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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



TOBIAS 2

 

CHAPTER II.

 

Ver. 1.  House.  The law authorized such feasts.  Deut. xii. 12. and xiv. 28.  Tobias complied with it, by inviting also the poor servants of God.  Gr. "I lay down to eat."  This custom prevailed in the East.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Tribe.  Gr. "brethren indigent, and who remembers God."  H. --- All had not given way to idolatry.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Street.  Asarhaddon did not protect the Israelites, which renders the elevation of Akikar to the highest dignities suspicious. C. --- But the king and his minister might not be able to prevent all murders.  H. --- Fasting.  The ancients seldom eat anything before noon.  Gr. "Before I had tasted, I leaped up and took him to a house, till the sun should be set," (H.) to prevent any danger from the Assyrians.  M. --- lf he did not employ another, he must have eaten alone, being rendered unclean.  This seems to have been the case; and hence he did not enter his own house, but lay down by the wall.  C. --- Gr. and Heb. mention, that he washed himself before he eat.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  But.  This version is not in Greek or Heb.  C. --- True zeal is not repressed by fear, as charity expels it.  1 Jo. iv.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Now.  Gr. "And that very night I was." --- He came.  Gr. "I lay myself down, being defiled, beside the wall of the court, and my face was uncovered."  H. --- The touching the dead rendered a person unclean.  Num. xix. 11.

 

Ver. 11.  Swallow's.  Gr. denotes "sparrows," or any other small birds: strouqia.  Serarius. --- Eyes.  Gr. observes that they were "opened."  Heb. "by chance." Yet "hares, and many men, sleep with their eyes open," (Pliny xi. 37.) as was here the case.  S. Athan. Synops. --- lf not, the dung might insinuate itself by rubbing.  It is extremely caustic.  Vales. 42.  Aldrov.17. &c. --- The blindness of Tobias was only a suspension of sight.  C. --- Blind.  Gr. "white specks or skins came upon my eyes, and I went to the physicians, but they afforded me no relief.  But Achiachar fed me (H.) till I (or he) went to Elymais;" Heb. of Fagius, "into Germany."  C. --- Almniim.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Now.  This is omitted in Greek and Heb. as far as v. 19.  S. Ambrose says beautifully, that Tobias "was more grieved that he could yield no assistance to others, than for the loss of his sight."

 

Ver. 15.  Kings.  So Job's three friends are here called, because they were princes in their respective territories, (Ch.) like the petty kings of Palestine, in the days of Abraham and of Josue.  They are styled kings in the Greek version of Job.  C. --- Relations, (parentes.)  His father and mother were dead.  W.

 

Ver. 18.  Saints; Abraham, &c.  Thus Mathathias encouraged his children; (1 Mac. ii. 50.) and no argument can be more forcible.

              Dice puer virtutem ex me, verumque laborem

              Sis memor, et te animo repetentem exempla tuorum

              Et pater ├ćneas et avunculus excitet Hector.  ├ćneid xii.

--- Life eternal.  These grand truths were more developed, as the Messias was nearer at hand.

 

Ver. 19.  Work.  This was usually the employment of women.  The great charities of Tobias, physicians, &c. had reduced him to poverty.

 

Ver. 20.  Kid, which had not left off sucking.  Greek adds, that this was given besides the usual wages.  M.

 

Ver. 21.  Theft.  He was the master of the family, and knew that there was no money in the house, so that he was not guilty of rash judgment, (M.) though his wife might naturally be offended.

 

Ver. 22.  At.  Gr. "but she said: It was given to me in addition to my wages.  Yet I did not give credit to her, and I ordered her to restore it to its owners; and I blushed for her.  But she replied: Where are thy alms-deeds and thy just works?  Behold, all things are known with thee.  Then, through grief, I wept," &c. H. --- Hope in God, who nevertheless leaves us in distress.  M. --- She indirectly finds fault with Providence, which increases the grief of Tobias; or, at least, she insinuates that he must have been a hypocrite, as the friends of Job unjustly argued, from his being afflicted.  H.

 

 








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