Tobit 2.3-7 – Fulfilling Prophecy, On Purpose

Tobit 2:3-7, RSV:

But he came back and said, “Father, one of our people has been strangled and thrown into the market place.” So before I tasted anything I sprang up and removed the body to a place of shelter until sunset. And when I returned I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow.

Then I remembered the prophecy of Amos, how he said,

“Your feasts shall be turned into mourning, and all your festivities into lamentation.”

And I wept. When the sun had set I went and dug a grave and buried the body.

While reading Le Donne’s work, my opinions were shaped, somewhat, into examining prophecy as a method more of understanding not the future, but either the recent past or into guiding the present. If we truly examine Matthew’s vision of prophetic fulfillment, we find that he interpreted the actions of Christ by and through interaction with the Old Testament. The Hebrew Scriptures were held up not just as a validator, however, but as the path to validation. In other words, not only were the Scriptures used to explain an event in the life of Matthew’s Jesus, but served as a guide as to what must happen next.

We find the same goal of theologizing the by the author of Tobit, or if we read this uncritically, Tobit himself. Tobit applies Amos 8.10 to himself and just as the ‘words of the prophet’ says to do, he weeps, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

4 thoughts on “Tobit 2.3-7 – Fulfilling Prophecy, On Purpose

  1. Do you really believe/accept/trust the book of Tobit? I’ve been reading through some of your other posts and I’m not sure if i get a clear view of your opinion on this book.

    1. It trust the intentions and accept that others have, and believe that it was written to address a problem with the Lost Tribes, but that is about as far as I can go. I find it valuable, but not inspired.

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