We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Citation for Introduction

Citation styles are based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Ed., and the MLA Style Manual, 2nd Ed..

MLA

Suggs, M. Jack , Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and James R. Mueller. "Tobit." In The Oxford Study Bible. Oxford Biblical Studies Online. Oct 25, 2020. <http://www.oxfordbiblicalcstudies.com/article/book/obso-9780195290004/obso-9780195290004-chapterFrontMatter-42>.

Chicago

Suggs, M. Jack , Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and James R. Mueller. "Tobit." In The Oxford Study Bible. Oxford Biblical Studies Online, http://www.oxfordbiblicalcstudies.com/article/book/obso-9780195290004/obso-9780195290004-chapterFrontMatter-42 (accessed Oct 25, 2020).

Tobit - Introduction

This is the story of a pious Jew in exile who, after many misfortunes and trying events, finally sees the victory of God's Providence in a happy family reunion and a peaceful end.

Apart from the fascination of the tale itself, the book reflects aspects of Jewish piety during the Hellenistic period. The account is presented as history and as having taken place in Nineveh in the eighth century B.C.E. The many discrepancies with known facts of history suggest that the author uses Nineveh as a literary device, intending the blind Tobit to represent collective Israel who, in exile, is sorely tempted to lose faith in divine providence. The Israelites are admonished to remain faithful to the Torah so that they too may “see” at the end how God's designs are worked out in the ambiguities of history. The story belongs, therefore, to the category of Wisdom literature.

The author of Tobit is unknown. The story seems to be very old; differing versions have survived. This version was probably written in the early second century B.C.E. in Hebrew or Aramaic.

© Oxford University Press 2009. All Rights Reserved