Osiris and Tobias

While we're on the subject of Osiris and Tobias, let's look at the Book of Tobit contained in the Old Testament Apocrypha (along with the Book of Judith and the Additions to Esther, which we've already discussed).

For the Book of Judith see:

The Book of Tobit is the story of one Tobit son of Tobiel (Tobias). The son of Tobit is also called Tobias. It takes place in the reigns of Shalmaneser V, Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon. Tobit appears to be a common Jew from the tribe of Naphtali who was deported to Assyria by Shalmaneser V. However, he becomes a "buyer" and is required to take care of business for the king in Media. The nephew of Tobit named Ahiqar, later becomes the cupbearer of Esarhaddon. Wink, wink. In other words Tobit was closely related to the royal family.

The Book of Tobit is oozing with Osiris imagery. Tobit is especially concerned with the burial of murdered persons, righteousness, grieving, justice/judgment, mercy/forgiveness, and with the afterlife. Like in the story of Abraham, another Osiris figure, a wife is fetched from among faraway kinsmen by an angelic servant named Azariah son of Hananiah son of Shemaiah the elder. The servant of Abraham was called Eleasar. All these names, Azariah, Hananiah, and Eleasar are epithets of Osiris.

The bride is a barren and accused woman named Sarah, whose seven previous grooms had all died on the wedding night, ala the "death of the sacred king" myth associated with Osiris/Dumuzi and Isis/Ishtar. However, Sarah his healed of her murderous nature and Tobias is spared by the intervention of Azariah, who plays the role of the Archangel Raphael (i.e., Osiris). He also heals Tobit of blindness.

The name of Sarah's father is Raguel (a.k.a. Joseph), which is of course the name of Moses' father-in-law in the Torah. So Tobias son of Tobit is then typecast as a Moses-Osiris figure. Before his death, Tobit instructs Tobias and mentions a curious episode. Tobit's nephew Ahiqar (also called Manasseh) was almost killed in the plot of Haman, however on account of his piety and charity he was saved and Haman died instead. This appears to be the same as the one told in the Book of Esther with the name Ahiqar/Manasseh substituted for Mordecai.

After the death of Tobit, Tobias makes an Exodus from Ninevah, which the prophet Jonah prophesied was to be destroyed, and goes to Ecbatana, a capital city of Media-Persia and home of Sarah's family.
The Book of Tobit ends with a postscript stating that Tobias son of Tobit lived to see the destruction of Ninevah by Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus. We have here the same overlap in Assyrian, Babylonian, and Medio-Persian chronology that we saw in the Book of Judith. This chronology is also consistent with the one presented here. Specifically, Nebuchadnezzar was one and the same as Sharezer, the contemporary of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal.

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Joseph and Ahiqar