gruyter volume on Tobit by Fitzmyer is in that publishers series Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature. This literature is no longer referred to as ‘intertestamental’. We have seen the early Jewish rejection of Tobit and other books 10. See Bauckham’s article in this volume that considers the hope of the reunification of the tribes of Israel in the Book of Tobit. 11. Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 322. 12. Schiffman Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 181. 13. Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 25.


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of the Apocrypha, and a modern Jewish reclamation of those same books. This reclamation and its acceptance by Jews and Christians is part and parcel of the remarkable shifts in both the Jewish relationship to its literary past in and Christian understandings of Judaism.

Bibliography Alter, R., The Invention of Hebrew Prose (Seattle: University of Washington 1991). Bullard, R., and H. Hatton, A Handbook on Tobit and Judith (New York: United Bible Societies, 2001). De Lange, N., Apocrypha: Jewish Literature of the Hellenistic Age (New York: The Viking Press, 1978). Fitzmyer, J., Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003). Goodspeed, E.J., The Apocrypha: An American Translation (New York: Vintage Books, 1959). Katz, D., Words on Fire (New York: Basic Books, 2004). Katznelson, Y. L., ‘Religion and Politics in the Works of the Ancient Hebrews’, Hatekufah 25 (1929), pp. 323–78. Schiffman, K., Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls (Philalephia: JPS, 1994). Shapira, A., ‘The Bible and Israeli Identity’, Association for Jewish Studies Review (2004), pp. 11–41.

Chapter 7 ‘BREAD ON THE GRAVE OF THE RIGHTEOUS’ (TOB. 4.17) Nathan MacDonald (University of St Andrews) Tobit’s instruction to his son, ‘Pour your bread on the grave of the righteous, but give none to sinners’ (Tob. 4.17), has long been recognized as problematic. On the one hand, there are the difficulties of tou\j a!rtouj as the object of e1kxeon, and early translations sought alternatives to the literal ‘pour out your bread’. In recent times a variety of lexicographical and text-critical solutions have been offered along fairly predictable lines: extensions of the meaning of e1kxeon or textual corruption.1 On the other hand, the exhortation to offer food for the dead, which would appear to be the literal meaning of the verse, is surprising for a text usually dated well into the Second Temple period. Our verse occurs in the context of an extended wisdom exhortation by Tobit to his son (4.3-19), which contains a typical catena of sapiential instructions. They articulate the kind of love of neighbour that Tobit himself has sought to exemplify and draw on religious and moral instruction from the Mosaic Law and the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. The particular emphasis on almsgiving is characteristic of Tobit, but the other instructions are fairly common: obedience to the commandments, care for elderly parents, marriage to a fellow Israelite, self-discipline, moderation in drinking. An obligation to provide bread for the righteous dead, however, is not only unparalleled in Jewish literature, but would appear to contradict biblical injunctions against offering food to the dead. On a standard account of Israelite religious practices, the Israelites held to a fairly common understanding of the dead that was shared across the ancient Near East. The spirit of the dead existed near the corpse or in the netherworld (Sheol). This was a dry and dusty existence (Isa. 8.21), made more bearable by offerings of food and drink. The dead possessed supernatural knowledge and power and were consulted by the people for instruction and guidance (Isaiah 8; 1 Samuel 28). Such practices – necromancy and food offerings were rejected by the radical Yahwists since they circumvented the cult of YHWH. The biblical texts that touch on the issue are often obscure,2 but two 1. For a brief summary of critical solutions, see C.A. Moore, Tobit (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996), p. 173. 2. These include the allusions to the controversial marzeah (Amos 6.7; Jer. 16.5), other meals which may have been in communion with the dead (Isa. 57.6; 65.4), and possible sacrificial offerings for the dead (Ps. 16.4).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

passages appear to clearly articulate such a rejection of offerings to the dead. In Ps. 106.28 the episode at Baal Peor is condemned with the words ‘they attached themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead’. Secondly, Deut. 26.14 requires the Israelite who offers his tithe to the poor to swear that ‘I have not offered any of it to the dead’. The Deuteronomic prohibition of food offering is particularly problematic because of Tobit’s sympathy for the laws and theology of Deuteronomy. The book opens with Tobit’s pilgrimages to Jerusalem (1.6-8), a central element of Deuteronomic piety. The tithes that Tobit brings are in accordance with Deut. 18.4 and the list of crops even evidences the literary influence of Deut. 8.8. The literary influence has also been discerned in Tobit’s farewell discourse (Tob. 14.3-11).3 It seems improbable that Tobit would commend a practice prohibited in Deuteronomy.4 Nor would it be sufficient to observe that the constructive intent of Tobit’s instruction is not to encourage food offerings, only to prohibit giving to the wicked. The standard account of the cult of the dead in ancient Israel has been subjected to criticism in recent years. It has been questioned whether there actually was an Israelite cult of the dead. An important part of the critique has been the introduction of a precise distinction between the veneration of the dead and provisioning for the dead.5 Archaeological evidence of food remains at burial sites is patient of both interpretations.6 Equally, the biblical texts that have been cited as evidence for the veneration of the dead can be understood in different ways, including Ps. 106.28 and Deut. 26.14.7 Psalm 106.28 may be dealt with briefly. The psalm describes sacrifices for ‘the dead’ at Baal Peor, whilst Numbers 25 speaks only of the worship of other gods. It may be that ‘the dead’ is not a reference to deceased humans, but is a reference to chthonic deities or a pejorative way of describing the gods of Moab. The parallelism between ‘the Baal of Peor’ and ‘the dead’ would certainly support either alternative. It provides less support for the interpretation that the dead are venerated humans, although it does not entirely exclude the possibility. Since Deut. 26.14 is most crucial for the interpretation of Tob. 4.17 we will examine it in detail. Despite the assumption in Tobit commentaries that Deut. 3. For the relationship between Tobit and Deuteronomy, see A.A. Di Lella, ‘The Deuteronomic Background of the Farewell Discourse in Tob. 14.3–11’, CBQ 41 (1979), pp. 380–9; S. Weitzman, ‘Allusion, Artifice, and Exile in the Hymn of Tobit’, JBL 115 (1996), pp. 49–61. 4. Contra Moore, Tobit, p. 173; J.C. Greenfield, ‘Two Proverbs of Ahiqar’, in T. Abusch et al. (eds.), Lingering Over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran (HSS, 37; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990), pp. 195–201. 5. Rightly K. Spronk, Beatific Afterlife in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East (AOAT, 219; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1986); B.B. Schmidt, Israel’s Beneficent Dead: Ancestor Cult and Necromancy in Ancient Israelite Religion and Tradition (FAT, 11; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1994). 6. For the most complete survey of archaeological data see E. Bloch-Smith, Judahite Burial Practices and Beliefs About the Dead (JSOTSup, 123; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992). Bloch-Smith understands the biblical and archaeological evidence to point to the existence of veneration of the dead. 7. See especially Schmidt, Beneficent Dead.

MACDONALD ‘Bread on the Grave of the Righteous’ (Tob. 4.17)


26.14 prohibits sacrifice for the dead this is by no means certain, and the text has long puzzled interpreters. There are two interpretative issues. First, what is the meaning of tm'l;? Second, how does v. 14c ‘and I have not given from it to the dead’ belong to the context which concerns the triennial tithe for the poor? There are at least three understandings of the passage which have been proposed and found support. First, v. 14c refers to food given to the dead. Second, tm' may be a reference to a chthonic deity – Baal, Mot or Molech. The difficulty with these first two interpretations is accounting for the role of v. 14c in its context. Deut. 26.1215 describes the requirement for the Israelites to give a tithe every three years to the Levites, aliens, orphans and widows in Israel. After carrying out the requirement the Israelite is to go to the chosen place and makes the following affirmation: I have removed the sacred portion from the house, and I have given it to the Levites, the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows, in accordance with your entire commandment that you commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor forgotten any of your commandments: I have not eaten of it while in mourning; I have not removed any of it while I was unclean; and I have not offered any of it tm'l;. I have obeyed the LORD my God, doing just as you commanded me. Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our ancestors – a land flowing with milk and honey.

The affirmation concerns the issue of the ritual purity of the tithe. Despite being given to the poor in Israel and not to YHWH’s cult, it has still to satisfy purity requirements.8 Read contextually it is clear both that the form of v. 14c is not a prohibition, nor, if we compare it to the other ritual requirements, is it obviously illicit per se. What is confessed is that the tithe has not been defiled by some other use (that a prior use of the tithe raises obvious problems can be passed over). Such uses are not absolutely prohibited, but only bring defilement. For this reason it has been argued that tm'l; should be understood as ‘on behalf of the dead’.9 In other words, the bread would have been offered to mourners, an Israelite custom attested elsewhere (Hos. 9.4; Jer. 16.7, 8; Ezek. 24.17-22). In that case it would follow that since v. 14a and 14c refer to mourning, v. 14b would be concerned with uncleanness as a result of corpse contact (cf. Num. 5.1-4). Whatever the original intended meaning of Deut. 26.14, the question that concerns us is how the verse would have been heard by later readers. The versions suggest that the exegetical difficulties of the verse were recognized at an early stage, for a number of them understand v. 14c to refer to providing for the burial of the dead. Thus, Targum Neofiti reads ‘we have not given any of it as a coffin or as a shroud over the body of a dead person’ which we may compare with Sifre ‘I did not use funds realized from it to purchase a coffin or a shroud for the dead’ (§303). This same interpretative tradition is represented in the Vulgate: ‘nor did I spend anything of them for burial purposes’.10 Contextual considerations may 8. For the difficulties with the text at this point, see A.D.H. Mayes, Deuteronomy (NCB; London: Oliphants, 1979), p. 336. 9. See Schmidt, Beneficent Dead, pp. 190–200. 10. See I. Drazin, Targum Onkelos to Deuteronomy: An English Translation of the Text with Analysis and Commentary (New York: Ktav, 1982), pp. 230–1.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

have influenced the translators at this point to depart from a literal tradition represented by Targum Onqelos and the Septuagint. What is significant about these translations is that they suggest the verse was being interpreted in ways other than as a prohibition of offerings to the dead. The idea that this was an exegetical act of suppression, motivated by a pious attitude towards the Torah and the ancestors, can be excluded as a possibility, since a prohibition is not in itself problematic. In sum we may say that Deut. 26.14c may not have posed a problem to Tobit’s practice of supplying the dead with nourishment as might be supposed. The Old Testament texts clearly condemn necromancy and consequently any attempt to offer sacrifices to the dead. It is less certain that supplying the dead with sustenance is treated in the same way. Deut. 26.14 need not be understood as a condemnation of feeding the dead, and there is early evidence that it was interpreted in other ways. It may only be in the Hellenistic period that providing food for the dead fell into disrepute. The Greek version of Ben Sira speaks of the futility of food for the dead: ‘Good things poured out upon a mouth that is closed are like offerings of food upon a grave’ (Sir. 30.18).11 The Hebrew version, however, reads ‘offerings of food to idols’. It may not be coincidental that the Greek of Sirach has other indications of a post-mortem existence.12 For the Hebrew text a name is only preserved after death through children or a reputation. The development of a belief in resurrection from the dead may account not only for the differences between the Hebrew and Greek text of Sirach, but also a decline in the acceptability of food offerings. It is interesting to note that Tobit does not evidence a belief in resurrection (Tob. 3.6). The casual attitude towards food offerings for the dead would suggest a date prior to the widespread circulation of the first unambiguous, and influential, articulation of a Jewish belief in resurrection in Daniel 12. Thus, Tob. 4.17 provides additional evidence for the Maccabean period as a terminus ad quem for the book’s composition. Granted that ‘pouring your bread on the graves of the righteous’ was not a matter that was condemned in the Old Testament, particularly in Deuteronomic law, what is the purpose of its inclusion in Tobit’s advice to Tobias? A close parallel in the book of Ahiqar ‘my son, pour out your wine on the graves of the righteous rather than drink it with evil men’ is significant, but lacks explanatory power. Clearly it combines two major themes in Tobit’s instruction: the importance of burial (vv. 3-4) and providing for the poor, especially through alms (vv. 7-11, 14, 16). Most of Tobit’s advice finds expression elsewhere in the book. Tobit is portrayed as someone who gives alms, for which he is ultimately rewarded by delivery from death and ‘darkness’ (vv. 7-11). Tobias obeys the 11. ‘Give graciously to all the living; do not withhold kindness even from the dead’ (Sir. 7.33) is sometimes understood as a possible reference to food offerings for the dead (P.W. Skehan and A.A. Di Lella, The Wisdom of Ben Sira [AB, 39; New York: Doubleday, 1987], p. 207; cf. J. Fitzmyer, Tobit [CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003], p. 177). Given Sirach’s antipathy to food for the dead in 30.18 it seems preferable to regard this kindness as the proper performance of burial (cf. 38.16-23). 12. Skehan and Di Lella, Wisdom, p. 86.

MACDONALD ‘Bread on the Grave of the Righteous’ (Tob. 4.17)


instructions of his father by marrying his kinswoman (vv. 12-13). Fair and prompt payment of wages is illustrated by Tobit’s actions towards Raphael after the return of Tobias (v. 14). We might expect that ‘placing bread on the grave of the righteous’ might have some echo elsewhere in the book. One possibility is that the instruction alludes to the literary use of the interrupted meal that occurs twice in Tobit. On the first occasion Tobit’s piety is expressed when he interrupts his meal to bury the dead. In a humorous echo of this incident Raguel interrupts the wedding feast to dig a grave for Tobias who he believes will have had a fatal encounter with the demon that haunts Sarah.13 Here we have a conjunction of food being abandoned (‘poured out’) for the sake of the dead.

Bibliography Bloch-Smith, E., Judahite Burial Practices and Beliefs About the Dead (JSOTSup, 123; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992). Di Lella, A.A., ‘The Deuteronomic Background of the Farewell Discourse in Tob. 14.3–11’, CBQ 41 (1979), pp. 380–9. Drazin, I., Targum Onkelos to Deuteronomy: An English Translation of the Text with Analysis and Commentary (New York: Ktav, 1982). Fitzmyer, J., Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003). Greenfield, J.C., ‘Two Proverbs of Ahiqar’, in T. Abusch et al. (eds.), Lingering Over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran (HSS, 37; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990), pp. 195–201. Mayes, A.D.H., Deuteronomy (NCB; London: Oliphants, 1979). Moore, C.A., Tobit (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996). Schmidt, B.B., Israel’s Beneficent Dead: Ancestor Cult and Necromancy in Ancient Israelite Religion and Tradition (FAT, 11; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1994). Skehan, P.W., and A.A. Di Lella, The Wisdom of Ben Sira (AB, 39; New York: Doubleday, 1987). Spronk, K., Beatific Afterlife in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East (AOAT, 219; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1986). Weitzman, S., ‘Allusion, Artifice, and Exile in the Hymn of Tobit’, JBL 115 (1996), pp. 49–61.

13. See further my ‘Food and Drink in Tobit and Other “Diaspora Novellas” ’, pp. 165–78.

Chapter 8 FAMILY LIFE AND ETHNICITY IN EARLY ISRAEL AND IN TOBIT Pekka Pitkänen (University of Gloucestershire) Introduction As a whole, family life is central to all human existence. Concerns about family life cut across cultures and periods of world history. Every person has a father and mother, each person develops from a baby to a grown up and needs nurture and support until they can take care of themselves. Then there is the issue of marriage, even though some remain single for one reason or another. And, after marriage, concerns about offspring arise. One further needs to think about one’s relationship to siblings, cousins and in-laws. All of these relationships, while fundamental to human existence, find their unique expressions depending on each person’s gender, personality, age, situation in life, and surrounding culture. What is more, family life extends to larger contexts. Communities and nations often think of themselves as an extension of the family, whether implicitly or explicitly.1 People communicate differently with those who they think are ‘one of them’ and those who are ‘outsiders’, whether this be in the context of family, group or nation. In relation to this, people interact with those people who are closest to them more often than with those who are or are deemed to be more distant. Looking back into the ancient world, family life in Israel has in one way or another served as a model of family life for those later generations who stand in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Naturally, for Christians, models expounded by the New Testament, be they more or less explicit, have further shaped and at times superseded models that can be drawn from the Old Testament. There are, however, other writings outside the canonical documents of the Judeo-Christian tradition. In between the testaments, and for the Jews in between the Hebrew Bible and rabbinical literature, stand a number of products of intertestamental literature. This literature, while often apparently inconspicuous and not directly referred to, has in itself more or less contributed to the later compositions. Or, these books may have been read by even later generations and may thus have contrib-

1. In fact, D.L. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000; reprint of 1985 edition with a new preface), esp. pp. 55–92 speaks about ethnic groups as a logical extension of the family (see more below).

PITKÄNEN Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel and in Tobit


uted to Christian and Jewish thinking. Thus, there is by all means some relevance in examining them. One of these intertestamental books is the book of Tobit. Tobit portrays a number of aspects of Jewish family life in the Persian period.2 It has its own unique approach, and this will be one of our focuses in what follows. To be sure, family life in Tobit has already been examined quite profitably,3 but in this article we will focus on cultural and ideological differences between Tobit and early Israel, ostensibly one of the influences on Tobit (see below), and will reflect on the reasons for these differences, and on what they tell about the life and times of early Israel and of the author of Tobit.

Sources Which Have Influenced Tobit’s Thinking The writer of Tobit draws on a number of literary sources for his writing. As it should be obvious that any literary source one uses shape one’s thinking and writing, it will be profitable to start by identifying these. An excellent summary is offered by Nickelsburg.4 Nickelsburg identifies the Hebrew Bible, folklore, tales about persecuted courtiers (the story of Ahiqar in particular), Homer’s Odyssey, and the Enochic tradition as likely influences on Tobit. Even if some of the finer details might be questioned, at the least the points made by Nickelsburg are points of similarities. These various influences and points of contact then should make it clear that the Bible is only one, albeit an important influence on Tobit, and we should keep this in mind when look at how family life is portrayed in the book. As for the biblical sources, naturally, the tale itself is set in the period just after the Assyrian conquest in the eighth century, and the characters are of the exiled tribe of Naphtali (Tob. 1.1; cf. 2 Kgs 15.29). Thus, the relevant biblical narratives about the exile or the historical memory otherwise of the exile are a main source for Tobit. In addition, as Nickelsburg notes, Tobit has a setting similar to Daniel.5 Moreover, Tobit is similar to Esther in seeing Israel as a dispersed and more or less threatened people in a Mesopotamian exile.6 Furthermore, Tobit has a number of similarities with the patriarchal stories of Genesis. In this respect, as Nickelsburg notes, Tobias’s bride’s name is Sarah, the same as that of Abraham’s wife.7 Similarly, as Abraham exhorts Isaac, so Tobit is to marry a woman from his own family.8 In some ways, the Angel Raphael can be compared with Abraham’s servant who accompanies Isaac.9 2. The dating of Tobit is not certain, but it is very likely that it is a product of the Persian period. For further details, see e.g. C. Moore, Tobit: A New Translation and Commentary (The Anchor Bible Commentary; New York: Doubleday, 1996), pp. 40–2. 3. E.g. W. Soll, ‘The Family as a Scriptural and Social Construct in Tobit’, in C.A. Evans and J.A. Sanders (eds.), The Function of Scripture in Early Jewish and Christian Tradition (JSNTSup, 154; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), pp. 166–75. 4. G.W.E. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search for Tobit’s Mixed Ancestry: A Historical and Hermeneutical Odyssey’, Revue de Qumran 17 (1996), pp. 339–49 (340–4). 5. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341. 6. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341. 7. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341. 8. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341. 9. Cf. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Moreover, at least the farewell discourse of Tobit has similarities to Deuteronomy,10 and Tobit directly refers to the ‘Law of Moses’ (6.13; 7.13).11 Tobit further mentions the prophets Amos and Nahum (Tob. 2.6; 14.4).12 And finally, the theme of righteous sufferer from Job may find echoes in Tobit,13 and possibly there are faint echoes of the Joseph story in Tobit’s imprisonment and subsequent restoration.14 Thus, the writer of Tobit appears to be more or less familiar with at least the core of the biblical writings. Consequently, we may ask the question of why he has chosen particular biblical sources to serve as foundation for the story. In particular, when we look at family life, the story about arranging a wife for Isaac and the references to the law of Moses (6.13; 7.13) in the context of arranging a wife for Tobit seem most pertinent, at least at first sight. And, naturally, at least as far as the narratives themselves and their canonical setting purport, both the story of Isaac’s wife and the law of Moses refer back to the early history of Israel. In the context of this, let us compare the portrayal that Tobit gives about family life with the portrayal of other early Israelite sources and what can be known of actual family life in early Israel. Let us start with the portrayal of Tobit based on those sources which refer to the early Israelite history.

Pentateuchal Influences and Family Life and Ethnicity in Tobit Soll’s article15 lays out most of the pentateuchal influences on family life in Tobit with an accompanying analysis. As Soll points out, these centre around family, lineage and descent, and the questions of endogamy and inheritance of daughters. Thinking further, all these issues are related to ethnicity, as Soll also infers. It is true that as such, one could think that the inheritance of daughters would not need to be related to ethnicity. However, in the context of Tobit as Soll points out, according to Tob. 6.12, Tobias is her closest relative and entitled to her and her inheritance.16 In addition (Tob. 6.13), according to the law of Moses, the father of Sarah cannot give Sarah to any other man than Tobias because of inheritance. Thus, the passage strongly implies close affinity as a criteria for the marriage, and the mention of the law of Moses seems to render the possibility of marrying outside the Jewish community quite unlikely. Similarly, according to Tob. 4.12, Tobias is instructed by his father to marry a woman from from among the descendants of his fathers, even from his own tribe. The reason for this is that 10. A.A. Di Lella, ‘The Deuteronomic Background of the Farewell Discourse in Tob 14:3–11’, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41 (1979), pp. 380–9. A number of the similarities Di Lella lists can be taken as part of the average thinking of the ancient world, but I think that there is enough cumulative evidence to make a case for Deuteronomic influence at least in a broad sense. 11. Cf. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341. 12. Cf. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341. 13. Cf. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, p. 341. 14. Nickelsburg, ‘The Search’, pp. 342–3. 15. Soll, The Family. 16. Soll, The Family, pp. 170–1.

PITKÄNEN Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel and in Tobit


Tobit and Tobias are the sons of the prophets. Moreover, the patriarchs Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob took wives from among their family and were blessed through their children, and their seed will inherit the earth. Thus, endogamy and lineage are the order of the day for the author of Tobit (cf. Tob. 1.1; 5.1-13). The passages mentioned above also explicitly point to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as ideal figures for the author as far as marriage is concerned. This then also fits well with the fact that the story about Tobias and Sarah parallels Genesis 24 in particular as is well known and as was hinted above. It has often been suggested that the law about the daughters of Zelophedad (Numbers 27, 36; Josh. 17.3-6) which states that the daughters of a man who has no sons must marry within their tribe so that the inheritance of the tribe does not go to another tribe is being referred to with Tobias’ marriage.17 This may be partially correct, but one could read the injunctions in Tobit as stating that the closest relative has the greatest right to Sarah, without prejudging other possibilities should no close relative be available. In addition, from Tobias’s perspective, there is no reason for him to marry within his own tribe on the basis of the law about Zelophedad’s daughters, unless this is providential and preparatory for his meeting Sarah so that Sarah’s duty can be met without resistance from Tobias. As far as levirate marriage is concerned, Soll rightly doubts that it is behind the story,18 even if some echoes of this biblical injunction can be read into the narrative. Rather, as Soll suggests, the maintenance of tribal identity and resources are the main reasons for endogamy.19 Any references to the law of Moses (1.8; 6.13; 7.13; cf. 7.12; 14.9) are to be taken either as general and roundabout, or as referring to some otherwise unattested halakhic adaptation of the law. A general and roundabout background in the law would fit with the general and roundabout way in which Tobit uses biblical sources as one influence among many for the story. While Tobit says that the patriarchs married from among their own people, in reality, there are a number of examples where the patriarchs or early Israelites married a foreigner. In particular, Joseph marries an Egyptian (Gen. 41.45), Moses a Midianite (Exod. 2.16, 21) and, as the book of Ruth describes, Boaz, the ancestor of David, a Moabitess. In other words, the author of Tobit has selected those parts of the Old Testament which fit his view of endogamous marriage. Consequently, and as others have already pointed out along similar lines,20 it seems very clear that for Tobit, the usage of biblical sources relating to family life reflects the author’s view about the situation of the Jewish community in the Diaspora where religious concerns are best be seen as serving the author’s ethnic concerns. Above all, the author wishes to maintain Jewish identity through insisting on endogamy. This fits well with ethnic studies. As Horowitz notes, ‘rates of 17. Soll, The Family, p. 171. 18. Soll, The Family, p. 171. 19. Soll, The Family, pp. 173–4. 20. Soll, The Family, p. 173; P. Deselaers, Das Buch Tobit: Studien zu seiner Entstehung, Komposition und Theologie (OBO, 43; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982), pp. 319–20.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

exogamy for severely divided societies typically run below 10 percent of all marriages, and probably lower if only unions between the most-conflicted groups are counted’.21 On the other hand, ‘societies with more moderate levels of ethnic conflict generally have somewhat higher rates of exogamy’.22 The substance of this is of course natural, as when a lot of intermarriage occurs between a majority and minority group, ethnic boundaries blur and assimilation of a minority group often results. Also, the features of family, lineage and descent are perfectly in line with ethnic studies. To demonstrate that, in addition to noting Horowitz’s comment that ethnicity is a logical extension of a family,23 let us compare the author of Tobit’s view about his community with insights that can be gleaned from ethnic studies. While ethnic identity and a definition of an ethnic group or community can be somewhat slippery, John Hutchinson and Anthony Smith have given a comprehensive and helpful definition.24 According to Hutchinson and Smith, ethnic communities or ethnies25 habitually exhibit, albeit in varying degrees, six main features: 1. 2.

3. 4. 5. 6.

a common proper name, to identify and express the ‘essence’ of the community; a myth of common ancestry, a myth rather than a fact, a myth that includes the idea of a common origin in time and place, and that gives an ethnie a sense of fictive kinship, what Horowitz terms a ‘superfamily’; shared historical memories, or better, shared memories of a common past or pasts, including heroes, events and their commemoration; one or more elements of common culture, which need not be specified but normally include religion, customs, or language; a link with a homeland, not necessarily its physical occupation by the ethnie, only its symbolic attachment to the ancestral land, as with diaspora peoples; a sense of solidarity on the part of at least some sections of the ethnie’s population.26

Relating to point 1, clearly, Tobit is from Israel (Tob. 1.6) and of the tribe of Naphtali within Israel (Tob. 1.1). As for point 2, Tobit and his family are descendants of Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Tob. 4.12), and sons of prophets (ui(oi\ profhtw~n, 4.12; cf. above). The memories of the patriarchs, of the 21. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups, p. 62, with examples. 22. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups, p. 62, with examples. 23. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups, pp. 55–92; cf. above. 24. J. Hutchinson and A.D. Smith, (eds.), Ethnicity: Oxford Readers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). 25. A term used by Hutchinson and Smith. 26. Hutchinson and Smith, Ethnicity, pp. 6–7. Hutchinson and Smith refer to Ch. 2 of the 1985 edition of Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in relation to item 2 and to ch. 2 of Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986) in relation to item 6.

PITKÄNEN Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel and in Tobit


land of Israel and its customs (Tob. 1.4-8) and of the exile (Tob. 1.2, 10) are the shared historical memories relating to point 3 above. Belief in Yahweh and observance of Yahweh worship seems to be the most conspicuous feature of common culture (point 4). There is a clear link with the Israelite homeland as per point 5. Finally, relating to point 6, there is clearly a sense of solidarity among fellow Naphtalites and Israelites (especially in burying fellow kinsmen; Tob 1.17-18 etc.).27 We will be looking at early Israelite identity below, but at this point it suffices to note that the memory of the exile and a link with a homeland from a diaspora perspective are the most distinctive features which distinguish the identity in Tobit from the identity of earlier Israelites. Also, there seems to be an emphasis on tribal identity which seems to be stronger than that in early Israel (see below for elaboration). Thus, we may say that, for the author of Tobit, in a larger sense family essentially consists of fellow Naphtalites. They are the ones with whom one associates freely and with whom one marries naturally. One may even note that in the book of Tobit, none of the real threats to Tobit and the Naphtalites come from a fellow Naphtalite or Israelite, but only from outsiders (cf. Tob. 1.15-22). The book of Tobit attests the views of a representative of a minority group which is living scattered among peoples of a big empire and wish to maintain their identity.28 Religion blends with other ethnic concerns to form a unique part of the ethnic identity of this particular people.

Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel We have already indicated above some of the ways in which family life in biblical sources which depict early Israel differs from the way that the author of Tobit utilises those sources. It would be tempting to simply expand on points made above and then conclude our comparison between early Israel and Tobit. However, the early Israelite documents themselves are a window to early Israel itself. Therefore, it might be helpful to look into the reality behind that window, so far as anything can be said about that reality, and then see how it might differ from that given by the biblical sources. Then, for example, if the reality in early Israel differs from sources depicting the same, we may ask the question of how much the view of the author of Tobit might differ from realities on the ground in his time. We may even get some indication about the ways in which that reality might differ from the author’s aspirations by way of a suitable analogy from early Israel. In this, we must keep in mind that whereas we have some extrabiblical but not a lot of archaeological material from the Persian period which depicts the Jews, we have some archaeological material which directly relates to early Israelites even if extrabiblical material relating to early Israel is lacking. 27. Cf. D. McCracken, ‘Narration and Comedy in the Book of Tobit’, JBL 114 (1995), pp. 401– 18 (413). 28. Note that this is of course in a number of ways comparable to the situation with Abraham and the patriarchs.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

It is well known that early Israelite history is much disputed. Traditionally, since the emergence of biblical criticism and the birth of the Wellhausenian consensus in the nineteenth century and subsequent archaeological discoveries especially in the twentieth century, scholarship generally saw Israelite history as reliable from the time portrayed in the book of Judges on. As for the patriarchal stories, even if their historicity was not directly denied, at least it was generally thought that it is difficult to establish the exact time when the events in them might have happened, and even more difficult to prove their veracity. As for the Egyptian sojourn and the exodus, no proof for them has been found to date, even if a case can be made for a plausibility of the events taking place.29 Regarding the conquest and settlement, three main models arose in the twentieth century.30 The conquest model, the most notable proponents of which were William Albright and his disciple John Bright, while lowering the date of the conquest to the thirteenth century, otherwise argued for the general veracity of the biblical record. The second model, the peaceful-infiltration model, with Albrecht Alt and Martin Noth its most notable proponents, suggested that the Israelites were nomads who immigrated to the land from outside. This immigration was peaceful and did not involve a conquest. Finally, the peasant-revolt model advocated by George Mendenhall and Norman Gottwald suggested that the Israelites were Canaanites who revolted against the existing socio-economic structure and withdrew to the highlands to form a new society. Later scholarship has shown problems with all of these models. However, while the peasant-revolt model was rejected, the idea of the indigenous origin of the early Israelites was retained. In other words, contemporary scholarship tends to think that Israel was a development indigenous to Canaan. In addition, some of the more radical scholars have questioned the veracity of the biblical accounts even from Judges on. The most radical scholars argue that biblical Israel is a scholarly construct from the Persian period.31 In other words, according to this view, nothing can be known about pre-exilic Israel from biblical documents. With this in mind, if Israel was indigenous to Canaan and the biblical sources are rather a scholarly construct than a reflection of historical reality, family life and ethnic understanding in the biblical sources which portray early Israel are fictive. This in turn means that that part of the ethnic understanding in the book of Tobit which is based on the biblical sources which portray early Israel is also essentially fictive. Consequently, the only thing that needs to be done is to compare the two respective literary worlds. However, in line with what was already 29. See especially J.K. Hoffmeier, Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). 30. See e.g. W.G. Dever, Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come from? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003) for a very good summary. 31. See e.g. N.P. Lemche, The Israelites in History and Tradition (Library of Ancient Israel; Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press 1998); T.L. Thompson, Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written and Archaeological Sources (Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East, 4; Leiden: E.J. Brill 1992).

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said at the beginning of this section, if there is a reality of early Israel to which a window can be opened through the biblical, and perhaps archaeological and even extrabiblical sources, surely it will be better to make some further investigation accordingly. In fact, there have been a number of works which have argued that the Bible can be used for historical reconstruction before the exile, even if only a few scholars would defend the biblical account for the time before the judges.32 Among those scholars who would have a positive view about the historicity of the early Israelite sources,33 Pitkänen34 has suggested that early Israel could well have formed through an exodus group entering the land of Canaan, then obtaining some kind of control over the highlands, and subsequently assimilating and amalgamating indigenous peoples. In other words, early Israel was a mixture of external and indigenous peoples.35 This would fit with the broad contours of archaeological evidence which suggest that a new unit was born in the highlands during the Late Bronze Age–Iron Age transition36 and with the latest scholarly theories according to which Israel was an indigenous development, but would also be in line with the biblical evidence about the exodus and conquest. If this is correct, it has a number of implications as regards our understanding of the biblical texts. In particular, it becomes clear that any of the strong Deuteronomic injunctions against mixing with the Canaanites (e.g. Deut. 7.2-3) were not followed,37 but that there was a lot of mixing and intermarriage. It is true that such passages as Judg 3.6 confirm that there was intermixing, but if Israel came into being by incorporating local inhabitants to an original exodus group, the intermixing did not after all prevent the existence and development of an Israelite identity based on shared memories of the partiarchs and of the sojourn in Egypt and of the exodus. On the contrary, in the grand scheme of things, local peoples could be incorporated without a “loss” of an overall Israelite identity. Any issues about the form of the original religion of the exodus group nonwithstanding, Yahwistic religion won the day even though it had to compete with other influences. 32. See e.g. W.G. Dever, What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001); V.P. Long, D.W. Baker and G.J. Wenham (eds.), Windows into Old Testament History: Evidence, Argument and the Crisis of Biblical Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002). 33. Recent works by such scholars include I. Provan, V.P. Long, and T. Longman III, A Biblical History of Israel (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2003) and K.A. Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003). 34. P. Pitkänen, ‘Ethnicity, Assimilation and the Israelite Settlement’, Tyndale Bulletin 55 (2004), pp. 161–82. 35. Note how the land of Canaan is divided into various city states and the like which are under Egyptian control during the Amarna age, portrayed by the Amarna letters of the fifteenth century BC (For the letters, see J.A. Knudtzon, Die El-Amarna Tafeln: Mit Einleitung und Erläuterungen [2 vols.; Aalen: Otto Zeller Verlagsbuchhandlung 1964; reprint of 1915 edition]). 36. See e.g. Dever, Early Israelites. 37. Naturally, Deuteronomy is generally dated to the seventh century. However, P. Pitkänen, Central Sanctuary and Centralization of Worship in Ancient Israel: from the Settlement to the Building of Solomon’s Temple (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2003) has argued for the possibility of an earlier, even pre-monarchic dating.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Moreover, the injunctions in Deuteronomy indicate that the reason for destroying the Canaanites and for not mixing with them is religious rather than ethnic or racial. The Canaanites are a threat because they have a different religion and will entice the Israelites to follow their religion rather than Yahwism (e.g. Deut. 7.4; cf. Judg. 3.6). In fact, besides the cases of Joseph, Moses and Ruth, there are further instances where people could assimilate to Israel, showing that early Israel was not a closed community. A mixed multitude went with the Israelites in the exodus (Exod. 12.38). In Joshua, Rahab is spared and incorporated into Israel because of her faith in Yahweh (Josh. 2, 6). Caleb is a Kenizzite (Josh. 14.6 v. Num. 13.6). It is also likely that the daughters of Zelophedad mixed with the Canaanites of the Manassite highlands.38 And, a descendant of a person of foreign origin could become part of Israel (Deut. 23.1-8).39 Having said this, such a view of Yahwism is of course above all the view of the Deuteronomic documents. In reality, it is very likely that Yahwism was only a very loose ethnic marker for most of the early Israelite population, if even that. At least there would have been only relatively few who would have advocated Yahwism exclusively. Even the biblical documents clearly suggest that the Israelites ‘followed other gods’ (e.g. Judg. 2.11-15). In fact, overall, it is likely that there were only relatively few actual ethnic markers in early Israel.40 The following would be the main likely ones: being called an Israelite, believing in descent from the patriarchs or the like, believing in a common history of the patriarchs and an Egyptian sojourn and exodus, having an egalitarian ideology, believing in some food restrictions, such as abstaining from eating pork, believing in the practice of circumcision, and having some sense of obligation towards fellow Israelites.41 Pitkänen suggests that these could have been crossed relatively easily, and that people would cross the boundaries over the ensuing centuries after the entry of the exodus group into Canaan. People who would ‘join’ the Israelites would be taken into the tribe in whose territory they were living and would be accordingly crafted into the Israelite lineage.42 The new entrants would adopt an egalitarian ideology like the Israelites, an ideology which, besides being logical for people who had escaped from slavery, would fit the conditions of the highland frontier very well.43 Finally, the new entrants would take on some of the Israelite customs, such as abstaining from eating pork and circumcision, which may or may not have been linked with Yahwism at the time, at least in the minds of ordinary Israelites. The new entrants would call themselves Israelites and would develop a sense of solidarity towards fellow Israelites.44 Overall, it is easy to think why crossing the boundaries was easy. Israelite identity was only forming during the time of the early Israel. Belonging to an Israelite 38. See Pitkänen, ‘Ethnicity’, pp. 16–17. 39. Cf. Pitkänen, ‘Ethnicity’, p. 15. 40. Cf. Pitkänen, ‘Ethnicity’, p. 14. 41. Pitkänen, ‘Ethnicity’, p. 15. 42. For comparable examples, see Horowitz, Ethnic Groups, pp. 48–9, incl. p. 48 n. 146. 43. For the term ‘frontier’, see I. Finkelstein, The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1988), pp. 338–9; Dever, Early Israelites, pp. 180–1. 44. For further details see Pitkänen, ‘Ethnicity’, p. 15.

PITKÄNEN Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel and in Tobit


tribe was defined geographically in addition to descent from a forefather. Egalitarian ideology was natural for the socioeconomic conditions of the time. Such customs as food restrictions and circumcision which was practiced by other ancient Near Eastern peoples would also not be likely to have been too onerous to adopt. Thus, a picture of an early Israel which is accommodating rather than excluding emerges. The major ostensible reason for separating from the surrounding peoples is religious, but only in theory. Separation as such is not all that important. Early Israel is rather a melting pot. As for Abraham and the patriarchs, the reason for Abraham wanting his son to marry from among his family seems to be a general aversion towards the Canaanites (Gen. 24.3-4; cf. Gen. 26.34-35; 6.25-27). However, this as such is in line with the injunctions in Deuteronomy and other ‘early’ biblical books against the Canaanites, and yet, as we have seen, intermarriage and intermixing took place in early Israel.

Comparison between Early Israel and Tobit When we compare the book of Tobit with early Israel, we can see a number of differences. As was already hinted above, the situation for the writer of Tobit is different most ostensibly in that the writer of Tobit lives in exile away from the land of Israel. In relation to this, the writer also has some 500 to 1000 years more of history behind him than the early Israelites had. Moreover, he has the resulting collection of canonical documents at his disposal, whether more or less indirectly. These canonical documents then link him more clearly to a common ancestry and to shared historical memories, the foundation of which is the same as that for the early Israel, but which also transcend and develop the early memories. Among the new shared historical memories, the exile and the resulting Diaspora bring in a new set of concerns. In this situation, the author of Tobit seems to demarcate ethnic lines very clearly. One would expect that Tobit would limit his scope to fellow Israelites, but he seems to go even further in focusing on fellow Naphtalites only, as far as marriage is concerned. It seems to be that he draws on the ideals of Abraham (Genesis 24) and the daughters of Zelophedad (Numbers 36 etc.) in advocating marriage withing a tribe and thus tribal identity. However, as was discussed above, he does not take these passages in their original meaning, but rather interprets and transforms them for his own purposes. This would fit well with the fact that the author clearly draws on various influences from outside the Bible as well and adapts them into the narrative. Thus, it clearly seems to be the case that the author of Tobit selected a subset of biblical material which fitted his purpose of promoting ethnic purity. And yet, while the focus is ostensibly on lineage, in the context of the book as a whole, Yahwism nevertheless seems to serve as an underlying concern for ethnic purity.45 On closer look, this is natural, as Yahwism is an important defining aspect of 45. See B. Otzen, Tobit and Judith (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002), p. 39.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

ethnicity for the author and for the Jewish people in the Diaspora. In addition, and as was already mentioned above, retaining inheritance may also have been a contributing factor.46 If one then compares Tobit and early Israel, from a scriptural standpoint, for the early Israelites, the main reason for marrying with fellow Israelites was that Yahwism was not to be compromised.47 As regards the case of the daughters of Zelophedad, the reason for marrying within the tribe was retaining inheritance and the shape of tribal areas and borders (Num. 36.5-9). Thus, the underlying scriptural reasons are the same even though the emphasis may vary. After all, this is natural since the fundamentals of ethnic identity are the same for both the early Israelites and for the author of Tobit, even if they are expressed slightly differently. Perhaps we can say that for an early Israelite, marrying a foreigner would risk compromising Yahwism, but for Tobias marrying a foreigner would risk both the purity of lineage and Yahwism. As for the strength of this sentiment of maintaining Yahwism, as we have seen above, Yahwism may not have been a boundary marker for at least many of the early Israelites. Also, the Israelite ethnic identity was in many ways forming and the shared history was shorter, with fewer if any documents to draw on. Therefore, it was easier for non-Israelites to become part of Israel. Any non-Israelite marrying with an Israelite could also settle into the Israelite community. On the other hand, for the writer of Tobit, Israelite identity had been refined through a much longer history, with written and probably at the time at least partially canonical documents around. In addition, the people were in the Diaspora, looking to another land as their homeland. It would be hard to expect that anyone from the main population who would marry a member of the minority community of the Israelites would adopt this Israelite view of homeland, especially as they would never have been there. Consequently, it would be hard for a nonIsraelite to become an Israelite and therefore, an Israelite marrying a foreigner would be more likely to assimilate into the main population rather than the other way around. Thus, guarding against intermarriage would be important for the survival of the Jewish Diaspora people as such. If this was the view of the author of Tobit, to what extent does it reflect the reality of the Jewish community that he is part of? Looking at the biblical documents, first of all, in the book of Esther, a Jewish woman marries into the Persian imperial court. This suggests that intermarriage was a possibility. On the other hand, the book of Nehemiah describes how Nehemiah forbids postexilic Jews from marrying foreign wives (Neh. 13.25-30). That a problem is dealt with suggests that intermarriage in reality took place in a reasonably large scale in Palestine itself. Moreover, from Nehemiah it appears that it was only the most religiously pious people who advocated endogamy. That there was exogamy in actual practice would be natural as throughout history, where people meet, they fall in love across ethnic boundaries, even if the amount of actual intermarriage is regulated by the accepted societal norms. 46. Cf. Soll, The Family, pp. 173–4. 47. In a broad sense this may be echoed even in the narrative of Genesis 24.

PITKÄNEN Family Life and Ethnicity in Early Israel and in Tobit


Thus, we may summarize that for both early Israel and for the author of Tobit, endogamy was a means of maintaining community identity. However, for the early Israelites this identity allowed more inclusion of the surrounding peoples due to their then current historical circumstances. For the postexilic author of Tobit, while definitely sharing the Yahwistic concerns of the early Israelite documents, lineage as such had also become an important factor. The postexilic community of which Tobit is one representative, while sharing a common background and ethnic identity with early Israel, had developed its own distinctive understanding and expression of identity.

Conclusion Having compared family life and ethnicity in early Israel and in Tobit, we may return to our first observation that family life is a human universal. We may ask the question: is there anything in these considerations that make the experience and ideas of early Israel and Tobit a unique human experience? We established that the views of family life and endogamy for both early Israel and Tobit can easily be seen against the background of ethnicity and ethnic studies which themselves draw on human experiences across cultures, geographical areas and generations. Therefore, we can see that the experiences of the early and postexilic Israelites are part of the experiences of the universal human family. Lineage, endogamy and respect and preference for one’s own relatives and kinsmen are nothing distinctive. However, besides their particular idiosyncrasies and emphases, what perhaps makes the Israelite and Jewish experiences significant is that both the early Israelites and those of Tobit’s time share a belief in Yahweh and a sense of being his people, even though this belief and sentiment are expressed and articulated in slightly different ways for the two groups. Certainly, even religious belief in itself is not anything particularly special, as all human beings share a tendency to ask religious questions and religious faith seems to have been very much a given in the ancient world.48 However, what made and still makes this belief unique was and still is that it is a belief in a god, Yahweh, who established Israel as descendants of Abraham, worked through their history in delivering them from slavery in Egypt, gave them the land of Canaan to live in, gave them laws and ordinances to live by, and established Israelites as brothers. This unique expression of what it was to be an Israelite made Israel and its faith special. What is more, this story continued for the later generations of the Israelites such as those of Tobit’s day and continues still today. Except for those who call themselves Jews, the story also continues for those who profess to be Christians through its development in the New Testament. But, the continuation of that story and the resulting new identity and considerations for those who are within the scope of that story are, and in many ways in a proper sense, a different story. 48. When one examines texts from the ancient Near East, this is very clear. Two representative collections of them are J.B. Pritchard (ed.), Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd edn with supplement, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969) and W.W. Hallo and K.L. Younger (eds.), The Context of Scripture (3 vols.; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1997–2002).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Bibliography Bow, B., and G.W.E. Nickelsburg, ‘Patriarchy with a Twist: Men and Women in Tobit’, in A.-J. Levine (ed.), ‘Women Like This’: New Perspectives on Jewish Women in the Graeco-Roman World (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991), pp. 127–43. Deselaers, P., Das Buch Tobit: Studien zu seiner Entstehung, Komposition und Theologie (OBO, 43; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982). Dever, W.G., What Did the Biblical Writers Know and When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001). —Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come from? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003). Di Lella, A.A., ‘The Deuteronomic Background of the Farewell Discourse in Tob 14:3–11’, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41 (1979), pp. 380–89. Finkelstein, I., The Archaeology of the Israelite Settlement (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1988). Gamberoni, J., ‘Das “Gesetz des Mose” im Buch Tobias’, in G. Braulik (ed.), Studien zum Pentateuch: Walter Kornfeld zum 60. Geburtstag (Vienna: Herder, 1977), pp. 227–42. Hallo, W.W., and K.L. Younger (eds.), The Context of Scripture (3 vols., Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1997–2002). Hanhart, R., Tobit (Septuaginta Vetus Testamentum Graecum Auch. Acad. Scient. Göttingengensis editum, VIII.5; Göttingrn: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1983). Hoffmeier, J.K., Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). Horowitz, D.L., Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000; reprint of 1985 edition with a new preface). Hutchinson, J. and A.D. Smith (eds.), Ethnicity: Oxford Readers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996). Kitchen, K.A., On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003). Knudtzon, J.A., Die El-Amarna Tafeln: Mit Einleitung und Erläuterungen (2 vols.; Aalen: Otto Zeller Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1964; reprint of 1915 edition). Lemche, N.P., The Israelites in History and Tradition (Library of Ancient Israel; Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1998). Levine, A.-J., ‘Tobit: Teaching Jews How to Live in the Diaspora’, Bible Review 8 (1992), pp. 42–51, 64. Long, V.P., D.W. Baker and G.J. Wenham (eds.), Windows into Old Testament History: Evidence, Argument and the Crisis of Biblical Israel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002). McCracken, D., ‘Narration and Comedy in the Book of Tobit’, JBL 114 (1995), pp. 401–18. Moore, C.A., Tobit: A New Translation and Commentary (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996). Nickelsburg, G.W.E., ‘The Search for Tobit’s Mixed Ancestry: A Historical and Hermeneutical Odyssey’, Revue de Qumran 17 (1996–97), pp. 339–49. Otzen, B., Tobit and Judith (Guides to Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002). Pitkänen, P., Central Sanctuary and Centralization of Worship in Ancient Israel: from the Settlement to the Building of Solomon’s Temple (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2003). —‘Ethnicity, Assimilation and the Israelite Settlement’, Tyndale Bulletin 55 (2004), pp. 161–82. Pritchard, J.B. (ed.), Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd edn with supplement, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969).

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Provan, I., V.P. Long and T. Longman III, A Biblical History of Israel (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2003). Smith, A.D., The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1986). Soll, W., ‘The Family as a Scriptural and Social Construct in Tobit’, in C.A. Evans and J.A. Sanders (eds.), The Function of Scripture in Early Jewish and Christian Tradition (JSNTSup, 154; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), pp. 166–75. Spencer, R. A., ‘The Book of Tobit in Recent Research’, Currents in Research: Biblical Studies 7 (1999), pp. 147–80. Thompson, T.L., Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written and Archaeological Sources (Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East, 4; Leiden: E.J. Brill 1992). Weitzman, S., ‘Allusion, Artifice, and Exile in the Hymn of Tobit’, Journal of Biblical Literature 115/1 (1996), pp. 49–61.

Chapter 9 THE ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL IN THE BOOK OF TOBIT Margaret Barker The book of Tobit is a tale from the Second Temple period, set in Mesopotamia. It mentions the destruction and rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple, but says nothing of the desecration in the time of the Maccabees, nor of the changes in the wake of Alexander the Great (Tob. 14.4-7). This suggests that it originated before the end of the Persian period.1 Tobit identifies himself as one of the tribe of Naphtali, taken into captivity by the Assyrians (Tob. 1.1-2) and settled in Nineveh. He emphasizes that he was never an apostate, that he kept to the true religion of old Jerusalem (Tob. 1.5), that he paid his tithes and observed the food laws. He identifies himself as someone who knew the religion of Jerusalem in the time of the first Isaiah, and many traits in the book suggest that the author knew the developing Isaiah tradition as it came to be recorded in the later sections of the Isaiah scroll. Tobit speaks of two rebuilt temples: one that was less glorious than the first temple, and then another when the ‘times of the age are completed’ (Tob. 14.5). This is like the Enoch tradition, which knew that the Second Temple had been built, but thought it impure and looked forward its destruction and to a more glorious temple in the future (1 En. 89.73; 90.28-9). Isaiah, too, condemned the Second Temple (Isa. 66.1-6). Tobit, apparently a folktale, gives a fascinating glimpse of one type of Judaism in the late Persian period, one very close to the Isaiah and Enoch traditions. Raphael brings prayers to the Holy One, a title characteristic of Isaiah and Enoch (Tob. 12.12, cf. Isa. 1.4; 5.19; 5.24; 10.17 etc; 1 En.1.4; 14.1; 37.2; 93.11 etc.). Tobit, like Isaiah and Revelation, looks forward to a new Jerusalem built with precious stones (Tob. 13.16-17; Isa. 54.11-12; Rev. 21.9–21). Tobit and Sarah, both innocent of any wrong-doing, suffered greatly but unlike Job they did not question the ways of God. They accepted what was allotted to them and prayed only for death (Tob. 3.2-6, 11-15). Tobit thanked God for his deliverance, and blessed both God and the holy angels (Tob. 11.14-15). Job only accepted the will of God at the end of the story, after debating with the three counsellors who had set out the Deuteronomists’ view of misfortune: that it was punishment for sin. In both Tobit and Job, the cause of the misfortune is named as an evil supernatural being: Job is afflicted by Satan, and Sarah by the demon Asmodeus.2 This is very 1. 2.

See Bauckham in this volume for further discussion of the date. In Rev. 13.7 the beast is permitted to make war on the saints for a limited period.

BARKER The Archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobith


different from the ‘obedience and reward’ theory which characterizes the Deuteronomists, and Job’s three counsellors who tried to persuade him of the newer ways of thinking about God: that punishment implies a sin.3 The Deuteronomists had no place for angels – their Lord is no Lord of Hosts.4 Tobit, set among exiles who had left the land before Josiah’s purge, affords a glimpse of the old religion of Jerusalem, the religion of Job and Isaiah. The religion of the second wave of exiles (597–586 BCE) would have been influenced by the Deuteronomic purge in the time of Josiah, but Tobit and his family identify themselves as true to the older faith of Jerusalem, not apostates who had followed Jereboam, and too early to have been influenced by Josiah. Whenever this tale was written, is retains memories of the First Temple period in Jerusalem. It is about angels. Job assumes the world of the angels, and so does Isaiah.5 Raphael is one of the three archangels, the ruling angels, named in the Greek Old Testament: Raphael is named only in Tobit, where he appears as the guide and guardian. Gabriel and Michael appear in Daniel, where Gabriel is described as a man who comes with swift flight to answer prayer and to interpret prophecy (Dan. 9.21),6 and Michael is described as the great prince of Daniel’s people who defends them in time of trouble (Dan. 10.21; 12.1).7 The word ‘archangel’ [which means a ruling angel] does not appear in the Hebrew Bible or in the various versions of Tobit. Raphael is described as one of the holy angels who enter the glory of the Holy One (Tob. 12.15).8 Luke described Gabriel in a similar way, as an angel who stood in the presence of God (Lk. 1.19). How these titles – holy angel and angel of the presence – relate to each other is not entirely clear. The Testament of Levi implies that the angels of the presence were also called the archangels, which is the usual title for Raphael. The highest heaven, the dwelling of the Great Glory, is the place of the archangels, and in the heaven below there are other angels who carry prayers up to the angels of the presence, presumably the archangels (T. Levi 3.4-8). The angels of the presence are second after the Lord in the hierarchy of heaven. The Testament of Judah describes how the Lord blesses the house of Levi, the priestly house, and the angel of the presence blesses the house of Judah, the royal house (T. Jud. 25.2). Other heavenly powers blessed the other tribes. Angel of the presence is itself a term with 3. See my The Older Testament (London: SPCK, 1987), chapter 12. 4. Isa. 37.16 has Hezekiah pray to the Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, whereas the D text in 2 Kgs 19.15, an otherwise identical passage, has him pray to the Lord, the God of Israel. No hosts. 5. See my commentary on Isaiah in J.D.G. Dunn and J. Rogerson (eds.), Commentary On the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 492–3. 6. Thus too the LXX and Theodotion. 7. 9.21 LXX ‘Michael the angel’. Theodotion ‘Michael your archon’. 12.1 LXX ‘Michael the great angel’, Theodotion ‘Michael the great archon’. 8. Vaticanus is the basis for the RSV ‘one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One’. Sinaiticus has ‘one of the seven angels who attend and go in to the Presence of the glory of the Lord’. Latin texts are broadly similar, but the [much later] Hebrew texts have, for example ‘Raphael, one of the princes who rule before the throne of glory’, or Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve’. See S. Weeks, S. Gathercole and L. Stuckenbruck, The Book of Tobit. Texts from the Principal Ancient and Mediaeval Versions (Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter, 2004).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

two meanings; it can mean an angel who stands in the divine presence, and it can also mean an angel who, having stood in the divine presence, becomes a part of it and so becomes that divine presence on earth.9 Nor is it clear how angels of the presence and angels of sanctification/holiness relate to each other. Some parts of the book of Jubilees imply that the angels of holiness and the angels of the presence were two distinct groups created on Day One (Jub. 2.2), and the distinction is emphasized ‘all of the angels of the presence and all of the angels of sanctification, these two great kinds…’ (Jub. 2.18). They were created circumcised (Jub. 15.27), and circumcision made Israel fit to stand with these angels. Elsewhere in Jubilees, though, the two groups seem to be identical. When Jacob blessed Levi he said: ‘May he draw you and your seed near to him from all flesh, to serve in his sanctuary as the angels of the presence and the holy ones… Your mother has named you Levi, and truly she has named you, for you will be joined to the Lord…’ (Jub. 31.14, 16).10 In some Qumran texts too they seem to be identical. The ‘angels of holiness’ were believed to be a part of the Qumran community (CD XV; 1QSa II), and to fight with their army (1QM VII). Those who stood with the ‘angels of the presence’ needed no other mediator; they had direct access to heaven (1QH XIV [VI]). The sons of Zadok were blessed with the prayer that they would be an angel of the presence in the service of the [heavenly] temple (1QSb IV). A good description of these ‘holy angels’ is found in 1 Enoch. The ‘holy angels’, [who are distinguished from ‘angels’], are able to enter the holy of holies in the heavenly temple. Thus ‘Michael, Raphael, Gabriel and Phanuel and the holy angels who are above the heavens’ go in and out of the house of the throne of glory (1 En. 71.8-9). Ordinary angels encircled the holy house but did not enter. There is a similar account in the earliest stratum of 1 Enoch: none of the [ordinary] angels could enter the house within the house, but the ‘most holy ones’ stood around the throne (1 En. 14.21-23). One of these holy ones took Enoch into the inner house and set him before the throne, to intercede for the fallen angels (1 En. 15.2). The worship in heaven was the pattern for the worship in the Jerusalem temple (Exod. 25.9, 40); Enoch and the ‘holy angels’ must have been high priest figures, since only the high priest was permitted to enter the holy of holies (Num. 18.7). Raphael was one of these high priest angels, holy angels who presented prayers before the throne (Tob. 12.15). These high priest angels were not a single presence, even though they were a unity. Angels were clusters of divine powers, and so all were one, even though perceived and named separately by people on earth. In 2 Enoch the seven identical angels are described as ‘grouped together, brilliant and very glorious’ – all 9. The bread of the presence had a similar double meaning; it was set out in the presence of the Lord, but it was also the means whereby the divine was present in the temple. It was most holy food for the high priests, which means that it imparted holiness. See my book The Great High Priest (London and New York: Continuum, 2003), pp. 246–9. 10. Levi, ywl and ‘join’ hwl are related words in Hebrew, and this word play was used e.g. Num. 18.2, 4. the Levites were joined to Aaron, and here in Jubilees 31, the Levites are joined to the Lord.

BARKER The Archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobith


the same height, with identical faces and clothing (2 En. 19.1). Enoch saw them in the sixth heaven,11 which seems to have been the holy of holies. He saw them supervising the well-being of the whole cosmos – ruling angels – watching the movement of the sun, moon and stars, and seeing that all the commandments were observed, just as in the Qumran Blessings, the angels of the presence ‘decree destiny’ and ‘illumine the world with knowledge’ (1QSb IV). In the book of Revelation, John saw seven angels coming out of heaven, robed in white linen and with golden girdles (Rev. 15.5-6). These were the sevenfold presence of the one heavenly high priest, emerging from the holy of holies, since only the high priest would have emerged from heaven wearing white linen, and the girdle interwoven with gold was worn only by the high priests (Ant. 3.159). Raphael was one of these presences – the presence which was experienced as healing. The name means simply ‘the healing of God’ or ‘God heals’. The Qumran Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice offer the best picture of the angel priests, and they, too, are seven groups – almost certainly the seven groups described in 2 Enoch ‘seven priest [***] in the wonderful holy place, the council of the holy place [***]’ (4Q403 1). They are not called angels of the presence, although the term ‘ministers of the presence’ mšrty pnym and ‘ministers of the presence of the king’ (4Q400 1.i.4, 8) do occur. They are pure beings, who are holy because they uphold the statutes of the Lord, and do not allow anything iniquitous into their company (4Q400 1.i.15-17). This is not simply a matter of maintaining purity. The obedience of the angels was essential for maintaining the unity and harmony of the creation. The fallen angels of the Enoch tradition were those who acted independently, but those who obeyed God remained within the harmony and unity. Thus Raphael could say to Tobit and Tobias: ‘I did not come as a favour on my part, but by the will of our God’ (Tob. 12.18).12 In the Testament of Levi, the seven angels act together to consecrate a high priest. It describes the seven men in white who purify and anoint him, feed him with the holy bread and wine, and then vest him as a high priest, and give him the holy incense (T. Levi. 8.2-11). There are various names for the seven, but three names are always included – Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The various names of the fourth are thought to be variant names for the same archangel Uriel/ Phanuel/Sariel, and the other three names vary from text to text. In 1 Enoch they are either unnamed (1 En. 81.5; 90.22), or listed as Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Saraqael, Gabriel, and Remiel (1 En. 20.1-8). In the Merkavah Rabbah, they are Michael. Gabriel, Suriel/Sodiel, Aktariel, Rephael, Borie/Bodiel and Yomiel13. In the Orthodox Church, the archangels are Michael plus seven others: Gabriel Raphael, Uriel, Selaphiel, Jehudiel, Barachiel and (Je)Remiel. In the West they are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Jehudiel, Barachiel and Sealtiel.14 The high priest thus consecrated was himself regarded as an angel. The 11. He knew seven heavens, the seventh being the throne itself. 12. It is interesting that John Milton attributes exactly this sentiment to Raphael in Paradise Lost 5. 535-7. 13. P. Schäfer, The Hidden and Manifest God (New York: New York University Press, 1992), p. 103. 14. Thus in the basilica of St Mary of the Angels in Rome.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Greek writer Hecataeus, writing about 300 BCE, described the Jerusalem high priest as ‘an angel to [the Jews] of God’s commandments’. When he spoke to them they used to fall to the ground and worship.15 The essential nature of an angel was to praise God and to transmit light, love and knowledge throughout the creation. They drew the people of the earth into their cosmic harmony. Raphael teaches Tobit and Tobias to praise God, to exalt him and to thank him, declaring His works (Tob. 12.6); this is what one expects an angel to do. Throughout the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, the heavenly beings are exhorted to praise God, and the Psalms show how the praise of the angels joins with the praises of the earth (e.g. Psalms 8, 19, 29, 148). The angels of the Lord praise the Lord in the Song of the Three Young Men (the Benedicite, LXX Daniel 3. especially v. 58). The Targums show that there was more angel praise in the tradition than appears in the text; whereas 1 Chron. 16.31 has ‘Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice’, the Targum understands this as the praises of the angels in heaven and of the people on earth. Most familiar of all are the angels at Bethlehem, who praise God, and link this to the peace and well being of those on earth (Lk. 2.14). The angels are experienced on earth as messengers – that is what the name means – and as teachers. The angel priests at Qumran were enlightened so that they could teach and bring to earth the secrets they had learned in heaven: ‘May you be as an angel of the presence… May He make you holy among his people and an [eternal] light [to illumine] the world with knowledge and to enlighten the face of the congregation…’ (1QSb IV, c.f.1QH XII [IV]). Levi was summoned to the highest heaven, ‘and when you have mounted there, you shall stand near the Lord. You shall be his priest and you shall tell forth his mysteries to men (T. Levi 2.10). Peter reminded the first Christians, who believed in the corporate high priesthood of all believers, that they had been taught ‘things into which angels long to look’ (1 Pet. 1.12). Ordinary angels could not enter the holy of holies, only the high priestly angels, and there they could learn all the secrets of the creation. Raphael spoke in this way to Tobit and Tobias: ‘It is good to guard the secret of a king, but gloriously to reveal the works of God… I will not conceal anything from you’ (Tob. 12.7, 11). After exhorting them to praise and thanksgiving, Raphael taught them in the manner of the wisdom sayings: ‘Do good and evil will not overtake you… A little with righteousness is better than much with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold…’ (Tob. 12.7-8). This is an interesting indication of the origin of such wisdom sayings; they were the angelic revelation which taught the secrets of the creation, and the balance and harmony of all things. Angels taught Wisdom.16 Good angels taught Adam to till Eden (Jub. 3.15) and taught Abram to speak Hebrew (Jub. 12.25-27), and unnamed angels taught Noah how to heal the illnesses caused by the demon children of the fallen angels (Jub. 10.10-13). Raphael taught Tobias to cut open the fish and keep the heart, 15. Hecateaeus, quoted in Diodorus Siculus XL. 3.5-6. 16. Cf. the words of the wise woman of Tekoa to David: ‘My lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the earth’ (2 Sam.14.20).

BARKER The Archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobith


liver and gall (Tob. 6.4), which were later used to drive away the evil spirit Asmodeus (Tob. 8.3) and to cure Tobit’s blindness (Tob. 11.11-13). Everything changed after the destruction of the First Temple, when those who lived there ‘became blind’ and abandoned wisdom (1 En. 93.8). Wisdom later became the just secular teaching of diplomats, or so we are often told. There are problems in relating the seven archangels to the four, who are clearly the earlier tradition as their names are fixed. The opposite was suggested by Dix17 who argued that the seven archangels derived from seven Babylonian planetary deities,18 brought back from Babylon by the returning exiles, thus explaining the tradition that the names of the angels came from Babylon. He suggested that 1 Enoch – which was thought in Dix’s time to be a later text – shows how the seven became the four, known as the four presences. It is true that the seven were linked to the menorah as the seven spirits before the heavenly throne (e.g. Rev. 4.5), and that the menorah was known to be associated with the planets (Philo Questions on Genesis 1.10; Midrash Tanhuma 11.2), but the four named archangels appear in the very earliest stratum of 1 Enoch (1 En. 9.1),19 material which was probably known to Isaiah, and this suggests that the four archangels were an earlier concept than the seven. The story of Tobit is set in Mesopotamia and was composed during the second temple period; Raphael is described as one of seven archangels, which is what we should expect. In the older faith of Israel, the divine presence had been manifold: ‘The Lord our ’elohim [a plural noun] is One Lord’ (Deut. 6.4) indicates this, and the presence of the Lord had been described as the actions of the Lord. Thus Gabriel, whose name means ‘the strength of God’, had formerly been the Lord described as ‘the mighty God’ el gibbor (Isa. 10.21). ‘Where are your zeal and your strength? (Isa. 63.15). The Psalmist had prayed ‘Stir up thy strength [geburah] and come to save us’ (Ps. 80.2). These were the ancient angels, before they came to be imagined as separate figures distinct from the Lord. Raphael, whose name means ‘the healing of God’ or ‘God heals’, had formerly been the healing aspect of the Lord; Isaiah 57.19 links the Lord’s healing to peace, a significant pairing (cf. Exod. 15.26; Deut. 32.39; Ps. 30.2). Later tradition remembered Raphael as the one who both punished and healed, in other words, he brought both aspects of the idea of šlm, which can mean wholeness and completion, but also requital and recompense. It is usually translated simply as ‘peace’. Uriel had been the Lord as a fire or light; thus ‘Let us walk in the light of the Lord’ (Isa. 2.5) or ‘The light of Israel will become a fire and his Holy One a flame (Isa. 10.17). Michael had been the incomparable likeness of the Lord, hence the challenges in Isa. 40.25 and 46.5: ‘To whom will you liken me?’ (cf. Exod. 15.11; Ps. 89.6-7). The high priest had been the image of the Lord, and so Michael was remembered as the heavenly high priest who took prayers into the highest heaven (3 Baruch 11, 15). 17. For example by G.H. Dix, ‘The Seven Archangels and the Seven Spirits’, JTS 28 (1927), pp. 233–50. 18. Namely the sun, moon and five known planets: Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, Venus and Mercury. 19. I suggested this in my commentary on Isaiah in Dunn and Rogerson (eds.), Commentary On the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 492–3.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Each of the ‘names’ of the four archangels can be found in Isaiah [and elsewhere] as attributes of the Lord. When Isaiah described how the angels sang to proclaim the heavenly birth of the king, he also recorded the four names they gave him: Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. The new angel – ‘Unto us a child is born’ – was a fourfold angel, but when this text was translated into Greek in the second temple period, the four names became just one: ‘the Angel of Great Counsel’ (Isa. 9.6). Since the king in Isaiah’s time had also been Immanuel, God with us, (Isa. 8.8, c.f. Isa. 7.14), the Lord with his people, his presence, must have been described in Hebrew as the fourfold presence. In the Greek this was simply the one angel, the Angel of Great Counsel. Of the four throne names, Mighty God, ’el gibbor, is clearly Gabriel, and Prince of Peace, śar šalom, is clearly Raphael. Uriel, meaning the light of God, is most likely the Wonderful Counsellor, and the warrior Michael is the Father of Booty, ’abi‘ad, usually translated Everlasting Father].20 Together they were the Lord’s presence in the anointed king; they were the manifold messianic presence,21 the angels of the presence. Isaiah reveals how the four archangels were understood in the older cult. In 1 Enoch they are the four presences round the throne (1 En. 9.1). The problem of angel names and identities is clear elsewhere in the Greek of Isaiah, for example in Isa. 63.9. The Hebrew original is ‘In all their affliction, he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them’, an account of the desert wanderings after the exodus. The Lord here is described as the angel of his presence. There is something similar when the angel with the name led the people from Sinai (Exod. 23.20-21) and when the angel of the Lord brought the people from Egypt (Judg. 2.1). The Greek translation was made, perhaps in the third century BCE, and there must have been a danger that the ancient concept the Lord as a manifold deity was being understood as the Lord and many [separate] angels. The translator of the LXX was emphatic that the angel of the Presence was not another being but the Lord himself: ‘Not an elder nor an angel but he himself saved them’ (LXX Isa. 63.9)22. Raphael, as he appears in Tobit, must be understood in this way, as a manifestation of one aspect of the Lord. After Raphael had left them, Tobit and his son said that ‘an angel of the Lord had appeared to them’ (Tob. 12.22). Later tradition said that the names of the angels had been brought back from Babylon ( j. Rosh Ha Shanah 1.2), or that the names of the months and the names of the angels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel had been brought back from Babylon (Genesis Rabbah 48.9). We know that the names for the months that came from Babylon were in fact new names for the months; similarly, the names for the angels may have been a new way of presenting the older theology, devised for a period when the plurality of the ancient Lord was being replaced by what we 20. See BDB, p. 723. 21. A different version of this suggestion was published by Dix, see n. 16. 22. There is a similar change in Eccl. 5.5: Hebrew has lpny hml’k, in the presence of the angel – a special angel – but LXX has pro prosopou tou theou, in the presence of God. This verse is Eccl. 5.6 in English versions.

BARKER The Archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobith


should call a simple monotheism. Some people were thinking of the angels as separate and distinct named beings, rather than as aspects of the angel of the presence, the angel of the Lord. Their names revealed that they were aspects of the divine: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael. In the older faith, the Lord and the angel of his presence passed easily between earth and heaven. Angels were a part of everyday life, appearing in various roles. Sometimes it was the Lord himself who appeared: shutting Noah into the ark (Gen. 7.16), coming down to see the tower being built in Babel (Gen. 11.5), promising Abram that his descendents would inherit the land (Gen. 12.7), warning Isaac not to go to Egypt (Gen. 26.2), reassuring Jacob at Bethel (Gen. 28.13). Sometimes it was the angel of the Lord, as when he found Hagar in the desert and helped her (Gen. 16.7). Three men visited Abraham at Mamre (Gen. 18.2), apparently the Lord and two angels (Gen. 19.1). The angel of the Lord restrained Abraham as he was about to sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22.11, 15). Abraham’s servant travelled with the angel of the Lord (Gen. 24.7, 40). Jacob was told to set up an altar at Bethel to the God, ’el, (singular) who appeared to him there (Gen. 35.1), and when he blessed the sons of Joseph he prayed that the God (’elohim, plural), the angel who had redeemed him, would bless them. Before the battle of Jericho, Joshua saw a man who described himself as the commander of the army of the Lord (Josh. 5.14). Raphael appearing to accompany Tobias, to help Sarah and to heal Tobit belongs with stories like these. Raphael speaks exactly like an angel, or like a prophetic messenger who functioned as an angel. ‘Do not fear’, said Raphael, after he had revealed his true identity (Tob. 12.17). This is how the angel of God had spoken to Hagar in the desert (Gen. 21.17) and how the Lord had spoken to Abram in a vision (Gen. 15.1). When Isaiah had been appointed as a messenger of the Lord (Isa. 6.8), he spoke to Ahaz in the manner of an angel : ‘Do not fear’ (Isa. 7.4). When Daniel saw the man clothed in linen, he heard him say, ‘Do not fear’ (Dan. 10.12, 19). Gabriel in the Christmas story spoke to Zechariah in the temple; ‘Do not fear’ (Lk. 1.13), and to Mary at the Annunciation: ‘Do not fear’ (Lk. 1.30). The unnamed angel addressed the Bethlehem shepherds: ‘Do not fear’ (Lk. 2.10). Paul saw an angel of God who assured him that he would reach Rome; he said ‘Do not fear’ (Acts 27.24), and John was assured by the risen Lord whom he saw among the lampstands: ‘Do not fear’ (Rev. 1.17). He also ate the fish – or did he? Tobias caught the fish in the Tigris, took out the heart, liver and gall as Azarias/Raphael told him, and they ate the fish (Tob. 6.5). Later, however, he declared that he had only been a vision, and had neither eaten not drunk (Tob. 12.19). By the time Luke’s gospel was written, eating a piece of fish was proof that one was not a spirit (Lk. 24.41-43), but the three who visited Abraham at Mamre ate the meal he set before them (Gen. 18.8). The angels in the time of the judges, however, did not eat: Gideon offered the angel of the Lord meat, bread and broth, and the angel consumed them with fire (Judg. 6.19-21). The angel of the Lord who appeared to Samson’s parents refused any food but told them to offer it as a burnt offering instead (Judg. 13.15-20). And how were these biblical stories understood at the time Tobit was written? Whom was the storyteller describing when he told this tale about Raphael


Studies in the Book of Tobit

appearing? At the end of the Second Temple period and later, the Lord was still remembered as a cluster of angels, ’elohim. The three who appeared to Abraham at Mamre, described in Genesis 18 as the Lord and two others, were understood by Josephus to be three angels – the Lord is not even mentioned (Antiquities 1.196), and in Genesis Rabbah 50.2 the three figures are named as three of the archangels, each with one task since ‘one angel does not perform two missions nor two angels one mission’. ‘Michael announced his tidings to Abraham, and departed; Gabriel was sent to overturn Sodom and Rafael to rescue Lot.’ This contrasts with the mission of Raphael in Tob. 3.17, who was sent to do three things: to heal Tobit’s blindness, to ensure that Sarah married Tobias, and to drive away the demon Asmodeus. But Raphael had also been present, unseen, when Tobit performed his good deeds, and when Tobit and Sarah prayed (Tob. 12.12-13). The text implies that Raphael’s invisible presence at these good deeds was the reason for his coming later as a healer. The belief that prayers or good deeds brought the divine presence is seen in the New Testament when the righteous deeds of the saints were described as the linen garments of the Bride of the Lamb who was about to appear (Rev. 19.8) and in the words of Jesus: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Mt. 18.20). The angel of the Lord was the aspect of the Lord which was appeared according to the situation and the need. When the Lord warned Noah of the imminent flood, this was understood to be the work of Uriel (1 En. 10.1), the angel who illuminated his mind. The warrior protecting his people was later described as Michael (Dan. 12.1), but the warrior figure in the older texts is introduced as Who is like thee? O Lord (Exod. 15.11), or ‘Who among the sons of the gods is like the Lord (Ps. 89.6)? Who is like God? is the literal meaning of Michael. The angel of atonement, that is, healing, was Raphael, and his functions can be seen in the now dismembered text which described the Lord coming on the Day of Atonement: ‘…he avenges the blood of his sons…the Lord cleanses the land of his people’ (Deut. 32.43).23 In the Hebrew text this is the role of the Lord, but it was remembered as the work of Raphael. When 1 Enoch described the imminent judgement, Uriel warned Noah, and then Raphael was sent to bind and imprison Azazel, and to heal the earth from the evil which the fallen angels had brought on it (1 En. 10.1-8). The other archangels Gabriel and Michael are sent to destroy the demon offspring of the fallen angels and to watch as they kill each other, but the leading angel in the drama of judgement and atonement is Raphael, the healer. This presence of the Lord in the archangels was known in the early church; in the book of Revelation, Michael fights against Satan (Rev. 12.7-9) and so does the Lord (Rev. 19.11-16). In the (early second century) Epistle of the Apostles, the Annunciation is explained as the Lord in the form of Gabriel, coming to Mary and becoming incarnate in her: ‘On the day whereon I took the form of the angel Gabriel, I appeared unto Mary and spoke with her. Her heart accepted me and she believed. And I formed myself and entered her body. I became flesh, for I q

23. Thus LXX 4QDeut is similar, i.e. a longer text that MT.

BARKER The Archangel Raphael in the Book of Tobith


was my own angel in that which concerned Mary’ (Ep. Ap. 14.). Since the Holy Spirit was another aspect of Gabriel, this would accord with Luke’s account. ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.’ (Lk. 1.35), Gabriel being the power of God. Presumably this is what Luke meant when he told the story of the paralysed man who was let down though the roof: ‘The power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal’ (Lk. 5.17). This was Raphael. There is also the enigmatic symbol used in the early Syrian church: XMG, thought to stand for ‘Christ, Michael, Gabriel’. Since the trio of archangels known in this period24 was Raphael, Michael and Gabriel, was Christ here identified as Raphael the healer? Raphael traditionally carries a fish and a jar of ointment as his symbols; the fish and the anointing oil were also important early Christian symbols. In 1 Enoch, all the four archangels hear the prayers of the people on earth and take them to the Most High (1 En. 9.3). Raphael is, however, distinguished as the holy angel who is over the spirits of men (1 En. 20.3). Raphael answers Enoch’s questions about the places where the souls of the dead are kept awaiting judgement (1 En. 23.1–14), and teaches Enoch about the tree of wisdom (1 En. 32.6). In his vision of the holy of holies, Enoch saw the four presences around the heavenly throne, and was told by his angel guide that the second of these presences was Raphael, who was set over all the diseases and wounds of the human race (1 En. 40.9). All four archangels were to cast the wicked into the fire on the day of judgement (1 En. 54.6). Raphael as the angel of šlm, the prince of peace and retribution, Raphael as the angel set over the spirits of men and over the places of the dead and Raphael as the healer, would account for why it was Raphael who appeared as the answer to Tobit’s prayer (Tob. 3.1-6). Raphael as he appears in Tobit must be understood as a manifestation of the Lord. Tobit prayed for mercy when the Lord rendered true and righteous judgement (Tob. 3.2-3). He prayed that his spirit might be taken up and go to the eternal abode (Tob. 3.6). He was praying to that aspect of the Lord which was Raphael, and so when divine help appeared, the angel was Raphael. Angels can be perceived by all the senses, and most often they are not seen. When they are, good angels appear in human forms and evil angels in distorted and composite forms. Evil angels could assume many forms (1 En. 19.1), in fact Satan’s greatest deception was to assume the form of an angel of light (2 Cor. 11.14). The leader of the evil angels was described as a snake/dragon (Rev. 12.9), which is similar to the Testament of Amran: the evil angels had frightening looks ‘[***] multicoloured and extremely dark…and his face was like that of an adder’ (4Q544. i.). The good angels were always described as human forms, often fiery human forms. Enoch was taken on his heavenly journey to a place ‘in which those who were there were like flaming fire, and when they wished they appeared as men’ (1 En. 17.1). A man with a drawn sword, the captain of the Lord’s army, appeared to Joshua (Josh. 5.13-14). Samson’s mother saw the angel 24. As in the Genesis Rabbah account of Abraham at Mamre.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

of the Lord and she said she had seen a ‘man of God’ (Judg. 13.3, 6). Ezekiel saw six men coming to purge the temple and the city, and a seventh clothed in linen who was to mark the faithful to protect them (Ezek. 9.1-8).25 Daniel saw ‘the man Gabriel’ (Dan. 9.21), and the women on Easter morning saw two men in shining clothes (Lk. 24.4), also described as two angels in white (Jn 20.12). Angels as human forms is a commonplace of biblical tradition, but this does not make it any less significant. In the Enochic tradition, transformation into the angel state is described as becoming a man: Noah, for example, was born a bull but became a man. He then built the ark (1 En. 89.1). This implies that Noah was an angel on earth, doing this wonderful work. In the Prayer of Joseph, Jacob who wrestles with Uriel declares that he is also Israel, the first of the archangels. In other words, Jacob was an angel on earth (Prayer of Joseph A). Origen used this text to show how John the Baptist could have been angel prophesied by Malachi to announce the Day of the Lord (Mal. 3.1; Origen On John 2.31). The Qumran community believed that they were angels returned to earth (1QH XIV [VI]), and whoever was singing the Odes of Solomon – we assume on earth – believed that s/he had been anointed with perfection and become like one of those who are near him (Odes 36.6). The first Christians believed themselves to be angels on earth; they were the holy ones in this place or that (e.g. Rom. 1.7; Phil. 1.1). It should be no surprise that Raphael appeared to Tobias as the man Azarias (Tob. 5.4, 12), rather than as a wonder-working pet dog or some other supernatural animal. The book of Tobit is apparently just a popular tale set in the Mesopotamian diaspora, probably written at the end of the fourth century CE, and telling the story of faithful worshippers of the Lord taken into exile by the Assyrians. A host of details in the text, however, shows that this tale preserves memories of the older faith of Israel, earlier than the reforms of Josiah at the end of the seventh century BCE, and before the angels had been banished from the temple.26

Bibliography Barker, M., The Older Testament (London: SPCK, 1987). —The Great High Priest (London and New York: Continuum, 2003). Dix, G.H., ‘The Seven Archangels and the Seven Spirits’, JTS 28 (1927), pp. 233–50. Dunn, J.D.G., and J. Rogerson (eds.), Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003). Schäfer, P., The Hidden and Manifest God (New York: New York University Press, 1992). Weeks, S., S. Gathercole and L. Stuckenbruck, The Book of Tobit. Texts from the Principal Ancient and Mediaeval Versions, (Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter, 2004).

25. These were the seven angels/the sevenfold angel whom John saw emerging from heaven to bring judgement (Rev. 15.6). e 26. The ‘male cult prostitutes’, q deshim, banished by Josiah (2 Kgs. 23.7), are thinly disguised e q doshim, ‘holy ones’.

Chapter 10 FAMILY, FERTILITY AND FOUL SMELL: TOBIT AND JUDITH Hans J. Lundager Jensen (Aarhus University) 1. Confrontation of Texts: Preliminary Remarks In considering the book of Tobit, our understanding of that text may be developed by comparing it with a related text, and I propose the book of Judith. Such a study can show what they both share in common as well as identifying their differences. In this paper I propose that a systematic comparison of Tobit and Judith will add to our understanding of the book of Tobit. There are some trivial arguments for assuming the relevance of a contrast between the books of Tobit and of Judith. Both belong to the Apocrypha, accessible mainly in their Greek versions although probably originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic, and both are assumed to date from the second century BCE. Scholars tend to date the book of Tobit as the earlier. The more peaceful setting may reflect the time before the Maccabean crisis, whereas the militant attitude of the book of Judith could reflect the outbreak of the Judean uprising. Both books are deeply influenced by the ethnic-religious national piety that also pervades the books of the Maccabees, and both deal with assumed historical events. The setting is a semi-historical, semi-legendary past. Both books are short stories centred on virtuous and faithful characters that get in difficult situations from which they are rescued in surprising ways. Their stories were intended to serve later generations of Jews as inspirational figures worthy to imitate.

2. Theme and Message in the Book of Tobit There is no common consensus about the narrative’s literary qualities. Many have praised its literary values while others, at least in earlier scholarship, have been less impressed.1 It is not a heroic or romantic narrative. Its main characters are not ‘interesting’ in a literary sense. The only personal conflict is the quarrel in the beginning between the blind Tobit and his wife Anna over the goat that Tobit 1. In this paper I refer continuously to B. Otzen, Tobit and Judith (London: The Sheffield University Press, 2002), a fine introduction to recent scholarship on Tobit and Judith. Otzen, p. 52 notes a gamut of assessments ranging from the bad style of the book and the ‘clumsiness’ of its author to ‘the author’s masterly command of the art of story-telling’.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

wrongly accuses his wife of having stolen. Otherwise, all the important people in the story are depicted as virtuous, who say the right things, and who think the right thoughts. However, the beauty of the text is its simplicity. It is this quality which draws the reader to the book. As is well known there can be found traces of the folk narrative in the book. The story line on several occasions resembles Vladimir Propp’s thirty-one functions of a folk narrative.2 The main plot is a rewriting of a definite and familiar tale-type, the ‘grateful dead’, in combination with the tale type of ‘the bride of the monster’. Folk-tale schemas and types belong to the genealogy of the book; but they have been rewritten to such an extent that the book in itself belongs to another genre. Besides containing folk-tale characteristics, the book of Tobit also has both short and longer discursive passages. In these passages the book’s characters teach both in the style of Old Testament wisdom and in a Deuteronomistic style. These passages and the teaching they express are of course important and precious examples of possible expressions of Jewish theology and mentality at the time when the book was written. Yet these discursive passages are also external with respect to the story line. When Raphael reveals his true-identity with an instruction for Tobit and Tobias to ‘do the good, and evil will not overtake you’, and teaches them about prayer ‘in truth and alms with justice are better than unlawful riches’ (12.7-8).3 It is not only the modern reader who might be somewhat skeptical about the relevance of the angelic teachings for their receivers. In his great prayer in ch. 13, Tobit is overwhelmed by eschatological visions and sees many nations coming to Jerusalem with gifts to the king of heaven. He may be pronouncing orthodox theology, but this theology is different from which the book has drawn its main inspiration. In spite of their loose relationship to the story, the explicit teachings do have a certain seducing quality. A story can easily be retold and paraphrased, but it is not always so simple to establish what the point of that story is or how one can rearrange the story into a discursively formulated ‘moral’. The discursive passages in the book of Tobit offer seductively simple answers. According to Otzen, the message of the book can be summarized in the following way: ‘In its final shape the book of Tobit is a tale with a message. And the message is clear enough: those who abide by the law of Moses are under the protection of the God of Israel’.4 A proposal such as this while seeming persuasive, at the same time has something almost trivial about it. The problem is seeing any relationship between the main story of the book and its message and purpose. The actual story is irrelevant. The book’s main message ‘obedience to the law means divine protection’ can be stated simply as a general principle. Perhaps it is also articulated much

2. Otzen, Tobit, pp. 11–14. 3. For further discussion on the angel see Barker in this volume. 4. Otzen, Tobit, p. 27; C.A. Moore’s commentary Tobit. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New York: Doubleday, 1996) offers a list of similar proposals for what the book’s purpose may have been see Moore, Tobit, pp. 22–24.

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better this way than through a lengthy story about an Israelite, his blindness, and his quarrel with his wife etc. The story itself threatens to drag the theologically correct and clear message down into a folkloristic mire of bird droppings, fish galls and fettered demons in Egypt. Another way to define the ‘message’ of the Tobit narrative is to refer to the motifs used in the story: alms, weddings and family life, burials, living in exile, the angel and the demon. All of these are important parts of the book. But in what way are they related to each other and do they form a conceptual unity? At this point a comparison with the book of Judith can be helpful.

3. The Strong-Willed Widow and the Timid Man The central episode in the book of Judith is the siege of Bethulia by an Assyrian army, led by Holofernes. If Bethulia falls to the Assyrian army, the enemy would have easy access to Jerusalem. This would lead to slavery and a new exile, and of course the looting and desecration of the temple. A drought in Bethulia makes life intolerable for its inhabitants. Consequently, the magistrates of the town consider surrendering it to the enemy. But the beautiful and pious widow Judith takes matters into her own hands. She dresses up in seductive attire and, alone with her maidservant, penetrates into the camp of the enemy; with her wise and double-tongued talk she seduces Holofernes and ends up killing him by cutting off his head. Next morning the enemy flees in panic at the sight of Holofernes’s head hanging on the town wall. This story has everything that the book of Tobit lacks with regard to heroism. It is a narrative of survival or fall of the nation; the drama culminates in a killing; the main character is an ambivalent heroine who seduces her enemy into disaster with strong will, dazzling looks and intelligent talk. In spite of the well-known similarities between the books of Tobit and Judith, mentioned in the beginning of this paper, these two stories are as different as they can be. But these differences are systematic. Maybe it is insignificant that the main character in the book of Judith is a woman and in the book of Tobit it is a man. However, it is significant that in Judith, the woman is heroic, but in Tobit the man is unheroic.5 Tobias is a paragon not only of a son, but also of a son-inlaw. His excellence consists of his never failing readiness to do exactly as he is told. The trip to Rages is his father Tobit’s idea. Tobias does not know the route, and he needs a guide. He does not know that his relatives live in Ecbatana; the wedding between Tobias and Sarah is all Raphael’s idea; further, it is Raphael who knows how to exorcise demons.6 When Tobias moves to Media, after his parents’ death, he does so in full obedience to his parents’ wish. In other words, Tobias never thinks an independent thought, and there is never any contradiction between what he says and what he does.7 Scholars have pointed out the similari5. 6. 7.

Cf. Moore, Tobit, p. 587. For further detail regarding the special knowledge the angel has see Barker in this volume. Note, the only character who has this ‘interesting’ trait in the book is Raphael, the angel.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

ties between the book of Tobit and the patriarchal stories in Genesis (especially Genesis 24);8 and rightly so, at least so far as both stories are family tales, stories, which, contrary to the national history, have the family, not the nation or the land, as their immediate, social horizon. But the family narratives in Genesis make room also for internal conflict, while in the book of Tobit only exemplary piety is needed in order to survive and succeed. In the patriarchal stories it takes slyness and double-tongued talk to ensure the weaker one’s survival in a rough world. The straightforward nature of the book of Tobit, in contrast to the Genesis narrative, is explained by a modern comparison, i.e., compare the difference between a proletarian and a bourgeois mentality. Yet in spite of these differences, both Genesis and the book of Tobit are at an equal distance from the heroic position in the book of Judith. None of them holds martial values in high regard. While Judith the woman-warrior cuts off Holofernes’s head with his own sword, Tobias would not hurt a fly. But the contrast between heroism and peaceful passivity is also the contrast between sterility and fertility: the beautiful, seductive Judith remains a sterile widow, while the young, unmarried Tobias becomes a husband and a father.

4. The Dry Season Judith’s childlessness is not coincidental, but develops her role in the narrative. The book of Judith is a ‘narrative of drought’. It belongs to a group of narratives in the Old Testament which relate drought with paradise. In these narratives we find abundance and celestial divinity.9 Drought is associated with divinity and as divinity is associated with fire and light and partly because the dry season (the ‘summer’) in the Palestinian climate was the part of the year where, at least in normal and good years, there would be a surplus of food. The grain harvest took place between the wet and dry season. At this time, the fruits (grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and others) were gathered. The dry season was the period when the fields stood barren when the ground was hard and grazing was difficult. Yet the dry season was also a period of fertility because the grain harvest had been gathered. It was a time when there was a surplus of life, yet also infertility and death. Furthermore, drought and divinity were associated with fragrance. Aromatic substances such as myrrh, frankincense, and cinnamon were expensive imports from Arabia and other distant, warm and dry countries. Through the cultic use of spices in sacrifices and in anointment (in the Old Testament: cf., Exod. 30.23-38) deities and fragrance were often associated: gods were sweet-scented beings, and so were their houses and their priests (cf.,

8. Cf. Otzen, Tobit, pp. 21–2. 9. The category ‘drought story’ is introduced and discussed in my (Danish) dissertation: H.J.L. Jensen, Den fortoerende ild. Strukturelle analyser af narrative og rituelle tekster i Det Gamle Testamente (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2000). The classical example of a narrative of drought is the Eden narrative in Genesis; as other instances one can mention the book of Ruth, the manna narratives, and the stories of the prophets Elijah and Elisha.

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Lev. 8.12). Fire (and thereby dryness) and deities were often associated: fire was the medium through which gifts were transformed into the sweet-smelling smoke that deities could appreciate, and fire and light were typical ways through which a deity would manifest his presence. The other, typical use of these aromatic substances, the erotic seduction (so strongly emphasized in, e.g., Song of Songs), is not unrelated to the cultic and theological use. For in both cases, the main function of perfume and fragrance is to act as mediators: perfume mediates between man and woman, just as incense mediates between human beings and gods.

Judith is able to carry through her purpose because she masters the art of seduction, not least the use of perfume. She is therefore able to gain access into the enemy’s camp and into Holofernes’s luxurious tent. The tent houses the source of power in the enemy army, and once this power has been defeated, the rest of the army is defenceless. This indicates that the tent serves the same purpose as a temple: Holofernes and his tent occupy the same position in the army’s camp that a temple and its residing deity does in a normal city and that Yahweh does in his house in Jerusalem. But Holofernes is not a real god, his tent is but a quasi-demonic replica of a holy place, and Holofernes falls helpless to his own sword. This parody of a fight resembles rather strongly the parodic fall of Dagon in his own temple (1 Samuel 5) or David’s suspiciously easy victory over Goliath (1 Samuel 17). This scene with its anti-cultic connotations is the inverse image of a major theme in the book of Judith, the defence of the true cult, the temple cult in Jerusalem. Bethulia is the last ditch before Jerusalem, and if it falls, the temple falls. The real danger, however, is not the external military threat, but the internal and ritual threat. For if the citizens of Bethulia, starving of hunger and thirst as they are, lay hands on the animals they ought to send as sacrifices to the temple, they have already violated the agreement they have with their divine protector, and everything, including the temple, will be lost. The deeper theme of the book of Judith, therefore, is the keeping of the dietary rules, which corresponds with


Studies in the Book of Tobit

the internal power of resistance against external temptations and external force.10 The book’s main plot consists in the mission of an apparently fragile emissary, Judith, a defender of the right order of things. She conquers an apparently superior, demonic adversary. This plot appropriates the Old Testament ‘fight of the nations myth’ and further draws upon the archaic myths of a demon of drought.11 A ‘demon of drought’ is relevant not only for a possible history of traditions before the present shape of the book of Judith, but also for the texts we know, for the misery of Bethulia’s citizens is caused by thirst. The siege takes place at the end of the dry season. It has not rained for months and the cisterns are empty because the enemy has blocked access to the only water source. The citizens of Bethulia are waiting for the rain. However, the narrative completely ignores the hope for the return of the rain as it places the focus on the celebration of victory. The narrative instead displaces the code of seasons to that of a military–economic code. The lack of rain is metamorphosed into an abundance of spoliation and jubilation. The dry season is the time of abundance and the time of lack and sterility. Judith herself is sterile. When she is introduced into the story she is a childless widow, and she remains unmarried and childless after the dramatic events, although there is no shortage of suitors – and all this in spite of, or rather in good agreement with her function as seductress in the story. Both in ancient Greece and in the Old Testament, we find that seduction and abundance (and perfume) were associated with sterility. Abundance, fertility and divinity belonged together: the gods lived in abundance, lacked nothing, and would hopefully bless their human worshippers with fertility. On the other hand, human fertility presupposed also another reality, which was in direct opposition to anything divine: normally the gods abominated semen and menstrual blood, factors without which human life could not reproduce itself. This relationship is equally striking in Greek and in Old Testament religion: childbirth is regarded as a sign of divine blessing, but the blessing works through bodily functions that are in direct opposition to divine presence. Similarly, gods abhor dead corpses; but death is the consequence of fertility, since death is the consequence of human life; in the end, more children mean more dead corpses. Probably, the explanation of this apparent paradox – that gods abominate the conditions and consequences of the fertility, which they themselves generate – is that human beings are doomed to a periodic existence normally alien to the gods. Gods do not reproduce themselves in a long line of generations and they do not live an existence marked by semen, menstrual blood and dead corpses. But this means another apparent paradox: gods confer fertility, but are sterile themselves. Yahweh gives life, but he does not reproduce himself in another generation. Marcel Detienne has shown that the Greek ritual of Adonia, a festival that took place in the middle of summer and which was dominated by the hetaerae 10. For more on food in Judith see MacDonald’s second essay in this volume. 11. For example, the Ugaritic myth of Baal vs. Mot, the Vedic myth of Indra vs. Vritra.

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and their clients, was a performance of a life in abundance, perfume, and seduction. And yet this love was sterile, like Adonis, the god under whose auspices the feast took place, a love without marriage, children, households, work and involvement in the life of the polis. Judith is not a hetaera, but she acts like a hetaera, in the middle of the dry season; she uses the power of perfume, and she enters a realm of luxury. She belongs to this realm, in a way, even though she acts in the interest of the world outside, the human society of Bethulia and the cult of Jerusalem. She remains a widow without children, in other words she condemns herself to sterility, the sterility of gods and of harlots. To remain inside the world, against which they fight, is the destiny of many heroes: Moses never entered the land.

5. Burials and Foul Smell As mentioned, Tobias is not only different from Judith he is an anti-Judith. Tobias unlike Judith is not a heroic woman who seduces with lethal consequences, and he is certainly not sterile. This point can also be put in a positive way. Both books are ‘Deuteronomistic’ in the sense that Israelite identity and survival are closely connected with observance of the Torah. In the book of Judith, it is primarily the dietary rules that synecdochally represent the Torah. In the book of Tobit these rules recede into the background. Instead, the duty of an Israelite to bury dead fellow-countrymen is emphasized. If Judith is the seducing killer in Israelite literature, Tobit and Tobiah are then the undertakers par excellence. The book emphasizes this when Tobit jumps up, right in the middle of his meal, as soon as he hears about the existence of an unburied corpse (2.4). Tobit himself obtains a good burial after he has told his son that he will have to bury his mother as well when her time is up (14.10). And naturally, Tobias sees to it that his parents-in-law are well buried in Ecbatana (14.13). No doubt, the burying of fellow Israelites is chosen as a striking illustration of piety. The lack of explicit regulation of this duty in the Old Testament must point to the fact that such a duty is an obvious one and rules were superfluous under normal circumstances. But this explanation does not explain why burials were selected in the book of Tobit as an indication of piety. Why for instance does Tobit not focus on the observance of the dietary rules as does the book of Judith? We know that the author of the book of Tobit knew such observances. Further, why not emphasize the care for poor country-men? Again we know that Tobit was concerned with the poor and Raphael emphasizes this in his final lesson to father and son. It is reasonable enough to point out that the burial motif belongs to the fairy tale type ‘the grateful dead’, the template for the main plot in the book.12 But then, why was this fairy-tale type selected as a template for a story about Israelite piety in the first place? There is another motif, which is also characteristic for the book of Tobit, although less prominent. As we have seen, the story of Judith takes place in a 12. Otzen, Tobit, p. 42.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

semantic universe dominated by spices, fragrance and sweet smell: Judith, the seducer, masters the art of perfume and performs her murderous act in order to protect the true cult and its sacrificial system. The book of Tobit, on the other hand, is very different. It is a family idyll; its horizon is the family, and the main characters’ practical life is defined by family, not by larger unities such as a local population, a city community, or a state; and in the book everything, which relates to the family, is essentially devoid of conflict (the conflict about the goat is based on a comical misunderstanding). Tobias’s own marriage and the marriage of his parents-in-law are equally idyllic; all are models of faithfulness and solidarity. But faithfulness and fertility – all marriages result in children – are combined with a conspicuous absence of explicit eroticism and seduction, and Tobias’s and Sarah’s wedding night is initiated by a pious prayer, after which the couple go to sleep for the night. The wedding night, however, can only come off because Raphael has chased the demon Asmodeus away with a smoke from the fish’s liver and heart. Here, there is a stinking smoke, whereas in Judith fragrance is central. A peculiar detail supports the impression of a certain semantic constellation in the book of Tobit, that is the warm bird droppings that fell into eyes while he was asleep outdoors causing his blindness. The movement here, from above and down, of an unsavoury material, may connect the unsavoury weeding smoke to the book’s fascination with burials. For burials can also be considered a kind of communication, that is between the surface of the earth and the subterranean, and as an activity in the field of stinking substances. As a chthonic communication, burials are inversions of sacrifices, which are also a form of vertical communication, but reaching upwards and with a heavenly receiver. The universe of the book of Tobit is the opposite of the book of Judith: it belongs to a semantic field of stench, humidity and fertility. In this way, these two apocryphal books play out, in their own ancient-Israelite conditions, a variation of the opposition that Claude Lévi-Strauss described in South-American mythology as the opposition between a ‘burnt’ and a ‘rotten’ world.13 And they also provide a parallel to the Greek connection between chastity, fertility, and foul smell, analyzed by Marcel Detienne in the ritual of the Thesmophoria.14 In other words, the two books relate to each other as two parts of an Old Testament symbolic universe: heaven–earth (temple) vs. earth (grave)–underworld:15

13. C. Lévi-Strauss, The Raw and the Cooked. Mythologiques, I (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983), p. 293. 14. In the ritual of Thesmophoria, the participants, married and chaste (as long as the ritual lasted) women and mothers, gave off ‘a slightly rotten smell’: M. Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis Spices in Greek Mythology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994), p. 156. 15. The model, proposed in my (Danish) article ‘Ilden mellem himmel og jord. Skitse til en gammeltestamentlig kosmo-ontologi’ Dansk Teologisk Tidsskrift 4 (2003), pp. 241–58, postulates a relation of symmetry between the vertical axis heaven/earth/underworld (like the model in, eg., C. McDannell and B. Lang, Heaven: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2nd edn, 2001): p. 8, and the horizontal axis of temple/normal, profane space/grave).

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6. The Place and the Road There exists a further, conspicuous opposition between the two books. Underlying the tradition behind the book of Judith there is, as mentioned, the ‘Zion myth’ the Old Testament scenario where God’s city is besieged by a multiplicity of enemies but is saved by divine and spectacular intervention, typically at dawn. As a type, this scenario belongs to the basic type ‘the place’, in contrast to its anti-type, ‘the road’.16 Bethulia, Jerusalem, or the land: in the book of Judith the good order is identical with the inviolability of the place and its inhabitants’ immobility. After the victory feast Judith returns to her town and remains in her home for the rest of her life, until she dies at an advanced age. In the book of Tobit, however, things are totally different. Tobit and Anna are exiled to the Assyrian city of Nineveh. Although they are not the only exiled Israelites, they do not develop a new community or transform their new city into a new ‘place’ instead of lost Naphtali (the other Israelites do not observe the dietary rules and do not perform burials as seriously as Tobit does). After his parents’ death Tobias can leave Nineveh with his family and settle in Ecbatana (14.12), since nothing, not even memories, seem to be strong enough to keep him in Nineveh. But Ecbatana becomes a new home because his parents-in-law happen to live there. There are no hints of other possible reasons for the choice of Ecbatana as his new home. The main characters in the book of Tobit are dynamic and movable. In his thanksgiving (13.9-18) and in his speech on his deathbed 16. According to a basic categorization of types of religious conceptions, proposed by the Danish historian of religions, Edvard Lehmann, in 1918.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

(14.7), Tobit may express a correct, Deuteronomistic eschatological theology about the return and gathering of everybody in Jerusalem; but the reality in which the characters of the book live is not the reality of the place but of the road. That reality is not stability, but motion. There is a last aspect in the book of Tobit, which has been neglected by scholars. The book has a special focus not only on burials, but also on money. In Assyria, before he fell into disfavour, Tobit worked as buyer for the Assyrian king. The main plot, along which Tobias obtains his wife, is really about the collection of the money that Tobit at one time deposed in the city of Rages in Media. The successful wedding night leads almost automatically to the parentsin-laws’ payment of half their property as dowry (8.21), and the book takes care to notice that the other half also falls to Tobias, together with the inherence from his own parents (14.13). The theme is stressed by the details concerning the payment of the deposed sum in Rages. The money has not been touched although it has been held for many years, and Raphael receives it from Gabael without trouble because he can present the half part of a document drawn up when Tobit deposed the money (9.1-15). Probably it lies beyond the book to imagine that Gabael could have destroyed his part of the document. The main characters in the book are equally pious in matrimonial and pecuniary matters, for relatives do not cheat each other, at least not in this book (in contrast to Genesis). Money and marriage are related, for the road to Rages passes through Ecbatana. In both cities family members live and in both places Tobias gets what he needs for his own life: money and a wife, by virtue of his family connections. Tobias does not live and act in a specific place, but within a network; the traditional place-oriented mentality, which we find everywhere in the Old Testament has been replaced by structures, connections and junctions. In exile there is no definite place to which the people have special connections. Instead, there are the roads along which people travel. The cities exist of course, but they are no replicas of a mythic monolithic Zion in the manner of the impregnable Bethulia or the inviolable Jerusalem. In the book of Tobit the cities are junctions on the routes, places where one can find closer or more distant relatives, where one can deposit money and where one can get a wife. In these cities one can settle down, but one can also leave them without tears. They can even function as refuges against threatening catastrophes, as it appears from the very last chapter in the book, where Tobias is allotted time to give thanks for the destruction of Nineveh before he dies – the city where he grew up and where many other Israelites lived (14.15). Here, religion and sociality melt together, and the book’s ‘bourgeois’ mentality receives a new expression. If the book of Judith, as manifestation of a theology of the place, is also ‘Zionistic’, the book of Tobit belongs to a Diaspora Judaism where the place has become a distant fiction. The class of merchants and money dealers normally do not get an especially positive press, also not in the Old Testament–ancient Judaic literature. Kings, heroes, warriors, priests, wise men, beautiful women – that is the kind of stuff literature normally is made out

JENSEN Family, Fertility and Foul Smell


of. But those who live on and off the roads and in the junctions of the network, those who administer the horizontal communication, those who master the flow of money, without which no exchange of goods would be possible, they attract at most the other classes’ condescending acceptance of their indispensability. If ‘money does not smell’, it is probably because it does to some extent, at least according to those who do not have it or who try to conceal that they have to have it and use it. And it is only all too natural to transpose the necessary, but unglamorous necessity of Georges Dumézil’s third function.17 and its complicity with everything earthly into an olfactory code. In the book of Tobit, however, the merchants’ class has received its modest literary monument, an early-Jewish Buddenbrooks of sorts. The aesthetic qualities of the book, in spite of the common, contemporary eulogy, might rather fit the resources, which a traditionally parsimonious class could bring itself to invest in it. Still, the book of Tobit is also a text where the outline of a future European Judaism is obvious enough. And maybe its virtual modernity and its moral teaching with its freedom from place and its dependence on the concrete networks of the roads and the abstract networks of personal relations have become easier to understand and to appreciate in the present time of postmodernism, globalization and the Internet.

Bibliography Detienne, M., The Gardens of Adonis Spices in Greek Mythology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994). Jensen, H.J.L., Den fortærende ild. Strukturelle analyser af narrative og rituelle tekster i Det Gamle Testamente (Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 2000). —‘Ilden mellem himmel og jord. Skitse til en gammeltestamentlig kosmo-ontologi’, Dansk Teologisk Tidsskrift 4 (2003), pp. 241–58. Lang, B., The Hebrew God. Portrait of an Ancient Deity (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002). Lehmann, E., Stedet og vejen. Et religionshistorisk perspektiv (Copenhagen: Pio, 1918). Lévi-Strauss, C., The Raw and the Cooked. Mythologiques, I (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983). McDannell, C. and B. Lang, Heaven: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2nd edn, 2001). Moore, C.A., Tobit. A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996). Otzen, B., Tobit and Judith (London: The Sheffield University Press, 2002). Parker, R., Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983).

17. Cf., B. Lang, The Hebrew God. Portrait of an Ancient Deity (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), pp. ix–x.


Richard Bauckham (University of St. Andrews) 1. The Proposal The book of Tobit is probably best classified as an Israelite religious novella. It is generally agreed that the works it most resembles are the books of Esther and Judith. Like them, it is designed as both entertaining and instructive, and is composed with great skill in both character construction and narration. It is one of the finest short stories to have come down to us from non-classical antiquity. But whereas in the cases of Esther and Judith scholars agree that the stories of individual Israelites are not told purely for their own sakes but with a view to their significance for the story of the nation, in the case of Tobit this has been much less commonly recognized.1 The book has been generally read as the personal story of Tobit and his family.2 Some scholars have even found the predictions of the national future in chs 13–14 so lacking in congruity with the rest of the book that they have pronounced them later additions,3 a position that is hardly tenable now that these chapters are known to have belonged to the Aramaic text of Tobit used at Qumran.4 The proposal of this essay is that, not only is the story of Tobit and his family set within the broader context of national history and destiny, but also it functions as a kind of parable of that national history and destiny. Tobit’s story is a parable of Israel’s story from exile to restoration. In using the term parable I distinguish it from allegory. I do not propose that every character or event in

1. Scholars who have recognized this include G.W.E. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature Between the Bible and the Mishnah (London: SCM Press, 1981), pp. 33–5; W. Soll, ‘Misfortune and Exile in Tobit: The Juncture of a Fairy Tale Source and Deuteronomic Theology’, CBQ 51 (1989), pp. 209– 31. 2. See, for example, the account of ‘The Teaching of the Book’, in J.A. Fitzmyer, Tobit (CEJL; Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter, 2003), pp. 46–9. 3. Notably F. Zimmermann, The Book of Tobit (Jewish Apocryphal Literature: Dropsie College Edition; New York: Harper, 1958); and P. Deselaers, Das Buch Tobit: Studien zur Entstehung, Komposition und Theologie (OBO, 43; Freiburg: Universitätsverlag; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982), who makes this part of a complex redactional theory. 4. For this and other reasons not to deny the integrity of the book as we have it, see Fitzmyer, Tobit, pp. 42–5.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


Tobit’s story has its non-allegorical counterpart in the story of Israel, but that the overall shape of Tobit’s story models that of Israel. The story of Tobit has its own narrative integrity, such that it entertains and instructs readers even if its parabolic function is not recognized (unlike, for example, the extended allegories in Ezekiel 17 and 19). Nor am I proposing that the book is to be categorized generically as a parable. Rather parable (mashal, comparison) describes the way that Tobit’s story functions in the wider national–historical framework of the book as a model for the past, present and future story of Israel, a personal story with which the national story can be compared. A further aspect of the proposal in this essay is that it takes seriously, as no other modern interpreters of the book have done, Tobit’s narrative setting in the exile of the northern Israelite tribes (those which even modern scholars have inappropriately conceived as ‘lost’). Tobit’s eschatological prospect is not simply the restoration of the exiles of Judah, but, more importantly for the message of the book, the return of the exiles of the northern tribes to the land of Israel and their reconciliation to Jerusalem as the national and cultic centre.

2. The Pattern of Judgment and Mercy The plot of the book of Tobit focuses on three misfortunes and the way that each is reversed. They are Tobit’s poverty, Tobit’s blindness and Sarah’s lack of a husband. In a sense all three are Tobit’s own misfortunes, since his desire that Tobias marry a close relative makes Sarah the most eligible wife for Tobit’s son and the most eligible mother of his grandchildren. Through Sarah’s deliverance Tobit’s line is perpetuated. Although the remedy for each of the three misfortunes is different, Tobias is the agent of all three and Azariah/Raphael is in all three cases the helper who enables Tobias to succeed. The three misfortunes are therefore closely interlinked and the stories of how they are remedied are closely intertwined. Moreover, as Will Soll has pointed out,5 all three misfortunes are ‘acute manifestations of a more chronic problem, the exile itself’.6 As the narrative is told, Tobit suffers the common misfortune of his tribe and nation, exile under Assyrian rule, before the more specific evils – the loss of his property (1.20) and the loss of his sight (2.10) – come upon him. Correspondingly, at the end of the book, after his sight and his property have been restored, Tobit foresees the end of exile for his descendants and his nation. The national story of misfortune and its reversal thus forms a kind of broad inclusio around Tobit’s individual story of misfortune and its reversal. Tobit attributes both his misfortune and its reversal to God. When his eyes are opened, he says, ‘Though he has afflicted me, he has had mercy upon me’7 (11.15; 5. Soll, ‘Misfortune’, pp. 222–25. 6. Soll, ‘Misfortune’, p. 225. This is least obvious in the case of Sarah, but it is arguable that the activity of the demon Asmodeus is an aspect of the misfortunes of exile in a Gentile land, as Soll, ‘Misfortune’, p. 225, argues. II I 7. The second clause is lacking in G , but preserved in G and OL.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

cf. also 11.17).8 This formula is very significant. As several scholars have recognized, it reflects the theology of Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic history, in which the nation’s misfortunes are understood to be divine judgments on its sin, while repentance and righteousness can lead to God’s mercy delivering from judgment and restoring the nation’s fortunes.9 God’s treatment of Tobit is, at the very least, along the same lines as his treatment of Israel. But the parallel becomes quite explicit in ch.13, Tobit’s great hymn of praise to God. Just as the formula – God afflicts and God shows mercy – occurs in 11.15 as the reason for Tobit to bless God on his own account, so it recurs three times in ch. 13 as the reason why all Israelites should join Tobit in blessing God.10 The first occurrence of the formula is a general statement about God: For he afflicts, and he shows mercy; he leads down to Hades in the lowest regions of the earth, and he brings up from the great abyss, and there is nothing that can escape his hand. (13.2)

This echoes God’s great self-declaration at the end of the Torah, in the Song of Moses, with reference also to the parallel claim in the Song of Hannah: See now that I, even I, am he; there is no god beside me. I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and no one can deliver from my hand (Deut. 32.39).11 The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. (1 Sam. 2.6)

In Second Temple Judaism the Song of Moses was often read as a prophecy of Israel’s future, predicting Israel’s subjection to the nations and subsequent deliverance and restoration by YHWH.12 If Tobit’s hymn can be seen as in some sense an equivalent to the Song of Moses, as Steven Weitzman argues,13 it is not because the latter ends with Moses’ prediction of Israel’s original settlement in the land, whereas Tobit’s foresees the corresponding re-settlement of exiled Israel in the land,14 but because the Song of Moses was widely understood as itself predicting 8. Quotations of Tobit in English translation are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted. NRSV II translates the longer Greek recension (G ), witnessed primarily by Codex Sinaiticus. 9. A.A. Di Lella, ‘The Deuteronomic Background of the Farewell Discourse in Tob 14:3–11’, CBQ 41 (1979), pp. 380–89 (382); C.A. Moore, Tobit (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996), pp. 263–4. 10. Nickelsburg, Jewish Literature, p. 33, recognizes the importance of this application of the formula both to Tobit and to Israel, suggesting that the application to Tobit is secondary and the national expectation foremost in the author’s mind and intention. 11. Quotations from the Bible in English translation are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted. 12. R.H. Bell, Provoked to Jealousy: The Origin and Purpose of the Jealousy Motif in Romans 9–11 (WUNT 2/63; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1994), chapter 7. 13. S. Weitzman, ‘Allusion, Artifice, and Exile in the Hymn of Tobit’, CBQ 115 (1996), pp. 49– 61; idem, Song and Story in Biblical Narrative (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997), pp. 67–8. 14. Weitzman, ‘Allusion’, pp. 54–55; idem, Song, pp. 67–8.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


Israel’s restoration after exile. Tobit takes up Moses’ own prophecy, elaborating it with allusions to later prophecies of restoration in the prophets. In the Song of Moses, deliverance and restoration for Israel can be expected from God because he is as he describes himself in Deut. 32.39: the one whose will none can resist, the one who, in sovereign power, kills and makes alive, wounds and heals. Tobit’s hymn takes up this characterization of God for just the same purpose: to ground the promise of God’s restoration of Israel following judgment and exile. The same God who scattered sinful Israel will re-gather repentant Israel (Tob. 13.5-6). Following this initial use of the formula – God afflicts and God shows mercy – to characterize God’s ways in general at the beginning of Tobit’s hymn (13.2), he subsequently uses it more specifically, addressing all Israel: He afflicted15 you for your iniquities, but he will again show mercy on all of you. He will gather you from all the nations among whom you have been scattered. (13.5)

But Tobit’s vision of Israel’s future is also Jerusalem-centred (and in this respect also Deuteronomic), just as his understanding of her punishment is. It was for worshipping Jeroboam’s calf in Dan and on all the mountains of Galilee, rather than going to Jerusalem, as Tobit alone did (1.6-8), that his tribe had been exiled (1.4-5). Therefore his prophecy of Israel’s restoration in ch. 13 gives pride of place to the glorious Jerusalem of the future (13.9-17). He ends his address to Israel by calling on all to acknowledge the divine King ‘in Jerusalem’ (13.9), the place of his earthly dwelling (1.4), and turns to address Jerusalem herself in the rest of the hymn. Significantly this address to Jerusalem begins by applying the formula – God afflicts and God shows mercy – to Jerusalem: O Jerusalem, the holy city, he will afflict16 you for the deeds of your hands, but will again have mercy on the children of the righteous. (13.7)

Thus the four occurrences of the formula (11.15; 13.2, 5, 7) describe God’s ways in general and apply it to the particular cases of Tobit himself, Israel and Jerusalem. This creates a strong parallel between Tobit’s story and that of the nation. Indeed, it indicates that the reason Tobit sings his hymn of joyful praise to God for his future dealings with Israel is that he himself has experienced precisely the mercy of God after judgment that Moses and the prophets have predicted for Israel. He takes his own experience to be a confirmation of God’s intention for the nation.17 He also takes this demonstration of God’s powerful mercy in his II

15. The past tense is found here in OL and Vulg, whereas G (Sinaiticus) has ‘will afflict’. NRSV II follows G in the text, but gives ‘afflicted’ in the marginal note. II 16. Here NRSV prefers the reading of OL and Vulg (‘afflicted’), consigning that of G (‘will afflict’) to the marginal note. But the latter is confirmed by 4QToba 17.2.8. It makes good sense, because from Tobit’s perspective the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians lies still in the future (cf. 14.4). 17. Moore, Tobit, p. 284, recognizes this but in rather too general terms: ‘If God had done all


Studies in the Book of Tobit

own case as a basis for calling on Israel to repent so that the whole nation may likewise experience God’s mercy after judgment (13.6). It is clear that, so far from ch. 13 being unrelated to Tobit’s own story, there is a close correlation and connection between Tobit’s own experience and his celebration of Israel’s future in this hymn.

3. Tobit's Solidarity with his People In the early part of the book Tobit is portrayed as a righteous man, who, when he lived in Israel, was an exception to the apostasy that brought exile on his people, and, when in exile, was known for his acts of charity to his people, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and burying the dead. This might seem to obviate a comparison between his misfortune and Israel’s. Israel’s misfortune was deserved, but Tobit’s, apparently, was not. However, we must also take account of the way Tobit sees himself as in solidarity with his people, in their sin as well as in their misfortune. There is only one formal quotation from Scripture in the book, which therefore deserves closer attention than interpreters have given it. When Tobit’s celebration of the feast of Pentecost with his family was interrupted by the news that the corpse of a murdered Israelite was lying unburied, Tobit left his food untouched and went to bury the body (2.1-4). On his return from this sad task, he: Ate [his] food in sorrow. Then I remembered the prophecy of Amos, how he said against Bethel, ‘Your festivals shall be turned into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation.’ And I wept. (Tob. 2.5-6)

The quotation is from Amos 8.10: I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation.

Tobit has modified the quotation only to the extent of turning the first-person speech by YHWH into the ‘divine passive’ that only implies YHWH as the agent of the action. The change is probably not due to ‘an unwillingness to ascribe evil to God’,18 for there is another example of the ‘divine passive’ in 1.4 and in this case the action is not judgmental (Jerusalem ‘had been chosen from among all the tribes of Israel’). Elsewhere Tobit shows no reluctance to attribute his misfortunes to God (3.5; 11.15). The alteration of the words of Amos may be due to a reverential unwillingness by Tobit to speak as though in the divine first person. The appositeness of the quotation depends not only on the fact that Tobit’s celebration of a festival has given place to mourning, but most probably also on that for Tobit and his family, how much more, concludes Tobit, will God do for his people and his Holy City?’ 18. Zimmermann, The Book of Tobit, p. 56, followed by Moore, Tobit, p. 129.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


the fact that in the unquoted context in Amos the mourning is related to the unburied bodies of the dead, just as Tobit’s is: ‘The songs of the temple shall become wailings in that day’, says the Lord God; ‘the dead bodies shall be many, cast out in every place’. (Amos 8.3)

Evidently Tobit sees the way in which his own celebration of Pentecost had been overtaken by mourning for the murdered man as an instance of the judgments of God on Israel to which the words of Amos refer. What is striking is the fact that, by explicitly informing the reader that Amos’s words were spoken against Bethel, Tobit explicitly problematizes their reference to his own case. The words are certainly not being reapplied by ignoring their context in the book of Amos, where it is the festivals at the illegitimate sanctuary in Bethel (among others) that are being condemned (cf. Amos 5.5; 7.10-13; 8.3). Tobit has himself made clear both that it was for this illegitimate worship in sanctuaries other than Jerusalem that his tribe had been condemned to exile (1.5), but also that he alone had not participated in it, instead fulfilling all the requirements of Torah in Jerusalem (1.6-8). Of course, the feast of Pentecost should have been celebrated in Jerusalem (Deut. 16.9-11), and the fact that, by virtue of his exile,19 Tobit had to celebrate it at home in Nineveh may serve to associate his worship with the apostate worship that had brought the exile on his people. While it can hardly be blameworthy in the way that apostasy was, nevertheless Tobit’s inability fully to fulfil the requirements of Torah highlights the way he, despite his innocence, had had to suffer the full consequences of the sins of the rest of his people. Because they had refused to worship in Jerusalem, now he, no less than they, was obliged to worship apart from Jerusalem. Though innocent, he is identified with the sins of his people. The point is reinforced by the circumstance that, whereas those condemned by Amos were also, in the immediate context, denounced for exploitation of the poor (Amos 8.4-6; cf. 2.6-7; 5.11-12), the occasion for Tobit’s quotation of Amos had come about through his charitable concern for the poor (Tob 2.2-3). By applying Amos 8.10 to his own case Tobit is not protesting his innocence, compared with the sins of his people, but accepting God’s treatment of him because of his solidarity with his people. This significance of the quotation becomes even more notable when we appreciate a point that previous interpreters have missed: that the quotation in its context in Tobit not only points backwards to the preceding episode (2.1-5) but also forwards to what follows. What precedes the quotation is an instance of the first line (‘Your festivals shall be turned into mourning’), but it is what follows that instantiates the second line (‘and all your songs into lamentation’). It anticipates Tobit’s lament in 3.1-6, which culminates the whole account of Tobit’s misfortunes and expresses the extremity of his grief over them. In this light we can see that the quotation from Amos, the only formal quotation from Scripture in the book, has pivotal importance for understanding the meaning of Tobit’s sufferings as a whole. 19. The Jerusalem Temple, of course, was still standing at this time.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

What brings Tobit to the extremity of grief expressed in his lament is not only his blindness (2.9-10), but also the taunts and reproaches thrown at him even by his (presumably Israelite) neighbours (2.8) and even by his wife (2.14). These form an inclusio around the section that describes the infliction and consequences of his greatest misfortune: blindness (2.8-11). This coheres with the special prominence reproaches and insults have in Tobit’s lament (2.4,6). Anna’s reproach, rather like Job’s wife’s (Job 2.9-10),20 proves the final aggravation that precipitates his lament. But there is a crucial difference from Job. Tobit does not protest his innocence, but confesses his sins along with those of his people (3.3, 5). Unlike Job’s questioning of the justice of God, Tobit begins his lament by emphatically confessing it (3.2). Tobit never questions God’s justice, however much the reader of the book may be tempted to do so. It is likely that, in the episode that leads to Anna’s reproach, Tobit is portrayed as finally acting in a way that is not entirely blameless. He is unjustifiably suspicious of her, refusing to believe her truthful explanation, and angry with her (2.13-14). It is a sin to which his extreme misfortunes have finally driven him. Just as his innocent participation in the exile his people deserved gave him no choice but to disobey Torah to the extent of not celebrating the festivals in Jerusalem, so now his further misfortunes provoke him to a truly blameworthy act. Perhaps the realization that he has acted wrongly and that Anna’s reproach was at least partly justified is what leads to his grief and his voicing of the lament. On the other hand, he evidently still feels Anna’s reproach, which appears to question either the sincerity or the value of his charitable acts (2.14), to have been ‘undeserved’ (3.6). However, what is notable about the lament is how Tobit treats himself as a sinner alongside his people and even acknowledges God’s justice in punishing him as well as them: Do not punish me for my sins and for my unwitting offences and those that my ancestors committed before you. They sinned against you, and disobeyed your commandments. So you gave us over to plunder, exile, and death, to become the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach among all the nations among whom you have dispersed us. And now your many judgments are true in exacting penalty from me for my sins. For we have not kept your commandments and have not walked in accordance with truth before you. (3.3-5)

This acknowledgement of sin and just punishment could not be more different from Job’s approach to God or, closer to home, from Sarah’s lament, which speaks only of her innocence (3.14-15). Thus, despite the initial portrayal of Tobit as exemplary in his faithful observance of Torah, the narrative of Tobit’s misfortunes climaxes in his own rep20. But note the differences pointed out by Moore, Tobit, p. 135.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


resentation of himself as fully in solidarity with his people’s sins and their punishment.21 It is this solidarity that qualifies Tobit to function in the book both as a representative of Israel’s just punishment and as a representative of God’s merciful reversal of that punishment. His solidarity with his people in the lament introduces a kind of logic that is worked out in the closing sections of the book. For if God does respond to Tobit’s prayer that he not be further punished for his sins (3.3), then his solidarity with his people should also mean that God will withhold further punishment also from Israel as a whole.

4. Images of Exile and Restoration The parallels between the misfortunes of Tobit and their reversal, on the one hand, and the misfortunes of Israel and their reversal, on the other, are strengthened by the way the former reflect ways in which Deuteronomy and the Prophets predict the misfortunes of Israel’s punishments and restoration. We recall that there are three key personal misfortunes that are reversed: Tobit’s loss of his property, Tobit’s blindness and Sarah’s lack of a husband. In the case of Tobit’s deprivation of his property – taken from him by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (1.20) – Tobit himself provides the parallel when he characterizes Israel’s punishment as ‘plunder, exile, and death’ (3.4). The plundering of faithless Israel’s goods by the nations who oppress her is predicted in Deuteronomy’s catalogue of evils that God will bring on his people who rebel against him (Deut. 28:30-31, 33, 51; cf. 2 Kgs 21.14), but the more fundamental parallel to Tobit’s misfortune may be Israel’s loss of ‘the good land’ (as Deuteronomy echoed by Tob. 14.4 calls it), the source of all her material sustenance and prosperity. The reversal of Tobit’s plight, in this aspect, will be paralleled in Israel’s case not only by the restoration to the land (Tob. 14.5, 7), but also by the wealth of the nations that will pour into the gloriously restored Jerusalem (Tob. 13.11; cf. Isa. 60.5-7, 9, 11; 61.4; 66.12). Blindness also occurs among the punishments Deuteronomy predicts for faithless Israel (Deut. 28.29, 65). But we should also notice that Tobit speaks of his blindness as equivalent to death: I am a man without eyesight; I cannot see the light of heaven, but I lie in darkness like the dead who no longer see the light. Although still alive, I am among the dead. (Tob. 5.10)

There may scriptural allusions here: We wait for light, and lo! there is darkness; and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope like the blind along the wall, groping like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among the vigorous as though we were dead. (Isa. 59.9-10) 21. Cf. Soll, ‘Misfortune’, p. 224: Tobit ‘identifies himself with wayward Israel to a striking degree’.


Studies in the Book of Tobit I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light... he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago. (Lam. 3.1–2, 6; cf. also Mic. 7.8-9)

We might also note that, in common with the speakers in Isa. 59.10, blind Tobit stumbles (Tob. 11.10). As for Tobit’s healing, the opening of the eyes of the blind is a standard feature of the Isaianic prophecies of Israel’s restoration (Isa. 29.18; 35.5; 42:7, 16, 18; cf. 9.2). The vocabulary of healing is used in Tobit for both the healing of Tobit’s blindness and the delivery of Sarah from the demon (2.10; 3.17; 5.10; 6.9; 12.3, 14). In most of these cases (all except 6.9), the Greek verb is i0a=sqai, the verb that usually, in the Septuagint, translates the Hebrew )pr. This Hebrew verb is also, of course, part of the name of the angel Raphael (‘God has healed’) and it is Raphael who is sent by God to heal both Sarah and Tobit (3.17; 12.14). In the Hebrew Bible, )pr is often used to speak of God’s healing of the nation of Israel or of Jerusalem (e.g. 2 Chron. 7.14; 30.20; Jer. 3.22; Hos. 11.3; cf. Isa. 19.22). It is a standard image of restoration (Isa. 30.26; 57.18-19; Jer. 30.17; Hos. 6.1; 6.11-7.1; 14.4), sometimes associated with the gathering of the exiles and the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Jer. 33.6-9; Ps. 147.2-3). Often it is God who has wounded his people as punishment and who subsequently will heal them (Isa. 57.17-19; Jer. 30.10-17; 33.5-6; Hos. 6.1). Perhaps especially significant is God’s declaration of his identity and ways in the Song of Moses: I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and no one can deliver from my hand. (Deut. 32.39)

We have already pointed out that Tobit’s hymn paraphrases this: For he afflicts, and he shows mercy; he leads down to Hades in the lowest regions of the earth, and he brings up from the great abyss, and there is nothing that can escape his hand. (Tob. 13.2)

Here Deuteronomy’s ‘I wound and I heal’ corresponds to Tobit’s ‘he afflicts and he shows mercy’, which we have seen to be the formula by which Tobit’s own suffering and restoration are correlated with those of Israel and Jerusalem. Among Deuteronomy’s predictions of evils for apostate Israel we also find: ‘You shall become an object of horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the Lord will lead you’ (Deut. 28.37; cf. 28.25; 1 Kgs 9.7; Jer. 24.9; Ps. 44.13-16). Tobit himself alludes to this passage when he laments the punishments God has inflicted on his people: So you gave us over to plunder, exile, and death, to become the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach among all the nations among whom you have dispersed us. (Tob. 3.4)

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


The correspondence with his own suffering of reproaches and insults (2.8, 14; 3.6) is obvious in the context. This suffering of reproaches is a form of distress that Tobit shares with Sarah (3.7, 10, 13). Finally, among Deuteronomy’s curses is one that Anna suffers: ‘you will strain your eyes looking for them [the sons and daughters who have been taken from you] all day but be powerless to do anything’ (Deut. 28.32). Anna instantiates this curse when, day after day, she spends the whole of the daylight hours watching the road Tobias had taken (Tob. 10.7). The curse is reversed when finally she sees him coming (11.5-6).

5. Sarah's Story as a Parable of the Desolation and Restoration of Jerusalem In the previous section we have mentioned Sarah’s plight and restoration only in two respects that she shares with Tobit: she suffers insults and is healed by Raphael. But in Sarah’s story in particular there are also scriptural resonances that suggest that (whereas Tobit models the story of Israel) Sarah models the story of the city of Jerusalem, often portrayed as a woman or, more specifically, a bride. Sarah’s plight is that of a childless widow with no prospect of marriage or children. Her plight is reversed when Tobias marries her and she bears seven sons. She resembles Jerusalem after its fall to the Babylonian armies: deserted, without inhabitants. But in marriage and childbearing she resembles the gloriously restored Jerusalem of the prophets: You [Jerusalem] shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be called Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is In Her, and your land Married. (Isa. 62.4)

The account of Sarah in Tobit seems especially designed to recall the portrayal of the desolate Jerusalem in the book of Lamentations, which begins: How lonely sits the city that once was full of people! How like a widow she has become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess (ytr#&) among the provinces has become a vassal. (Lam. 1.1)

Given (as we shall show more fully below) that most of the names in Tobit seem carefully chosen for their significance, it is probably not coincidental that Sarah’s name (hr#&), meaning ‘princess’) occurs in this opening verse of Lamentations as an epithet of Jerusalem. Lamentations goes on to describe Jerusalem weeping bitterly in the night (Lam. 1.2; cf. Tob. 2.10) and the taunts she suffers (Lam. 2.14-15; cf. Tob. 3.7-9). Sarah does not become the bride of God, as Jerusalem is in some of the Prophets. It may be that her marriage to Tobias prefigures the embracing of Jerusalem as Israel’s cultic centre on the part of the northern tribes. Or it may be that the joy


Studies in the Book of Tobit

of the marriage celebration is simply an appropriate image of the restoration of previously desolate Jerusalem: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without human beings or animals,’ in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride... (Jer. 33.10-11)

6. The Personal Names It has been widely recognized that many of the personal names in Tobit have been chosen for their significance in relation to the story, but the correct significance has not always been recognized and the full significance not appreciated. This is particularly true of the names Tobit and Tobias. Tobit’s father, Tobit himself and his son bear related names. His father’s name Tobiel (l)ybw+) means ‘God is good’, his son’s name Tobiah (hybw+) means ‘YHWH is good’,22 while his own name (Ttwbi/q or Twbi/t,23 ybw+24) is a hypocoristicon (i.e. abbreviated form) of one or the other. The names are not, as Carey Moore claims,25 to be considered ironic – in view of Tobit’s sufferings. Rather they are prophetic of the goodness of the Lord as it appears in the reversal of the family’s misfortunes. When Tobit, his sight restored, blesses God, saying, ‘Though he afflicted me, he has had mercy upon me. Now I see Tobias my son’ (11.15), there may be a double entendre: ‘Now I see that YHWH is good’.26 His son’s name comes true, as it were, when the divine pattern of scourging and having mercy is completed. These names may well constitute an allusion to Nah. 1.7: The Lord is good (hwhy bw+), a stronghold in a day of trouble; he protects those who take refuge in him.

This is one of the few statements about God’s salvation of his people27 in the midst of a book largely devoted to prophesying God’s judgment on Nineveh. Because of this dominant theme Nahum is, besides Amos, the only prophet named in Tobit (14.4). His book clearly had a special significance for exiles of northern Israel, and the fulfilment of its prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh (14.4, 15) was an assurance that all the prophecies, especially those of future restoration, would also come true: ‘not a single word of the prophecies will fail’ (14.4). It would be quite appropriate for Tobit’s and Tobias’s names to echo Nahum’s prophecy. 22. The names are sometimes said to mean ‘God is my good’ and ‘YHWH is my good’, but this is probably incorrect; see R. Zadok, The Pre-Hellenistic Israelite Anthroponymy and Prosopography (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 28; Leuven: Peeters, 1988), p. 52. 23. On the Greek forms of the name, see Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 93. 24. That this was the original, Semitic form of the name is now confirmed by the Qumran Aramaic and Hebrew fragments (4Q197 4.3.5, 6; 4Q200 4.7; 6.1). 25. Moore, Tobit, p. 25. 26. Soll, ‘Misfortune’, p. 229, citing J. Craghan. 27. Note also Nah. 1.12: ‘Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more’. This may have influenced Tobit’s phrasing of the formula ‘he afflicts but he shows mercy’.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


The words, ‘YHWH is good’, are also well known in the recurrent refrain in the Psalms: ‘The Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever’ (Pss 100.5; 106.1; 107.1; 118.1, 29; 135.3; 136.1; 1 Chron. 16.34; 2 Chron. 5.13; 7.3; Ezra 3.11), but there is also an occurrence of this refrain, especially significant for the theme of Tobit, in Jer. 33.11. The context is a prophecy of the restoration of Israel (33.6-12) to which we have already referred. In the once desolate cities of Judah, there will again be heard voices of joy. The climax of the list of such voices is: The voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord: ‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good (hwhy bw+), and his steadfast love endures forever!’ (Jer. 33.11)

Tobias’s name is what the exiles will sing when they have returned to the land and give thanks to YHWH in the Jerusalem Temple. The prophetic significance of the name thus points far ahead of the personal experiences of Tobit’s family to the ultimate fulfilment of the divine promises of national restoration. Several names of Tobit’s relatives28 contain the Hebrew root Nnx (‘to show favour, to be gracious’): Hananiel (‘God has been gracious’) (Tob. 1.1); Hananiah (‘YHWH has been gracious’) (5.13-14); and, most importantly, Tobit’s wife Anna or Hannah (‘[God’s] grace’). In the Hebrew Bible grace is a key attribute and activity of YHWH and is closely related to his mercy (cf. Exod. 34.6). It can refer to God’s favour shown to individuals or to Israel, not least in acts of restoration after judgment (Amos 5.15; Ps. 102.13; Isa. 30.19; Jer. 31.2), including that of the northern tribes (2 Chron. 30.9). We have already noticed the significance of the names Raphael (‘God has healed’) and Sarah (‘princess’). The appropriateness of Raphael’s assumed human name, Azariah (‘YHWH has helped’), is obvious. The names of Sarah’s parents, Raguel (l)w(r, ‘friend of God’) and Edna ()nd(, cf. hnd(, ‘delight’), seem to be appropriate in only a rather general sense. ‘Friend of God’ suggests Abraham (cf. 2 Chron. 20.7; Isa. 41.8), but the word (r is not used in his case. Edna’s name recalls the garden of Eden (Nd(), and it is worth noticing that the prophecies of the restoration of Jerusalem speak of the city as a desert that will become like the garden of Eden (Isa. 51.3; Ezek. 36.35; cf. Joel 2.3), while the precious stones said by Ezekiel to be in Eden (Ezek. 28.13) resemble those of which the restored Jerusalem will be built (Tob. 13.16).

7. Restoration for the Northern Tribes Recognizing that Tobit’s story is told as a paradigm for the restoration of Israel requires us to take particularly seriously the fact that Tobit is a Naphtalite. His tribal membership is of considerable significance for him. He is precise about his geographical origins (Tob. 1.2). It was primarily for people of his own tribe that he performed acts of charity (1.3, 16). He himself married within his tribe and 28. NRSV gives the name Hanael (‘the grace of God’) in 1.21 for the Greek Anahl, but 1Q196 2.6 shows the original Semitic form of this name is l)n(.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

clan (1.9) and he expects his son to do the same (4.12; cf. 3.15).29 It was because Azariah belonged to a good family closely related to Tobit’s that Tobit was willing to put his son into Azariah’s care (5.11-14). A narrative so embedded in such specific tribal loyalty can scarcely serve as the paradigm for a restoration of the nation in a sense that would exclude this tribe from it. Indeed, within his hymn, Tobit includes his personal hope for his own descendants: How happy I will be if a remnant of my descendants should survive to see your [Jerusalem’s] glory and acknowledge the King of heaven. (13.16)

We cannot suppose the author’s hope of restoration was such as to exclude this hope expressed by the hero of his tale. Why should the author have chosen a Naphtalite family for his story? In the deportations of Israelites by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, according to the biblical history, the tribe of Naphtali has a special place. They were the first to be deported: In the days of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried the people captive to Assyria. (2 Kgs 15.29)

Though it remains mysterious that Tobit has transferred this action from one Assyrian king (Tiglath-pileser) to his successor (Shalmaneser) (Tob. 1.2), it is certainly to this deportation that he refers. Tobit’s references to Kedesh Naphtali30 and Hazor place his home village, Thisbe, clearly within the geographical area to which 2 Kgs 15.29 refers.31 By making a family deported in this very first of the deportations the subject of his story, the author of Tobit has devised a story that can apply inclusively to all the deported tribes. Tobit’s family stands for all those who were exiled subsequently, down to the fall of Jerusalem. From his vantage-point at the beginning of exile, Tobit can foresee the whole history of exile: All of our kindred, inhabitants of the land of Israel, will be scattered and taken as captives from the good land; and the whole land of Israel will be desolate, even Samaria and Jerusalem will be desolate. (Tob. 14.4)

Not only was Naphtali the first tribe to be deported; it is also specifically mentioned in a prophecy of restoration in which that deportation is recalled: In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them the light has shined. (Isa. 9.1-2 [Hebrew 8.23-9.1]) 29. See discussion in Pitkänen in this volume. 30. It is clear that Tobit took the Kedesh Naphtali of Judg. 4.6 to be Kedesh in Upper Galilee. This is why his grandmother was called Deborah (1.8). 31. This makes the identifications of the places by J.T. Milik, ‘La Patrie de Tobie’, RB 73 (1966), pp. 522–30, implausible.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


The precise meaning of v. 1 is obscure and debated,32 but it could certainly have been read as an instance of Tobit’s formula for the judgmental and restorative action of God: he afflicts and he has mercy.33 In that case, the subject is God, who humbled these northern tribes by subjecting them to exile, but will glorify their land when he restores them. That such a reading has informed the book of Tobit seems especially attractive when we notice also that v. 2 puts the twofold experience of the tribes into language applicable literally to Tobit’s experience. Blind Tobit lay ‘in darkness like the dead who no longer see the light’ (Tob. 5.10) until he was healed and saw the light (11.8). Thus Tobit models the experience of his tribe, and his tribe that of all the tribes. This understanding of the treatment of Naphtali as paradigmatic of all the tribes of Israel coheres with an emphasis, also found in Tobit, on all the tribes. Jerusalem, he insists, ‘had been chosen from among all the tribes of Israel, where all the tribes of Israel should offer sacrifice’ (Tob. 1.4). The centrality of Jerusalem to Tobit’s eschatological expectation (13.9-17) is not, from this perspective, a particularly Judean hope but a genuinely pan-Israelite hope: All the Israelites who are saved in those days and are truly mindful of God will be gathered together; they will go to Jerusalem and live in safety forever in the land of Abraham. (14.7)

An expectation of the return and reunification of all the tribes of Israel is found frequently in the prophets (Isa. 11.11-16; 27.12-13; 43.5-6; Jer. 3.18; 16.14-15; 23.6-8; 31.7-14, 31; Ezek. 11.14-17; 20.1-44; 37.16-23; 47.13-14, 21-23; 48.1-35; Hos. 11.10-11; Nah. 2.2; Zech 8.13; 9.1; 10.6-12) and in the literature of early Judaism (e.g. Sir. 36.13, 16; 48.10; 2 Macc. 1.27-29; 1 Enoch 90.33; Pss Sol. 8.28; 11.1-9; 17.26; 4 Ezra 13.39-50; 2 Bar. 78.1-7). It is therefore not at all surprising to find it in Tobit. As in Tobit, many of these passages explicitly make Jerusalem the centre of the regathered tribes. What is distinctive in Tobit is that the regathering and return of all the tribes is viewed from the perspective of the northern tribes in exile. This point can be appreciated particularly if we consider the role of the fall of Nineveh in Tobit. The conclusion of the book narrates how Tobias, now in Media, heard of the destruction of Nineveh and saw the citizens of Nineveh led captive into Media. [Tobias] praised God for all he had done to the people of Nineveh and Assyria; before he died he rejoiced over Nineveh, and he blessed the Lord God forever and ever. (14.15)

The point is not just that God judged Nineveh for its oppression, but that the fulfilment of this prediction of the prophets guarantees the fulfilment of the rest of their predictions, including Israel’s restoration to the land, along with the glori32. A reference to two phases of Assyrian conquest seems likely: cf. Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible: A Historical Geography (London: Burns & Oates, 2nd edn, 1979), p. 374; J. Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 1–39 (AB, 19; New York: Doubleday, 2000), p. 247. 33. Cf. B.S. Childs, Isaiah (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2001), p. 80: ‘two qualities of time, judgmental and redemptive, are being contrasted... [This verse] anticipates both the humiliation and exaltation of the land by the use of the perfect form of the verbs.’


Studies in the Book of Tobit

fied Jerusalem to which all Israel will adhere. Earlier in the chapter Tobit has associated Nahum’s prophecy of the judgment of Nineveh, in which he firmly believes, with his confidence that ‘everything that was spoken by the prophets of Israel, whom God sent, will occur’ (14.4). The point is given remarkable emphasis, twice repeated. On this basis Tobit then goes on to predict what will happen up to and including the final restoration (14.4-7). The further waves of deportation, the fall of both Samaria and Jerusalem, and especially the destruction of the temple, are predicted. But the return and rebuilding of the temple in the time of the Persian Empire are mentioned mainly in order to indicate that they are relatively minor acts of God’s mercy, not to be mistaken for ‘the times of fulfilment’ (14.5). Only later: They all will return from their exile and will rebuild Jerusalem in splendour; and in it the temple will be rebuilt, just as the prophets of Israel have said concerning it. (14.5)

From the perspective of the northern tribes in exile, the one event still in Tobit’s future that is of decisive significance for their future is the fall of Nineveh. This is the event that brings with it the assurance that God will also restore them to the land. God’s judgment of Nineveh is the obverse of his mercy for his people oppressed by Nineveh. The fall of Nineveh concludes the book because it is the last event that really matters to the exiles of northern Israel prior to the still future restoration of all Israel and Jerusalem. Notably, Tobit’s predictions do not include the fall of Babylon, so important for the exiles of Judah. If Tobit has in view an audience primarily of exiles of the northern tribes, then the particular focus of the book provides an intelligible message. It makes clear to them that their exile was the consequence especially of their apostasy from Jerusalem, the God-given cultic centre for all Israel. The words of the prophets, especially Amos, who denounced their apostasy and foresaw their judgment were vindicated in their exile. But the further fulfilment of the prophecies of judgment on Nineveh, especially by Nahum, should assure them that God’s promises to have mercy on his people will be fulfilled in their restoration to the land. The glorious new Jerusalem of the future will be theirs just as much as Judah’s and Benjamin’s. What is required of them meantime is repentance and righteousness. For this Tobit, in his loyalty to Jerusalem and his assiduous practice of charity, provides a model. They have shared his affliction, and, if they practise his righteousness, they will also experience God’s mercy as he did. His story will set the pattern for the story of all Israel. Is Tobit then a book for the Diaspora of the northern tribes? For this to be plausible, we must establish that, at the time of writing, there was such an identifiable Diaspora of the northern tribes.

8. What Became of the Exiles of the Northern Tribes? The date of the book of Tobit is difficult to determine with any precision. On the one hand, it presupposes the building of the Second Temple (14.5) and probably the final editing of the Pentateuch. On the other hand, the lack of belief in a

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


personal destiny after death (also characteristic of Ben Sira) suggests a relatively early date. But the book’s failure to reflect either the events or the spirit of the Maccabean period does not necessarily, as has been commonly held, make it ‘unquestionably pre-Maccabean’,34 since this would not be surprising in a work written, as we shall argue Tobit was, in the eastern Diaspora and for the exiles of the northern tribes. It is now widely agreed that the Aramaic fragments from Qumran preserve the text in its original language. Fitzmyer has classified this as Middle Aramaic, along with other Qumran Aramaic texts such as the Genesis Apocryphon, the books of Enoch, and the Targum of Job. On the basis of the language and his agreement with other critics that it must be pre-Maccabean, Fitzmyer opts for a date between 225 and 175 BCE.35 I doubt if we can be so precise. The available texts in Middle Aramaic for comparison are few, and Fitzmyer himself points out that ‘copyists often changed the forms to their customary modes of writing’.36 Neither a date earlier in the Hellenistic period (or even the late Persian period)37 nor a later second-century date is impossible. For our present argument a more precise dating would make no difference, since most scholars seem agreed that exiles of the northern tribes preserving their Israelite identity in the eastern Diaspora had ceased to exist long before the Hellenistic period. Shemaryahu Talmon (who uses here the term ‘Ephraimite’ to refer to the northern kingdom of Israel as a whole) writes: On account of the small size of their community and their second-class status, the Ephraimite expatriates were unable to organize any resistance to their captors. Under duress, they adjusted to the difficult situation of life in exile. Neither biblical nor extrabiblical sources attest to the emergence in Assyria of an Israelite exilic community that was marked by identifiable cultural characteristics which set it apart from the surrounding foreign society, and distinguished the faith system of its members from that of their compatriots in the homeland who had escaped banishment.38 Their passivity was further deepened by the fact that the biblical sources do not give any reason for assuming that the Ephraimite diaspora ever developed an expectation of a return to the land. It may be said that the absence of the hope of a restoration on the Samarians’ spiritual horizon, of the deportees as of those who remained on their soil, was a primary cause of the disappearance of the ten tribes from the stage of history. Lacking the spiritual stamina for successfully resisting assimilation to the surrounding society, in the diaspora as well as in the homeland, the population of the Northern Kingdom fell prey to a process of internal dissolution, which culminated in its final eclipse not long after the fall of Samaria. Consequently the Ephraimite diaspora in Assyria shall have no part in the post-exilic restitution of a new politei/a in the land, possibly with some exceptions (see below).39

34. Moore, Tobit, p. 41. 35. Fitzmyer, Tobit, pp. 18–27, 50–52. 36. Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 52. 37. Cf. L.L. Grabbe, ‘Tobit’, in J.D.G. Dunn and J.W. Rogerson (ed.), Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 736–47 (736). 38. He appears to mean the worship of YHWH only as one god of the Canaanite pantheon. 39. S. Talmon, ‘ “Exile” and “Restoration” in the Conceptual World of Ancient Judaism’, in J.M. Scott (ed.), Restoration: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian Perspectives (JSJSup, 72; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2001), pp. 107–46 (119–20).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

The possible exceptions to which he refers are a group of three families listed among those who returned from Babylonia to Judea in the early Persian period. These families, who came from a series of named but not now identifiable40 places, were unable to authenticate their genuinely Israelite descent (Ezra 2.5960). Talmon suggests that these families had lived in the Diaspora for longer than the Judeans deported in 586 BCE, and so may have lost information about their ancestry.41 Although, intriguingly, one of the three families is that of Tobiah (Ezra 2.60),42 this suggestion must remain no more than a guess unless the place names in Ezra 5.59 can be identified with places in the areas where exiles of the northern tribes settled (i.e. in northern Mesopotamia or Media). There are several problems with Talmon’s remarks on the fate of the exiles of the northern tribes. One is that he fails to refer at all to Assyrian deportations prior to the fall of Samaria in 722 BCE (thus ignoring 1 Chron. 5.6, 26 as well as 2 Kgs 15.29), with the result that his reference to the small numbers of the deportees may well be mistaken. Tiglath-Pileser, himself, in an Assyrian text about his campaign of 733–32 BCE (the one to which 2 Kgs 15.29 and Tob. 1.2 refer) claims to have deported 13,520 Israelite captives, while an archaeological survey has confirmed a marked decline in the population of the area at this time. Moreover, as well as the unknown numbers deported in Shalmaneser’s campaign up to 722, we know from Assyrian sources that 27,290 were deported by Sargon in 720 and probably others in 716.43 There seems good reason to suppose that the northern Israelite exiles were more numerous than the exiles of Judea deported later by the Babylonians (only 4600 according to Jer. 52.28-30), and so the number of the northern Israelite exiles cannot be said to have inhibited their survival as a distinctive ethnic and cultural group. (Incidentally, the book of Tobit’s strong concern for endogamous marriage illustrates one way in which such identity could be preserved across generations.) Talmon’s assertion of their lack of ‘spiritual stamina’ is, of course, sheer speculation. When he states that ‘the biblical sources do not give any reason for assuming that the Ephraimite Diaspora ever developed an expectation of a return to the land’, we must ask in what sort of biblical sources we could expect to find evidence of such an expectation. The Bible preserves no texts or even traditions from northern Israelite sources subsequent to the fall of Samaria. We have only Judean sources. What is impressive – and ignored by Talmon – is the persistent expectation in the prophets (notably Jeremiah, Ezekiel, later parts of Isaiah, and both Zechariah and Deutero-Zechariah) of the return of the northern tribes to the 40. For the best suggestions up till now, see J. Blenkinsopp, Ezra-Nehemiah (OTL; London: SCM Press, 1988), p. 91. 41. Talmon, ‘ “Exile” ’, p. 130. 42. More likely than a connexion with the book of Tobit is the possibility that this name is connected with the Tobiah clan that we know from Babylonian sources to have formed a large part of the Jewish community in the Babylonian city of Nippur during the Persian period: see R. Zadok, The Jews in Babylonia during the Chaldean and Achaemenian Periods according to the Babylonian Sources (Haifa: University of Haifa, 1979), pp. 54–5, 62–4. 43. K.L. Younger, ‘Israelites in Exile’, BAR 29/6 (2003), pp. 36–45, 65–66 (41–2).

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


land and their reunification with the southern tribes. This is surely the strongest evidence we could reasonably expect from Judean sources about the continuing identity of the northern Israelite exiles. While we cannot exclude the possibility that this prophetic expectation had no connection within empirical reality, it seems unlikely to have persisted so strongly if no one had heard of any such Israelite exiles for a century or two. Talmon has also ignored the considerable number of Israelites, identifiable mostly by their theophoric names referring to YHWH, who appear in Assyrian texts down to the end of the seveth century.44 If Israelites preserved their distinctive identity among the Assyrians for more than a century there seems no reason why they could not have preserved it for much longer. Like Tobit and his relative Ahikar in the book of Tobit, some of the Israelites who appear in Assyrian sources were employed in the imperial administration and attained high office. Others served in the army and even as Assyrian priests. Of course, there is little evidence of the majority of Israelite deportees and their descendants, who were poor and in some cases slaves. K. Lawson Younger detects in these Assyrian sources a process of ‘Assyrianization’ of Israelite families. This is evidenced by families in which the father bears an Israelite name but the son an Assyrian one.45 Doubtless many families did become completely assimilated to Assyrian culture, intermarried with non-Israelites and forgot their Israelite identity. But the evidence is quite insufficient for us to tell whether these were a majority or even a large minority of the northern Israelite exiles. Even the evidence of names is not conclusive, for it was possible to adopt an Assyrian name in addition to an Israelite one (cf. Est. 2.7; Dan. 1.7).46 The Israelites deported from the northern kingdom by the Assyrians were settled in three areas: (1) Halah, which is probably the Assyrian Halahhu, an area and town north-east of Nineveh; (2) the Habor river, which flows into the Euphrates in northern Mesopotamia, and on which the city of Gozan stood; and (3) the cities of Media (2 Kgs 17.6; 18.11; 1 Chron. 5.26). Assyrian sources confirm these three locations.47 The first two locations are both within the northern Mesopotamian area of Assyria proper. Later evidence tends to associate the northern Israelite exiles especially with the third location, Media (Josephus, Ant. 9.279; 11.131-133; Liv. Proph. 3.16-17; Asc. Isa. 3.2), and thus confirms the impression given in Tobit that Media became the most important place of exile 44. Younger, ‘Israelites in Exile’, pp. 45, 65–6. The latest such text he notes is from 602 BCE. Zadok, The Jews in Babylonia, pp. 35–37, gives a somewhat less complete list of instances down to 621 BCE. 45. Younger, ‘Israelites in Exile’, p. 66. 46. An especially interesting comparable case is that of Ahikar, i.e. the historical figure on whom the later Book of Ahikar was based (and, in turn, the figure of Ahikar in Tobit). He was a high official of king Esarhaddon’s time and bore the Assyrian name Aba-enlil-dari. But, according to an Assyrian text, the Ahlamu (Arameans) called him Ahuqar (Ahikar). See J.C. VanderKam, ‘Ahikar/Ahiqar’, in D.N. Freedman (ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 1, p. 114. It could be because Ahikar was an Aramean that the author of Tobit felt able to make him an Israelite (cf. Deut. 26.5). 47. Younger, ‘Israelites in Exile’, p. 66.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

for them (cf. Tob. 1.14; 3.7; 4.1; 5.6; 14.12–15). Josephus, writing in the late first century CE, certainly supposes that the descendants of the exiles of the ten tribes were still living in Media in his time (Ant. 11.131-133). The locations are crucial to establishing the continuity of the northern Israelite diaspora. By rabbinic times, the three main areas of the eastern Jewish Diaspora were (1) southern Mesopotamia, where the exiles of Judah had been settled by the Babylonians and where many of them remained after the resettlement of some in Palestine during the Persian period; (2) northern Mesopotamia, the area known in Roman times as Nisibis and Adiabene, and corresponding to the Assyria of earlier times; (3) Media.48 It is a very likely deduction that the Jews of northern Mesopotamia were predominantly descended from the northern Israelite exiles who settled around Halah and the Habor river, while those of Media were descended from those Israelites of the northern tribes who settled there in the eighth century, perhaps augmented later by others. This is much more likely than that the original Israelite exiles in these areas entirely lost their Israelite identity, but were replaced later by Jews emigrating from the land of Israel or Babylonia. But there is an important corollary. The rabbinic sources assume that the Israelites of those areas shared the same general kind of Judaism as the Jews of Babylonia and Israel, i.e. they accepted the Torah of Moses as known to other Jews and the (by then, of course, theoretical) exclusive centrality of the Jerusalem Temple for Jewish faith. At some point the northern Israelite exiles must have adopted Jerusalem’s form of the Israelite religion. There is probably evidence in Josephus that this had happened by the late Second Temple period. He recounts (Ant. 11.311-13, cf. 379) how the two cities of Nisibis and Nehardea served as the collecting points for the temple tax contributions from the eastern Diaspora, where the resulting huge sums of money could be kept safe until they were conveyed to Jerusalem along with the caravans of pilgrims, whom Josephus numbers at tens of thousands. Nehardea was the most important centre of the Jewish exiles in Babylonia, located on the Euphrates to the west of Seleucia and Ctesiphon. Because Josephus appears to locate Nisibis on the Euphrates near Nehardea (Ant. 18.311), many scholars have saved his geographical accuracy by supposing it to be, not the famous Nisibis in northern Mesopotamia, but another, otherwise unknown Nisibis near Nehardea.49 But it is more likely that Josephus made a geographical mistake. Rather than two collecting points for the tax contributions in close proximity, it would make sense that for the eastern Diaspora as a whole there was one (Nehardea) in southern Mesopotamia and another (Nisibis) in northern Mesopotamia.50 The latter would be the 48. For rabbinic references to the Median Diaspora, see R. Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), pp. 88–90. Note especially the letter of Gamaliel the Elder addressed to ‘our brothers belonging to the exile of Babylonia and belonging to the exile of Media and all the other exiles of Israel’ (t. Sanh. 2.6). 49. E.g. A. Oppenheimer, Babylonia Judaica in the Talmudic Period (Beihefte zur Tübinger Atlas der vorderen Orients B47; Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1983), pp. 333–34. 50. J. Neusner, A History of the Jews in Babylonia: I. The Parthian Period (SPB 9; revised edition; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1969), pp. 13–14, 47 n.2.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


natural centre to which the exiles in Adiabene and northern Mesopotamia would send their tax and gather for making the journey to Jerusalem, but it would also serve the Median Diaspora, being located on the main route from Media to Jerusalem. We have no information at all about when and how the exiles of the northern tribes adopted the Jerusalem-centred version of their religion that they evidently did come to share with their fellow-exiles from Judah in Babylonia – unless the book of Tobit bears some relation to this process. As we have seen, its message amounts to an argument that, just as the northern Israelite exiles have seen the fulfilment of the prophecies of Deuteronomy and the prophets in their own punishment and in the punishment of their adversary Assyria, so, if they repent, they can expect to share in the restoration of all the tribes in the land, as the same prophets also predicted. But Tobit emphatically links this interpretation of both the past and the future of the northern tribes with the centrality of Jerusalem, as promoted by Deuteronomy and the prophets. We can surely imagine Israelites in northern Mesopotamia and Media finding hope and inspiration in the book of Tobit and in its reading of the law and the prophets, and finding in Jerusalem a welcome symbolic focus both of national–religious identity in the Diaspora and of hope for a better future. Thus the book of Tobit itself may have played a part – we cannot tell how significant – in the conversion of the northern Israelite exiles to its own Jerusalem-centred Judaism, and may have been composed precisely for this purpose.

9. Geographical Errors?51 We have argued that the book of Tobit not only reflects a Diaspora situation, as most scholars have agreed, and more specifically the context of the eastern Diaspora, as some scholars agree,52 but also that it addresses precisely the situation of the exiles of the northern tribes. On this view, it must either have been written in Media itself for the Median Diaspora or written elsewhere in the eastern Diaspora, most likely Babylonia, but with the Median Diaspora as its intended audience. The historical errors in ch. 1 of the book,53 which are often cited in this connection, really only exclude an origin close in time to the end of the Assyrian empire. In the ancient world such errors are easily possible even a century after the events and even in areas geographically close to the events. They are no argument against the composition of Tobit in Media or Babylonia in the Persian 51. This section is a revised version of Bauckham, Gospel Women, pp. 103–107. 52. Listed in Moore, Tobit, pp. 42–3; and in Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 54. Deselaers, Tobit, p. 322, summarizes the arguments which have been advanced for an origin in the eastern Diaspora (which he does not accept), and in n. 24 lists those who have taken this view. Deselaers, Tobit, p. 323, advances against the hypothesis of an origin in the eastern Diaspora the remarkable argument that there is no hope for return from exile, so characteristic of the eastern Diaspora, in the book. This argument is possible only because his theory of several stages of expansion of the book eliminates such a hope from the Grunderzählung. 53. These are listed in Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 32.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

period. More serious are the commonly alleged geographical errors, which are two.54 The first concerns the location of Nineveh. In 6.2, Tobias and Raphael, having set out from Tobit’s home in Nineveh on their way to Ecbatana, camp for their first night beside the river Tigris. From Nineveh, which lay just to the east of the Tigris, the road to Ecbatana led east: it would not meet or cross the Tigris. We should note that it is not really clear that the author thought Nineveh lay to the west of the Tigris, since he does not say that Tobit and Raphael had to cross it.55 He may have thought only that their route ran beside the Tigris for some distance.56 But that the relation of Nineveh to the Tigris was vague in his mind is not inconsistent with his living in Media or Mesopotamia two or more centuries after Nineveh’s destruction in 612 BCE. Nineveh did not exist in his time. When Xenophon passed through the area in 401 BCE, he saw a ruined, uninhabited city, which he was told had been a Median city called Mespila (Anabasis 3.4.10-12).57 It was certainly the ruins of Nineveh that he saw, but evidently his guides could not identify it as the famous capital of the Assyrian empire (of which Xenophon would certainly have heard). The southern part of ancient Nineveh (Nebi Yunis) was later resettled and rebuilt as a Hellenistic city, but this was probably not before the second century BCE.58 The second, more serious error concerns the location of the two most important cities of Media: Ecbatana and Rhagae (Rages, Ragha).59 According to Tobit 5.6b, ‘It is a distance of two regular days’ journey from Ecbatana to Rhagae, for it lies in the mountains (e0n tw~| o1rei), while Ecbatana is in the middle of the plain’.60 Rhagae (modern Rai, about five miles south-east of Tehran) is in the 54. C.C. Torrey, The Apocryphal Literature (Hamden, CN: Archon, 1963 reprint of 1945 edition), p. 86; D.C. Simpson, ‘The Book of Tobit’, in R.H. Charles (ed.), The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), pp. 172–241 (185); Zimmermann, Tobit, 16; C.A. Moore, ‘Tobit, Book of’, in D.N. Freedman (ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 6, pp. 585–94 (587–8); Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 33. Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 54, finds the ‘geographical and historical anomalies’ a great difficulty for placing the origin of Tobit in the eastern Diaspora, and so tentatively prefers Palestine. 55. Nor is it clear, as Torrey, Apocryphal Literature, p. 86, claims, that 11.1 implies they have to cross the Tigris on their return journey. 56. It is even possible, though not likely, that he thought of the suburbs of Nineveh spreading across the Tigris to the west, as indeed they probably did (cf. D. Oates, Studies in the Ancient History of Northern Iraq [London: British Academy, 1968], p. 77), and, influenced by Jonah 3.3, supposed that from Tobit’s house in these western suburbs it was a day’s journey to the Tigris. Moore, Tobit, p. 198, cites two other possible explanations of the geography of 6.2: Tobit and Raphael ‘may have stopped at either one of [the Tigris’s] eastern tributaries...or, because the “fish” caught there was “large” (v. 3) possibly the Upper or Lower Zab, both of which are called “the Tigris” (Herodotus, Hist. V.52)’. For these suggestions, see also Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 205. 57. Oates, Studies, p. 60, supposes that Xenophon saw both the ruins of a Median city (Nineveh) and a nearby town called Mespila, but this is clearly a misunderstanding of the passage. 58. Oppenheimer, Babylonia, pp. 312–13. 59. For the information in ancient sources on Rhagae, see A.V.W. Jackson, ‘A Historical Sketch of Ragha, the Supposed Home of Zoroaster’s Mother’, in J.J. Modi (ed.), Spiegel Memorial Volume: Papers on Iranian Subjects (F. Spiegel FS; Bombay: British India Press, 1908), pp. 237–45. 60. This is my translation from the text of Greek Recension II. There are many minor variations

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


plain, though a minor mountain ridge curves around it and the major range, the Elburz mountains, is close. Ecbatana is located in the Zagros mountains, far from the plain. Moreover, they are 180 miles apart, by the most direct route.61 Thus the whole statement is erroneous. No inhabitant of Media could have made it. However, it is possible to question whether it is an original part of the text of Tobit.62 It does not fit its context very happily. Raphael explains how far it is from Ecbatana to Rhagae, but has not explained how far it is from Nineveh to Ecbatana, even though Tobias has told him he does not know the roads to Media or how to get there (5.2). Even if the distance between the cities has some relevance to the conversation, it is not at all clear why their respective locations in the mountains and the plain should be added. The whole statement could easily be a later gloss, by someone, a scribe or the Greek translator, who thought the relation of the lesser known city, Rhagae, to the better known, Ecbatana, needed explanation.63 A better test of the author’s knowledge of Median geography is whether the story, as told in 8.20–10.8, allows sufficient time for Raphael to travel from Ecbatana to Rhagae and back. The narrative assumes that, within a period of fourteen days, the period of the wedding celebration (8.20; 10.7), Raphael travels from Raguel’s home in Ecbatana to the home of Gabael in Rhagae, and Raphael and Gabael then travel to Ecbatana, arriving before the end of the wedding celebrations (9.6). Raphael travels with four servants and two camels, the latter for the purpose of transporting the money bags on the return journey. This means that, although Raphael is an angel in disguise and is capable of moving from place to place very rapidly indeed (8.3), we cannot suppose that he in fact travels faster than a human could. We can assume that both journeys are made with as much speed as possible, since Tobias has sent Raphael on this mission precisely so that he should not have to stay in Ecbatana longer than strictly necessary (9.4), while Gabael will be anxious to arrive in time to join at least the end of the wedding celebrations. Allowing for Sabbaths, when they could not travel, six days is the most that the journey in each direction could take. For the view that this is too short a period for the journey from Ecbatana to Rhagae, recent commentators have followed Frank Zimmermann’s reference to Arrian’s account (Anabasis 3.19.8–3.20.2; cf. also Plutarch, Alexander 42) of Alexander the Great’s pursuit of Darius, in which it took ten (or eleven) days of forced marches for Alexander and his army to make the journey from Ecbatana

in the manuscripts of the Old Latin in this passage, but the text I have translated is nevertheless well supported. 61. R.D. Milns, ‘Alexander’s Pursuit of Darius through Iran’, Historia 15 (1966), p. 256. 62. Zimmermann, Tobit, p. 73, doubts that it is (but his statement that it is lacking in the Old Latin is mistaken), though, inconsistently, on p. 16 he treats it as evidence that the author of Tobit was ignorant of the geography of Media. 63. That the statement does not occur in the manuscripts of the abridged Greek recension (I) has little significance. Unfortunately neither this verse nor its context is represented among the Qumran fragments of Tobit. The view that Ecbatana was located on a plain was apparently a common western mistake, found also in Diodorus 2.13.6 (Moore, Tobit, p. 184).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

to Rhagae.64 But this is certainly not good evidence that this was the fastest time in which the distance could be covered, as the various discussions of Alexander’s route in this area make clear. A.B. Bosworth argues that Arrian is incorrect in saying that Alexander travelled to Rhagae via Ecbatana, preferring Curtius’s report (5.8.5) that when Alexander heard that Darius had left Ecbatana, he broke off his march into Media and went in pursuit.65 But those who accept Arrian’s account have long pointed out that it could not have taken Alexander’s army this long to cover the direct route from Ecbatana to Rhagae. J. Marquant pointed out in 1907 that the distances given in the Arabic itineraries make it no more than a nine days’ journey, and concluded that Alexander must have made a detour.66 A.F. von Stahl calculated that the direct route would take eight days, and argued for a detour to the south,67 while G. Radet argued for a detour to the north.68 J. Seibert suggests that Alexander could have been delayed by battles.69 Clearly Alexander’s march provides no secure basis for calculating the time the same journey would take Raphael and Gabael. It is better to begin with the fact that the distance of 360 (180 × 2) miles (581 kms) would have to be covered in twelve days (the longest time available within the narrative) at the rate of 30 miles (48 kms) per day. Reliable estimates of the distances foot-travellers in the ancient world could cover per day are hard to come by. William Ramsay, discussing the Roman world, cites Friedländer’s estimate of 26 or 27 Roman miles70 per day, but thinks it too high, largely on pragmatic grounds of what modern people find possible, and the fact that people not in a hurry and travelling in the Mediterranean summer, when most travel was done, would probably travel only in the morning, a five-hour stage before noon. But he admits that people in a hurry would travel a second such stage in the evening.71 On the other hand, it has been calculated that Roman soldiers managed a daily maximum distance of only 30 kms (18.6 miles) per day.72 These calculations seem to make 30 miles (48 kms) 64. Zimmermann, Tobit, p. 16; Moore, Tobit, p. 184; Fitzmyer, Tobit, p. 189. 65. A.B. Bosworth, ‘Errors in Arrian’, CQ 26 (1976), pp. 117–39 (132–36). The latest discussion of the issue, in J. Seibert, Die Eroberung des Perserreiches durch Alexander d. Gr. auf kartographischer Grundlage (Beihefte zur Tübinger Atlas des vorderen Orients B68; Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1985), pp. 111–12 n. 46, notes Bosworth’s view but finds difficulties with it. 66. J. Marquant, ‘Alexanders Marsch von Persepolis nach Herat’, Philologus: Supplementband 10 (1907), pp. 19–71 (21). 67. A.F. von Stahl, ‘Notes on the March of Alexander the Great from Ecbatana to Hyrcania’, Geographical Journal 64 (1924), pp. 312–29 (317–18). He calculates that the direct route measures about 310 kms (193 miles), which he says would take 8 caravan stages at the rate of 35 kms (22 miles) per day. In fact, it would take about 39 kms (24 miles) per day for 8 days. His proposed southern detour would make 440 kms (273 miles), requiring 40 kms (25 miles) a day for 11 days. 68. G. Radet, ‘La dernière campagne d’Alexandre contre Darius (juin-juillet 330 avant J.-C.)’, in Mélanges Gustav Glotz (vol. 2.; Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1932), pp. 765–78 (767–71). 69. Seibert, Die Eroberung , p. 112. 70. The Roman mile was 1,618 English yards. 71. W.M. Ramsay, ‘Roads and Travel (in NT)’, in J. Hastings (ed.), A Dictionary of the Bible: Extra Volume (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1904), pp. 375–402 (388). 72. C.P. Tiede, The Emmaus Mystery (London: Continuum, 2005), p. 33, citing M. Junckelmann, Die Legionen des Augustus: Der römische Soldat im archäologischen Experiment (Mainz, 1986), pp. 233–4.

BAUCKHAM Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel


per day an almost impossible pace to maintain for two weeks, even for people in a hurry, as Raphael and Gabael are. Eighteen days, at a rate of 20 miles (32 kms) per day, would seem more realistic.73 This agrees with Marquant’s calculation that, according to the Arabic itineraries, the journey from Ecbatana to Rhagae would take nine days.74 These considerations make it unlikely that the author of the book of Tobit himself lived in Media. However, the error, if such it is, in calculating the travelling distance between Ecbatana and Rhagae is not gross. Even for people living in Babylonia or Adiabene, Rhagae was remote. The mistake would be quite possible. There is therefore no serious obstacle here to concluding that the book was written largely for the benefit of exiles of the northern tribes, who lived in Adiabene and especially in Media, by an author living somewhere in the eastern Diaspora other than Media.

Bibliography Aharoni, Y., The Land of the Bible: A Hstorical Geography (London: Burns & Oates, 2nd edn, 1979). Bauckham, R., Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002). Bell, R.H., Provoked to Jealousy: The Origin and Purpose of the Jealousy Motif in Romans 9– 11 (WUNT 2/63; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1994). Blenkinsopp, J., Ezra-Nehemiah (OTL; London: SCM Press, 1988). —Isaiah 1–39 (AB, 19; New York: Doubleday, 2000). Bosworth, A.B., ‘Errors in Arrian’, CQ 26 (1976), pp. 117–39. Childs, B.S., Isaiah (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2001). Deselaers, P., Das Buch Tobit: Studien zur Entstehung, Komposition und Theologie (OBO, 43; Freiburg: Universitätsverlag; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1982). Di Lella, A.A., ‘The Deuteronomic Background of the Farewell Discourse in Tob 14:3–11’, CBQ 41 (1979), pp. 380–9. Fitzmyer, J.A., Tobit (CEJL; Berlin and New York: W. de Gruyter, 2003). Grabbe, L.L., ‘Tobit’, in J.D.G. Dunn and J.W. Rogerson (ed.), Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), pp. 736–47. Jackson, A.V.W., ‘A Historical Sketch of Ragha, the Supposed Home of Zoroaster’s Mother’, in J.J. Modi (ed.), Spiegel Memorial Volume: Papers on Iranian Subjects (F. Spiegel Festschift; Bombay: British India Press, 1908), pp. 237–45. Marquant, J., ‘Alexanders Marsch von Persepolis nach Herat’, Philologus: Supplementband 10 (1907), pp. 19–71. Milik, J.T., ‘La Patrie de Tobie’, RB 73 (1966), pp. 522–30. Milns, R.D., ‘Alexander’s Pursuit of Darius through Iran’, Historia 15 (1966), p. 256. Moore, C.A., Tobit (AB, 40A; New York: Doubleday, 1996). —‘Tobit, Book of’, in D.N. Freedman (ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 6, pp. 585–94. 73. Tiede, The Emmaus Mystery, p. 26, says of a distance of 43 Roman miles (63.5 kms) (from Rome to Forum Appii), that, ‘For someone in a hurry, it could be done in two days, but the seasoned traveller would have taken three’. 74. Marquant, ‘Alexanders Marsch’, p. 21.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Neusner, J., A History of the Jews in Babylonia: I. The Parthian Period (SPB, 9; revised edition; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1969). Nickelsburg, G.W.E., Jewish Literature Between the Bible and the Mishnah (London: SCM Press, 1981). Oates, D., Studies in the Ancient History of Northern Iraq (London: British Academy, 1968). Oppenheimer, A., Babylonia Judaica in the Talmudic Period (Beihefte zur Tübinger Atlas der vorderen Orients B47; Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1983). Radet, G., ‘La dernière campagne d’Alexandre contre Darius (juin-juillet 330 avant J.-C.)’, in Mélanges Gustav Glotz, II (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1932), pp. 765–78. Ramsay, W.M., ‘Roads and Travel (in NT)’, in J. Hastings (ed.), A Dictionary of the Bible: Extra Volume (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1904), pp. 375–402. Seibert, J., Die Eroberung des Perserreiches durch Alexander d. Gr. auf kartographischer Grundlage (Beihefte zur Tübinger Atlas des vorderen Orients B68; Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1985). Simpson, D.C., ‘The Book of Tobit’, in R.H. Charles (ed.), The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), pp. 174–241. Soll, W., ‘Misfortune and Exile in Tobit: The Juncture of a Fairy Tale Source and Deuteronomic Theology’, CBQ 51 (1989), pp. 209–31. Talmon, S., ‘ “Exile” and “Restoration” in the Conceptual World of Ancient Judaism’, in J.M. Scott (ed.), Restoration: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian Perspectives (JSJSup, 72; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2001), pp. 107–46. Tiede, C.P., The Emmaus Mystery (London: Continuum, 2005). Torrey, C.C., The Apocryphal Literature (Hamden, CN: Archon, 1963 reprint of 1945 edition). VanderKam, J.C., ‘Ahikar/Ahiqar’, in D.N. Freedman (ed.), The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992), vol. 1, pp. 113–15. von Stahl, A.F., ‘Notes on the March of Alexander the Great from Ecbatana to Hyrcania’, Geographical Journal 64 (1924), pp. 312–29. Weitzman, S., ‘Allusion, Artifice, and Exile in the Hymn of Tobit’, CBQ 115 (1996), pp. 49– 61. —Song and Story in Biblical Narrative (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997). Younger, K.L., ‘Israelites in Exile’, BAR 29/6 (2003), pp. 36–45, 65–66. Zadok, R., The Jews in Babylonia during the Chaldean and Achaemenian Periods according to the Babylonian Sources (Haifa: University Of Haifa, 1979). —The Pre-Hellenistic Israelite Anthroponymy and Prosopography (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 28; Leuven: Peeters, 1988). Zimmerman, F., The Book of Tobit (Jewish Apocryphal Literature: Dropsie College Edition; New York: Harper, 1958).

Chapter 12 FOOD AND DRINK IN TOBIT AND OTHER ‘DIASPORA NOVELLAS’ Nathan MacDonald (University of St Andrews) Introduction Food and drink in the Old Testament is a subject that has not received a great deal of attention from scholarship. In alerting the biblical discipline to this ‘exciting new theme’, Athalya Brenner and Jan Willem van Henten rightly observe that ‘hardly any works are to be found on cooking, eating and drinking in the worlds of the Bible’.1 Consequently they edited a Semeia volume with essays devoted to the theme.2 Rolf Knierim made a similar observation a few years earlier and contributed a short essay on the theology of food in the Old Testament relating the subject to two topics that have received far more attention: land and justice.3 The reasons for this neglect are not difficult to discern. First, food and drink are so ubiquitous in the Old Testament that the size of the subject quickly overwhelms anyone who attempts to study it. Secondly, food and drink are so commonplace in the Old Testament and our own human experience that they do not appear to demand our attention. They are a natural consequence of our physicality that requires little comment. Thirdly, the Bible has chiefly been studied for its profound religious ideas. The focus of much biblical scholarship has understood the intellectual and spiritual life of the Israelites, not their bodily appetites. The situation in biblical studies contrasts strongly with other areas of historical study where food has received detailed explorations in recent years. Numerous works have been published on food in the classical world.4 For the mediaeval 1. A. Brenner and J.W. van Henten, ‘Food and Drink in the Bible: An Exciting New Theme’, in J.W. Dyk et al. (eds.), Unless Someone Guide Me…Festschrift for Karel A. Deurloo (Amsterdamse Cahiers voor Exegese van de Bijbel en zijn Tradities Supplement Series, 2; Maastricht: Uitgeverij Shaker Publishing, 2001), pp. 347–54 (349). This essay is a revised version of ‘Our Menu and What is Not On It: Editor’s Introduction’, in A. Brenner and J.W. van Henten (eds.), Food and Drink in the Biblical Worlds (Semeia, 86; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1999), pp. ix–xvi. 2. Brenner and van Henten (eds.), Food and Drink in the Biblical Worlds. The essays in the volume examined the subject from a variety of perspectives including philological, social-scientific, archaeology, semiotics and literary criticism. 3. R. Knierim, ‘Food, Land and Justice’, in R. Knierim, The Task of Old Testament Theology: Substance, Methods and Cases (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), pp. 225–43. 4. Note, inter alia, P. Garnsey, Food and Society in Classical Antiquity (Key Themes in


Studies in the Book of Tobit

period and onwards the reader is well served with broad surveys and detailed studies.5 What has driven this interest in food and drink has not merely been the biological necessity of food as a source of nourishment. Rather it has been the cultural and social uses of food. Food is basic to life, but it is also an important social, cultural and economic marker. In the words of Claude Lévi-Strauss, food is ‘bon à penser’. Lévi-Strauss is, of course, the most important and influential theorist on food and its role in society. For Lévi-Strauss food is a language with its own grammar into which a society translates its structure. The scholar able to discern this grammar can uncover the structures of society. His famous culinary triangle – the raw, the cooked and the rotten – described the relationship between cooking and the distinction between nature and culture in human thought.6 Mary Douglas applied structuralism in a less universal fashion. Her work included not only ‘deciphering a meal’, but also touched on biblical studies in her attention to the well-known problem of the biblical food laws.7 Arguing that ‘the underlying principle of cleanness in animals is that they shall conform fully to their class’, Douglas related this to the wider theme of holiness in Leviticus.8 The influence of structuralism has waned in the academy in recent years, and this has been no less true in the study of food and drink. Stephen Mennell criticizes the statist assumptions of structuralism and offers a developmental approach.9 Jack Goody and Marvin Harris appeal to materialist explanations.10 The challenge for biblical studies is not just to take account of these theoretical contributions and combine them with the familiar biblical disciplines, such as

Ancient History; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); E. Gowers, The Loaded Table: Representations of Food in Roman Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993); J. Wilkins, D. Harvey and M. Dobson (eds.), Food in Antiquity (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1995). 5. E.g. B.A. Henisch, Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976); S. Mennell, All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2nd edn, 1996); S.W. Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin Books, 1985); P. Scholliers (ed.), Food, Drink and Identity: Cooking, Eating and Drinking in Europe Since the Middle Ages (Oxford: Berg, 2001). 6. C. Lévi-Strauss, ‘The Culinary Triangle’, Partisan Review 33 (1966), pp. 586–95; The Raw and the Cooked: Introduction to the Science of Mythology (London: Harper & Row, 1970); The Origin of Table Manners (London: Cape, 1978). 7. M. Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966), pp. 41–57; ‘Deciphering a Meal’, Daedalus 101 (1972), pp. 61–81. 8. Douglas, Purity, p. 55. 9. Mennell, Manners; S. Mennell, A. Murcott and A.H. van Otterloo, ‘The Sociology of Food: Eating, Diet and Culture’, Current Sociology 40 (1992), pp. 1–152. 10. J. Goody, Cooking, Cuisine and Class: A Study in Comparative Sociology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982); M. Harris, Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture (London: Allen & Unwin, 1986); ‘Foodways: Historical Overview and Theoretical Prolegomenon’, in M. Harris and E.B. Ross (eds.), Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987), pp. 57–90.

MACDONALD Food and Drink in Tobit and Other ‘Diaspora Novellas’ 167 philology, literary criticism and archaeology,11 it is also to extend the field of study beyond the food laws. Douglas’s understanding of the biblical food laws was widely influential, but it has not produced an interest in food in the Old Testament beyond Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. In the following article I wish to contribute to the study of food and drink in the Old Testament by examining the presentation of food in Tobit and other Diaspora novellas: Esther, Daniel and Judith. This focus has two sides to it. First, we will be concerned with fictional presentations of food. As structural anthropologists have shown food is not merely a matter of individual taste, but has a strong element of social and cultural determination. No society ordinarily consumes everything of possible nutritional value, and the acceptability of certain foods clearly differs from one culture to another (for example, horse-meat in Britain and Belgium). Nevertheless, fiction allows authors greater freedom in their use of material than is the case with other genres. This freedom includes the use of food as a literary motif. In her work on food in Roman literature, Emily Gowers justifies her use of fiction in the following way: In fiction the author has most control over his choice of material. The sifting process involved gives us a better idea of the applications of food or its use as a focus for other ideas than, say a book on dietetics, a farming manual, or a cookery book… Another advantage of fictional evidence is the writer’s use of metaphor, which picks out correspondences across wide fields of experience.12

Secondly, our concern is with novellas from the post-exilic period, or more precisely those which envisage a Diaspora setting.13 As we have seen there has been a general neglect of the subject of food in the Old Testament, with the main exception being the food laws. Although these laws predate the exile, Old Testament scholarship has long recognized their increased role in the developing food consciousness of the exilic and post-exilic period. Without temple worship and the king, Sabbath observance, circumcision and the food laws become important boundary markers between Jews and non-Jews. Alongside circumcision, during the exile the traditional dietary customs probably for the first time played a part in establishing identity, even if we know little about them in detail. Here too the development will have begun from the Babylonian exiles, who in a foreign land suddenly found that some of the dietary customs they had previously taken for granted were a peculiarity of their people…Even if many dietary customs 11. The philological task is sketched out in Brenner and van Henten, ‘Food and Drink in the Bible’, pp. 349–51. There are a number of articles summarizing the picture archaeology can shed upon diet during the biblical period: M. Broshi, ‘The Diet of Palestine in the Roman Period: Introductory Notes’, in M. Broshi, Bread, Wine, Walls and Scrolls (JSPSup, 36; London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), pp. 121–43 (originally published in: The Israel Museum Journal 5 [1986], pp. 41–56); S. Dar, ‘Food and Archaeology in Romano-Byzantine Palestine’, in Wilkins (ed.), Food in Antiquity, pp. 326–35; O. Borowski, Daily Life in Biblical Times (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003). 12. Gowers, Loaded Table, p. 12. 13. Judith, of course, is slightly different from Tobit, Daniel and Esther. It is set in Palestine invaded by the Assyrians. Nevertheless, much of the activity takes place in the tent of Holofernes in the Assyrian camp.


Studies in the Book of Tobit and regulations go well back into the pre-exilic period, and their original significance escapes us, it is probable that the detailed casuistry in the defining of clean and unclean animals to be found in Deut. 14 and in an even more refined form in Lev. 11 arose from this need in the exilic situation. They gave the exilic family an important mark of identity with the aid of which they could demonstrate in everyday life whether or not they still counted themselves among the people of Judah and held fast to their religious traditions.14

As we shall see food has a wider role in the Diaspora novellas, and makes a greater contribution to defining Jewish identity than a mere focus on food laws would indicate. Indeed, the question of clean and unclean food is never directly addressed in this collection of literature. This essay will explore two areas where food plays a literary role in the Diaspora novellas.15 First, we will examine its role in defining Jewish identity. In this role the Persian ‘other’ is an important foil, and the contrast between Persian and Jewish attitudes to food appears to have a slight comical edge. The second section of this essay continues to explore this relationship between food and the comic in the novellas by examining the conjunction of food with other forms of consumption – sex and death.

1. Fasting and Feasting: Food and Jewish Identity The problem of preserving Jewish identity in the realities of Diaspora existence is an issue that all of the Diaspora novellas touch upon to some degree. Food played a crucial role, becoming an important cultural marker in the exilic and post-exilic period. The centrality of food was already anticipated in the preexilic period. The problem of eating unclean food in a foreign land is found in the prophetic writings as they contemplate exile. Other nations belonged to other gods (1 Sam. 26.19) and living outside the land of Israel was to live in ‘an unclean land’ (Amos 7.17) and inevitably entailed personal defilement. Hosea threatens the northern kingdom: 14. R. Albertz, A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period, Volume 2: From the Exiles to the Maccabees (London: SCM Press, 1994), p. 408. 15. Food in the Diaspora novellas could be examined with other questions in mind, such as historical or lexicographical ones. There are, for example, some interesting non-food uses of foodstuffs in Tobit. The fish that Tobiah captures on the way to Media is not only consumed, but also used apotropaically and medicinally. The use of fish gall for curing eye problems can be paralleled in Greece and Assyria (B. Kollmann, ‘Göttliche Offenbarung magisch-pharmakologischer Heilkunst im Buch Tobit’, ZAW 106 [1994], pp. 289–99; W. von Soden, ‘Fischgalle als Heilsmittel für Augen’, in H.P. Müller [ed.], Bibel und Alter Orient: Altorientalische Beiträge zum Alten Testament von Wolfram von Soden [BZAW, 162; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1985], pp. 76–77) and, partly through the influence of Tobit, was to have a long history as an eye medicine before the development of modern medicine. The use of a natural product usually associated with consumption as a salve is also known earlier in the Old Testament when Isaiah’s uses a ‘lump of figs’ to heal Hezekiah’s illness (1 Kgs 20.7; see also Lk. 10.34). Despite attempts to discern a parallel to our modern concern with nutrition amongst the ancient Israelites, particularly in association with the food laws, there is nothing to suggest an awareness of the importance of diet. Instead, the only medicinal uses of food see them applied to the exterior of the sufferer.

MACDONALD Food and Drink in Tobit and Other ‘Diaspora Novellas’ 169 They shall not remain in the land of the Lord; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and in Assyria they shall eat unclean food. (Hos. 9.3)

Similarly Ezekiel predicts Judah’s defilement in exile: And you, take wheat and barley, bean and lentils, millet and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread for yourself… You shall eat it as a barley cake, baking it in their sight on human dung. The Lord said, ‘Thus shall the people of Israel eat their bread, unclean, among the nations to which I will drive them’. (Ezek. 4.9, 12-13)

Ezekiel’s appeal against being made to defile himself is upheld, and in the actual performance of the prophetic action he is allowed to use cow dung. In the actual realities of exile notions of clean and unclean food seem to have adjusted so that the exiles’ holiness could be preserved. Daniel and his friends keep themselves from defilement through eating vegetables and water, rather than their apportioned rations from the royal table (Daniel 1). The basis for Daniel’s fears is unclear. It may stem from scruples about food offered to idols (Exod. 34.15), absence of Torah observation in the preparation of the meat (Leviticus 11), or a general avoidance of assimilation.16 Whatever the reasons for it, this discipline is paralleled elsewhere. Judith provides her own food, and refuses Holofernes’s fare (Jdt. 10.5; 12.1-3). In Nineveh Tobit’s piety, already apparent before the exile, finds expression through his avoidance of Gentile food (Tob. 1.10-11). Such actions prove Tobit to be ‘duly mindful of God’ (1.12) – a general expression that may suggest avoidance of assimilation is in view rather than obedience of a specific commandment. Esther is a more ambiguous case. The Esther of the Masoretic Text seems to have no qualms about receiving portions of food whilst in the palace (Est. 2.9) or participating in the many banquets. The Septuagint’s additions ‘assimilate the book of Esther to a scriptural norm’,17 portraying Esther as someone who refused to participate in the royal feasts or drink the king’s wine (14.16). The circumstances of the exile and the post-exilic period – in particular the loss of political independence and, hence, population integrity – combined with established beliefs about defilement contributed to a heightened food consciousness among the exiles. It is little surprise, then, that most scholars, like Albertz, locate the codification and refinement of the food laws to the same period. As a result Jewish identity became closely associated with certain dietary practices. Yet this food consciousness was not restricted to a list of permitted and prohibited foods. It was also expressed by a certain attitude to food that contrasted with that displayed by their political overlords. The Diaspora novellas display a fascination with the culinary practices of the Persian nobility. The most important expression of the distinctive Persian taste was the feast. The book of Esther, in particular, utilizes the Persian feast as a 16. See J.E. Goldingay, Daniel (WBC, 30; Dallas: Word Books, 1989), pp. 18–19. 17. D.J.A. Clines, The Esther Scroll: The Story of the Story (JSOTSup, 30; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1984), p. 169.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

motif in a most sustained manner. ‘The book opens with a banquet, the denouement occurs at a banquet, and the crisis eventuates in a perennial banquet’.18 The description of the opening banquet depicts the lavishness of the Persian court. The feast for the officials lasts 180 days and is followed by a feast for all the people of Susa lasting seven days. Interestingly the extravagance of the meals is conveyed not by a description of the food, but by the overall aesthetic experience: There were white cotton curtains and blue hangings tied with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and coloured stones. Drinks were served in goblets of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king. (1.6-7)

The feast is an exercise in conspicuous consumption, and food is not the only item to be consumed. It is this appreciation of beauty as part of the feast that leads to the plot’s development. For Xerxes also wants his guests to feast their eyes on his wife (1.11). Banquets, then, are a public display of the wealth one possesses and the honour in which one is held (1.4). Of all the food items consumed only the wine receives mention. Indeed, the use of the term ht#$m suggests the feast’s primary function is as an occasion to consume wine. In Judith Holofernes appears as a Persian satrap, with his tent serving as dining room. As Pierre Briant observes: ‘The best description of a Persian general’s tent appears in the book of Judith, namely, the tent of Holofernes’.19 That the rigours of the campaign were not to interfere with the enjoyment of the table is clear at the start when the army is mustered, for great space is given to the provisions that the host took with them. He took along a vast number of camels and donkeys and mules for transport, and innumerable sheep and oxen and goats for food; also ample rations for everyone, and a huge amount of gold and silver from the royal palace. (Jdt. 2.17-18)

During the campaign when Judith is captured she is escorted into Holofernes’s tent. ‘Holofernes was resting on his bed under a canopy that was woven with purple and gold, emeralds and other precious stones. When they told him of her, he came to the front of the tent, with silver lamps carried before him’ (10.21-22). Entranced by her beauty Holofernes has a table laid out with silverware, delicacies and wine (12.1-3). The deadly second feast lasts so long the guards retire to their beds and Holofernes drinks himself into a stupor. In Daniel it is again the unrestrained drinking that captures the imagination of the author. On this occasion, however, the excesses of the Persian table take a more iniquitous turn with the Babylonians profaning of the gold and silver vessels from the Jerusalem temple (5.1-4). 18. M.V. Fox, Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2nd edn, 2001), p. 156. 19. P. Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), p. 347. It need hardly be noted that Judith’s portrayal is at odds with the presentation of Holofernes as an Assyrian general under the command of the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar. Judith’s confusion at this point is well known.

MACDONALD Food and Drink in Tobit and Other ‘Diaspora Novellas’ 171 This was an interest not restricted to the Jews. The parallels in Greek literature are well known and have been the focus of a number of studies. Pierre Briant writes: Of all the symbols of this power to impose tribute, the Greeks were particularly impressed by the splendour and luxury of the king’s table. In the polemical portrait of the Great King drawn in the Agesilaus, Xenophon writes: ‘The Persian king has vintners scouring every land to find some drink that will tickle his palate; an army of cooks contrives dishes for his delight’. Many Greek authors returned to this theme, often stating that the Great King regularly rewarded those who brought new foodstuffs for his table with prizes and payment. The king’s table in its sumptuousness and variety was in fact considered emblematic of the political and material might of the Great King.20

Herodotus reports that animals as big as oxen or horses were roasted whole.21 Polyaenus describes how Alexander the Great was served according to the style of the Persian king. He also describes the menu which was inscribed on a bronze pillar. It ran to forty-seven items, including wheat, barley, sheep, cattle, pigeons, fresh milk, whey, garlic, onion, cumin, dill, sesame, grape jelly, salt, parsley, various oils and wine. The allocations for his soldiers are also enumerated.22 The Greeks were not content merely to describe the king’s fare or his taste for novel dishes, like the Jewish authors their imagination was captured by the whole aesthetic spectacle. They describe the attendant female musicians and artists, the royal furnishings and furniture, and the luxurious vessels. Herodotus describes the Persian camp as ‘tents adorned with gold and silver, and couches gilded and silver-plated; and golden bowls and cups and other drinking vessels; and sacks they found on wains, wherein were seen cauldrons of gold and silver’.23 Athenaeus quotes Parmenion’s inventory of booty taken from the Persians, ‘Gold cups, weight seventy-three Babylonian talents, fifty-two minae; cups inlaid with precious stones, weight fifty-six Babylonian talents, thirty-four minae’.24 On a surface level the Greek descriptions of Persian meals provide information about food and drink in the Achaemenian court, and there is a task to determine the extent to which this information can be corroborated from Persian sources. Yet, as Sancisi-Weerdenburg observes on the Greek descriptions ‘it may legitimately be suspected that these statements do not serve to convey information on Persia, but rather serve as an implicit or explicit means of comparison with Greek customs’.25 In contrast to what they saw as Persian indulgence and decadence, the Greeks characterized themselves as moderate at the table. Herodotus tells of the response of Pausanias of Sparta to the Persian feast. 20. Briant, Cyrus, p. 200. 21. Herodotus, History, I.133. Cf. Aristophanes, Acharnians, pp. 85–89, cited in Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, IV.131. 22. Polyaenus, Strategems, IV.3.32. 23. Herodotus, History, IX.80. 24. Athenaeus, Deipnosophists, XI.781–782. 25. H. Sancisi-Weerdenburg, ‘Persian Food: Stereotypes and Political Identity’, in J. Wilken, D. Harvey and M. Dobson (eds.), Food in Antiquity (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1995), pp. 286–302 (287).


Studies in the Book of Tobit Xerxes in his flight from Hellas, having left to Mardonius his own establishment, Pausanias, seeing Mardonius’ establishment with its display of gold and silver and gaily-covered tapestry, bade the bakers and the cooks to prepare a dinner in such wise as they were wont to do for Mardonius. They did his bidding: whereat Pausanias, when he saw golden and silvern couches richly covered, and tables of gold and silver, and all the magnificent splendour before him, and for a jest bade his own servants prepare a dinner after Laconian fashion. When the meal was ready and was far different from the other, Pausanias fell a-laughing, and sent for the generals of the Greeks. They being assembled, Pausanias pointed to the fashion after which either dinner was served, and said: ‘Men of Hellas, I have brought you hither because I desired to show you the foolishness of the leader of the Medes; who, with such provision for life as you see, came hither to take away from us ours, that is so pitiful.’26

In the Diaspora novellas the excessive feasting of the Persians functions in a similar way. The negative assessment of Persian consumption can be seen in Esther, Judith and Daniel. In each case the feast is the context for a cryptic condemnation and subsequent punishment. In Esther the king’s anger is already raised and his agreement sure before Esther reveals that it is Haman who has been plotting against her people (Est. 7.3-6). At the first banquet to which Holofernes invites Judith, she alludes to his death with the ambiguous ‘As surely as you live, my lord, your servant will not use up the supplies I have with me before the Lord carries out by my hand what he has determined’ (Jdt. 12.4). At the second banquet which ends with the beheading of Holofernes she tells the besotted general ‘today is the greatest day in my whole life’ (12.18). In Daniel judgement comes upon Belshazzar as he feasts. The condemnation appears in a strange handwriting on the wall that only Daniel can interpret (Daniel 5). The questionability of moral character is apparent even for those who do not meet untimely ends. In the book of Esther, Clines notes that ‘banqueting has been presented to us as the Persian pastime par excellence’,27 with the focus almost exclusively on drinking. Xerxes is portrayed as a man making decisions according to a mood fuelled by drink. It is when he is ‘merry with wine’ (Est. 1.10) that he decides to put Vashti on display. Her refusal, possibly stemming from the debauchery that characterized the men’s feast,28 leads to the crisis that sees Esther become queen. Similarly his anger with Haman comes after drinking at the table. Holofernes is so pleased with Judith he drank ‘more than he had ever drunk in any one day since he was born’ (Jdt. 12.20). The Jewish attitude to food according to the novellas is one characterized by moderation. A favoured approach is to juxtapose Persian feasting with Jewish fasting. In Esther while the king and Haman enjoy the continual cycle of feasts, Esther and the Jews undertake a three day fast, taking neither food nor water (Est. 4.16). As David Clines observes this is a particularly severe fast.29 The 26. Herodotus, History, IX.82. 27. Clines, Esther, p. 36. 28. Berlin rightly draws attention to the Greek texts that suggest wives were dismissed from the feasts when the king and his nobles wished to indulge in licentiousness (A. Berlin, Esther [Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001]). 29. Clines, Esther, pp. 35–36.

MACDONALD Food and Drink in Tobit and Other ‘Diaspora Novellas’ 173 constant fasting of the widow Judith contrasts with the drunkenness of Holofernes. Daniel too is a man who eats modestly and fasts despite his position in the Babylonian and Persian courts. The moral superiority of fasting is revealed not only in the final ends of the main characters in the novellas, but is apparent even from their appearance. Daniel and his three friends have a better physique after only ten days on their vegetarian diet. Judith is portrayed like a female St Antony, for despite her rigorous fasting she loses none of her beauty and charm (Jdt. 8.7). The implicit equation of the moral and the aesthetic is interesting and relatively unusual in the Old Testament.30 None of the Diaspora novellas, however, envisages the extreme asceticism that is associated with early Christianity.31 Feasting is also appropriate and during Israel’s festivals a moral imperative. Despite her mourning for her husband Judith breaks her fast for the Sabbath, new moon and other festivals (8.6). Yet even Jewish feasting is characterized by moderation. In the book of Esther the fasting of the Jews is turned into feasting when Haman and the other enemies of the Jews are destroyed. But whereas the Persian feasts are characterized by their drunkenness, with food making almost no appearance, the feast of Purim is an occasion for exchanging gifts of food. Despite Purim’s association in Judaism with much drinking, the book of Esther makes no mention of the Jews drinking during the feast. In Judith Achior’s appearance in Bethulia is celebrated with a feast, but whilst Holofernes’s feast results in a night of drunkenness, the feast in Uzziah’s house becomes a night of prayer (6.21). The book of Tobit has no reflections on Persian court life, but takes a similar attitude to food. Tobit’s appetite is overridden on numerous occasions. Unlike his compatriots he does not partake of the food of the Gentiles (Tob. 1.10-11). He shares his bread with the hungry (1.17). When he sits at the table for the Feast of Weeks and observes how much food has been prepared, he delays his meal while Tobiah finds a poor Jew to share the meal. When Tobiah discovers a corpse, the meal is set aside so the appropriate duties for the dead can be observed (2.1-6). When his wife brings him a goat as a reward from her employer, Tobit insists that it be returned as he suspects it has been stolen (2.11-14).32 This approach to life is inscribed in the wisdom instructions that Tobit gives to Tobiah before he departs (4.5-19). The well-instructed Tobiah himself prioritizes family over his stomach when he concludes an agreement to marry Sarah before eating (7.11; cf. Gen. 24.33). 30. In contrast, the equation of beauty with goodness and evil with ugliness is common in western thinking. Note expressions such as ‘as ugly as sin’ (C. McGinn, Ethics, Evil and Fiction [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997]). 31. For a comparison of Jewish and Christian attitudes to fasting see V.E. Grimm, From Feasting to Fasting, the Evolution of a Sin: Attitudes to Food in Late Antiquity (London: Routledge, 1996). 32. Tobit probably originated in the Hellenistic period, but it is interesting to note that the king’s servants were often paid with food, rather than with silver (I. Gershevitch [ed.], The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 2: The Median and Achaemenian Periods [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985], pp. 600–609). The Persepolis Tablets give some idea of relative values in the Persian period. A sheep was equivalent to three months’ ration of wheat.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Feasting appears in the book on two occasions – the Jewish festivals and the wedding feast. Wedding celebrations usually lasted a week (Gen. 29.27; Judg. 14.12-18; Tob. 11.19 [GI]). The difficult circumstances that Sarah has endured call for an extended celebration – fourteen days (8.20). During the feast two steers and four rams are consumed (8.19 [GII]). Even moments of Jewish extravagance are modest in comparison to Persian episodes of indulgence. Fasting is mentioned only once in Tobit (12.8) – and that reference is absent from one textual tradition.33 The theme of moderation that finds expression in the other Diaspora novellas, then, is found in more muted form in Tobit. With its family orientation it lacks the potent ‘other’ of the Persian court. The use of food and attitudes to food as a cultural marker is found in the ancient Near East as early as the Sumerians. Nemat-Nejat notes that they boasted about their developed cuisine, and compared their diet favourably against the vulgar palates of other groups.34 In Israel, however, the appearance of a different form of food consciousness, and the use of Persians for national characterization, is an interesting development from earlier literature. In literature influenced by Deuteronomy food has a clear theological value for Israel. The success of the harvest is a clear indicator of the people’s response to Torah. This notion is found in the prophets, but perhaps its most striking expression is in the story of Ahab and Elijah (1 Kings 17–18). Moderation and discipline are virtues valued in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy foresees apostasy as a potential consequence of the people’s satiation in the land (Deut. 8; 32.15). The motif of conspicuous consumption by ideological others is, as far as I am aware, unknown. The most obvious ideological others in the pre-exilic period are Canaanites and the Egyptians. In the case of the Canaanites the Israelites are warned against participating in their feasts (Exodus 34), but this is because such feasts were part of Canaanite worship. More interesting are the Egyptians. Again, it is not possible for Israelites and Egyptians to eat together as the story of Joseph makes clear. However, Egypt is also characterized as a place of abundant food, but it is of an insubstantial kind consisting primarily of vegetables (Exod. 16.3; Num. 11.5; cf. Prov. 15.17).35 The light use of national food characterization in earlier Israelite literature is considerably developed in the diaspora novellas.

2. Consumption and the Comic: Food, Death and Sex Our investigations have already demonstrated the degree to which food plays an important role in the comic element of the Diaspora novellas. As Gowers observes about food in the context of Latin literature, ‘food has always been an integral part of comedy’.36 This can be expressed not only through comic characteriza33. GII reads ‘prayer with integrity’ for ‘prayer with fasting’. For discussion of the variant see J. Fitzmyer, Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003), p. 292. 34. K.R. Nemet-Mejat, Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), p. 160. 35. D.A. Appler, ‘From Queen to Cuisine: Food Imagery in the Jezebel Narrative’, in Brenner and van Henten (eds.), Food and Drink in the Biblica l Worlds, pp. 55–71. 36. Gowers, Loaded Table, p. 51.

MACDONALD Food and Drink in Tobit and Other ‘Diaspora Novellas’ 175 tions of the ‘other’ as gluttonous buffoons, but in the use of food as an important element of plot development. In the Diaspora novellas food occurs alongside other acts of consumption – sexual intercourse and death – at critical points in the stories. In the story of Esther the crisis which begins the story is Vashti’s refusal to appear at Xerxes feast. The feast is an exercise in conspicuous consumption, an aesthetic exercise not limited to food, but extending to human beauty. Since the queen was absent from Belshazzar’s feast (Dan. 5.10), but the harem women were present (5.2), it is not surprising that Vashti resisted being the entertainment for Xerxes lecherous guests. Vashti’s literary, if not physical, death sees one form of consumption replaced by another. The same replacement occurs at the denouement of the story when Haman’s conduct is interpreted by the king as a sexual assault of Esther (7.8). This conduct seals his fate as the servants recognize. The sexual overtones of the feast are also present in the story of Judith. It is no accident, as is also the case in the story of Esther, that the couch is the place for eating as well as sleeping. The final feast in Holofernes’s tent is designated as the place in which he will make his sexual conquest, but instead becomes the site of Judith’s victory. As we have already seen humour is evident in Judith’s ambiguous ‘today is the greatest day of my whole life’. Such humour takes a macabre turn when she leaves the camp with Holofernes head in her food bag (13.10). Tobit is not without comic uses of food, nor does it avoid juxtaposing this with death and, more modestly, the marriage bed. The attack of the fish in Tobit 6 is a well-known humorous incident that plays on the tale of Jonah.37 This ‘big fish’ bites off more than it can chew (though arguably the same could be said about Jonah’s fish). Landed by Tobias, the consumer of Jonah makes a nice meal itself. Not only that, but instead of bringing death it brings life to Sarah and Tobit. A more overlooked comic motif is the interrupted feast. The book of Tobit has two feasts that are interrupted because of the needs of the dead. In the first Tobit shows care for the body of a Jewish corpse though this ruins his feast (2.36). The motif returns in jovial fashion when the Sarah and Tobias’s wedding feast is interrupted by burial preparations. Raguel creeps out on the first night of the wedding feast to dig Tobias’s grave. Ironically, his farcical action is justified with the words ‘we will become an object of ridicule and derision’ (8.10). Yet, the motif points to something more serious as well for the interrupted feast is symbolic of the unattained coitus that has characterized Sarah’s life until now. She has been prevented until now from knowing the joy of the marriage bed (vv. 7-9). With Tobias, however, when the maid goes to find the corpse she finds the couple sleeping peacefully together (8.13). The humorous conjunction of death, sex and food can probably be discerned earlier in the Old Testament. As Appler has shown the story of Jezebel makes extensive use of food imagery. The story begins against the backdrop of a famine, and continues with Ahab’s desire for a different kind of food than Naboth’s 37. See Pyper in this volume for more detailed discussion of the comedic elements in Tobit.


Studies in the Book of Tobit

vineyard. The denouement for the latter episode occurs at a communal feast. In the Jezebel story the macabre climax occurs with her consumption by the dogs of Samaria. The human body as food is a form of black humour. Any sexual element is muted in the Jezebel story, but in the story of Samson’s marriage it is close to the surface. Samson’s famous riddle plays with the themes of food and death, with a barely disguised sexual innuendo.38 The bawdy atmosphere of the feast suits well a riddle that suggests the guests’ vomit or the groom’s semen as an answer, but is actually about honey in a lion’s corpse.

Conclusion In the first section of this essay we saw how the food consciousness of post-exilic Judaism was related to the development of Jewish identity. The characterization of the Persians as excessive implies a valuing of moderation. Jews fast and feast, as events and the calendar dictates, eating neither too much nor too little. Nevertheless, the use of Persian feasts in these novellas creates a certain ambiguity, for conspicuous consumption is not abrogated, it is merely shifted from the mouth to the mind. There is, one might say, an element of mysterium tremendum et fascinans. This is most apparent with the baroque style of the narrative of Esther. The descriptions of the palace feasts capture the reader at the same time as the Jews are portrayed placing a different value on the pleasures of the table. The same perspective is a more explicit ingredient in the text of Judith. After the Assyrians flee Judith receives Holophernes’s possessions as her spoil. This includes his tent, silver dinnerware, beds, bowls and furniture (Jdt. 15.11). A strange gift, one might think, for the people to offer a widow noted for her fasting. In this case a solution is found for Judith offers the articles to God in Jerusalem (16.19). Read according to the ordering of many Septuagint manuscripts, Tobit solves the problem of literary consumption raised in Esther and Judith. It leaves the articles of the Persian feast on the Jerusalem altar and demands attention only be paid to the meals of the Jewish family. The value of the other Diaspora novellas is also apparent in the issues that were examined in the second section. In both Esther and Judith the three different types of consumption – food, sex and death – are interwoven. Such incidents are not only humorous, but also morally serious. Excessive appetite cannot be restricted to one area. The Persian culinary indulgence is mirrored by sexual rapaciousness. Such conduct leads to death, not life. Again, Tobit’s alternative perspective on consumption can be highlighted by juxtaposing the book with the negative portrayals of the Persians in the other diaspora novellas. Tobit and Tobias represent the Jewish ideal. A modest diet is paralleled by sexual moderation. Such modesty leads to life – life for Sarah and for Tobit.

38. J.C. McCann, Judges (Interpretation; Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 2002), pp. 103–104.

MACDONALD Food and Drink in Tobit and Other ‘Diaspora Novellas’ 177

Bibliography Albertz, R., A History of Israelite Religion in the Old Testament Period, Volume 2: From the Exiles to the Maccabees (London: SCM Press, 1994). Appler, D.A., ‘From Queen to Cuisine: Food Imagery in the Jezebel Narrative’ in Brenner and van Henten (eds.), Food and Drink in the Biblical Worlds, pp. 55–71. Berlin, A., Esther (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001). Borowski, O., Daily Life in Biblical Times (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003). Brenner, A. and J.W. van Henten, ‘Food and Drink in the Bible: An Exciting New Theme’, in J.W. Dyk et al. (eds.), Unless Someone Guide Me…Festschrift for Karel A. Deurloo (Amsterdamse Cahiers voor Exegese van de Bijbel en zijn Tradities Supplement Series, 2; Maastricht: Uitgeverij Shaker Publishing, 2001), pp. 347–54 (Revision of: ‘Our Menu and What is Not On It: Editor’s Introduction’, in A. Brenner and J.W. van Henten [eds.], Food and Drink in the Biblical Worlds [Semeia, 86; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1999], pp. ix–xvi. Brenner, A. and J.W. van Henten (eds.), Food and Drink in the Biblical Worlds (Semeia, 86; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1999). Briant, P., From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002). Broshi, M., ‘The Diet of Palestine in the Roman Period: Introductory Notes’, in M. Broshi, Bread, Wine, Walls and Scrolls (JSPSup, 36; London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001), pp. 121–43 (originally published in: The Israel Museum Journal 5 [1986], pp. 41–56). Clines, D.J.A., The Esther Scroll: The Story of the Story (JSOTSup, 30; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1984). Dar, S., ‘Food and Archaeology in Romano-Byzantine Palestine’, in Wilkins (ed.), Food in Antiquity, pp. 326–35. Douglas, M., Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966). —‘Deciphering a Meal’, Daedalus 101 (1972), pp. 61–81. Fitzmyer, J., Tobit (CEJL; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 2003). Fox, M.V., Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2nd edn, 2001), Garnsey, P., Food and Society in Classical Antiquity (Key Themes in Ancient History; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Gershevitch, I. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 2: The Median and Achaemenian Periods (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). Goldingay, J.E., Daniel (WBC, 30; Dallas: Word Books, 1989). Goody, J., Cooking, Cuisine and Class: A Study in Comparative Sociology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982). Gowers, E., The Loaded Table: Representations of Food in Roman Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). Grimm, V.E., From Feasting to Fasting, the Evolution of a Sin: Attitudes to Food in Late Antiquity (London: Routledge, 1996). Harris, M., Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture (London: Allen & Unwin, 1986). —‘Foodways: Historical Overview and Theoretical Prolegomenon’, in M. Harris and E.B. Ross (eds.), Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987), pp. 57–90. Henisch, B.A., Fast and Feast: Food in Medieval Society (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976).


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Knierim, R., ‘Food, Land and Justice’, in R. Knierim, The Task of Old Testament Theology: Substance, Methods and Cases (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), pp. 225–43. Kollmann, B., ‘Göttliche Offenbarung magisch-pharmakologischer Heilkunst im Buch Tobit’, ZAW 106 (1994), pp. 289–99. Lévi-Strauss, C., ‘The Culinary Triangle’, Partisan Review 33 (1966), pp. 586–95. —The Raw and the Cooked: Introduction to the Science of Mythology (London: Harper & Row, 1970). —The Origin of Table Manners (London: Cape, 1978). McCann, J.C., Judges (Interpretation; Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 2002), McGinn, C., Ethics, Evil and Fiction (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997). Mennell, S., All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2nd edn, 1996). Mennell, S., A. Murcott and A.H. van Otterloo, ‘The Sociology of Food: Eating, Diet and Culture’, Current Sociology 40 (1992), pp. 1–152. Mintz, S.W., Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin Books, 1985). Nemet-Mejat, K.R., Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002). Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H., ‘Persian Food: Stereotypes and Political Identity’, in Wilken, Harvey and Dobson (eds.), Food in Antiquity, pp. 286–302. Scholliers, P. (ed.), Food, Drink and Identity: Cooking, Eating and Drinking in Europe Since the Middle Ages (Oxford: Berg, 2001). von Soden, W., ‘Fischgalle als Heilsmittel für Augen’, in H.P. Müller (ed.), Bibel und Alter Orient: Altorientalische Beiträge zum Alten Testament von Wolfram von Soden (BZAW, 162; Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1985), pp. 76–77. Wilkins, J., D. Harvey and M. Dobson (eds.), Food in Antiquity (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1995).



Genesis 1.28 6.1-4 6.25-27 7.16 11.5 12.1-3 12.3 12.3a 12.7 12.15 15.1 16.7 18 18.2 18.8 19.1 22.11 22.15 24 24.3-4 24.7 24.33 24.40 26.2 26.34-35 27.29 28.13 29.27 35.1 38 38.26 41.45

105 62 62 113 125 125 51 53 54 125 51 125 125 126 125 125 125 125 125 107, 113, 114, 132 113 125 173 125 125 113 54 125 174 125 65, 66 66 107

Exodus 2.16 2.21 12.38 15.11 15.26 16.3 23.20-21 25.9 25.40 30.23-38 34 34.6 34.15

107 107 112 123, 126 123 174 124 120 120 132 174 151 169

Leviticus 8.12 11 20.12

133 167, 169 66

Numbers 5.1-4 11.15 13.6 18.2 18.4 18.7 24.9 25 27 36 36.5-9

101 174 112 120 120 120 54 100 107 107, 113 114

4.27-28 6.4 7.2-3 7.4 8 8.8 14 16.9-11 18.4 18.22 23.1-8 25.5-6 25.5-10 25.10 26.5 26.12-15 26.14 26.14a 26.14b 26.14c 28.25 28.29 28.30-31 28.33 28.37 28.51 28.64 28.65 32.15 32.39 32.43

Deuteronomy 106, 142, 159

53 123 111 112 174 100 167 145 100 47, 48 112 66 65 66 157 101 3, 100, 101, 102 101 101 101, 102 148 147 147 147 53, 148 147 53 147 174 123, 142, 143, 148 126


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Joshua 2 3 5.13-14 5.14 14.6 17.36

94 112 112 127 125 112 107

Judges 2.1 2.11-15 3.6 4.6 6.19-21 13.3 13.6 13.15-20 14.12-18

94, 110 124 112 111, 112 152 125 128 128 125 174

19.15 21.14 23.7

119 147 128

1 Chronicles 2.3 5.6 5.26 13.2 LXX 16.8 16.24 16.31 16.34

66 156 156, 157 19 53 53 122 151

2 Chronicles 5.13 7.3 7.14 20.7 30.9 30.20

151 151 148 151 151 148

Ezra 2.59-69 2.60 3.11 5.59

156 156 151 156

Nehemiah 13.25-30


Ruth 4.6

107 66

1 Samuel 2.6 5 17 26.19 28

142 133 133 168 99

Psalms 8 9.11 16.4 19 29 30.2 44.13-16 57.9 77.14 80.2 89.6 89.6-7 96.3 96.19 100.5 102.13 105.1 106.1 106.28 107.1 108.3 118.1 118.29 135.3 136.1 147.2-3 148

122 53 99 122 122 123 148 53 53 123 126 123 53 53 151 151 53 151 100 151 53 151 151 151 151 148 122

Proverbs 15.17


Ecclesiastes 5.6 (MT 5.5)


Esther 2 Samuel 14.20


1 Kings 9.7 14.11 17-18 20.7

53, 148 80 174 168

2 Kings 5 5.13 5.14 15.29 17.6 18.11

68 68 68 105, 152, 156 157 157

1.4 1.6-7 1.10 1.11 2.7 2.9 MT 4.16 5.2 7.3-6 7.8 13.10

40, 114, 140, 167, 169–70 170 170 172 170 157 169 172 175 172 175 175

Job 2.9-10


Song of Songs 133 Isaiah 2.1-2 2.5 2.18 6.8 7.4 7.14 8.1 8.8 8.21

118, 156 48 123 46 125 125 124 99 124 99

Index of References 9.1-2 (MT 8.23-9.1) 152 9.6 124 10.17 123 10.21 123 11.11-16 153 19.22 148 27.12-13 153 30.19 151 30.26 148 37.16 119 40-55 48, 51 40.25 123 41.8 151 43.5-6 153 43.9-10 53 46.5 123 51.3 151 54.11-12 118 56.10 80 57.6 99 57.17-19 148 57.18-19 148 57.19 123 59.9-10 147 60.5-7 147 60.9 147 60.11 147 61.4 147 61.9 53, 124 62.4 149 63.9 LXX 124 63.15 123 65.4 99 66.1-6 118 66.12 147 Jeremiah 3.18 3.22 16.5 16.7 16.8 16.10 16.14-15 18.7 18.8 23.6-8 24.8

153 148 99 101 101 46 153 51 48 153 148


26.3 26.19 30.10-17 30.17 31.2 31.7-14 31.31 33.5-6 33.6-9 33.6-12 33.10-11 33.11 52.28-30

51 51 148 148 151 153 153 148 148 151 150 151 156

10.19 10.21 12 12.1 12.1 LXX

125 119 102 126 119

Hosea 6.1 6.11–7.1 9.3 9.4 11.3 11.10-11 14.4

148 148 169 101 148 153 148

Lamentations 1.1 1.2 2.14-15 3.1-2 3.6

149 149 149 148 148

Joel 2.3


Amos 2.6-7 5.5 5.11-12 5.15 6.7 7.10-13 7.17 8.3 8.4-6 8.10

145 145 145 151 99 145 168 145 145 144, 145

Ezekiel 4.9 4.12-13 9.1-8 11.14-17 17 19 20.1-44 20.41 24.17-22 28.13 28.25 36.35 37.16-23 47.13-14 47.21-23 48.1-35

156 169 169 128 153 141 141 153 53 101 151 53 151 153 153 153 153

Daniel 1 1.7 5 5.1-4 5.10 3.58 LXX 9.21 LXX 10.12

105, 167 169 157 172 170 175 122 119, 128 125

Jonah 2.1 3.1 3.3 3.4 3.8 3.8b 3.10 4.1-2 4.2 4.5 4.8 4.10 4.11

175 78 45 160 45, 47, 52 45 50 45, 48, 53 50 47, 48 48 45 45 50

Micah 4.2 5.5 7.8-9

46 46 148


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Nahum 1.1 1.1-2 1.7 1.12 1.14 2.2 2.8 2.8-10 3.2-3

154 45 45 150 150 50 153 45 45 50

3.7 3.18-19 3.19

45 45 50

Zephaniah 2.13 3.20

46 53

Zechariah 8.13 8.22 9.1 10.6-12

94, 156 153 46 153 153

Malachi Haggai 94


94 128


Baruch 4.31


40.24 48.10

Esther LXX 14.16


Tobit 1.1

4 Ezra (2 Esdras) 13.39-50 153 Judith

2.17-18 6.21 8.6 8.7 10.5 10.21-22 12.1-3 12.4 12.18 12.20 15.11 16.19

129–39, 140, 167 170 173 173 173 169 170 169, 170 172 172 172 176 176

2 Maccabees 1.27-29


Sirach (Ben Sira) 155 7.33 102 25.22 62 30.18 102 36.13 153 36.16 153 38.16-23 102

1.1-2 1.2

1.3 1.4 1.4-5 1.4-8 1.5 1.6 1.6-8 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 1.10-11 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 117 1.18 1.19 1.20

14 153

8, 105, 107, 108, 151, 153 118 109, 151, 152, 153, 156 151 8, 143, 144, 153 143 109 118, 145 7, 61, 97, 108 100, 143, 145 23 52, 107 152 55 169, 173 55 169 8, 52 7, 158 173 8, 55 24, 25, 52 91, 141, 147

1.21 1.22 2.1 2.1-4 2.1-5 2.1-6 2.2 2.2-3 2.2-2.5 2.3 2.3-6 2.4 2.5-6 2.6 2.8 2.9 2.9-10 2.10 2.11-14 2.12 2.14 3.1-6 3.2 3.2-3 3.2-5 3.2-6 3.3 3.3-5 3.4 3.5 3.6

25, 52, 151 17, 25 25 144 145 173 13, 25 145 21 22 175 135, 146 144 46, 106, 146, 151 7, 21, 146, 149 10, 11 146 8, 141, 148, 149 173 8 8, 146, 149 127, 145 146 127 52 118 146, 147 146 8, 53, 147, 148 144, 146 25–26, 102,

Index of References 127, 146, 149 3.7 158 3.10 26 3.11-15 118 3.14-15 146 3.15 26, 152 3.17 126, 148 4.1 158 4.3-4 102 4.3-11 106 4.3-19 99 4.6 26 4.7-11 102 4.12 106, 108, 152 4.12-13 103 4.14 102, 103 4.16 102 4.17 3, 99–103 5.1-13 107 5.2 161 5.3 7 5.4 76, 128 5.5-6a (Vulg) 76 5.6 158 5.6b 160 5.10 76, 147, 148, 153 5.11 76 5.11-14 152 5.12 128 5.12 (Vulg) 76 5.13 61, 76 5.13-14 151 5.14 76 5.16 80 5.17 76 5.18 (Vulg) 76 5.19 26 5.21 27 6-12 13 6.2 160 6.3 27, 160 6.4 123 6.4 (Vulg) 78 6.5 79, 125 6.6 27, 78, 79 6.7 27

6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12

6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 7.1 7.2 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.10 7.11 7.13 7.16 7.17 8.1 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.7-9 8.8 8.9 8.9-10 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.15-17 8.17 8.18 8.19

15, 21, 22, 23 23, 27, 148 23 23, 27 7, 10, 17, 22, 23, 28, 106 28, 106, 107 20, 28 20, 28 29 29 29 29 30 30 30 2, 6, 9–11, 30 30 15, 21, 30, 173 30, 106, 107 30 30 30 20, 30, 123, 161 30 30 31 20, 31 175 31 31 20 31, 175 20 31 31, 175 31 31, 52 52 32 20, 32 32, 174

183 8.20 8.20-10.8 8.21 9.1-15 9.2 9.4 9.5 9.6 10-12 10.2 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.5-6 11.7-8 11.8 11.9 11.10 11.11 11.11-13 11.13 11.14 11.14-15 11.15

11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 12 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6

161 161 32, 138 138 32 32, 161 32 32, 161 7 32 32 8, 32, 33, 149, 161 33 33 33 33 20, 33, 34 34 19 34, 160 34 34 20, 34, 80 34 149 20 153 32, 80 34, 35, 148 35 123 35 35 118 35, 52, 141, 142, 144, 150 8, 35–36 26, 142 36 36, 174 21 36, 77 118 36, 148 36 36 36-37, 53

184 Tobit (cont.) 12.7 12.7-8 12.8 12.8-9a 12.9 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.12-13 12.14 12.15 12.16 12.17 12.18 12.19 12.20 12.20-21 12.22 13 13-14

Studies in the Book of Tobit 37, 122 122, 130 37, 174 14 37 37 77, 122 37 126 37, 148 37, 77, 119, 120 76, 77 37, 125 38, 121 7, 38, 79, 125 38 77 38, 124 142, 144 140

13.1 13.1-9 13.2

13.3 13.4 13.5 13.5-6 13.6 13.7 13.9 13.9-17 13.9-18 13.11 13.12 13.13 13.16 13.18 14.2 14.3

38–39 52 15, 21, 39, 142, 143, 148 39, 53 39 143 143 39, 144 143 143 143, 153 137 39, 48, 51, 53, 147 54 39 39, 151, 152 39 40 40

14.3-4 14.3-7 14.3-11 14.4

14.4-7 14.5

14.5-6 14.6 14.6-7 14.7 14.8 14.9 14.10 14.12 14.13 14.15

43 52 100 2, 43–58, 106, 147, 150, 152, 154 118, 154 48, 97, 118, 147, 154 48 46, 51 53 97, 138, 147 43–58 107 40, 52, 135 51, 137 135, 138 138, 150, 153


Ascension of Isaiah 3.2 157 2 Baruch 78.1-7


3 Baruch 11 15

123 123

1 Enoch 1.4 9.1 9.3 10.1 10.1-8 14.1 14.21-23 15.2 17.1 19.1 20.1-8

118 123, 124 127 126 126 118 120 120 127 127 121

20.3 23.1-14 32.6 40.9 37.2 54.6 71.8-9 81.5 89.1 89.73 90.22 90.33 93.8 93.11

127 127 127 127 118 127 120 121 128 118 121 153 123 118

Jubilees 2.2 2.18 3.15 10.10-13 12.25-27 15.27 31 31.14 31.16

120 121

Odes of Solomon 36.6 128

Joseph and Aseneth 53

Prayer of Joseph 128

120 120 122 122 122 120 120 120 120

Lives of the Prophets 47, 48, 56 3.16-17 157 10.3 47

2 Enoch 19.1

Index of References Psalms of Solomon 8.28 153 11.1-9 153 17.26 153

Sibyline Oracles 3.710-95 53 Testament of Judah 25.2 119

185 Testament of Levi 119 2.10 122 3.4-8 119 8.2-11 121


New Testament 55, 56, 73, 115

10.34 24.4 24.41-43


John 20.12

Mark 12.18-23


Acts of the Apostles 27.24 125

Luke 1.13 1.19 1.30 1.35 2.10 2.14 5.17

125 119 125 127 125 122 127

Matthew 18.20

168 128 125


Romans 1.7


2 Corinthians 11.14 127 Philippians 1.1


James 63 1 Peter 1.12


Revelation 1.17 4.5 12.7-9 12.9 13.7 15.5-6 15.6 18.20 19.8 19.11-16 21.9-21

118 125 123 126 127 118 121 128 52 126 126 118

4Q200 4.7 6.1

150 150

4Q400 1. i. 4 1.i.15-17

8, 121 121

4Q403 1



Dead Sea Scrolls 17, 18, 46, 95, 97,155, 161 1QH XII [IV]



126 a

4QTob (Or 4Q196) 17.2.8 143



120, 128


46, 57




53, 54 151


4Q541 53


1QSa II 120

4.3.5 4.3.6

120, 121, 122


22 150 150


4Q544. i 127 CD XV




Studies in the Book of Tobit

Genesis Apocryphon 155

Targum to Job

Philo of Alexander Questions on Genesis 1.10 123

Targum Neofiti


101 Targum. Onqelos 102

Josephus 54 Antiquities 1.196 3.159 9.214 9.279 11.131-133 11.311-313 11.379 18.311

Midrash Kohelet 12 96 126 121 47 157 157, 158 158 158 158

Rabbinic Literature 90–98 Palestinian Talmud j. Rosh Ha Shanah 1.2 124 Tosefta t. Sanh. 2.6

Midrash Tanhuma 11.2 123 Sifre


Hellenistic Literature Athenaeus Deipnosophists IV.131 171 XI.781-782 171 Curtius 5.8.5


Diodorus Siculus 2.13.6 161 60.3.5-6 122

101 Early Church Literature Cyprian Ad Fortunatum III. 1 6 De Opere et Eleemosynis 20 6 Second Epistle of Clement XVI 14


Origen On John 2.31


Herodotus History V.52 IX.80 IX.82

160 171 172

Plutarch Alexander 42


Polyaenus Strategems IV.3.32


6 Targum Genesis Rabbah 127 48.9 124 50.2 126

Epistles of the Apostles 126 14 127

Xenophon Anabasis 3.4.10-12 160 3.19.8-3.20.2 161


Abiel 5 Abraham 105, 107, 108, 109, 113, 125, 126, 127 Sacrifice of Isaac 59, 125 Sarah, wife of 69, 105 Achion 173 Adam 122 Adiabene 4 Adonia, ritual of 134 Africanus 91 Ahab 174, 175 Ahaz 125 Ahikar 52, 105 Book of 157 Aktariel 121 Alexander the Great 118, 161, 162, 171 Amos 106, 144, 150 Angels 4, 80, 118, 120, 122, 123, 125, 126, 128, 131 Anna, wife of Tobit 62, 129, 137, 146, 149, 151 Significance of name of 151 Anthony, Saint 86, 173 Antonius Pius 55 Aramaic (see also Qumran) 155 Vorlage 9, 10, 11 Of Job 155 Archangels 80, 81, 82, 118–28 Arrian 161, 162 Asmoddeus 62, 74, 118, 123, 126, 136 Assyria 48, 49, 90, 91 Athenaeus 171 Atonement, day of 126 Azariah (see also Raphael) 152 Azazel 126 Baal of Peor 100 Babylon 52, 91, 123, 124, 154, 158 Bar Kokhba 55

Barachiel 121 Belshazzar 172, 175 Bethel 125, 145 Bethlehem 122, 125 Bethulia 134, 135, 137, 173 Bicci, Neri di 74, 86, 87 Bicci, Lorenzo di 87 Boaz 66, 107 Bodiel 121 Borie 121 Botticini 74, 81, 84 Buki ben Yagil 3, 96 Cades 5 Cadiz 5 Caleb 112 Canaanites 112, 174 Ctesiphon 158 Confraternities in Florence 83 Dagon 133 Dan 143 Daniel 105, 125, 128, 170 Darius 161 David 73, 93, 96, 107, 122, 133 Deborah, grandmother of Tobit 91 De Silentio, J., see Kierkegaard Deuteronomist 4, 118, 119, 130 Diaspora 128, 138, 154,139, 167 passim Eastern 155, 158, 159, 160, 163 Novellas of 167–74 Dog 74, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 87, 128 Domninus, Saint 86 Ecbatana 74, 79, 90, 131, 135, 137, 161 Eden 122 Edna 151 Egyptians 174 Eleazar 69


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Elijah 132, 174 On Horeb 61 Elisha 68, 132 ’elohim 123, 125, 126 Endogamy (see also intermarriages) Enochic traditions 105, 118, 127 Ephraim (see also Northern Tribes) 91 Er Son of Judah, husband of Tamar 65 Esther 105, 114, 169 Ethnicity 106–17 Euphrates 158 Exile 90, 91, 147–49 Ezekiel 128 Family life 104–17 Faust 68 First Temple 4, 119, 123 Fish 20, 27, 61, 68, 74, 78, 79, 82, 85, 86, 122, 125, 127, 175 Florentine art 3, 72–89 Folk narratives 130 Food and drink 3, 79, 133, 165–78 As social boundary markers 167 Consumption and comedy 174–76 Death and sex 174–76 Fasting and feasting 168–74 In the Achaemenian court 171 Offerings of 99, 100, 101, 102 Frankists 94 Gabriel 82, 119, 120, 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128 Galilee 143, 152 Genesis 105 Gideon 125 Goliath 133 Greek texts 2, 12–42 Sinaiticus 43–57, 75, 119 Vaticanus 43–57, 75, 119 Social setting of 54–55 Christian influence on 55–56 Green, G. 60 Gurion, David Ben 93 Hagar 125 Halah 157 Haman 172 Hanael 151

Hannah 151 Hananiah 61, 76 Hananiel 151 Herodotus 171 High Priest 4, 120, 121,122, 123 Holofernes 131, 132, 133, 167, 169, 170, 172, 173, 175 Holy Spirit 127 Homer 105 Intermarriages 3, 106 Isaac (see also Abraham) 107, 108 Israel, history of 111–15 Jacob 107, 108, 120, 125, 128 Jehudiel 121 Jephtah 95 Jereboam 119, 143 Jerusalem 51, 91, 97, 118, 137, 143, 150, 153, 154, 176 Fall of 152 Temple of 145 Temple cult of 133 Jesus 74, 87, 94, 126, 127 Jewish revolts 55 Jewish literary traditions and Tobit 90–98 Nationalism 90, 92–93 Jezebel 176 Job 106, 118, 146 Religion of 119 John 125 John the Baptist 18 Jonah 2, 43–58, 175 In Josephus Antiquities 47, 49, 54, 57 In the Lives of the Prophets 47, 48 Joseph 107, 112, 174 Sons of 125 Joshua 112, 127 Josiah 119, 128 Judah 65 Judith 4, 60, 91, 133, 170, 173 Strong will of 131–32 Julian, Saint 86 Jupiter 123 Karaites 94 Kierkegaard, S. Fear and Trembling 2, 59–71.

Index of Names and Subjects Lamb, bride of 126 Levi 120 Levirate Law 65, 66 Lippi 74 Luther, M. 59, 60, 61, 63, 64 Mahlon 66 Mamre 125, 126, 127 Mardonius 172 Mary, mother of Jesus 74, 87, 125, 127 Artistic depiction of 86 Mars 123 Mercury 123 Mesopotamia 123, 158 Michael, angel 82, 87, 119, 120, 121, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127 Molech 101 Montserrat 5 Moses 107, 112 Mot 101 Media 4, 152, 153, 157, 158 Naaman 68 Naboth, vineyard of 175–76 Nadab 52 Nahum 2, 43–58, 106, 154 Naomi 66 Naphtali, tribe of 96, 97, 105, 108, 109, 113, 118, 152 Nathan 61 Necromancy 99, 102 Nehardea 158 New Testament 1 Nicholas, Saint 86 Nimrod 95 Nineveh 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, 53, 74, 90, 118, 137, 152, 153, 154, 169 Nisibis 158 Noah 108, 126, 128 Northern tribes Exiles of 154–59 Old Latin 2, 5–11, 12–42, 46 et passim Olsen, R. 64 Onan Son of Judah 65 Origen 91, 128 Oxyrhynchus fragment 22, 23


Parmenion 171 Patristic citings 11 Paul 125 Pausanias of Sparta 171, 172 Pentecost 144, 145 Perugino 74 Phanuel 120 Pollaiolo 74 Pope Eugenius IV 83 Rabbi Huna 66 Rabbi Ashi 66 Rabbi Judah 65 Rabbi Simon 65 Rabbinic tradition 91 Rages 81, 85, 131 Raguel 9, 20, 121, 74, 103, 121, 151, 161, 175 Rahab 112 Raphael 4, 7, 18, 20, 36, 53, 103, 105, 118–28, 130, 135 Artistic depictions 72–88 Rembrandt 72 Remiel 121 Rephael 121 Restoration (see also exile) 150, 151–54 Resurrection of Christ 125 Ruth 66, 107, 112 Sabbateans 94 Sabbath 167 Samaria 156, 176 Samaritans 94 Samson 125, 176 Sarah, daughter of Raguel 19, 59–71, 74, 75, 76, 79, 107, 118, 126, 136, 148, 175, 176 Lament of 146 Sarah’s parents 19, 106 Story of Sarah as a parable 149–50 Tragic figure 59, 63, 67 Saraqael 121 Satan 118, 126 Saturn 123 Sealtiel 121 Second Temple 118, 126, 142, 154 Selaphiel 121 Sennacherib 90, 147 Shakespeare, W. 68


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Shalmaneser 52, 90 Shemaliah, Sons of 61 Sodiel 121 Sodom 126 Solomon 96 Spain 5–11 Structural analysis of myth 4 Suriel 121 Susa 170 Syriac form of the book of Tobit 14, 15 Syrian church 127

Plot of 141–44 Theology of Deuteronomy on 142, 143 Versions of, see Greek texts, Vulgate and Old Latin Qumran 2, 17–18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 46, 140, 161 Angel priests of 122 Community of 46, 128 Zionists reclaiming of 94, 95, 97 Uriel, angel 121, 123, 124, 125, 126

Tamar 65, 67 Targum 122 Noefiti 101 Onqelos 102 Tekoa, wise women of 122 Textual criticism 44 Thesmophoria, ritual of 136 Tobias 67 passim Artistic depictions 72–88 Prayer 20 Significance of name of 150–51 Tobit 43, 67 passim Comedy 59–71 Redemption of the nations 48, 49, 50, 51–55 Significance of name of 150–51 Solidarity with his people 144–47 Speech 42–57 Timid 131–32 Tobit, Book of Geographical errors in 159–63 Images of exile and restoration in 147–49 As novella 140 As parable 140–60

Vashti 175 Venus 123 Verrochio 74 School of 75 Vulgate 9, 10, 17, 46, 53, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 143 Wisdom 4, 122, 130, 134, 135, 139, 142, 185 Tree of 127 Xenophon 171 Xerxes 170, 172, 175 Yael 95 Yiddish 94 Yomiel 121 Zechariah, the priest 125 Zelophedad, daughters of 107, 112, 113, 114 Zionists 3, 91, 93, 94–98, 138 Zoroaster Mother of 160


Abusch, T. 100 Aharoni, Y. 153 Albertz, R. 168, 169 Albright, W. 110 Alperson, P. 86, 87 Alt, A. 110 Alter, R. 92 Anna, wife of Tobit 129 Appler, D.A. 174, 175 Auwers, J.-M. 5, 6, 16 Bachmann, T. 60 Baker, D.W. 111 Barker, M. 119, 120, 123, 131 Bauckham, R. 158, 159 Beardsley, M.C. 86, 87 Bell, R.H. 142 Belsheim, J. 6, 17 Berlin, A. 172 Beyer, K. 12 Blanchini, J. 6, 17 Blenkinsopp, J. 153, 156 Bloch, E. 51 Bloch-Smith, E. 100 Bogaert, P.-M. 6, 38 Bolt, P.G. 63 Borowski, O. 167 Bosworth, A.B. 162 Boyd, J. 73 Bredin, M. 56 Brenner, A. 165, 167, 174 Briant, P. 170, 171 Bright, J. 110 Brooke, A.E. 7, 14 Broshi, M. 12, 167 Brown, D. 73 Ceriani, A.M. 6, 17 Charles, R.H. 13

Charlesworth, J.H. 47 Childs, B.S. 51, 153 Clines, D.J.A. 169, 172 Cole, B. 74 Couroyer, B. 9 Cousland, J.R.C. 61, 62, 67, 69, 70 Craghan, J. 150 Dancy, J. 51 Dar, S. 167 De Lange, N. 90 Deselaers, P. 21, 44, 107, 140, 159 Detienne, M. 135, 136 Dever, W.G. 110, 111, 112 Di Lella, A.A. 100, 102, 106, 142 Dix, G.H. 123, 123, 124 Dobson, M. 166, 171 Douglas, M. 166, 167 Drazin, I. 101 Dunn, J.D.G. 119, 123 Dyk, J.W. 165 Dyrness, W.A. 73 Eisenbichler, K. 83 Ellis, F.S. 75 Esler, P. 73 Evans, C.A. 105 Finkelstien, I. 112 Fitzmyer, J.A. 12, 13, 16, 27, 37, 43, 44, 45, 46, 52, 55, 73, 76, 79, 91, 97, 102, 140, 150, 155, 159, 160, 162, 174 Fox, M.V. 170 Freedman, D.N. 157, 160 Fritzsche, O.F. 13, 14 Garnsey, P. 165 Gathercole 5, 6, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 27, 31, 35, 39, 119


Studies in the Book of Tobit

Gershevitch, I. 173 Gilson, J.P. 5 Goldingay, J.E. 169 Gombrich, E. 72, 73, 77, 79, 81, 82, 83, 84, 86, 87 Goodhart, S. 48, 49 Goodman, N. 77 Goody, J. 166 Gottwald, N. 110 Gowers, E. 166, 167, 174 Grabbe, L.L. 155 Greene, G. 60 Greenfield, J.C. 100 Gribomont, J. 5 Grimm, V.E. 173 Grotius, H. 45 Hallo, W.W. 115 Hanhart, R. 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 35 Harris, J.R. 14, 44 Harris, M. 166 Harvey, D. 166, 171 Hastings, J. 162 Henisch, B.A. 166 Hoekstra, H. 72 Hoffmeier, J.K. 110 Hong, E.H. 59, 64, 68 Hong, H.V. 59, 64, 68 Horowitz, D.L. 104, 108, 112 Hunt, A.S. 21, 22 Hutchinson, J. 108 Jackson, A.V.W. 160 Jensen, H.J.L. 132, 136 Jouby 75 Junckelmann, M. 162 Katz, D. 94 Katznelson, Y.L. 96 Kierkegaard, S. 59–71 Kitchen, K.A. 111 Knierim, R. 165 Knudzon, J.A. 111 Kollmann, B. 168 Kristeller, P.O. 73 Lampe, P. 55 Lang, B. 136, 139 Lebram, J,C.H. 14

Lefebure, L.D. 49, 50 Lehmann, E. 137 Lemeche, N.P. 110 Lévi-Strauss, C. 136, 166 Lightfoot, J.B. 14 Lippitt, J. 69 Long, V.P. 111 Longman III, T. 111 Lowrie, W. 64 Luther, M. 60, 61, 63 MacDonald, D.R. 65 MacDonald, N. 134 Mackowsky, H. 80, 81, 82, 86 Marquant, J. 162 Mayes, A.D.H. 101 McCann, J.C. 176 McCracken, D. 59, 60, 61, 67, 69, 109 McLean, N. 7, 14 McDannell, C. 136 McGinn, C. 173 Mendenhall, G. 110 Menn, E.M. 66 Mennell, S. 166 Mesnil, J. 82 Milik, J.T. 152 Milns, R.D. 161 Milton, J. 121 Mintz, S.W. 166 Modi, J.J. 160 Morgan, D. 73, 80 Moore, C.A. 44, 45, 46, 54, 55, 75, 76, 78, 99, 105, 130, 131, 142, 143, 144, 146, 150, 155, 159, 160, 161, 162 Muizelaar, K. 74 Müller, H.P. 168 Munster, S. 35 Murcott, A. 166 Nemet-Mejat, K.R. 174 Neubauer, A. 7, 31 Neusner, J. 158 Niclas, T. 12 Nickelsburg, G.W.E. 65, 105, 106, 140, 142 Noth, M. 110 Oates, D. 160 Oppenheimer, A. 158, 160

Index of Modern Authors Otzen, B. 44, 46, 52, 113, 129, 130, 132, 135

Spronk, K. 100 Stuckenbruck, L. 5, 6, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 27, 31, 35, 39, 119

Phillips, D. 74 Pitkänen, P. 111, 112 Polizzotto, L. 83, 84 Porter, A.W.S. 5 Pritchard, J.B. 115 Propp, V. 130 Provan, I. 111 Pyper, H. 175

Talmon, S. 155, 156 Thackeray, H.St.J. 7, 14 Thomas, D. 44, 46 Thompson. T.L. 110 Tiede, C.P. 162, 163 Tischendorf, C. von 13 Torrey, C.C. 160

Radet, G. 162 Rahlfs, A. 13 Ramsay, W.M. 162 Roger 75 Rogerson, J. 119, 123 Ross, E.B. 166 Rosso, L. 9

VanderKam, J.C. 157 van Henten, J.W. 165, 167, 174 van Otterloo, A.H. 166 Vattioni, F. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17 Vigouroux, F. 14 Voge, J.L. 45 von Soden, W. 168 von Stahl, A.F. 162

Sabatier, P.M. 6, 13 Sancisi-Weerdenburg, H. 171 Sanders, J.A. 105 Sanders, E.P. 54, 56 Schäfer, P. 121 Schama, S. 72 Schiffman, L. 95, 97 Schmidt, B.B. 100, 101 Scholliers, P. 166 Scott, J.M. 155 Seibert, J. 162 Shapira, A. 93 Simpson, D.C. 13, 44, 46, 55, 56, 160 Skehan, P.W. 102 Skemp, T.M. 75 Smith, A.D. 108 Soll, W. 105, 106, 107, 114, 140, 141, 147, 150


Wagner, C. 12, 14 Walton, K.L. 77 Weeks, S. 5, 6, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 27, 31, 35, 39, 119 Weihrich, F. 16 Weisberg, D. 66 Weitzman, S. 100, 142 Wenham, G.J. 111 Wilkins, J. 166, 167, 171 Wink, W. 50 Wolterstorff, N. 73 Wright, N.T. 53, 54 Younger, K.L. 115, 156, 157 Zadok, R. 150, 156 Zimmerman, F. 44, 45, 46, 53, 65, 66, 140, 144, 160, 161, 162