Reading 136/341, Tobit 5-9


Tobias then answered and said, Father, I will do all things which thou hast commanded me, But how can I receive the money, seeing I know him not? Then he gave him the handwriting, and said unto him, Seek thee a man which may go with thee, whiles I yet live, and I will give him wages, and go and receive the money. Therefore when he went to seek a man, he found Raphael that was an angel. But he knew not, and he said unto him, Canst thou go with me to Rages? and knowest thou those places well? To whom the angel said, I will go with thee, and I know the way well, for I have lodged with our brother Gabael. Then Tobias said unto him, Tarry for me, till I tell my father. Then he said unto him, Go and tarry not. So he went in and said to his father, Behold, I have found one which will go with me. Then he said, Call him unto me, that I may know of what tribe he is, and whether he be a trusty man to go with thee. So he called him, and he came in, and they saluted one another. Then Tobit said unto him, Brother, shew me of what tribe and family thou art. To whom he said, Dost thou seek for a tribe or family, or an hired man to go with thy son? Then Tobit said unto him, I would know, brother, thy kindred and name. Then he said, I am Azarias, the son of Ananias the great, and of thy brethren. Then Tobit said, Thou art welcome, brother; be not now angry with me, because I have enquired to know thy tribe and thy family; for thou art my brother, of an honest and good stock, for I know Ananias and Jonathas, sons of that great Samaias, as we went together to Jerusalem to worship, and offered the firstborn, and the tenths of the fruits, and they were not seduced with the error of our brethren, my brother, thou art of a good stock. But tell me, what wages shall I give thee? wilt thou a drachm a day, and things necessary, as to mine own son? Yea, moreover, if ye return safe, I will add something to thy wages. So they were well pleased. Then said he to Tobias, Prepare thyself for the journey, and God send you a good journey. And when his son had prepared all things far the journey, his father said, Go thou with this man, and God, which dwelleth in heaven, prosper your journey, and the angel of God keep you company. So they went forth both, and the young man's dog with them. But Anna his mother wept, and said to Tobit, Why hast thou sent away our son? is he not the staff of our hand, in going in and out before us? Be not greedy to add money to money, but let it be as refuse in respect of our child. For what the Lord hath given us to live with doth suffice us. Then said Tobit to her, Take no care, my sister; he shall return in safety, and thine eyes shall see him. For the good angel will keep him company, and his journey shall be prosperous, and he shall return safe. Then she made an end of weeping. And as they went on their journey, they came in the evening to the river Tigris, and they lodged there. And when the young man went down to wash himself, a fish leaped out of the river, and would have devoured him. Then the angel said unto him, Take the fish. And the young man laid hold of the fish, and drew it to land. To whom the angel said, Open the fish, and take the heart and the liver and the gall, and put them up safely. So the young man did as the angel commanded him, and when they had roasted the fish, they did eat it, then they both went on their way, till they drew near to Ecbatane. Then the young man said to the angel, Brother Azarias, to what use is the heart and the liver and the gal of the fish? And he said unto him, Touching the heart and the liver, if a devil or an evil spirit trouble any, we must make a smoke thereof before the man or the woman, and the party shall be no more vexed. As for the gall, it is good to anoint a man that hath whiteness in his eyes, and he shall be healed. And when they were come near to Rages, The angel said to the young man, Brother, to day we shall lodge with Raguel, who is thy cousin; he also hath one only daughter, named Sara; I will speak for her, that she may be given thee for a wife. For to thee doth the right of her appertain, seeing thou only art of her kindred. And the maid is fair and wise, now therefore hear me, and I will speak to her father, and when we return from Rages we will celebrate the marriage, for I know that Raguel cannot marry her to another according to the law of Moses, but he shall be guilty of death, because the right of inheritance doth rather appertain to thee than to any other. Then the young man answered the angel, I have heard, brother Azarias that this maid hath been given to seven men, who all died in the marriage chamber. And now I am the only son of my father, and I am afraid, lest if I go in unto her, I die, as the other before, for a wicked spirit loveth her, which hurteth no body, but those which come unto her; wherefore I also fear lest I die, and bring my father's and my mother's life because of me to the grave with sorrow, for they have no other son to bury them. Then the angel said unto him, Dost thou not remember the precepts which thy father gave thee, that thou shouldest marry a wife of thine own kindred? wherefore hear me, O my brother; for she shall be given thee to wife, and make thou no reckoning of the evil spirit; for this same night shall she be given thee in marriage. And when thou shalt come into the marriage chamber, thou shalt take the ashes of perfume, and shalt lay upon them some of the heart and liver of the fish, and shalt make a smoke with it, And the devil shall smell it, and flee away, and never come again any more, but when thou shalt come to her, rise up both of you, and pray to God which is merciful, who will have pity on you, and save you, fear not, for she is appointed unto thee from the beginning, and thou shalt preserve her, and she shall go with thee. Moreover I suppose that she shall bear thee children. Now when Tobias had heard these things, he loved her, and his heart was effectually joined to her. And when they were come to Ecbatane, they came to the house of Raguel, and Sara met them, and after they had saluted one another, she brought them into the house. Then said Raguel to Edna his wife, How like is this young man to Tobit my cousin! And Raguel asked them, From whence are ye, brethren? To whom they said, We are of the sons of Nephthalim, which are captives in Nineve. Then he said to them, Do ye know Tobit our kinsman? And they said, We know him. Then said he, Is he in good health? And they said, He is both alive, and in good health, and Tobias said, He is my father. Then Raguel leaped up, and kissed him, and wept, And blessed him, and said unto him, Thou art the son of an honest and good man. But when he had heard that Tobit was blind, he was sorrowful, and wept. And likewise Edna his wife and Sara his daughter wept. Moreover they entertained them cheerfully, and after that they had killed a ram of the flock, they set store of meat on the table. Then said Tobias to Raphael, Brother Azarias, speak of those things of which thou didst talk in the way, and let this business be dispatched. So he communicated the matter with Raguel, and Raguel said to Tobias, Eat and drink, and make merry, For it is meet that thou shouldest marry my daughter, nevertheless I will declare unto thee the truth. I have given my daughter in marriage to seven men, who died that night they came in unto her, nevertheless for the present be merry. But Tobias said, I will eat nothing here, till we agree and swear one to another. Raguel said, Then take her from henceforth according to the manner, for thou art her cousin, and she is thine, and the merciful God give you good success in all things. Then he called his daughter Sara, and she came to her father, and he took her by the hand, and gave her to be wife to Tobias, saying, Behold, take her after the law of Moses, and lead her away to thy father. And he blessed them; And called Edna his wife, and took paper, and did write an instrument of covenants, and sealed it. Then they began to eat. After Raguel called his wife Edna, and said unto her, Sister, prepare another chamber, and bring her in thither. Which when she had done as he had bidden her, she brought her thither, and she wept, and she received the tears of her daughter, and said unto her, Be of good comfort, my daughter; the Lord of heaven and earth give thee joy for this thy sorrow, be of good comfort, my daughter. And when they had supped, they brought Tobias in unto her. And as he went, he remembered the words of Raphael, and took the ashes of the perfumes, and put the heart and the liver of the fish thereupon, and made a smoke therewith. The which smell when the evil spirit had smelled, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, and the angel bound him. And after that they were both shut in together, Tobias rose out of the bed, and said, Sister, arise, and let us pray that God would have pity on us. Then began Tobias to say, Blessed art thou, O God of our fathers, and blessed is thy holy and glorious name for ever; let the heavens bless thee, and all thy creatures. Thou madest Adam, and gavest him Eve his wife for an helper and stay, of them came mankind, thou hast said, It is not good that man should be alone; let us make unto him an aid like unto himself. And now, O Lord, I take not this my sister for lush but uprightly, therefore mercifully ordain that we may become aged together. And she said with him, Amen. So they slept both that night. And Raguel arose, and went and made a grave, Saying, I fear lest he also be dead. But when Raguel was come into his house, He said unto his wife Edna. Send one of the maids, and let her see whether he be alive, if he be not, that we may bury him, and no man know it. So the maid opened the door, and went in, and found them both asleep, And came forth, and told them that he was alive. Then Raguel praised God, and said, O God, thou art worthy to be praised with all pure and holy praise; therefore let thy saints praise thee with all thy creatures, and let all thine angels and thine elect praise thee for ever. Thou art to be praised, for thou hast made me joyful, and that is not come to me which I suspected; but thou hast dealt with us according to thy great mercy. Thou art to be praised because thou hast had mercy of two that were the only begotten children of their fathers, grant them mercy, O Lord, and finish their life in health with joy and mercy. Then Raguel bade his servants to fill the grave. And he kept the wedding feast fourteen days. For before the days of the marriage were finished, Raguel had said unto him by an oath, that he should not depart till the fourteen days of the marriage were expired; And then he should take the half of his goods, and go in safety to his father, and should have the rest when I and my wife be dead. Then Tobias called Raphael, and said unto him, Brother Azarias, take with thee a servant, and two camels, and go to Rages of Media to Gabael, and bring me the money, and bring him to the wedding. For Raguel hath sworn that I shall not depart. But my father counteth the days, and if I tarry long, he will be very sorry. So Raphael went out, and lodged with Gabael, and gave him the handwriting, who brought forth bags which were sealed up, and gave them to him. And early in the morning they went forth both together, and came to the wedding, and Tobias blessed his wife.

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