Gnostic Doctrine

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The Book of Tobit

The book of Tobit has all the outer trappings of a historical account however the book is best understood as an allegorical story. The story is intended to edify and to inspire faith in God

the author of Tobit uses Job as a model for Tobit  the two persons are both men of outstandingly good deeds and rightousness who thought they suffered and were tested job 1:6-2:10 Tobit 12:14 did not loss their faith job 31:37 Tobit 3:2-6  and ultimately were rewarded with even greater blessings job 42:10-16 Tobit 14:1-2

the moral sense of the book of tobit is that God answers our prayers

Tobit is a symbol of Israel's blindness 1enoch 93:8
Tobias is a symbol of redeemed Israel
Raphael is a symbol of God redeeming Israel
Sarah is a symbol of the nation of Israel in exile
Asmodeus – ruler of lust,the demon is an aspect of the misfortunes of Israel in exile in a gentile land
the demon is also a symbol of the fallen priesthood

Tobiah's marriage to Sarah can be taken as an allegory of Christ's mystical marriage to His Bride the Church. 

Just as Tobiah's marriage was made possible by the exorcism of a demon, Christ's marriage to the Church was made possible through the defeat of the Devil.

 Just as Christ's resurrection from the dead took place at the conclusion of the seventh day of the week-i.e., the ``eighth'' day-so Tobiah was the eighth husband of Sarah.

Christians who were used to symbolising Jesus as a fish would naturally see the fish of the Book of Tobit as a type of Christ. Just as Christ healed the sick and cast out demons, so it was the miraculous medicinal powers of the fish's organs that made possible the exorcism of Asmodeus and the healing of Tobit's blindness. 

The blindness and poverty of Tobit would represent Adam's bondage to sin and death, so Tobiah's healing of his father is like Christ's spiritual healing of Adam's sin. 

Hannah's grief at the departure of her only son Tobiah also reminds us of Mary's grief at the suffering and death of her son Jesus (Luke 2:34-35).

Again, the Sadducees' rhetorical example of a woman with seven husbands (Matt. 22:23-28) might be an oblique reference to Sarah,

the demon was "bound up by the angel" (ch.8:3)
neither the liver nor the heart or the bile of the fish per se were the objects that cured and drove out the demon, but were merely SYMBOLIC means, through which God performed the miraculous cure of Tobit, and the expulsion of the demon.  

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