The Story of Tobit


Tobit's Blindness

I, Tobit, walked in the ways of truth and righteousness all the days of my life, and I did many almsdeeds to my brethren and my nation, who went with me into the land of the Assyrians, to Nineveh ... and when I became a man, I took to wife Anna of the seed of our own family, and of her I begat Tobias ... and my son came, and said, Father, one of our race is strangled, and is cast out in the marketplace ... and when the sun was set, I went and made a grave, and buried him ... And the same night I returned from burying him, and slept by the wall of my courtyard, being polluted; and my face was uncovered: and I knew not that there were sparrows in the wall; and, mine eyes being open, the sparrows muted warm dung into mine eyes, and white films came in mine eyes, and I went to the physicians, and they helped me not ...

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Anna Brings Tobit the Kid

And my wife Anna did spin in the women's chambers, and did send the work back to the owners. And they on their part paid her wages, and gave her also besides a kid. But when it came to my house, it began to cry, and I said unto her, From whence is this kid? is it stolen? render it to the owners; for it is not lawful to eat anything that is stolen. But she said, it hath been given me for a gift more than the wages. And I did not believe her, and I bade her render it to the owners; and I was abashed at her. 

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And I was grieved and wept, and prayed in sorrow, saying, O Lord, thou art righteous,  ... command my spirit to be taken from me, that I may be released, and become earth: for it is profitable for me to die rather than to live, because I have heard false reproaches, and there is much sorrow in me ... The same day it happened unto Sarah the daughter of Raguel in Ecbatana of Media, that she also was reproached by her father's maidservants; because that she had been given to seven husbands, and Asmodaeus the evil spirit slew them, before they had lain with her. ... And she prayed by the window, and said, Blessed art thou, O Lord my God ... seven husbands of mine are dead already; why should I live? ...

In that day Tobit remembered concerning the money which he had left in trust with Gabael in Rages of Media ... and he called his son, and said, My child ... now I shew thee of the ten talents of silver, which I left in trust with Gabael  ... Seek thee a man which shall go with thee, ... and go and receive the money. And he went to seek a man, and found Raphael which was an angel; and he knew it not; and he said unto him, Can I go with thee to Rages of Media? and knowest thou the places well? And the angel said unto him, I will go with thee, and I know the way well: and I have lodged with our brother Gabael. 

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And they both went forward to depart, and the young man's dog with them.

Now as they went on their journey, they came at eventide to the river Tigris, and they lodged there. But the young man went down to wash himself, and a fish leaped up out of the river, and would have swallowed up the young man. But the angel said unto him, Take hold on the fish. ... Cut the fish open, and take the heart and the liver and the gall, and put them up safely.


The Marriage of Tobias and Sarah

But when they drew nigh unto Rages, the angel said to the young man, Brother, today we shall lodge with Raguel, and he is thy kinsman, and he hath an only daughter, named Sarah. I will speak for her, that she should be given thee for a wife. ... and make thou no reckoning of the devil; for this night shall she be given thee to wife. And when thou shalt come into thy bride-chamber, thou shalt take the ashes of incense, and shalt lay upon them some of the heart and liver of the fish, and shalt make a smoke therewith, and the devil shall smell it, and flee away, and never come again any more ... And Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and took her by the hand, and gave her to be wife to Tobias ...

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Tobias Burns the Liver of the Fish

And when they had finished their supper, they brought Tobias in unto her. But as he went, he remembered the words of Raphael, and took the ashes of the incense, and put out the heart and the liver of the fish thereupon, and made a smoke therewith. But when the devil smelled the smell, he fled ...

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And Raguel kept the days of the wedding feast for them fourteen days. And before the days of the wedding were finished, Raguel sware unto Tobias, that he should not depart till the fourteen days of the wedding feast were fulfilled ... 


Tobias Returns Home and Heals Tobit's Blindness

And Tobit his father made his count every day: and when the days of the journey were expired, and they came not, he said, Is he perchance detained? ... And he was sorely grieved. But his wife said unto him, The child hath perished, seeing he tarrieth long; and she began to bewail him ... And Tobit saith unto her, Hold thy peace, take no care; for he is in good health. ... And Tobias went on his way till they drew near unto Nineveh. And Raphael said to Tobias, ... take in thy hand the gall of the fish. And they went their way, and the dog went after them. And Anna sat looking about toward the way for her son. And she espied him coming, and said to his father, Behold, thy son cometh, and the man that went with him. And Raphael said, I know, Tobias, that thy father will open his eyes. Do thou therefore anoint his eyes with the gall, and being pricked therewith, he shall rub, and shall make the white films to fall away, and he shall see thee. ... 

And Tobit went forth toward the door, and stumbled: but his son ran unto him, and took hold of his father: and he strake the gall on is father's eyes, saying, Be of good cheer, my father. But when his eyes began to smart, he rubbed them; and the white films scaled away from the corners of his eyes; and he saw his son, and fell upon his neck. And he wept, and said, Blessed art thou, O God, ... for thou didst scourge, and didst have mercy on me: behold, I see my son Tobias.

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And Tobit wrote a prayer for rejoicing, and said, Blessed is God that liveth for ever, And blessed is his kingdom, For he scourgeth, and sheweth mercy: He leadeth down to the grave, and bringeth up again ... (Apocryphal Book of Tobit)


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