Ethnonationalism in the Book of Tobit

The Book of Tobit is considered apocryphal by Protestants, although it is recognized as part of the biblical canon by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Nonetheless, the Protestant confessions, though not recognizing the apocryphal books as canonical, consider it worthy to read “for example of life and instruction of manners,” “as far as they agree with the canonical books.” One gem I’ve recently discovered in one of the apocryphal books was an explicit messianic prophecy in the Wisdom of Solomon 2:12-21.

Tobit’s authorship dates to the fourth century BC, although the history recorded therein is of a godly Israelite man, Tobit, who lived in Nineveh during the Assyrian captivity during the seventh century BC. Tobit dedicates his life to the well-being of his own people, and caring for the poor. Tobit, when he reaches an old age, suffers from illness and his family from poverty, so he commands his son to go on a journey to the region of Media in Persia, to collect money he had deposited there. He demands that his son be accompanied by a kinsman from their tribe. God sends the angel Rafael, who presents himself as a kinsman, to accompany ...

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