I read the Book of Tobit for the first time in July. It was so funny to read about the wedding. I laughed after going to bed and my wife demanded to know what was so funny. I am convinced that that must have been how the story initially spread and became popular. Because the Jews were in exile and hungry to hear anything to laugh about. Anything to cheer themselves up a little.
To me, it also has a lot more in it than just the story. It adds depth to my understanding on how evil King Jeroboam was.
Tobit 4:19 is such a full and precious verse. Such prayer must be “in faith, not doubting” James 1:5-8. And it is so humbling to read “If the Lord chooses, he raises a man up; but if he should decide otherwise, he casts him down to the deepest recesses of the nether world.”
Just as the NAB introduction says, if you are familiar with the Hebrew scriptures (but not yet familiar with Tobit), Tobit is a very hard book to put down (a fascinating story). Raguel is so Jewish (like Jacob) in chapters 7-8 that it makes me laugh. Contrast 7:11 - the not quite genuine blessing “Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!” - with 8:9-10 (my paraphrase) “-- Let’s dig another grave [before daylight] just in case – We don’t want to look bad to the neighbors yet again.” I even laughed a little as my wife was trying to get to sleep last night. So much comical deceit in Tobit was needed to balance against the intense pain from so much death resulting from King Jeroboam’s corruption.