Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tobit, Chapters 4 & 5: Biblical Helicopter Parents

Chapter 4

Tobit suddenly remembers some money that he has buried, or owes or is owed by or quite possibly promised to donate to someone or something or someplace called Gabael. He also remembers that he wants to die, and now his dilemma is whether to tell his son Tobias about the money. He calls his son to his deathbed and tells him not to hate his mother, which does seem like the least he could do, and makes him promise to bury her. He also asks him to be mindful of god and most importantly not to marry a foreign bride or it will lead to famine. Also, pay his workers, stay sober, don't be jealous, and listen to wise people. Then he tells him he owes Gabael, but not to worry, it won't make them broke.

Chapter 5

Tobias promises to do everything his father asks, then immediately tries to weasel out of paying Gabael back, saying he doesn't know who he is. Rather than give him a description or an address, Tobit gives him a sample of the guy's handwriting, which I suppose might work, considering the literacy rate back then was something like 1%. He also recommends hiring a guide. Tobias unwittingly hires the angel Raphael. He asks him if he knows Rages, the city he's supposed to go to, and Raphael says he once lived with Gabael in a strictly platonic way. Tobias goes to tell his father that he's found a guide, and because he's apparently an idiot, Tobit demands to meet the guide before they leave. Raphael goes into Tobit's sick room, and Tobit demands to know his tribal affiliation. Raphael asks if he's hiring a tribe or a guide, and Tobit says he needs to know who's taking his son to the city. Raphael lies and says his name is Azarias and explains his connection to Tobit's tribe. Tobit likes Azarias' people and approves of him as his son's babysitter. Then he asks how much money Raphael wants, and if he requires a per diem, and promises a tip if he returns Tobias alive. At this point I'm starting to wonder if sending Tobias at all is a good idea, considering the amount of hand-holding he apparently needs.

Finally, Tobias and his dog and Raphael are ready to go. Tobit blesses them and stands in the driveway waving them off. Anna is in tears, because she also realises how stupid her kid is, and asks why this ten talents is so frigging important to Tobit. Tobit, after all that drama with the guide thing, assures his wife that their son will come back safe

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