In Arthur Miller's play The Crucible, Puritan John Proctor says the following:

Now remember what the angel Raphael said to the boy Tobias […] “Do that which is good, and no harm will come to thee.”

To my knowledge, an encounter between an angel named Raphael and a boy named Tobias is not in the Bible. Does it have its origin in some other Christian literature? And if so, does this phrase appear?

1 Answer 1


This is a quote from the Book of Tobit, which is recognized as part of the deuterocanon by the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox churches. The book tells of a father, Tobit, and his son, Tobias or Tobiah. Tobias is led by the angel Raphael to find a wife, and returns with medicine to cure his father's blindness. As Raphael prepares to go, he reveals that he is an angel, but before he does so, he gives them advice, including this sentence:

Do good, and evil will not overtake you.

Tobit 12:7b (New American Bible, Revised Edition)

Arthur Miller was Jewish, and the Book of Tobit may have been familiar to him, though it is not in the current Jewish canon. Puritans may also have been familiar with the book, though they follow the common 66-book Old Testament canon used by most Protestants.

  • "the current Jewish canon" What is that? (Modern-day Judaism is a completely different religion from that of the Old Testament.)
    – Geremia
    May 16, 2018 at 4:44
  • @Geremia I'm aware of that. I mean the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible which Arthur Miller would have routinely used. May 16, 2018 at 10:13

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