Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Joy; though as yet he only took them for Israelites. (Menochius) — Greek, “And they came to the house of Raguel. But Sara met them, and saluted them, as they did her, and she introduced them into the house.”
Ver. 2. Anna. Greek and Hebrew, Edna, “pleasure.” — Cousin. Greek adds, “Tobit.” (Haydock) — It is not certain that they were cousin-germans. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. My. Greek, “our brother. But they replied: We know him. And he said: Is he well? But they answered: He is both alive and in health. And Tobias said; He is my father.”
Ver. 7. Went. Greek, “leaped up.” — A. Greek, “my good….man. And hearing that Tobit had lost his sight, he was grieved, and wept.”
Ver. 9. After. Greek, “and they gave them a cordial reception. And they slew (sacrificed) a ram of the flock, and placed much food before them,” (Haydock) to shew their regard, Genesis xviii. 6. (Calmet) — “But Tobias said, to Raphael: Brother Azarias, mention what thou saidst to me on the road, and let the affair come to perfection. And he explained the matter to Raguel. And Raguel said: Eat and drink, and be merry. It behoveth thee to have my child. Yet I will lay the truth before thee. I gave my child to seven husbands, and when they entered in to her, they died the very night. For the present, therefore, be merry. And Tobias said: I will taste nothing here, till you produce and place her before me. And Raguel said: Take care of her henceforth, according to judgment: (Haydock; or the law.; Calmet) you are brother and sister. May then the merciful God grant you the greatest prosperity. And he called Sara, his daughter, and she came to her father: then taking her by the hand, he gave her,” ver. 15. (Haydock) — St. Ambrose (Off. iii. 14.) reads in the same manner, (Calmet) and commends the candour of Raguel in disclosing the truth, though it might have prevented his daughter from marrying; (Worthington) a case where people allow themselves (Calmet) too much liberty, in concealing defects. (Haydock)
Ver. 14. Moses. It was not so much in force during the captivity, particularly as Raguel had only moveables; and therefore the seven former husbands had not been near relations. (Menochius) — It was a disgrace to refuse marrying a relation, who was an heiress, Numbers xxxvi. 6., and Ruth iv. 6. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Hand. This was the mode of confirming agreements, in Media. (Alex. Genial v. 3.) — The custom prevailed in marriages, (Lamentations v. 6., and Isaiah. lxii. 8.) as it does still among Christians. — It. Greek, “her for a wife to Tobias, and said: Behold: take care of her according to the law of Moses, and go to thy father. And he blessed them. And he called Edna, his wife, and taking a book, wrote a note, (Haydock; or contract.; Calmet) and sealed it, and they began to eat.” (Haydock) — It was almost universally the custom to have such writings, particularly where polygamy prevailed. The wives of lower condition were taken without formality. (Calmet)
Ver. 18. Chamber. Different from that where they kept the feast, and perhaps (Haydock) not the same with the nuptial chamber, which had been so unfortunate, in order that Sara might not be so much alarmed. (Calmet)
Ver. 19. Wept, at the recollection of what had happened. (Menochius)
Ver. 20. And she. Greek adds, “received the tears of her daughter; and said, have confidence, child.” — For the. Greek, “instead of this sorrow, have a good heart, daughter.” (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
They are kindly entertained by Raguel. Tobias demandeth Sara to wife.
1 And *they went into Raguel, and Raguel received them with joy.
2 And Raguel looking upon Tobias, said to Anna, his wife: How like is this young man to my cousin?
3 And when he had spoken these words, he said: Whence are ye, young men, our brethren?
4 But they said: We are of the tribe of Nephthali, of the captivity of Ninive.
5 And Raguel said to them: Do you know Tobias, my brother? And they said: We know him.
6 And when he was speaking many good things of him, the angel said to Raguel: Tobias, concerning whom thou inquirest, is this young man’s father.
7 And Raguel went to him, and kissed him with tears, and weeping upon his neck, said: A blessing be upon thee, my son, because thou art the son of a good and most virtuous man.
8 And Anna, his wife, and Sara, their daughter, wept.
9 And after they had spoken, Raguel commanded a sheep to be killed, and a feast to be prepared. And when he desired them to sit down to dinner,
10 Tobias said: I will not eat nor drink here this day, unless thou first grant me my petition, and promise to give me Sara, thy daughter.
11 Now when Raguel heard this, he was afraid, knowing what had happened to those seven husbands that went in unto her: and he began to fear, lest it might happen to him also in like manner: and as he was in suspense, and gave no answer to his petition,
12 The angel said to him: Be not afraid to give her to this man, for to him who feareth God, is thy daughter due to be his wife: therefore another could not have her.
13 Then Raguel said: I doubt not but God hath regarded my prayers and tears in his sight.
14 And I believe he hath therefore made you come to me, that this maid might be married to one of her own kindred, *according to the law of Moses: and now doubt not but I will give her to thee.
15 And taking the right hand of his daughter, he gave it into the right hand of Tobias, saying: The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, be with you, and may he join you together, and fulfil his blessing in you.
16 And taking paper, they made a writing of the marriage.
17 And afterwards they made merry, blessing God.
18 And Raguel called to him Anna, his wife, and bid her prepare another chamber.
19 And she brought Sara, her daughter, in thither, and she wept.
20 And she said to her: Be of good cheer, my daughter: the Lord of heaven give thee joy for the trouble thou hast undergone.
1: Year of the World 3299.
14: Numbers xxxvi. 6.