After the reign of Solomon, the twelve tribes divided into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah the south. Then
Assyria came and conquered the northern kingdom and scattered its ten tribes to the winds.
Among those carried off into exile were Tobit, his wife Hannah, and their only son Tobias. They came to the city of Nineveh
and settled there among their exiled countrymen. Although he was now living among strangers with foreign ways, Tobit did
not forsake the God of Israel or the Torah, but continued to live righteously. He gave generously to the poor, acted justly,
and did not bow down to foreign gods. And whenever he saw the abandoned corpse of a Jew lying in the street, he himself
would bury it.
Once Tobit traveled to the city of Ragae in Persia, now called Teheran, where he meet a poor merchant. He lent the men a
considerable sum of money, and the man promised to repay him some day.
Then the king of Assyria died, and his son Sennaherib came to the throne. Sennaherib hated the Jews, for they had
shamefully defeated him in Jerusalem, and he ordered many Jews executed. Against the king's orders, Tobit buried the
bodies. Then Sennaherib ordered Tobit killed and his property confiscated. Tobit fled from the king's wrath and hid himself
among his kinsmen.
But a new misfortune soon struck Tobit. One day as he gazed into the sky, a bird's droppings fell into his eyes, and he
became blind. Always a faithful man, he did not curse God but instead prayed for his own death.
At the same time, in the distant city of Ecbatana in Persia, a young kinswoman of Tobit's named Sara was also praying for
death. For she had married seven husbands, one after the other, and all seven had died on their wedding night at the
hands of Asmodeus, King of the Demons. So she too longed to die to escape her shame.
Now that he could no longer support himself because he was blind, Tobit decided to send his son Tobias to Ragae to
reclaim the loan he had made long ago. He instructed Tobias to find a trustworthy guide to accompany him. Tobias went to
the marketplace and hired a man named Azariah, who was really the angel Raphael in disguise.
When the two reached the Tigris River, Tobias stopped to wash. As he knelt on the bank, a great fish suddenly leapt out of
the water and frightened him. Raphael told Tobias to seize the fish by the fins, kills it, and take out its heart, liver and
gallbladder. He revealed to Tobias that burning the heart and liver would drive away evil spirits and that the gallbladder
could cure blindness. So Tobias salted the organs and wrapped them safely for the journey.
Next they journeyed to Ecbatana, where Tobias' kinsmen lived. Along the way, Raphael urged Tobias to marry Sarah, since
he was her only eligible kinsman. Tobias, however, feared that he would meet the same fate as all her other husbands. But
his companion assured him that the fish's heart and liver would protect him. So reluctantly, he agreed to do what his
That night after the wedding ceremony, Sarah's father dug a new grave beside the seven other graves behind their house,
certain that he would be laying the body of his daughter's latest bridegroom there the next morning. Then he and his wife
went to bed with heavy hearts.
When the newly married couple went into their bedroom that night, Tobias unwrapped the fish's heart and liver and laid the
upon the hot coals in the fireplace. Then Asmodeus appeared, his great wings stirring up a whirlwind in the room and his
hairy body reeking of the grave. But when Tobias fanned the bitter smoke toward him, he fled shrieking from the room.
The next morning the couple emerged whole and smiling from their room. When Sarah's parents saw them, they rejoiced
and feasted with them for the next fourteen days. During this time, Raphael traveled to Ragae and returned with the sum of
money owed to Tobit. Then Sarah's father gave the newlyweds half of his property and promised them the other half upon
his death. Then they started home for Nineveh.
As they approached Tobit's house, Tobias saw his blind old father stumbling toward them in the road. Tobias ran forward and
anointed his father's eyes with the fish's gallbladder, and Tobit regained his sight. He embraced his son and his new bride and
welcomed them joyously into his home.
When Tobias told his father how Azariah had helped him on his journey and had cured Tobit's blindness, Tobit sent for the
guide to reward him. But when he stood before him, Raphael revealed to them who he really was and then suddenly vanished
Tobit lived to a very old age, performing many deeds of charity and goodness. Before he died, he warned Tobias and Sarah
that Nineveh would one day be destroyed, as Jonah had prophesied. And when Tobit died, they moved to Ecbatana with their
children and inherited Sarah's parents' estate.
In their old age, Sarah and Tobias received word that mighty Nineveh had fallen. And they were very pleased indeed.
Written about 300 B.C.
Tobit dealt with being "unclean" as he dug graves for
his fellow Jews who had died.
Ironically, as with JONAH, a giant fish saved him, and
dealt with living in NINEVEH (a place Jonah really
didn't care to go to).
The difference between Tobit and Jonah was that
Tobit felt it was his duty to take care of his fellow
dead, and Jonah thought that the people of Nineveh
should "get what was coming to them". Tobit was
humble, Jonah wasn't.
Raphael saved Tobit's eyes from blindness using the
innards of a large fish that was going to attack Tobias
his son, while on a good journey.
God saved Jonah with a large fish in order to get him
to carry on with his journey.
Jesus, as well, dealt with many fish, and made his
Apostle's "fisher's of men".
Only in the Book of Daniel are the exact names of
angel's given: Gabriel and Michael. (In all other
books, the word's "angel" is only given--no names).
Tobit is part of the apocrypha, so while Raphael's
name is mentioned, it's not "considered" to be a valid
chapter of the Bible.
THE LIVER, HEART, GALLBLADDER AND THE
In the OT, God gave instructions for the Levite priests
on what to "burn for God" as God liked the smoke of
In essence, these parts were not ONLY the fat (which
is bad for you), but the liver and kidney's as well. God
knew that these were NOT good for one to eat, thus
he wanted these portions to be burned for him. The
liver and the kidney's are FILTERS in the body, that
"filters" all the "unclean" things.
Also, God "hardened" Pharoah's "heart" many times
during the books of Moses.
The Egyptian's thought very little of the brain, and
considered the heart to be the seat of knowledge and
So when Tobias burns the liver (getting rid of the
"unclean") and the heart (to not be "stubborn") he is
in essence getting "rid" of the evil.
There was an evil demon "attacking" the SEVEN
husbands of Sarah (Tobias's wife) killing them. This
demon killed the husbands of the
seven-times-widowed woman out of jealousy, is more
reminiscent of Babylonian myths.
In a way, Tobias was performing an exorcism. (later on
he would perform a "healing" to cure his father's
2. As he went towards her, he remembered (the
angel) Raphael's words and took some incense
ashes and placed upon them the heart of the fish
and the liver and created smoke. 3. and as the
demon perceived the smell of the fumes, he fled to
the uppermost parts of Egypt and the angel then
Keep in mind, that only lying spirits are evil, and only
do wicked things. Raphael did good things.
Since 1000 B.C. or more, the Chinese have been
treating diseases of the eye with fish bile. Bile for the
gallbladder is made in the liver.
8. And he replied: 'the heart and the liver, if one is troubled by a demon or an evil
spirit, one must burn them before a man or a woman, and they shall no longer be
troubled by them. 9. As for the bile, it is for anointing a person who has white specks
in his eyes, and he shall be healed.'