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348 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Zechariah xii. 2 : The three clauses following " Thus saith the 
Lord.'' Is this passage an interpolation by the same hand as Amos 
iv. 13 ; v. 8, 9 ; and ix. 5, 6 ? 

Is. xi. 10 : Is not this verse a gloss, explaining ver. 12 by 
reference to ver. 1 ? The last clause seems to repeat the idea of iv. 5 ; 
and the whole verse, otiose in itself, breaks the connection between 
1-9 and its sequel 11-16. 

G. H. Skipwith. 



Tobit and Genesis. 

There is a general consensus of opinion that the book of Tobit was 
written with a tendency. But 'when that has been granted, the 
unanimity between critics is ended. The prevalent view probably is 
that Tobit was intended as a recommendation of active piety, a praise 
of good works, and of reliance on the power of Providence to justify 
its ways to man. Virtue was its own reward, but God would care 
that no man was the worse here or hereafter for his virtue. The 
ingenious theory of Dr. Graetz narrowed the motive of Tobit con- 
siderably. According to his brilliant and now well-known suggestion, 
the author of Tobit wished to inculcate the special duty of burying the 
dead, even at the price of adding others to the category. No danger 
was to be shunned or feared in the furtherance of the pious occupa- 
tion of interring the dead. Professor Graetz had no difficulty in 
finding a fitting moment for the promulgation of such a book and 
such a moral. He found both amid the incidents associated in the 
reign of Hadrian with the fall of Bar Cochba and the massacre of the 
gallant defenders of Bether, who were denied even the privilege of 
interment. 

There is no doubt that the references in Tobit to the burial of the 
dead are strikingly numerous. If one is disinclined to accept Pro- 
fessor Graetz's view, how are these repeated references to be accounted 
for? 

My own reason for doubting the acceptability of Professor Graetz's 
hypothesis lies in the peculiar character of chapter iv. of Tobit. Here 
must be sought the author's intention, for the chapter contains the 
summary of his view of morality and praiseworthy conduct. The 
virtue which is chiefly lauded is charity. There is no specific counsel 
with regard to the duty of burying the dead until the 17th verse is 
reached, and the allusion is not repeated in the whole chapter. Of 
coarse it is hopeless to recover the real text of verse 17. It is 



Notes and Discussion. 349 

by no means clear that Tobit here recommends his son to address 
himself to the burial of Ihe dead. " Pour out thy bread on the burial 
of the just " is certainly the Greek reading, but the other texts differ 
so considerably that a corruption of the original is, as most authorities 
admit, more than probable. At all events, even iE the Greek text be 
accurate, the allusion seems to me too brief and casual in chapter iv., 
and the omission of even a doubtful allusion in the addresses of 
Tobit to his son in the later chapters is too marked and complete, to 
justify the supposition that the author of Tobit compiled the book in 
order to ensure the burial of the dead at a time when that duty was 
dangerous, and therefore liable to be neglected. 

Yet it must be admitted that the references to this species of piety 
are fairly frequent in Tobit, and that an explanation is called for. 
Now, every one has noted the patriarchal character of the book, how 
the whole story is planned on patriarchal lines. It is needless to 
quote the coincidences ; they are too numerous. And, naturally, as 
Genesis is the book that contains the story of the patriarchs, it was 
only to be expected that the author of the Book of Tobit should have 
consciously imitated the Book of Genesis. He has done this not only 
in style, but even in words and in whole passages. This coincidence 
has been often remarked, but I am not certain that its full import or 
extent bad been grasped. The opening of chapter vii., in which 
Tobias meets Raguel, is very closely similar to the scene described in 
Genesis when Jacob goes to Laban. So Tobit calls his son to him, and 
uses much the same terms as Jacob on a similar occasion. These are 
only one or two out of many similar identities. 

Now, the Book of Genesis is not only distinguished by its con- 
taining the patriarchal narratives. It has another peculiarity. In 
Genesis there are more references to the duty of burial of the dead than 
in any other Scriptural book. This assertion has, I think, only to be 
made in order to be seen to be true. It was, moreover, Jacob who 
summoned Joseph, and said, " If you will do unto me kindness and 
truth (n»N1 IDn), do not bury me in Egypt " (Gen. xlvii. 29). On 
this Rashi, following the Midrash Rabba, remarks, " Kindness and 
Truth : the kindness that a man shows the dead is kindness of truth, 
for the doer has no hope of reward (from the person benefited).'' 

Thus, the author of Tobit, bent on drawing a patriarchal portrait, 
turned to Genesis for a model, and introduced as one of his 
most striking traits a feature which is also patriarchal, viz., the 
importance attaching to the burial of the dead. But more than 
that, he wished to inculcate the virtue of charity. Could 
any illustration be more to the point than the virtue of bury- 
ing the dead ? It was, according to an old Jewish idea, the very 



350 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

charity of truth. There is nothing more remarkable, I think, in 
moral literature than the blending in Tobit of the doctrine, Virtue 
is its own recompense, with the doctrine, Virtue mill be surely 
rewarded. Alms do deliver from death, nd " if thon serve God, he 
will also repay thee." Yet Tobit himself, the pattern of piety, suffers 
so severely, that, like Job, he cried, " It is profitable for me to die 
rather than to live." But further, Tobit, unlike Job, does not come 
off in the end with an increment of prosperity. He simply becomes 
again as he was. He recovers his sight after eight years, but he does 
not gain any sudden or divinely-sent accession of wealth, and has 
those eight years of sorrow and tribulation, shall I say to the good or 
the bad ? The author of Tobit was indeed torn two ways. Charity 
was a virtue to be followed, whatever its results ; yet its results were 
surely profitable. And it must be confessed that this doctrine is not 
much out of accord with the full truth, so far as each of us knows it 
in his own experience. 

I think that the frequent allusions to the burial of the dead are thus 
explained. They are in the first place the result of an imitation of 
the style and contents of Genesis), in which the burial of the dead is 
so constant a factor of patriarchal piety and sensitiveness. They are, 
moreover, due to the author's conviction that charity to the dead is 
the type and acme of disinterested love, of disinterested love which 
by the strange ways of Providence, does find its reward. 

I. Abrahams. 



Asher ben Saul and the Sefer Haminhagoth. 

Herr Halberstam writes with reference to Mr. Schechter's article on 
the niJilJOn 1SD that he agrees with Mr. Schechter's identification 
of the author as R. Asher ben Saul, and not as Asher ben Meshullam, 
and that R. Jacob Nazir was the brother of the former, and not of 
the latter. Herr Halberstam adds that it is probable that R. Jacob 
ben Saul is also the R. Jacob Nazir who wrote a commentary to 
Job, quoted by Dr. Gross in Graetz's Monatsschrift , 1874, p. 173. 
Perhaps he is, indeed, one of the Fathers of Jewish Mysticism who 
taught it to the YOX"). The dates agree excellently, as R. Jacob 
was the elder brother of Asher, who always calls him ?njn TiH. 
So, p. 20 of Jewish Quarterly Review, a passage of Asher is 
quoted which has a cabbalistic colour, and this he derived either 
from TONT or from R. Jacob. Gross, ibid., p. 175, wrote that