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The Book of Tobiah

“Jehovah is good”


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Chapter 1

      Tobiah was of the tribe and city of Nephtali, which lyeth in the high countries of Galilee above Naason the way toward the west, having the city of Sephet upon the left side.
      Though he was taken prisoner in the days of Salmanasar king of the Assirians, nevertheless being in captivity, he forsook not the way of the truth: In so much that whatsoever he might get, he parted it daily with his fellow prisoners, and brethren, that were of his kindred. And although he were younger than all in the tribe of Nephtali, yet did not he behave himself childishly in his works. And when all the other went to the golden calves, which Jeroboam the king of Israel had made, he himself alone fled all their companies, and gat him to Jerusalem unto the temple of the Lord, and there worshipped the Lord God of Israel, faithfully offering of all his first fruits and tithes, so that in the third year he ministered all the tithes unto the strangers and converts. These and such like things did he according to the law of God, when he was but young.
      But when he was a man, he took out of his own tribe a wife called Anna, and of her he begat a son, whom he called after his own name, and taught him from his youth up, to fear God, and to refrain from all sin.
      Now when he with his wife, his son and with all his kindred was come in captivity unto Nineve, what time as they all are of the meats of the Heathen, he kept his soul, and was never defiled in their meats. And for so much as he was mindful of the Lord in all his heart, God gave him favor in the presence of Salmanasar the king, which gave him power to go where he would, and so had he liberty to do what him list.
      So went Tobiah unto all them that were in prison, and comforted them, and gave them wholesome exhortations. And when he came unto Rades a city of the Medes, having ten talent of silver ( of the things wherewith the king had honoured him ) and saw among a great company of people of his kindred, one called Gabelus (which was of his own tribe ) being in necessity, he gave him the said weight of silver under an handwriting.
      After an long season when Salmanasar the king was dead, and Sennaherib his son reigned in his stead, which hated the children of Israel. Tobiah went daily throughout all his kindred, and comforted them, and gave of his goods to every one of them, as much as he might: he fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and buried the dead and slain, and that diligently.
      And when Sennaherib the king came again and fled out of Jewry ( what time as God punished him for his blasphemy ) and in his wrath slew many of the children of Israel Tobiah buried their bodies. But when it was told the king, he commanded to slay him, and took away all his goods. Nevertheless Tobiah with his son and with his wife fled his way, and was hide naked, for there were many that loved him. But after fourteen days the king was slain of his own sons. Then came Tobiah again to his house, and all his goods restored unto him.




Chapter 2

      After these things upon a solemn day of the Lord Tobiah made a good feast in his house, and said unto his son: Go thy way and bring hither some of our tribe, such as fear God, that they may make merry with us. And when he was gone, he came again, and told his father, that one of the children of Israel lay slain upon the street. And immediately he leapt from his table, left the feast, came fasting to the dead corpse, took him and bear him privately into his house, that when the Sun was down, he might safely bury him. And when he had hid the corpse, he ate his meat with mourning and fear, remembering the words, that the Lord sayeth by the prophet Amos: your feasts shall be turned to sorrow and heaviness.
      But when the Sun was down, he went his way and buried him. Then all his neighbors reproved him, saying: It is not long, since it was commanded to slay thee because of this matter, and hast scarce escaped the danger of death, and buriest thou the dead again? Nevertheless Tobiah fearing God more than the king, took the bodies of the slain, hid them in his house, and buried them at midnight.
      It happened upon a day, that he had buried the dead, and was weary, came home, and layed him down by the wall and slept. And while he was asleep, there fell down upon his eyes warm dong out of the swallows nest, so that he was blind. This temptation did God suffer to happen upon him, that they which came after, might have an example of his patience, like as of holy Job. For in so much as he ever feared God from his youth up, and kept his commandments, he was not heavy against God, that the plague of blindness chanced unto him, but remained steadfast in the fear of God, and thanked God all the days of his life.
      For like as blessed Job was had in derision of kings, even so was he laughed to scorn of his elders and kinfolks, which said unto him: where is thy hope, for the which thou hast done alms and buried the dead? But Tobiah rebuked them, and spake: Say not so, for we are the children of holy men, and look for life, which God shall give unto them, that never turn their believe from him. Anna his wife went daily to the weaving work, and took what living she could get with the labor of her hands, she brought it. And it happened that she took a kid and brought it home.
      And when her husband heard it cry, he said: look that it be not stolen, restore it again to the owners: for it is not lawful for us, to eat or touch anything of theft. Then was his wife angry, and said : Now is thy hope become vain openly, and thy all miss deeds are manifest. With these and such like words did she cast him in the teeth.




Chapter 3

      Then Tobiah took it heavily, and with tears began to make his prayer saying: O' Lord, thou art righteous, and all thy judgements are true, yee all thy ways are mercy, faithfulness and judgement. And now O' Lord be mindful of me, take no vengeance of my sins, neither remember my misdeeds, neither the misdeeds of my elders. For we have not been obedient unto thy commandments, therefore are we spoiled, brought in to captivity, and unto death, into derision and shame unto all nations, among whom thou hast scattered us. And now O' Lord, thy judgments are great, for we have not done according to thy commandments, neither have we walked innocently before thee. And now O' Lord, deal with me according to thy will, and command my spirit to be received in peace, for more expedient were it for me to die, then to live.
      At the same time it happened, that Sara the daughter of Raguel at Rages a city of the medes was *sclandered of one of her fathers handmaids, namely that she should have had seven husbands, which as soon as they were gone in unto her, were slain of the devil called Asmodeus. Therefore when she reproved the maiden for her fault, she answered her saying: God let us never see son ner daughter of the more upon the earth, thou killer of husbands. Wilt thou slay me also, as thou hast slain seven men? At this voice went Sara in to an high chamber of her house, three days and three nights she neither ate ner drank, but continued in prayer, and besought God with tears, that he would deliver her from this rebuke.
      Upon the third day it chanced, that when she had made an end of her prayer, she prayed the Lord saying: Blessed be thy name O' God of our fathers, which when thou art wroth, showest mercy, and in the time of trouble thou forgivest the sins of them, that call upon thee. Unto thee O' Lord turn I my face, unto thee lift I up mine eyes. I beseech thee O' Lord, loose me out of the bonds of this rebuke, or else take me utterly away from the earth. Thou knowest Lord, that I never had desire unto man, and that I have kept my soul clean from all uncleanly lust. I have not kept company with those that pass their time in sport, neither have I made myself partaker with them that walk in light behavior. Nevertheless an husband have I consented to take, not for my pleasure, but in thy fear.
      Now peradventure either I have been unworthy of them, or else were they unmete for me, for thou happily hast kept me to another husband. For why? thy counsel is not in the power of man. But whosoever loveth thee and serveth thee aright, is sure, that if his life be tempted and proved, it standeth in the trying: and if he endure in patience, he shall have a reward and be highly crowned: And if he be in trouble, that God ( no doubt ) shall deliver him: And if his life be in chastening, that he shall have leave to come unto mercy.
      For thou hast no pleasure in our damnation: And why? after a storm thou makest the weather fair and still: after weeping and heaviness thou givest great joy. Thy name O' God of Israel, be praised for ever. At the same time were both their prayers heard in the sight of the majesty of the Highest God. And Raphael the holy Angel of the Lord was sent to help them both, whose prayers came together before God.


*sclandered (scandal / slander)




Chapter 4

      So when Tobiah thought his prayer to be heard, that he might die, he called unto him his son Tobiah, and said unto him: My son, hear the words of my mouth, and lay them in thy heart as a foundation. When God taketh away my soul, bury thou my body, and hold thy mother in honor all the days of her life. For thou oughtest to remember, what and how great perils she suffered for thee in her womb. And when she also hath fulfilled the time of her life, bury her beside me. Have God in thy thought all the days of thy life, and beware, lest anytime thou consent unto sin, and lest thou let slip the commandments of the Lord our God.
      Give alms of thy goods, and turn never thy face from the poor: and so it shall come to pass, that the face of the Lord shall not be turned away from thee. Be merciful after thy power. If thou hast much, give plentiously: if thou hast little, do thy diligence, gladly to give of that little. For so thou gatherest thou thy self a good reward in the day of necessity. For alms delivereth from death, and suffereth not the soul to come into darkness. And great comfort is alms before the high God, unto all them that do it.
      My son, keep thee well from all whoredom, and ( beside thy wife ) see that no fault be known of thee. Let never pride have rule in thy mind ner in thy word, for in pride began all destruction.
      Whosoever worketh anything for thee, immediately give him his hire, and look that thy hired servant wages remain not by thee overnight. Look that thou never do unto another man, the thing that thou wouldest not another man should do unto thee. Eat thy bread with the hungry and poor, and cover the naked with thy clothes. Set thy bread and wine upon the burial of the righteous, and do not thou eat and drink thereof with the sinners. Ask ever the counsel at the wise.
      Be alway thankful to God, and beseech him, that he will order thy ways, and that whatsoever thou devisest or takest in hand, it may remain in him. I certify thee also my son, that ( when thou wast yet but a babe ) I delivered ten talents of silver unto Gabelus, at Rages a city of the Medes, and his handwriting have I by me. And therefore seek some means, how thou mayest come by him, and receive of him that said weight of silver, and give him his handwriting again.
      My son, be not afraid: truth it is, we lead here a poor life: but great good shall we have, if we fear God, and depart from all sin, and do well.




Chapter 5

      Then answered Tobiah his father, and said: father, all that thou hast commanded me, will I do, and that diligently. But how I shall require this money, I can not tell. Neither doth he know me, ner I him. What token shall I give him? And as for the way thither, I never knew it. Then his father answered him, and said: I have his hand writing by me, which when thou showest him, immediately he shall pay thee. But go thy way now, and get thee some faithful man to go with thee for hire, that thou may receive the money, while I am yet living.
      Then went Tobiah out, and upon the street he found a fair young man standing, girded up, and as it were one ready to take his journey. And he knew not that it was an angel of God, but saluted him, and said: From whence art thou, thou good young man? He answered the children of Israel.
      And Tobiah said unto him: knowest thou the way, that leadeth unto the country of the Medes ? He answered: I knowest it well, and all those streets have I gone often times, and have lodged with our brother Gabelus, that dwelleth in Rages a city of the Medes, which lieth upon the mount Egabthanis. Tobiah said unto him: I pray thee, tarry for me, till I have told my father these things. Then went Tobiah in, and told his father all. At the which is (his ) father marveled, and prayed that he would come unto him.
      Now when the angel came in, he saluted him, and said: Joy be with thee for evermore. And old Tobiah said: what joy can I have that sit here in darkness, and see not the light of heaven ? The young man said unto him: Be of good cheer, God shall help thee shortly. And Tobiah said unto him: Canest thou bring my son to Gabelius, unto the city of Rages in Medea ? And when thou comest again, I shall pay thee thy hire. And the Angel said unto him: I shall lead thy son, and bring him to thee again. Then Tobiah answered him: tell me I pray thee, of what house, or of what tribe art thou ? The angel Raphael said unto him: Asketh thou after the kindred of an hireling, or seekest thou a guide for thy son to go with him? But that I make thee not careful, I am Azarias the son of great Hananias. And Tobiah answered: thou art come of a great kindred: but I pray thee, be not displeased, that I desired to know thy kindred. The Angel said unto him: thy son shall I lead forth safely, and bring him whole to thee again.
      Then answered Tobiah, and said: well, go on your way, and God be in your journey, and his Angel bear you company. So when they had prepared all things, that they would take with them in their journey: Tobiah bid his father and his mother fare well, and they went on their way both together. Now when they were gone, his mother began to weep, and said: The staff of our age thou hast taken away, and sent him from us.
      Would God that money had never been, for the which thou hast sent him away. If we had been content with our poverty, this had been great riches to us, that we saw our son her. Then said Tobiah unto her: weep not, our son shall come to us again safe and sound, and thine eyes shall see him. For I trust, that the good Angel of God shall bear him company, and order well all the things that he doth: so that he shall come to us again with joy. At these words his mother left from weeping, and held her tongue.




Chapter 6

      So Tobiah went on his way, and a dog followed him, and the first night they abode by the water of the Tigris. Then went he out to wash his feet, and behold, there came forth an horrible fish to devour him. Of whom Tobiah was afraid, and cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, he cometh upon me. And the Angel said unto him: Take him by the cheek blade, and draw him to thee. And he did so, and drew him upon the land. And the fish began to leap at his feet.
      Then said the Angel unto him: Take out the bowels of this fish, and as for the heart, the gall and the liver, keep them by thee. For these things are necessary and good for medicine. Tobiah did so, and roasted the fish, and they took him with them in their journey: the residue they salted, as much as was sufficient for them, till they come to Rages. Then Tobiah asked the Angel, and said unto him: I pray thee brother Azarias, tell me, where to are these things good of the fish, that thou hast bidden me keep ?
      The Angel answered him and said: If thou layest a piece of the heart upon the coals, the smoke thereof driveth away all manner of evil spirits, whether it be from man or from woman, so that from thenceforth the same shall come no more unto thee. The gall is good to anoint or to streak the eyes withal, where as there is any blemish in them, so shall they be whole.
      And Tobiah said unto him: where wilt thou that we remain ? The Angel answered and said: Here is a nye kinsman of thine, one Raguell by name, which hath a daughter called Sara, and hath neither son ner daughter but her. All his good belongeth unto thee, and thou must marry his daughter: and therefore desire her of her father, and he shall give her thee to wife. Then answered Tobiah and said: As I understand, she hath been married unto seven husbands, and they all are dead: and I have heard say, that the devil slew them. I am afraid therefore, lest such things happen unto me also: which if it came to pass ( seeing I am the only son of my father and my mother ) I should bring them in their age with sorrow to their graves.
      Then said the Angel Raphael unto him: Hear me, and I will tell thee what they be of whom the devil hath power. Namely, they that receive marriage of such fashion, that they shut God out from them and from their heart, and give themselves to their own lust, even as it were an horse and Mule, which have no understanding: upon such hath the devil power. But when thou takest her, and art come into the chamber, withhold thyself from her three days, and give thee diligence unto nothing but unto prayer with her.
      And in the first night roast the liver of the fish, and the devil shall be driven away. The second night shalt thou be received into the company of the holy patriarchs. The third night shalt thou obtain the blessings of God, so that whole children shall be born unto you. After the third night take the maiden in the fear of God, and more for the desire of children, then for any fleshly lust: that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain the blessing in children.




Chapter 7

      Then went they in to Raguell, which received them joyfully. And when Raguell looked upon Tobiah, he said unto Anna his wife: How like is this young man unto my sisters son. And when he had spoken this, he said: whence be ye good brethren? They said: Of the tribe of Nephthali, out of the captivity of Nineve. Then said Raguell unto them: Know ye my brother Tobiah? They said: Yee, we know him well. And when he had spoken much good of him, the Angel said unto Raguell: Tobiah of whom thou asketh, is this young mans father. Then Raguell bowed himself down, and wept, took him about the neck and kissed him, and said: Gods blessing have thou my son, for thou art the son of a good virtuous man. And Anna his wife and Sara his daughter wept also.
      Now when they had walked together, Raguell bad kill a *wether and to make a feast. And when he prayed them to sit down to dinner, Tobiah said: I will neither eat ner drink here this day, except thou first grant me my petition, and promise me to give me thy daughter Sara. When Raguell heard this, he was astonished, for he knew, what had happened unto the other seven men, that went in unto her: and he began to fear that it should chance unto him also in like manner.
      And while he stood so in doubt, and gave the young man no answer, the angel said unto him: Fear not to give him thy daughter, for unto this man that feareth God, belongeth thy daughter to wife, therefore might none other have her.
      Then said Raguel: I doubt not, but God hath accepted my prayers and tears in his sight: and I trust he caused you to come unto me for the same intent, that this daughter of mine might be married in her own kindred, according to the law of Moses. And now doubt thou not, but I will give her unto thee: So he took the right hand of his daughter, and gave her into the right hand of Tobiah, and said: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob be with you, join you together, and fulfill his blessing in you. And they took a letter and made a writing of the marriage. And then made they merry, and praised God. And Raguell called Anna his wife unto him, and bad her prepare another chamber, and thither he brought Sara his daughter, and she wept. Then said he unto her: Be of good cheer my daughter, the Lord of heaven give thee joy, for the heaviness that thou hast suffered.


*wether ( castrated male sheep)




Chapter 8

      Now after that they had supped, they brought the young man in to her. Then thought Tobiah upon the words of the angel, and took out of his bag a piece of the liver of the fish, and layed it upon the hot coals. So the angel Raphael took hold of the devil, and sent him away, and bound him in the wilderness of higher Egypt. Then spake Tobiah unto the virgin, and said: Up Sara, let us make our prayer unto God to day, tomorrow, and over tomorrow: for these three nights will we reconcile ourselves with God: and when the third holy night is past, we shall join together in the duty of marriage. For we are the children of holy men, and we may not come together as the Heathen, that know not God.
      Then stood they up both together, and besought God earnestly, that he would preserve them. And Tobiah said: O' Lord God of our fathers, praised be thou of heaven and earth, of the sea, wells, and floods, and all of the creatures therin. Thou madest Adam of the mould of the earth, and gavest him Eva for an helper. And now Lord thou knowest that it is not because of voluptuousness, that I take this sister of mine to wife, but only for the love of children, in whom thy name be blessed for ever. And Sara said: have mercy on us ( O' Lord ) have mercy on us, and let us both come whole and sound to a good age.
      And about the cock crow it happened, the Raguel called his servants, and they went with him, to make a grave. For he said: it is chanced unto him peradventure, as it did unto the other seven men, that went in unto her. Now when they had made the grave, Raguel came again to his wife, and said unto her: send one of thy maidens, to look if he be dead, that I might bury him afore it be light day. So she sent a maiden to see, which when she came into the chamber, she found them whole and sound, sleeping together. And so she came again, and brought good tidings. Then Raguel and Anna his wife praised the Lord, and said: Praised be thou O' Lord God of Israel, for it is not happened unto us, as we thought. For thou hast dealt mercifully with us, and put away from us the enemy that persecuted us, and hast showed mercy unto yonder two beloved. O' Lord, cause them to magnify thee more perfectly and to offer thee sacrifice of thy praise, and of their health: that all people may know, that thou only art God in all the earth.
      And immediately Raguel, commanded his servants, to fill the grave, that they had made, with earth, afore it was light: and bade his wife prepare a feast, and to make ready all things that were necessary for meat, to such as went by the way. He caused two fat *kine also, and four *wethers to be slain, and meats to be prepared for all his neighbors and friends. And Raguel charged Tobiah, to remain with him two weeks. As for all the good that he had, he gave Tobiah the one half of it, and made this writing, that the half which remained, should fall unto Tobiah after their death.


*kine (cow, heifer) *wethers (castrated male sheep)




Chapter 9

      Then Tobiah called unto him the Angel, whom he thought to have been a man, and said unto him. Brother Azarias, I pray thee harken unto my words: If I should give my self to be thy servant, I shall not deserve thy providence. Nevertheless I beseech thee that thou wilt take the beasts and the servants, and go unto Gabelus in Rages the city of Medes, and deliver him his handwriting, and receive the money of him, and pray him to come unto my marriage. For thou knowest thy self that my father telleth the days: and if I tarry one day to long, he will be sorry in his mind. Now see it (seit) thou how earnestly Raguel hath required of me, so that I can not say him nay.
      The took Raphael four of Raguels servants, and two Camels, and went unto Rages the city of the Medes: and when he had found Gabelius, he gave him his handwriting, and received all the money. He told him also of Tobiah the son of Tobi, how all things had happened, and caused him to come with him to the marriage. Now when he came into the house of Raguel, he found Tobiah sitting at the table: and he leapt up, and they kissed one another, and Gabel wept, and praised God, and said: the blessings of the God of Israel have you, for thou art the son of a right virtuous and just man, and of one that feareth God, and giveth great alms. And blessing have thy wife, and your elders, that ye may see your children and your childrens children, unto the third and fourth generation, and that your seed may be blessed of the God of Israel, which reigneth world without end. And they all said Amen, they went to the feast, but with the fear of the Lord held they the feast of the marriage.




Chapter 10

      Now while young Tobiah made long tarrying, by reason of the marriage, his father was full of care and heaviness, and thought: what should be the cause, that my son tarryeth so long ? Or why should he be kept so long there ? Peradventure Gabelus is dead, and no man will give him the money. Thus began he to be very sorrowful, he and Anna his wife with him, and began to weep both together, because their son was not come home again unto them at the day appointed. As for his mother, she wept with discomfortable tears, and said: Woe is me, my son: Oh what ailed us to send thee away into a strange country, thou light of our eyes, thou staff of our age, thou comfort of our life, thou hope of our generation ? Seeing all the things that we have are only in thee, we should not have sent thee away from us.
      Then Tobiah comforted her, and said: hold thy tongue, and be not discomforted, our son is whole and sound: the man that we sent him withal, is faithful enough. Nevertheless she might no wise be comforted: but daily went out, looked about, and went about all the streets, whereby she thought he should come again: that ( if it were possible ) she might see him coming afar off.
      But Raguel said unto his son in law: O' tarry here, and I shall send a messenger unto thy father Tobiah, to tell him that thou art in good health. Tobiah said unto him: I am sure, that my father and my mother count every day, and that their hearts are sorry.
      So when Raguel prayed Tobiah with many words, and would in no wise hear him, he delivered Sara unto him, and the half part of all his good: in servants and handmaidens, in sheep, in Camels, and in *kine, and much money, and sent him away from him with peace and joy, and said: The holy angel of the Lord be with you in your journey, and bring you forth safe and sound, that ye may find all things in good case with your elders, and that mine eyes may see your children afore I die. So the elders embraced their daughter, kissed her, and let her go, exhorting her to honor her father and mother in law, to love her husband, to rule well her household, to keep her house in good order, and to show herself faultless.


*kine (cow, heifers)




Chapter 11

      As they now were going homeward again, upon the eleventh day they came to Charra, which layeth in the half way toward Nineve. And the angel said: Brother Tobiah, thou knowest how thou hast left thy father: therefore if it please thee, we two will go before, and let the household with thy wife and the cattle come soft and fairly after us. And when Tobiah was content that they should go before, Raphael said unto him: Take of the gall of the fish with thee, for it shall be necessary. So Tobiah took the gall, and they went their way. But Anna the mother of Tobiah sat daily by the way side upon the top of an hill, from whence she might see far about her. And while she was waiting there for his coming, she looked afar off, and *anone she perceived her son coming, and ran and told her husband, saying: Behold, thy son cometh. And Raphael said unto Tobiah: As soon as thou comest in to the house, immediately worship the Lord God, and give thanks unto him: then go to thy father, and kiss him, and strike his eyes over with the gall of the fish, that thou hast brought with thee. For be sure, that his eyes shall straight way be opened, and thy father shall see the light of heaven, and shall rejoice in the sight of thee. Then the dog that had been with them in their Journey, ran before, and came as a messenger, and wagged with his tail for gladness.
      So the blind father arose, and began to run, and stumbled with his feet, and gave his servant his hand, ran to meet his son, received him and kissed him, he and his wife, and began to weep for joy.
      Now when they had worshiped and thanked God, they sat down. Then took Tobiah of the fishs gall, and anointed his fathers eyes: and tarried half an hour, and then began the blemish to go out of his eyes, like as it had been the white skin of an egg: which Tobiah took, and drew from his eyes, and immediately he received his sight.
      Then they praised God, he and his wife, and all they that knew him. And Tobiah said: O' Lord God of Israel, I give thee praise and thanks, for thou hast chastened me, and made me whole. And lo, now do I see my son Tobiah. After seven days came Sara his sons wife also whole and sound with all the household and cattle, with camels and much money of his wives, and with the money that he had received of Gabelius: and he told his father and his mother all the benefits, which God had done for him, by the man that led him. Achior also and Nabath Tobiah sister sons came, and were glad, and rejoiced with him, by reason of all good that God had showed unto him. And so for that space of seven days they made merry, and were joyful every each one.


*anone (after a while)




Chapter 12

      Then Tobiah called his son unto him, and said: What may we give this holy man, that went with thee ? Tobiah answered his father, and said: what reward shall we give him ? Or what thing can deserve his benefits ? He hath been my guide, and brought me safe again: he received the money from Gabelus, he caused me to get my wife, he drove the evil spirit from her, he hath been an occasion of gladness to her father and mother: he delivered me, that I was not devoured of the fish, he hath made thee to see the light of heaven, yee we all have received great good of him. Now should we worthily deserve these things unto him ? But I pray thee my father, that thou wilt desire him, if happily he will *vouchsafe, to take with him the half of all that we have brought.
      So the father and the son called him, took him aside, and began to pray him, that he would be content to take in good worth, the half part of all that he had brought. Then said he secretly unto them: Praise the God of heaven, and give thanks unto him before all men living, for he hath showed his mercy unto us. It is good to hide the Kings secret, but to show and to praise the works of God, it is an honorable thing. Prayer is good with fasting, and to give alms is better, then to hord up treasures of gold. For alms delivereth from death, cleanesth sin, and causeth to find everlasting life. But they that do sin and unrighteousness, are the enemies of their own souls.
      Wherefore I tell you the truth, and will hide nothing from you. When thou prayest with tears, and buryest the dead, and leftest thy dinner, and hidest the dead in thy house upon the day time, that thou mightest bury them in the night, I offered thy prayer before the Lord. And because thou wast except and beloved of God, it was necessary, that *tentation should try thee. And now hath the Lord sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy sons wife from the evil spirit. For I am Raphael an Angel, one of the seven that stand before God.
      When they heard this, they were sore afraid, and trembled, and fell down upon their faces unto the ground. Then said the Angel: Peace be with you, fear not. Whereas I have been with you, it is the will of God give praise and thanks unto him.
      You thought that I did eat and drink with you, but I use meat that is invisible, and drink that can not be seen of men.
      Now therefore is the time that I must turn again, unto him that sent me: but be ye thankful unto God, and tell out all his wondrous works.
      And when he had spoken these words, he was taken away out of their sight, so that they saw him no more. Then fell they down flat upon their faces by the space of three hours, and praised God: and when they rose up, they told all his wondrous works.


*vouchsafe (allow, permit, vouch for ), *tentation (temptation?)




Chapter 13

      Then old Tobiah opened his mouth an praised the Lord, and said: Great art thou O' Lord for evermore, and thy Kingdom world without end: for thou scourgest and healest, thou leadest to hell, and bringest out again, and there is none that may escape thine hand. O' give thanks unto the Lord, ye children of Israel, and praise him in the sight of the Heathen. For among the Heathen which know him not hath he scattered you, to the intent that ye should show forth his marvelous works: and cause them for to know, that there is none other God almighty but he. He hath chastened us for our misdeeds, and for his own mercy sake shall he save us.
      Consider then, how he hath dealt with you, and praise him with fear and dread, and magnify the everlasting King in your works. I will pray him even in the land of my captivity, for he hath showed his majesty unto a sinful people. Turn you therefore O' ye sinners, and do righteousness before God, and be ye sure, that he will show his mercy upon you. As for me and my soul, we will rejoice in God. O' praise the Lord all ye his chosen, hold the days of gladness, and be thankful unto him. O' Jerusalem thou city of God, the Lord hath punished thee for the works of thine own hands. O' praise the Lord in thy good things, and give thanks to the everlasting God, that he may build up his tabernacle again in thee, that he may call again unto thee, all such as be in captivity, and that thou mayest have joy for evermore. With a fair light thou shalt shine, and all the ends of the world shall honor thee. The people shall come unto thee from afar, they shall bring gifts, and worship the Lord in thee, and thy land shall they have for a Sanctuary, for they shall call upon the great name in thee.
      Cursed shall they be that despise thee, and all that blaspheme thee, shall be condemned: but blessed shall they be that build thee up. As for thee thou shalt rejoice in thy children, for they all shall be blessed, and gathered together unto the Lord. Blessed are they all that love thee, and be glad of thy peace. Praise thou the Lord, O' my soul, for the Lord our God hath delivered his city Jerusalem from all her troubles. I will count my self happy, if my seed remain to see the clearness of Jerusalem.
      The gates of Jerusalem shall be builded with Sapphire and Smaragde, and all the compass of her walls with precious stones. All her streets shall be paved with white marble stone, and in all her streets shall Alleluya be sung, Praised be the Lord, which hath exalted her, that his kingdom may be upon her for evermore. Amen And so Tobiah made an end of his talking.




Chapter 14

      And after that Tobiah had gotten his sight again, he lived eighteen years, and saw his childrens children. Now when he was one hundred and two years old, he died: and was buried honorably in Ninive. For when he was six and fifty years of age, he lost his sight of his eyes, and when he was three score ( 60 ) year old, he gat his sight again. The residue of his life led he in joy, and increased well in the fear of God, and departed in peace.
      But in the hour of his death he called his son Tobiah, and seven young springaldes his sons children, and said unto them: The destruction of Ninive is at hand, for the word of the Lord can not fail, and our brethren that are scattered out of the land of Israel, shall come thither again. And the whole land of it that hath been waste, shall be filled: and the house of God that was burnt in it, shall be builded again, and all such as fear God shall return thither: the Heathen also shall forsake their Idols, and come to Jerusalem, and dwell there, and all the Kings of the earth shall be glad of her, and worship the Lord God of Israel.
      And therefore my children, hear your father: Serve the Lord in faithfulness, seek after his will, and do the thing that pleaseth him. Command your children that they do right, give alms, be mindful of God, and ever to be thankful unto him in truth and with all their power. Hear me therefore my children, abide not here: but in what day soever ye have buried your mother beside me, get you from hence. For I see, that the wickedness of it shall bring it to destruction and end.
      After the death of his mother, Tobiah departed away from Ninive, with his wife and children, and with his childrens children, and came again to his father and mother in law, and found them whole and in a good age, and took the care of them. And he closed their eyes, and was heir to all Raguels goods, and saw the fifth generation and childrens children. And when he was ninety nine years of age, he died in the fear of the Lord, and his kinfolks buried him. And all his posterity continued in a good life, and holy conversation: so that they were loved and accepted both of God and men, and of all the people of the land.


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