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Tobit - Chapter 2

Tobit Chapters

1 In the reign of Esarhaddon, therefore, I returned home, and my wife Anna was restored to me with my son Tobias. At our feast of Pentecost (the feast of Weeks) there was a good dinner. I took my place for the meal;

2 the table was brought to me and various dishes were brought. I then said to my son Tobias, 'Go, my child, and seek out some poor, loyal-hearted man among our brothers exiled in Nineveh, and bring him to share my meal. I will wait until you come back, my child.'

3 So Tobias went out to look for some poor man among our brothers, but he came back again and said, 'Father!' I replied, 'What is it, my child?' He went on, 'Father, one of our nation has just been murdered; he has been strangled and then thrown down in the market place; he is there still.'

4 I sprang up at once, left my meal untouched, took the man from the market place and laid him in one of my rooms, waiting until sunset to bury him.

5 I came in again and washed myself and ate my bread in sorrow,

6 remembering the words of the prophet Amos concerning Bethel: I shall turn your festivals into mourning and all your singing into lamentation.

7 And I wept. When the sun was down, I went and dug a grave and buried him.

8 My neighbours laughed and said, 'See! He is not afraid any more.' (You must remember that a price had been set on my head earlier for this very thing.) 'Once before he had to flee, yet here he is, beginning to bury the dead again.'

9 That night I took a bath; then I went into the courtyard and lay down by the courtyard wall. Since it was hot I left my face uncovered.

10 I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. This caused white spots to form, which I went to have treated by the doctors. But the more ointments they tried me with, the more the spots blinded me, and in the end, I become completely blind. I remained without sight four years; all my brothers were distressed on my behalf; and Ahikar provided for my upkeep for two years, until he left for Elymais.

11 My wife Anna then undertook woman's work; she would spin wool and take cloth to weave;

12 she used to deliver whatever had been ordered from her and then receive payment. Now on the seventh day of the month of Dystros, she finished a piece of work and delivered it to her customers. They paid her all that was due, and into the bargain presented her with a kid for a meal.

13 When the kid came into my house, it began to bleat. I called to my wife and said, 'Where does this creature come from? Suppose it has been stolen! Let the owners have it back; we have no right to eat stolen goods'.

14 She said, 'No, it was a present given me over and above my wages.' I did not believe her, and told her to give it back to the owners (I felt deeply ashamed of her). To which, she replied, 'What about your own alms? What about your own good works? Everyone knows what return you have had for them.'


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