Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tobit, Chapters 11-14: Here's fish gall in your eye

Chapter 11

Raphael the angel proposes running ahead of Sara and preparing her new bridal home with fish gall. Anna is sitting outside the house and spots them. She calls out to Tobit that their son is home. Raphael instructs Tobias to rub the fish gall in his father's eyes so he'll be able to see again, but he can't because his mother throws herself on his neck and sobs that she can die happy now. Tobit comes out of the house, but trips on the step. Tobias goes to him and pokes fish gall in his eyes, which hurts, but when Tobit rubs his eyes, the cataracts fall away and he can see again. Tobias tells him all about the wife he left sitting at the gate to Nineve, because she wouldn't want a shower or dinner or food or anything. They go and pick her up and have another wedding feast.

Chapter 12

Tobit remembers the tip he promised Raphael if he brought Tobias back in one piece and mentions it to his son, who wants to give him half of his wedding bounty. They call Raphael in, and he finally reveals his angelness to them. The two mortals fall to the ground, but he tells them to get up, then leaves to write a book.

Chapter 13

Tobit writes a prayer that is heavy on what happens to sinners and light on what happens to the righteous, save that someday Jerusalem will have walls of sapphires and emeralds, gold towers, and streets of beryl and carbuncle stones.

Chapter 14

At the end of his life, Tobit calls Tobias and his six sons (it doesn't specify, but I'm betting their names are all variations on the theme) and tells them to go to Media because of a prophecy by Jonah of whale fame. Before they go, they're supposed to bury their grandparents. Then he dies at age 158, along with his wife. Instead of going to Media, however, Tobias and his family pay that long-promised visit to Raguel. They end up living there until its time to bury the in-laws as well. As for Tobias, he lives to be 120 and to hear about the sack of Nineve.

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