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Friday, June 05, 2009

Tobit And Sarah

- The Wedding Night of Tobias and Sarah by Jan Steen

I like the story of Tobit and Sarah - in their unhappiness they ask God to let it be over and instead he sends them an angel. Here's a poem I saw about them by Jennifer Whiting ....

Tobit And Sarah

This is not the old days when a drachma
gets you a guardian angel for the
two-day journey to Rages. Costs have gone up.

Blindness. Dead husbands.
The root of agony: the neighbors and the maid.

For a safe journey: ignore the whispers.
Know: I am the duplicate document,
a contract that is always being signed.

And here's a synopsis of their story from the NAB ....

Tobit, a devout and wealthy Israelite living among the captives deported to Nineveh from the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 B.C., suffers severe reverses and is finally blinded. Because of his misfortunes he begs the Lord to let him die. But recalling the large sum he had formerly deposited in far-off Media, he sends his son Tobiah there to bring back the money. In Media, at this same time, a young woman, Sarah, also prays for death, because she has lost seven husbands, each killed in turn on his wedding night by the demon Asmodeus. God hears the prayers of Tobit and Sarah, and sends the angel Raphael in disguise to aid them both.

Raphael makes the trip to Media with Tobiah. When Tobiah is attacked by a large fish as he bathes, Raphael orders him to seize it and to remove its gall, heart, and liver because they make "useful medicines." Later, at Raphael's urging, Tobiah marries Sarah, and uses the the fish's heart and liver to drive Asmodeus from the bridal chamber. Returning to Nineveh with his wife and his father's money, Tobiah rubs the fish's gall into his father's eyes and cures them. Finally, Raphael reveals his true identity and returns to heaven.


Blogger Susan said...

I'm thinking the other part of the story that's pretty remarkable is that Sarah was able to fall in love seven times. (Assuming she fell in love at all....)

Hi, Crystal! :-)

10:02 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Susan,

Did people fall in love back then? :)

11:12 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Interesting that you would think I'd know. I'm not that old! LOL

1:08 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

No, I wasn't expecting an answer based on personal experience :)

4:59 PM  

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