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Book Of Tobit Summary And Analysis: 3rd-2nd Century BCE Jewish Pre-literature Work

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Book Of Tobit Summary And Analysis

The book of Tobit summary and analysis are quite tough to understand. The book of Tobit is a 3rd-2nd century BCE Jewish pre-literature work describing how God tests the faithful, responds in his doings and prayers, and protects the pact community (the Israelites).

The book of Tobit described the story of two Jewish families. The one is about the blind Tobit in Nineveh, an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia. It’s located in the outskirts of Mosul, a modern-day major city in northern Iraq.

The river Tigris flows beside the city makes its banks. And the second one is abandoned Sarah in the Ecbatana, an ancient city in the Media in Western Iran. It is taken into consideration that Ecbatana is in the Hagmatana Hill, which is an archeological mound situated in Hamedan. Hamedan is the capital city of the Hamedan province of Iran in modern-day.

And after that, there were so many events that happened to support the context of the story. The Book Of Tobit is historically, religiously important, and an essential piece of literature. The contexts and the caption of this story were mentioned in the Tanakh, Torah, Old Testament (Christianity), and the Pentateuch.

The Context of The Book Of Tobit

The context of the book of Tobit is very simple, at the same time soulful and sometimes mystic. The concept of faith, doings, fate, miracle, and the presence of God is present in the story. The pearls of wisdom of the events are the main contexts of the book of Tobit.

The story’s context describes how God tests Tobit as a faithful one to see if he is the faithful one or not. Then God blinds Tobit to test him in the worst situation. But Tobit remains the faithful one. And how God can save a person from his pain by responding in his prayers. The wisdom of God through an archangel.

And many allegorical events happened to characterize the context of the book more. The book’s story is plotted differently, within different short eventual plots, and different persons write the stories at different times. However, it was considered to be written by Moses.

The Book of Tobit Summary: Tobit In The Bible

Are you wondering why is the Book of Tobit not in the bible? The fact is, the Book of Tobit still exists in the Old Testaments. Tobit is the central character of The Book Of Tobit. Tobit is a blind old man who lives in Nineveh; an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia. Tobias was the son of Tobit.

How Many Chapters Does The Book Of Tobit Have?

The book of Tobit’s summary and analysis is not possible without summarizing the chapters. There are about 14 chapters or situational plots in the Book Of Tobit. To summarize the book’s story, we need to know how the stories were plotted and how the event goes to one another.

The first part of the story is the prologue of the story. Nineveh and Ecbatana’s situations give reason and characterize the concept of the story and create contexts while narrating the story.

Then tells the story of the journey of Tobias, the son of Tobit, traveling to rages, a town of Media, while guided by the archangel Raphael. Then after returning from Ecbatana. Then blind Tobit praises his lord and sings telling the wisdom of God and dies. In the last plot, the epilogue of the story contains a prophecy told by Tobit to his son when he was dying.

Deliberation of the Story Divided into Chapters & Plots

The Book Of Tobit is divided into five primary plots and sub-plots inside them and divided into 14 chapters. Now I will be listing the division of the plots of the book.

Division of The Plots, chapters, and verses of the story:

  • Plot No-1: Prologue, Chapter no-1, verses no-1 to 2.
  • Plot No-2: Situations on Nineveh and Ecbatana, Chapter and verses no- 1:3 to 3:17.
  • Plot No-3: The journey of Tobias and the events within,  Chapter and verses no- 4:1 to 12:22.
  • Plot No-4: Tobit’s song of praise after God’s response to his prayers and Tobit’s death, Chapter and verses no- 13:1 to 14:2.
  • Plot No-5: Epilogue, a prophecy of Tobit that was like guidance. Chapter and verses no- 14:3-15.

The Book of Tobit Summary In A Nutshell

The book of Tobit’s analysis would be impossible without summarizing the story first.  Now I will be summarizing the story of the book of Tobit, and for that, I’ll be taking the help of ”Tobit and Judith” written by Benedikt Otzen. That would be more interesting, and I hope you will understand the plots and the context better.

The story of Tobit in the Book of Tobit describes how God tests Tobit as a faithful person to see if he is the selected one or not. God makes Tobit blind to test him in the worst situation. But Tobit remains the faithful one. The story describes how God can save a person from his pain by responding to his prayers. The wisdom of God through an archangel.

The Book Of Tobit Summary Of Main Plot

If I summarize the whole book in a short story, that would be bothersome for you to read, And when you are reading the original book, you will find this article useless. But here, I am trying my best to make you understand the summary of the story simply. So, I’ll be summarizing the story in parts.

Prologue- An older man named Tobit was from the tribe of Naphtali that was one of the twelve northernmost tribes of Israel. The Assyrians deported them from Tishbe in Galilee to Nineveh, where Tobit lived in his then time. He was always abiding by the laws of Moses; he used to go to the Temple in Jerusalem with offerings before the Assyrian conquest. After that, the story narrator highlights his marriage to Anna, and they also have a son named Tobias.

Situations In Nineveh and Ecbatana-  After the Assyrian conquest of Tishbe in Galilee and after being deported in Niveneh; Tobit was living quite happily with his wife Anna and his son Tobias. Tobit was pious; he used to bury the dead Jews. When on one evening he was sleeping, a bird defecated in his eyes that blinds Tobit.

After that, he got dependent on his wife, Anna. That becomes more suffocated for the family, they become poor, and Anna starts to steal to get food for themself. But Tobit accuses his wife of stealing and prays for her death.

Meanwhile, there was a second story going on in Ecbatana. Sarah was a relative of Tobit; She prays for death too. She prays for the death of the demon Asmodeus. He killed all of Sarah’s suitors on their wedding nights, and Sarah was accused of having caused their deaths.

The Journey Of Tobias- While they were praying to god with these pains in their heart, God hears their prayer and sends archangel Raphael to help those in pain. Raphael was sent here in a human disguise. Tobias was then going to retrieve ten silver latent that Tobit hid at the home of Gabael in Rages, Media. Archangel Raphael then offered to accompany Tobias like any other traveler.

Then they were traveling through the long road, and on the way, they stopped to have some food. They caught fish in the Tigris, and while cooking the fish in bush-fire, Raphael told Tobias that the burnt heart of the fish and liver could drive out demons, and the gall can cure blindness. So when they went to Ecbatana, they got to meet with Sarah, and they exorcised the demon.

Tobit’s Praising The Lord And His Death-  After the demon was exorcised from Sarah. She got married to Tobias. Tobias got wealthy, and they return to Nineveh, and Tobit got cured of his blindness. After that, Raphael departs, admonishing Tobit and Tobias to praise God, declare his deeds to the people(the Jews), pray to God, fast for him, and give alms to the needy.

Then Tobit praises God, who has punished his people with exile and showed them mercy and rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem if they turn to him. After a short period of time, Tobit dies.

Epilogue Of The Book Of Tobit-  While Tobit was in his last moments, he told his son Tobias that Nineveh will be destroyed as an example of wickedness. This means Israel will be rendered desolate, the temple will be destroyed, and again the temple of Israel will be restored, and therefore, Tobias should leave Nineveh. Also, his children should live in righteousness.

So, this is the summary of the book of Tobit; now, we will analyze the book’s contexts, and let’s see what we can find!

The Book Of Tobit Story Analysis

Now it’s time to analyze the contexts of the Book of Tobit. I’m going to analyze the contexts through different aspects. We will analyze the book’s significance, composition and manuscripts, influences, historical analysis, and philosophical analysis. These analyses would help to gather more knowledge about this book.

Analysis On The Significance Of The Book Of Tobit:

The Book of Tobit is considered a fictional work with only some historical references and moral advice, humor, and adventures taken from folklore, moral stories, travel story, romance, and humor.

This book offered the Jews in exile guidance to retain their Jewish identity, And its main message is that God test’s the faithful by giving them pain and hears their pains, and how he redeems the pact community.

It’s used in Latin Rite to read from the book often on the weddings to praise the purity of marriage. It’s based on the doctrines on the intercession of angels, filial piety, charity, regard for the dead. The book of Tobit’s Tobit also referred to chapter-5 of 1 Meqabyan, which is a book considered canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Analysis On The Composition And Manuscripts Of The Book Of Tobit:

Though the book of Tobit itself was dated between 225-175 BCE, the story sets in the 8th BC. There is no exact composition of the story, and it has been like an assumption forever. And to say about anciency, well, in the ancient world, everything seems the same and everyone is like a candidate.

To say about the composition, a Mesopotamian origin seems a little logical that has given the stories more strength and takes place in the Assyrian city and Persia. And it also mentions the Persian demon ”Aeshma Daeva” showcased as ” Asmodeus.

It also contains significant errors in geographical detail, like the distance between Ecbatana to Rahages and their topography. There are also arguments against one another and in favor of Judean and Egyptian composition also exists.

Analysis On the Influence Of the Book Of Tobit:

The book of Tobit has vastly influenced the theology, art, and culture in Europe because of its place in the Christian canon. And it was often considered fish as the symbol of Christ, and the early Church Fathers taught it.

The Motif of Tobias and the fish was most popular with the arts of the popular works of the artist Rembrandt. Though He was a member of the Reformed Dutch Church, he painted a series of paintings and drawings illustrated from different story episodes.

Philosophical Analysis Of The Book Of Tobit:

The story contains some moral events that make it reasonable and strong. The contexts and concepts of God, angels and other supernatural beings make it more theological. With some mind-crushing words, the story takes place in our subconsciousness, thinks about it, and makes eternal curiosity loops that sometimes fail us and make us believe in God.

It has been the same as ever with something that we can’t do or understand, which makes it mysterious and blurry. The composition was made due to different reasons and sometimes the humor of the ancient world that we are serious about.

Thank you for reading this article of the Book of Tobit summary, the information of this article is based on different sources, and all the pieces of information are gathered together here in this article. And apologize for any false or blurry information. Actually, things like this have always been a mystery to mankind.

If you are interested in reading more articles like this, read more articles like this on our website here, like the
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