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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



TOBIAS 11

 

CHAPTER XI.

 

Ver. 1.  Charan.  Not the residence of Abraham.  Gen. xii. 4.  Syr. reads, "Bazri," or "Carrac."  Old Vulg. ibat Caracha, quæ est civitas in Ninive.  Arrian places Carcha in Assyria, and Ptolemy mentions a Characa in Susiana. --- Midway.  At this rate, the distance from Ninive to Ecbatana would be 22 days’ journey.  But it is not half so much for a man travelling expeditiously.  C. --- Tobias had much luggage.  Leaving it with his wife, (H.) he went from this city to Ninive in three or four days, v. 18.  C. --- Gr. "and he travelled on till he came near to Ninive.  And Raphael said," &c.

 

Ver. 3.  If.  Gr. "Let us go quickly before thy wife, and prepare the house."  H. --- This would be necessary, for the reception of so many goods, as well as to relieve the anxiety (C.) of the aged parents, and prevent surprise.

 

Ver. 4.  And.  Gr. "Take now in thy hand the gall of the fish.  And they went on.  And the dog followed close up to them; (H.  Syr. "ran before them."  C.) and Anna."

 

Ver. 6.  Cometh.  Gr. adds, "and the man who went with him."

 

Ver. 7.  To.  Gr. "I know, Tobias, that thy father will open his eyes.  Ancient, therefore, the gall upon his eyes, and feeling the smart, he will rub and remove the white specks, and shall see thee."  H. --- God.  This laudable custom was observed by the ancient solitaries, and prescribed by the rule of S. Benedict, c. 53.

 

Ver. 9.  The dog, &c.  This may seem a very minute circumstance to be recorded in sacred history; but, as we learn from our Saviour, (S. Matt. v. 18) there are iotas and tittles in the word of God, that is to say, things that appear minute, but which have indeed a deep mysterious meaning in them. Ch. --- V. Bede.  S. Jer. in Isai. lvi. 8.  S. Aug. con. Faust. xxii. 56.  W. --- The other versions relate this event, v. 4.

 

Ver. 10.  And.  After v. 7, Gr. adds, "and Anna running before, fell upon the neck of her son, and said to him, I have beheld thee, son; henceforth I may die.  And they both wept.  And Tobit went out towards the door, and he stumbled.  But his son ran up to him, and took hold of his father, and spread the gall upon his father’s eyes, saying, Have confidence, father.  But as soon as they began to smart, he rubbed his eyes, and the white specks came off like skins from the corners: and beholding his son, he fell upon his neck, and wept.  Then he said," v. 17.  H.

 

Ver. 14.  Hour.  This is not in the other versions.  C. --- It would intimate that the operation was natural. M. --- Yet some think that the cure was too instantaneous; (Drusius) or that the miracle consisted in the revelation of a remedy, till then unknown.  Serarius. --- The effect seems to have been of the same nature as that produced by the heart, &c.  C. vi. 8. W.  C. --- Estius believes that the optic nerve was entirely burnt.  If the external coat of the eyes was only covered with a sort of skin, it might be removed by the gall of several fishes.  C. --- Callionymi fel cicatrice sanat & carnes oculorum supervacuas consumit.  Pliny xxxii 4.  M.

 

Ver. 17.  Lord.  Gr. "Blessed be God, and blessed be thy name for ever, and blessed be all thy holy angels; because thou hast scourged, and hast shewn mercy, and," &c.

 

Ver. 18.  Days.  Or perhaps hours; (H.) as the other versions intimate that Sara Arrived the same day.  C. --- Gr. "And his son entered, rejoicing, and related to his father the great things which had taken place in Media.  And Tobit went out to meet his daughter-in-law, rejoicing, and blessing God, to the gate of Ninive.  And those who saw him walking were astonished, because he saw.  And Tobit confessed before them that God had taken pity on him.  And as Tobit approached to Sarra, his daughter-in-law, he blessed her, saying, Mayst thou come with safety, daughter.  Blessed be God, who has brought thee to us, and blessed be thy father and thy mother.  And there was joy among all his brethren at Ninive. And," v. 20.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  Achior.  Gr. "Achiachar," mentioned C. i. 24.  This text insinuates that he was also styled Anael (H.) and Nasbas, and was the nephew of Tobit.  Grot.  C. --- Gr. "And there came Achiachar, and Nasbas, his brother's son, and the wedding of Tobias was kept in joy for seven days."  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Joy.  Old Vulg. adds, "and many presents were made to him."

 

 








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