Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tobit, Chapters 8-10: Wait, is Sara a necrophiliac?

Chapter 8

After dinner, Tobias goes to his bride. On the way, he sets fire to the fish liver and heart, which scares the spirit into darkest Egypt, where Raphael binds him. Tobias and his wife do the nasty and afterwards he says the words every bride longs to hear: Sister, arise, and let us pray that God would have pity on us (v. 4). Ever the ladies' man, this is a line from his prayer: I take not this my sister for lust, but uprightly (v. 5), so therefore they should be allowed to grow old together. How very convenient that lust and childbearing are so closely linked, especially in a society that lacks reliable birth control. Sara chimes in on the amen and they go to sleep.

In the morning, Raguel digs a grave, thinking his latest son in law is dead and his daughter has just been hanging out with a corpse all night. He tells his wife to send a slave girl up to their room to see if they're alive, like, why didn't you do that before you dug a stupid hole in your stupid yard. The maid returns with the news that Tobias is still alive, and Raguel praises god, even though god sent the demon that killed his first seven sons in law. Then he tells his servants to fill in the stupid grave. Then, I guess to make it look like the earth was supposed to be messed up, they have a 14 day wedding feast, after which he gives Tobias half of his stuff and promises the other half when he and his wife die.

Chapter 9

Tobias sends Raphael, a slave and two camels along for Gabael to invite him for the wedding. He reminds him (and me) about the money that was the original reason for this journey, and tells him to bring it back.

Chapter 10

Tobit is anxiously awaiting his son, who, despite sending him off with a disguised angel and his dog, he isn't convinced is smart enough to make his way back home. His wife certainly thinks her son is dead and she starts wailing that her life is over. Tobit tells her to shut up, Tobias might be stupid, but he isn't dead. His wife insists that he is and goes to sit in front of the house. She won't eat by day and she spends all night howling because apparently she's a dog.

Anyway, Tobias knows that his parents are insane and so as soon as the feast is over, he asks Raguel to let him go home. Raguel doesn't see what the big deal is and offers to send a letter, but Tobias insists he needs to go back in person or no one in their entire town will ever sleep again. So Raguel packs up half his belongings and sends them off. He reminds Sara to behave and does that annoying parent thing where he's all grant that I may see the children of my daughter Sara before I might die (v. 17) that not nearly enough people get clocked for saying.

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