What version are you using? Can I get it on-line?
The book of Tobit says: "For no pagan nation possesses good counsel" (Tob. 4:19). This is different than what many early Church Fathers said, who recognized that the pagans did indeed possess "good counsel". St. Justin Martyr, for example, said that Jesus Christ was "known in part even by Socrates" (Second Apology, 10)Wikipedia's article
says that most claim that the story is set long before Socrates, but this sounds like a petty excuse to me. Anyway, I checked four different versions (Septuagint's, King James', Douay's, Good News') and none of them mentions the word pagan
The Archangel Raphael saw fit to deceive people while on his mission. I don't have a problem with the concept of moral deception per se, but was it really necessary in this case? (Tob. 5:4-13; 12:11-19)
Honestly, I don't know. But if Raphael had not hid himself, would Tobit act in the same way?
- We find in the book of Tobit the following from the Archangel Raphael: "As regards the fish's heart and liver, if you burn them so that the smoke surrounds a man or a woman who is afflicted by a demon or evil spirit, the affliction will leave him completely, and no demons will ever return to him again. And as for the gall, if you rub it on the eyes of a man who has cataracts, blowing into his eyes right on the cataracts, his sight will be restored." (Tob. 6:8-9) Doesn't this sound more like a story than something we should expect to actually work? I mean, who burns a fish's heart and liver to get rid of a demon?
While Jesus' ways
seem more effective? Like this is the only book where God gives a sign, but through a way, seemingly, superstitious. Of course, the way does not affect the miracle, it's symbolic and has an interpretation.
Compare the eating of the fish
with John 6:55
and keep in mind the greatest fish
of all; Icthys
. Doesn't this also imply that Christ, the fish, is the cure for demons?
It, also, was wise of the angel to choose the liver and the heart, for those two play a major role in our bodies, they purify our blood
(you know how Christ's blood is related with His Sacrifice, that was just a verse among the many others).
- The Archangel Raphael also says: "Since you have the right to marry her, listen to me, brother. Tonight I will ask the girl's father to let us have her as your bride. When we return from Rages, we will hold the wedding feast for her. I know that Raguel cannot keep her from you or let her become engaged to another man; that would be a capital crime according to the decree in the Book of Moses, and he knows that it is your right, before all other men, to marry his daughter." (Tob. 6:13) I'm not really familiar with this "decree" that is supposed to be mentioned in the Torah. Is he perhaps speaking of a lost book?
Me neither! The Mosaic Law was always confusing to read, so I didn't pay attention to this part when I read the book of Tobit. I'd like some more info on that too.
- Tobiah says: "So now I too am afraid of this demon. Because he loves her, he does not harm her; but he does slay any man who wishes to come close to her." (Tob. 6:15) Can demons really love people?
The Greek texts does not say agapaei
(loves), but philei
(befriends). Besides the fact that this is what a human
is saying and no Divine Word, I still see that this can be translated as "...he likes her...", meaning that he enjoys haunting her.
- Are some people really meant for each other to the point where they are "set apart" from "before the world existed"?
In my humble opinion, I believe that God does know which soul is more suitable for the other. Even people can guess it sometimes. But, Heavens, I don't know a thing about how souls are being "produced" or in what state they were before.
- Raguel says the words: "Eat and drink and be merry tonight, for no man is more entitled to marry my daughter Sarah than you, brother." This seems to be a positive usage of the phrase. Yet elsewhere this idea is condemned, such as when Jesus Christ mentioned the phrase (Luke 12:16-21)
Probably Jesus' words had a broader meaning? If Jesus' words were to be taken totally literally, then He should have ruined the wedding at Cana...
- Raguel says: "I have given her in marriage to seven men, all of whom were kinsmen of ours, and all died on the very night they approached her." (Tob. 7:11) Would God really kill 7 seemingly innocent men just because she was meant for someone else?
This is one viewing angle. We can't know if the time for the rest men had come or if this was an action that had to do with theodicy, for example. The book revolves around Sarah and Tobit, but the real world doesn't.
P.S.: I found some very nice prophetic parts in the book (thanks to an awesome website), but it will take time to translate it, but if you're really interested...