- Both names, Tobit and Tobias (sometimes written Tobiah), mean “Yahweh is my good.”
- Tobit was the son of Tobiel, which also means “Yahweh is my good.”
- He was a native of Thisbe in Naphtali. Their land allotment lay NW of the Sea of Galilee. After the division of David’s kingdom, Naphtali was one of the northern tribes.
- Tobit lamented the split, but that concern paled in contrast to his sadness over the people’s refusal to worship in the temple in Jerusalem.
- Jeroboam, the king of the northern kingdom, had set up “golden calves” at Dan (in the north) and Bethel (in the south) to make it easier for northern citizens not to have to go to Jerusalem. Most were taking full advantage of that. Tobit, however, continued to make the trek to Jerusalem to worship.
- He claimed he was the only one who did so. He obviously felt very isolated from his countrymen, though occasionally he took his wife and relatives with him.
- Tobit offered sacrifices and gave alms to the temple, the priests, and the poor.
- When it was time for him to marry, he took a wife from his tribe.
- His wife’s name was Hannah, which means “Grace.”