Apart from the tumultuous Adam and Eve story in the Book of Genesis, the Book of Tobias contains more information about marriage than any other book in the Holy Bible. The book, which is also known as Tobit, has been classified by some as apocryphal.

Nevertheless, the story found its way into the Roman Catholic canon via the Septuagint and has remained there ever cince. The recent discovery of five scrolls of Tobit in both Aramaic and Hebrew among the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran has brought the book renewed attention.

The Book of Tobias is a religious folktale and a Judaicized version of the story of the grateful dead. It tells the story of how Tobit–a pious Jew exiled to Nineveh–observed the principles of Hebrew Law by giving alms and by burying the dead. In spite of his good works, Tobit was struck blind.

Tobit then sends his son Tobias on a journey. His son is accompanied by Archangel Raphael who is disguised as a human. On his journey, the son Tobias meets Sarah, who is afflicted by a demon who does not want her to marry. Raphael intervenes and dispatches the demon, finally paving the way for Tobias and Sarah to be united in matrimony.

One of the most important choices we ever make in our life is what we choose to do with it. This could refer to an array of choices: from single life to married life to religious life and even the priesthood in some cases. These are all possibilities. While these choices are of particular importance to our destiny, it is not always easy to know: “What is the right choice?”

One of the key messages in the Book of Tobit is the shared destiny of love and marriage. Marriage is the choice that is made by both Sarah and Tobias. Unlike the many empty and broken marriages that exist today, their marriage was not based on lust, vanity, materialism or status.

They chose to marry to express their love of God so that they could raise a family that was an image of the original vision that was given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

If marriage is indeed your chosen and committed destiny, then, the proper choice of the spouse will be made in alignment with the will of God and with the help and guidance of Archangel Raphael.

The Archangel Raphael and Tobias with Two Saints. Artwork by Cima da Conegliano

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