The book of the words of Tobit, son of Tobiel, the son of Ananiel, the son of Aduel, the son of Gabael, of the seed of Asael, of the tribe of Nephthali;
Who in the time of Enemessar king of the Assyrians was led captive out of Thisbe, which is at the right hand of that city, which is called properly Nephthali in Galilee above Aser.
I Tobit have walked all the days of my life in the ways of truth and justice, and I did many almsdeeds to my brethren, and my nation, who came with me to Nineve, into the land of the Assyrians.
And when I was in mine own country, in the land of Israel being but young, all the tribe of Nephthali my father fell from the house of Jerusalem, which was chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, that all the tribes should sacrifice there, where the temple of the habitation of the most High was consecrated and built for all ages.
Now all the tribes which together revolted, and the house of my father Nephthali, sacrificed unto the heifer Baal.
But I alone went often to Jerusalem at the feasts, as it was ordained unto all the people of Israel by an everlasting decree, having the firstfruits and tenths of increase, with that which was first shorn; and them gave I at the altar to the priests the children of Aaron.
The first tenth part of all increase I gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem: another tenth part I sold away, and went, and spent it every year at Jerusalem:
And the third I gave unto them to whom it was meet, as Debora my father’s mother had commanded me, because I was left an orphan by my father.
Furthermore, when I was come to the age of a man, I married Anna of mine own kindred, and of her I begat Tobias.
And when we were carried away captives to Nineve, all my brethren and those that were of my kindred did eat of the bread of the Gentiles.
But I kept myself from eating;
Because I remembered God with all my heart.
And the most High gave me grace and favour before Enemessar, so that I was his purveyor.
And I went into Media, and left ten talents of silver in trust with Gabael, the brother of Gabrias, at Rages a city of Media.
Now when Enemessar was dead, Sennacherib his son reigned in his stead; whose estate was troubled, that I could not go into Media.
And in the time of Enemessar I gave many alms to my brethren, and gave my bread to the hungry,
And my clothes to the naked: and if I saw any of my nation dead, or cast about the walls of Nineve, I buried him.
And if the king Sennacherib had slain any, when he was come, and fled from Judea, I buried them privily; for in his wrath he killed many; but the bodies were not found, when they were sought for of the king.
And when one of the Ninevites went and complained of me to the king, that I buried them, and hid myself; understanding that I was sought for to be put to death, I withdrew myself for fear.
Then all my goods were forcibly taken away, neither was there any thing left me, beside my wife Anna and my son Tobias.
And there passed not five and fifty days, before two of his sons killed him, and they fled into the mountains of Ararath; and Sarchedonus his son reigned in his stead; who appointed over his father’s accounts, and over all his affairs, Achiacharus my brother Anael’s son.
And Achiacharus intreating for me, I returned to Nineve. Now Achiacharus was cupbearer, and keeper of the signet, and steward, and overseer of the accounts: and Sarchedonus appointed him next unto him: and he was my brother’s son.
Now when I was come home again, and my wife Anna was restored unto me, with my son Tobias, in the feast of Pentecost, which is the holy feast of the seven weeks, there was a good dinner prepared me, in the which I sat down to eat.
And when I saw abundance of meat, I said to my son, Go and bring what poor man soever thou shalt find out of our brethren, who is mindful of the Lord; and, lo, I tarry for thee.
But he came again, and said, Father, one of our nation is strangled, and is cast out in the marketplace.
Then before I had tasted of any meat, I started up, and took him up into a room until the going down of the sun.
Then I returned, and washed myself, and ate my meat in heaviness,
Remembering that prophecy of Amos, as he said, Your feasts shall be turned into mourning, and all your mirth into lamentation.
Therefore I wept: and after the going down of the sun I went and made a grave, and buried him.
But my neighbours mocked me, and said, This man is not yet afraid to be put to death for this matter: who fled away; and yet, lo, he burieth the dead again.
The same night also I returned from the burial, 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 a whiteness came in mine eyes: and I went to the physicians, but they helped me not: moreover Achiacharus did nourish me, until I went into Elymais.
And my wife Anna did take women’s works to do.
And when she had sent them home to the owners, they paid her wages, and gave her also besides a kid.
And when it was in my house, and began to cry, I said unto her, From whence is this kid? Is it not stolen? Render it to the owners; for it is not lawful to eat any thing that is stolen.
But she replied upon me, It was given for a gift more than the wages. Howbeit I did not believe her, but bade her render it to the owners; and I was abashed at her. But she replied upon me, Where are thine alms and thy righteous deeds? Behold, thou and all thy works are known.
Then I being grieved did weep, and in my sorrow prayed, saying,
O Lord, thou art just, and all thy works and all thy ways are mercy and truth, and thou judgest truly and justly for ever.
Remember me, and look on me, punish me not for my sins and ignorances, and the sins of my fathers, who have sinned before thee:
For they obeyed not thy commandments: wherefore thou hast delivered us for a spoil, and unto captivity, and unto death, and for a proverb of reproach to all the nations among whom we are dispersed.
And now thy judgments are many and true, deal with me according to my sins and my fathers’, because we have not kept thy commandments, neither have walked in truth before thee.
Now therefore deal with me as seemeth best unto thee, and command my spirit to be taken from me, that I may be dissolved, and become earth. For it is profitable for me to die rather than to live, because I have heard false reproaches, and have much sorrow. Command therefore that I may now be delivered out of this distress, and go into the everlasting place. Turn not thy face away from me.
It came to pass the same day, that in Ecbatana a city of Media, Sara the daughter of Raguel was also reproached by her father’s maids;
Because that she had been married to seven husbands, whom Asmodeus the evil spirit had killed, before they had lain with her. Dost thou not know, said they, that thou hast strangled thine husbands? thou hast had already seven husbands, neither wast thou named after any of them.
Wherefore dost thou beat us for them? if they be dead, go thy ways after them, let us never see of thee either son or daughter.
Whe she heard these things, she was very sorrowful, so that she thought to have strangled herself; and she said, I am the only daughter of my father, and if I do this, it shall be a reproach unto him, and I shall bring his old age with sorrow unto the grave.
Then she prayed toward the window, and said, Blessed art thou, O Lord my God, and thine holy and glorious name is blessed and honourable for ever: let all thy works praise thee for ever.
And now, O Lord, I set I mine eyes and my face toward thee,
And say, Take me out of the earth, that I may hear no more the reproach.
Thou knowest, Lord, that I am pure from all sin with man,
And that I never polluted my name, nor the name of my father, in the land of my captivity: I am the only daughter of my father, neither hath he any child to be his heir, neither any near kinsman, nor any son of his alive, to whom I may keep myself for a wife: my seven husbands are already dead; and why should I live? But if it please not thee that I should die, command some regard to be had of me, and pity taken of me, that I hear no more reproach.
So the prayers of them both were heard before the majesty of the great God.