Tobie (NAB) 9
9 1 Then Tobiah called Raphael and said to him:2 "Brother Azariah, take along with you four servants and two camels and travel to Rages. Go to Gabael's house and give him this bond. Get the money and then bring him along with you to the wedding celebration.3 You witnessed the oath that Raguel has sworn; I cannot violate his oath."4 For you know that my father is counting the days. If I should delay my return by a single day, I would cause him intense grief.5 So Raphael, together with the four servants and two camels, traveled to Rages in Media, where they stayed at Gabael's house. Raphael gave Gabael his bond and told him about Tobit's son Tobiah, and that he had married and was inviting him to the wedding celebration. Gabael promptly checked over the sealed moneybags, and they placed them on the camels.6 The following morning they got an early start and traveled to the wedding celebration. When they entered Raguel's house, they found Tobiah reclining at table. He sprang up and greeted Gabael, who wept and blessed him, exclaiming: "O noble and good child, son of a noble and good, upright and charitable man, may the Lord grant heavenly blessing to you and to your wife, and to your wife's father and mother. Blessed be God, because I have seen the very image of my cousin Tobit!"
10 1 Meanwhile, day by day, Tobit was keeping track of the time Tobiah would need to go and to return. When the number of days was reached and his son did not appear,2 he said, "I wonder what has happened. Perhaps he has been detained there; or perhaps Gabael is dead, and there is no one to give him the money."3 And he began to worry.4 His wife Anna said, "My son has perished and is no longer among the living!" And she began to weep aloud and to wail over her son:5 "Alas, my child, light of my eyes, that I let you make this journey!"6 But Tobit kept telling her: "Hush, do not think about it, my love; he is safe! Probably they have to take care of some unexpected business there. The man who is traveling with him is trustworthy, and is one of our own kinsmen. So do not worry over him, my love. He will be here soon."
7 But she retorted, "Stop it, and do not lie to me! My child has perished!" She would go out and keep watch all day at the road her son had taken, and she ate nothing. At sunset she would go back home to wail and cry the whole night through, getting no sleep at all.Now at the end of the fourteen-day wedding celebration which Raguel had sworn to hold for his daughter, Tobiah went to him and said: "Please let me go, for I know that my father and mother do not believe they will ever see me again. So I beg you, father, let me go back to my father. I have already told you how I left him."8 Raguel said to Tobiah: "Stay, my child, stay with me. I am sending messengers to your father Tobit, and they will give him news of you."9 But Tobiah insisted, "No, I beg you to let me go back to my father."10 Raguel then promptly handed over to Tobiah Sarah his wife, together with half of all his property: male and female slaves, oxen and sheep, asses and camels, clothing, money, and household goods.11 Bidding them farewell, he let them go. He embraced Tobiah and said to him: "Good-bye, my son. Have a safe journey. May the Lord of heaven grant prosperity to you and to your wife Sarah. And may I see children of yours before I die!"12 Then he kissed his daughter Sarah and said to her: "My daughter, honor your father-in-law and your mother-in-law, because from now on they are as much your parents as the ones who brought you into the world. Go in peace, my daughter; let me hear good reports about you as long as I live." Finally he said good-bye to them and sent them away.
13 Then Edna said to Tobiah: "My child and beloved kinsman, may the Lord bring you back safely, and may I live long enough to see children of you and of my daughter Sarah before I die. Before the Lord, I entrust my daughter to your care. Never cause her grief at any time in your life. Go in peace, my child. From now on I am your mother, and Sarah is your beloved. May all of us be prosperous all the days of our lives." She kissed them both and sent them away in peace.14 When Tobiah left Raguel, he was full of happiness and joy, and he blessed the Lord of heaven and earth, the King of all, for making his journey so successful. Finally he said good-bye to Raguel and his wife Edna, and added, "May I honor you all the days of my life!"
11 1 Then they left and began their return journey. When they were near Kaserin, just before Nineveh,2 Raphael said: "You know how we left your father.3 Let us hurry on ahead of your wife to prepare the house while the rest of the party are still on the way."4 So they both went on ahead and Raphael said to Tobiah, "Have the gall in your hand!" And the dog ran along behind them.
5 Meanwhile, Anna sat watching the road by which her son was to come.6 When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father, "Tobit, your son is coming, and the man who traveled with him!"
7 Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: "I am certain that his eyes will be opened.8 Smear the fish gall on them. This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes; then your father will again be able to see the light of day."
9 Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him, and said to him, "Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!" And she sobbed aloud.10 Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate. Tobiah went up to him11 with the fish gall in his hand, and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes. "Courage, father," he said.12 Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, 13 and it made them smart. Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit's eyes, Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts. When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him14 and wept. He exclaimed, "I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!" Then he said: "Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels. May his holy name be praised throughout all the ages,15 Because it was he who scourged me, and it is he who has had mercy on me. Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!" Then Tobit went back in, rejoicing and praising God with full voice. Tobiah told his father that his journey had been a success; that he had brought back the money; and that he had married Raguel's daughter Sarah, who would arrive shortly, for she was approaching the gate of Nineveh.
16 Rejoicing and praising God, Tobit went out to the gate of Nineveh to meet his daughter-in-law. When the people of Nineveh saw him walking along briskly, with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed.17 Before them all Tobit proclaimed how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes. When Tobit reached Sarah, the wife of his son Tobiah, he greeted her: "Welcome, my daughter! Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter! Blessed are your father and your mother. Blessed is my son Tobiah, and blessed are you, daughter! Welcome to your home with blessing and joy. Come in, daughter!" That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.18 Ahiqar and his nephew Nadab also came to rejoice with Tobit. They celebrated Tobiah's wedding feast for seven happy days, and he received many gifts.
12 1 When the wedding celebaration came to an end, Tobit called his son Tobiah and said to him, "Son, see to it that you give what is due to the man who made the journey with you; give him a bonus too." 2 Tobiah said: "Father, how much shall I pay him? It would not hurt me at all to give him half of all the wealth he brought back with me.3 He led me back safe and sound; he cured my wife; he brought the money back with me; and he cured you. How much of a bonus should I give him?"4 Tobit answered, "It is only fair, son, that he should receive half of all that he brought back."5 So Tobiah called Raphael and said, "Take as your wages half of all that you have brought back, and go in peace."
6 Raphael called the two men aside privately and said to them: "Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Before all men, honor and proclaim God's deeds, and do not be slack in praising him. 7 A king's secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be declared and made known. Praise them with due honor. Do good, and evil will not find its way to you.
8 Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than abundance with wickedness. It is better to give alms than to store up gold; 9 for almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin. Those who regularly give alms shall enjoy a full life;10 but those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies. 11 "I will now tell you the whole truth; I will conceal nothing at all from you. I have already said to you, 'A king's secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be made known with due honor.'
11 12 I can now tell you that when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented and read the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and I did the same thing when you used to bury the dead. 13 When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury the dead,14 I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God commissioned me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. 15 I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord."
16 Stricken with fear, the two men fell to the ground.17 But Raphael said to them: "No need to fear; you are safe. Thank God now and forever.18 As for me, when I came to you it was not out of any favor on my part, but because it was God's will. So continue to thank him every day; praise him with song.19 Even though you watched me eat and drink. I did not really do so; what you were seeing was a vision.20 So now get up from the ground and praise God. Behold, I am about to ascend to him who sent me; write down all these things that have happened to you."21 When Raphael ascended they rose to their feet and could no longer see him.22 They kept thanking God and singing his praises; and they continued to acknowledge these marvelous deeds which he had done when the angel of God appeared to them.
13 1 Then Tobit composed this joyful prayer: Blessed be God who lives forever, because his kingdom lasts for all ages. 2 For he scourges and then has mercy; he casts down to the depths of the nether world, and he brings up from the great abyss. No one can escape his hand.3 Praise him, you Israelites, before the Gentiles, for though he has scattered you among them,4 he has shown you his greatness even there. Exalt him before every living being, because he is the Lord our God, our Father and God forever.5 He scourged you for your iniquities, but will again have mercy on you all. He will gather you from all the Gentiles among whom you have been scattered.6 When you turn back to him with all your heart, to do what is right before him, Then he will turn back to you, and no longer hide his face from you. So now consider what he has done for you, and praise him with full voice. Bless the Lord of righteousness, and exalt the King of the ages. In the land of my exile I praise him, and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation. "Turn back, you sinners! do the right before him: perhaps he may look with favor upon you and show you mercy. 7 "As for me, I exalt my God, and my spirit rejoices in the King of heaven.8 Let all men speak of his majesty, and sing his praises in Jerusalem."9 O Jerusalem, holy city, he scourged you for the works of your hands, but will again pity the children of the righteous. 10 Praise the Lord for his goodness, and bless the King of the ages, so that his tent may be rebuilt in you with joy. May he gladden within you all who were captives; all who were ravaged may he cherish within you for all generations to come.11 A bright light will shine to all parts of the earth; many nations shall come to you from afar, And the inhabitants of all the limits of the earth, drawn to you by the name of the Lord God, Bearing in their hands their gifts for the King of heaven. Every generation shall give joyful praise in you, and shall call you the chosen one, through all ages forever.12 Accursed are all who speak a harsh word against you; accursed are all who destroy you and pull down your walls, And all who overthrow your towers and set fire to your homes; but forever blessed are all those who build you up.13 Go, then, rejoice over the children of the righteous, who shall all be gathered together and shall bless the Lord of the ages.14 Happy are those who love you, and happy those who rejoice in your prosperity. Happy are all the men who shall grieve over you, over all your chastisements, For they shall rejoice in you as they behold all your joy forever.15 My spirit blesses the Lord, the great King;16 Jerusalem shall be rebuilt as his home forever. Happy for me if a remnant of my offspring survive to see your glory and to praise the King of heaven! The gates of Jerusalem shall be built with sapphire and emerald, and all your walls with precious stones. The towers of Jerusalem shall be built with gold, and their battlements with pure gold.17 The streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with rubies and stones of Ophir;18 The gates of Jerusalem shall sing hymns of gladness, and all her houses shall cry out, "Alleluia! "Blessed be God who has raised you up! may he be blessed for all ages!" For in you they shall praise his holy name forever. The end of Tobit's hymn of praise.
14 1 Tobit died peacefully at the age of a hundred and twelve, and received an honorable burial in Nineveh.2 He was sixty-two years old when he lost his eyesight, and after he recovered it he lived in prosperity, giving alms and continually blessing God and praising the divine Majesty.3 Just before he died, he called his son Tobiah and Tobiah's seven sons, and gave him this command: "Son, take your children4 and flee into Media, for I believe God's word which was spoken by Nahum against Nineveh. It shall all happen, and shall overtake Assyria and Nineveh; indeed, whatever was said by Israel's prophets, whom God commissioned, shall occur. Not one of all the oracles shall remain unfulfilled, but everything shall take place in the time appointed for it. So it will be safer in Media than in Assyria or Babylon. For I know and believe that whatever God has spoken will be accomplished. It shall happen, and not a single word of the prophecies shall prove false. "As for our kinsmen who dwell in Israel, they shall all be scattered and led away into exile from the Good Land. The entire country of Israel shall become desolate; even Samaria and Jerusalem shall become desolate! God's temple there shall be burnt to the ground and shall be desolate for a while. 5 But God will again have mercy on them and bring them back to the land of Israel. They shall rebuild the temple, but it will not be like the first one, until the era when the appointed times shall be completed. Afterward all of them shall return from their exile, and they shall rebuild Jerusalem with splendor. In her the temple of God shall also be rebuilt; yes, it will be rebuilt for all generations to come, just as the prophets of Israel said of her. 6 All the nations of the world shall be converted and shall offer God true worship; all shall abandon their idols which have deceitfully led them into error, 7 and shall bless the God of the ages in righteousness. Because all the Israelites who are to be saved in those days will truly be mindful of God, they shall be gathered together and go to Jerusalem; in security shall they dwell forever in the land of Abraham, which will be given over to them. Those who sincerely love God shall rejoice, but those who become guilty of sin shall completely disappear from the land.
8 "Now, as for you, my son, depart from Nineveh; do not remain here.
9 "Now, children, I give you this command: serve God faithfully and do what is right before him; you must tell your children to do what is upright and to give alms, to be mindful of God and at all times to bless his name sincerely and with all their strength.10 The day you bury your mother next to me, do not even stay overnight within the confines of the city. For I see that people here shamelessly commit all sorts of wickedness and treachery. Think, my son, of all that Nadab did to Ahiqar, the very one who brought him up: Ahiqar went down alive into the earth! Yet God made Nadab's disgraceful crime rebound against him. Ahiqar came out again into the light, but Nadab went into the everlasting darkness, for he had tried to kill Ahiqar. Because Ahiqar had given alms to me, he escaped from the deadly trap Nadab had set for him. But Nadab himself fell into the deadly trap, and it destroyed him.
11 So, my children, note well what almsgiving does, and also what wickedness does--it kills! But now my spirit is about to leave me."
12 They placed him on his bed and he died; and he received an honorable burial. When Tobiah's mother died, he buried her next to his father. He then departed with his wife and children for Media, where he settled in Ecbatana with his father-in-law Raguel.
13 He took respectful care of his aging father-in-law and mother-in-law; and he buried them at Ecbatana in Media. Then he inherited Raguel's estate as well as that of his father Tobit.
14 He died at the venerable age of a hundred and seventeen.
15 But before he died, he heard of the destruction of Nineveh and saw its effects. He witnessed the exile of the city's inhabitants when Cyaxares, king of Media, led them captive into Media. Tobiah praised God for all that he had done against the citizens of Nineveh and Assyria. Before dying he rejoiced over Nineveh's destruction, and he blessed the Lord God forever and ever. Amen.
Tobie (NAB) 9