The story of Tobit's suffering and reward, presented by the Book of Tobit, is well-known. However, commentators have difficulty in explaining Tobit' accusations against his wife of stealing a kid, given to her as a gift by the employers for whom she did some weaving (Tob 2:11—14). The article shows that the sharp reaction and the despair of Tobit in relation to this gift are explained by his unspoken suspicion of her infidelity. This underlying attitude is indicated by the nature of the gift — a kid: a clear allusion to the biblical story of Judah and Tamar, where a kid is the harlot's pay (Gen 38:17—20). It is shown that already in Job 31:10, such misconduct is associated with Job's wife, and more explicitly in the midrashic addition found in the Septuagint to Job 2:9. A similar motif is also reflected by the Testament of Job (24:9), a first-century BCE Jewish reworking of the book of Job, well-known for its use of the Septuagint version for this biblical book. Yet despite the clear affinity between the Book of Tobit and the Septuagint translation of Job, Tobit's version can hardly depend on this Greek translation, since Tobit was probably composed in Aramaic between 300—200 BCE, whereas the Greek translation to Job was authored during the second century BCE. The Book of Tobit must reflect an early stage of the legend of Job rather than a translation of Job.
|שנתון לחקר המקרא והמזרח הקדום
|Published - 2007