Home » Uncategorized » Book of Tobit is the “most substantial early influence” on the Book of of Job

Book of Tobit is the “most substantial early influence” on the Book of of Job

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Taken from:C.L. Seow
Job 1-21
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013.

P. 115

C. Tobit

While OG [Old Greek] has the distinction of being the first sustained reading of Job, pride of place in terms of the book’s most substantial early influence must go to the book of Tobit. …. The affinities between Tobit and Job are clear: Both are men of piety and charity (Job 1:1-5; 29:12-17; Tob 1:3; 8, 17). Both lose their possessions and otherwise suffer, but not because of their sinfulness. In fact, in the case of Tobit, suffering came precisely because he had been pious. Both are confronted by their wives (Job 2:9; Tob 2:14). Just as Job says he prefers strangulation and death and loathes his life because of his unbearable suffering (Job 7:15), so Tobit says he prefers death to the excessive distress in his life (Tob 3:6). The implicit connection to Job is made explicit in Vulg (Tob 2:12-18), where Tobit’s trial is said to have been permitted in order that an example might be set for posterity “as also of holy Job”. ….
Like Job, Tobit addresses the issue of suffering that cannot be attributed to human sin. Yet, whereas Job of the canonical Hebrew version is of uncertain ethnic origin, coming as he does from the land of Uz in the Transjordan, Tobit is clearly a Jew [actually a Naphtalian Israelite]. Tobit suffers a fate very similar to Job’s. If there is any doubt about the applicability for the Jews of the story of the suffering of the pious Job, possibly a Gentile [sic], in Tobit they must have found a Jewish counterpart to the possibly-Gentile Job. Moreover, whereas the character of God remains an open question in the book of Job, the protagonist having so vehemently raised the question of divine justice, the goodness of God is a given in Tobit. ….
AMAIC comment: The reason for the startling likeness between the books of Tobit and Job becomes abundantly clear at this site, where Tobias, son of Tobit, is actually identified with Job.

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