41That same day, Tobit remembered the money that he had left with Gabael at Rages in Media. 2He thought to himself, “Now that I have asked God to let me die, I should call my son Tobias and tell him about the money.”
3-4So Tobit called Tobias and said to him, “My son, when I die, give me a proper burial. And after I'm gone, show respect to your mother. Take care of her for the rest of her life, and when she dies, bury her beside me. Remember, she risked her life to bring you into this world, so try to make her happy and never do anything that would worry her.
5“Every day of your life, keep the Lord our God in mind. Never sin deliberately or disobey any of his commands. Always do what is right and never get involved in anything evil. 6Be honest, and you will succeed in whatever you do.
“Give generously to anyone who faithfully obeys God.4.7 The translation of verses 7b–19b, accidentally omitted in the Greek manuscript that this translation normally follows, is based on other Greek manuscripts. If you are stingy in giving to the poor, God will be stingy in giving to you. 8Give according to what you have. The more you have, the more you should give. Even if you have only a little, be sure to give something. 9This is as good as money saved. You will have your reward in a time of trouble. 10-11Taking care of the poor is the kind of offering that pleases God in heaven. Do this, and you will be kept safe from the dark world of the dead.
12“My son, be on your guard against prostitutes. Above all, marry a woman of our tribe, because we are descendants of the prophets. Do not marry anyone who is not related to us. Remember that Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our earliest ancestors, all married relatives. God blessed them with children, and so their descendants will inherit the land of Israel. 13Be loyal to your own relatives, my son. Don't be too proud to marry one of them. Such pride leads to terrible frustration and ruin, just as laziness brings on severe poverty and causes starvation.
14“Pay your workers each day; never keep back their wages overnight. Honour God in this way, and he will reward you. Behave properly at all times. 15
Never do to anyone else anything that you would not want someone to do to you.
“Do not drink so much wine that you get drunk, and do not let drinking become a habit.
16“Give food to the hungry and clothes to people in need. If you are prosperous, give generously, and do it gladly!
“When one of God's faithful people has died, prepare food for the family,4.17 prepare… family; or put food on his grave. but never do this when sinners die.
18“Take the advice of sensible people, and never treat any useful advice lightly.
19“Take advantage of every opportunity to praise the Lord your God. Ask him to make you prosper in whatever you set out to do. He does not give his wisdom to the people of any other nation. He is the source of all good things, but he can also destroy you and bring you to certain death, if he wishes.
“Remember all my instructions. Don't forget them for one minute.
20“Tobias, I want you to know that I once left a large sum of money with Gabrias' son, Gabael, at Rages in Media. 21
We're poor now, but don't worry. If you obey God and avoid sin, he will be pleased with you and make you prosperous.”
51Then Tobias answered his father, “I'll do everything you told me. 2But how can I get the money back from Gabael? We have never even met each other. How can I prove to him who I am, so that he will trust me and give me the money? Besides that, I don't know how to get to Media.”
3Tobit replied, “Gabael and I both signed a document. I then tore it in two, and we each took a half. I put his half with the money. That was twenty years ago! Now, go and find a reliable person to travel with you to Media and back, and we will pay him when you return. But you must get the money that I left with Gabael.”
Tobias then went out to look for someone who knew the way to Media and would travel with him. Almost as soon as he left the house, he found himself face to face with Raphael. Tobias did not know that Raphael was an angel of God, 5so he asked him where he was from.
“I am an Israelite,” Raphael answered, “one of your distant relatives, and I have come here to Nineveh to find work.”
“Do you know the way to Media?” Tobias asked.
6“Yes, I do,” Raphael replied. “I have been there many times, and I know all the roads well. I used to stay with our relative Gabael, who lives there in the town of Rages.5.6 Rages; Greek Ecbatana. It takes at least two days to travel there from Ecbatana, the capital city, because Rages is up in the mountains.”
7Then Tobias said to Raphael, “Wait here for me, my friend, while I go in and tell my father. I would like you to travel with me, and I will pay you for the journey.”
8“All right,” Raphael said, “I'll wait, but don't take too long.”
9Tobias went in and told his father, “I have found a fellow-Israelite to travel with me.”
“Call the man in,” Tobit replied. “I would like to know what family and tribe he belongs to, and whether he is a reliable travelling companion for you.”
So Tobias went out and called to Raphael, “My father would like to meet you.” When Raphael came in, Tobit greeted him first.
Then Raphael returned the greeting, “I hope all is well with you.”
But Tobit replied, “How can all be well with me? I'm blind and can't see a thing. It's like being dead and no longer able to see the light. I might as well be dead! I can hear people talking, but I can't see them.”
“Cheer up!” Raphael said to him. “God is going to cure you soon, so don't worry!”
Tobit then said, “My son Tobias wants to go to Media. Can you go with him and show him the way? I will pay you, of course.”
Raphael replied, “Certainly I can go with him. I have travelled there many times and I know all the roads in the mountains and on the plains.”
10Tobit questioned him further, “Tell me, my friend, what family and tribe do you belong to?”
11But Raphael asked, “Why do you need to know that?”
“Tell me the truth,” said Tobit. “What is your name, and who are you?”
12Raphael replied, “My name is Azarias, and I am the son of the older Ananias, one of your relatives.”
13Then Tobit said to him, “Welcome to our home! God bless you, my son. Please don't be offended because I wanted to know the truth about you and your family. As it turns out, you are from a good family and a relative at that! I knew Ananias and Nathan, the two sons of the older Shemaiah. They were always loyal to their religion. We used to travel together to Jerusalem and worship there. Your relatives are fine people, and you come from good stock. Have a safe journey.”
14Tobit continued, “I will pay the normal daily wage plus expenses for both of you. 15Be a good companion to Tobias, and I will add a bonus to your wages.”
“I will go with him,” Raphael said. “And don't worry; we will get there and back safely. The roads are not dangerous.”
“God be with you!” Tobit replied. Then he called Tobias and said to him, “My son, get everything ready that you need for the journey, so that the two of you can be on your way. May God and his angel watch over you both and bring you back to me safe and sound.”
Before leaving for Media, Tobias kissed his father and mother goodbye. Tobit said again, “Have a safe journey!”
17Then his mother began to cry. “How could you send my son away like this?” she complained. “He's our only means of support. Who will take care of us now? 18Is that money so important to you that you are willing to risk your own son's life to get it back? 19Why can't we be content to live on what the Lord has given us?”
20“Calm down,” Tobit said to her. “He will get there and back safely, and with your own eyes you will see him return home safe and sound. 21Now stop worrying about them, dear. A good angel will go with Tobias. He will have a successful journey and will come back in good health.” At that, Anna calmed down and stopped crying.
61So Tobias and the angel started out towards Media, taking Tobias' dog along with them. They walked on until sunset, then camped by the River Tigris. 2Tobias had gone down to wash his feet in the river, when suddenly a huge fish jumped up out of the water and tried to swallow one of his feet. Tobias let out a yell, 3and the angel called to him, “Grab that fish! Don't let it get away.”
Then Tobias grabbed the fish and dragged it up on the bank.
4“Cut the fish open,” the angel instructed, “and take out its gall-bladder, heart, and liver. Keep these with you; they can be used for medicine, but throw away the guts.”
5Tobias did as the angel had told him. Then he cooked the fish, ate part of it, and salted the rest to take along with him.
The two continued on together until they were near Media. 6Then Tobias asked, “Azarias, my friend, what diseases can be cured by this gall-bladder, heart, and liver?”
7The angel answered, “The heart and liver can be burnt and used to chase away a demon or an evil spirit that is tormenting someone. The attacks will stop immediately, and the person will never be troubled again. 8You can use the gall-bladder to treat someone whose eyes are covered with a white film. Just rub it on his eyes and blow on the film, and he will be able to see again.”
9When they had reached Media and were approaching the city of Ecbatana, 10Raphael said, “Tobias, my friend.”
“Yes, what is it?” Tobias asked.
Raphael continued, “Tonight we will stay at the home of your relative Raguel. He has only one child, a daughter named Sarah, 11and since you are her closest relative, you have the right to marry her. You also have the right to inherit all her father's property. 12She is sensible, brave, and very beautiful; and her father is a good man. Tonight I'll discuss the marriage proposal with her father, and he will consent to give her to you as your bride. Then, when we return home from the town of Rages, we will celebrate the marriage. Raguel cannot refuse to let you marry her, and he cannot let any other man have her. If he did, then according to the Law of Moses he would deserve the death penalty. He knows that you are the only man who has the right to marry his daughter and receive the inheritance, so follow my advice. Raguel and I will discuss the matter tonight and arrange your engagement to Sarah. When we get back from the city of Rages, we will take her home with us.”
13Tobias then said to Raphael, “Azarias, my friend, I have already heard about Sarah's seven former husbands, and how each one dropped dead on his wedding night, even before he could get to bed. 14According to the story I heard, a demon killed them. He doesn't harm Sarah, but he kills every man who tries to get near her. I am afraid of this demon. I am an only child, and if I were to die, the sorrow would send my parents to their graves. They haven't even got another son to bury them.”
15The angel replied, “Have you already forgotten your father's instructions? He told you to marry a woman from your own tribe. So, listen carefully to what I say. Don't worry about the demon. Marry Sarah! I know that tonight Raguel will let Sarah marry you. 16When you go into the bedroom, take the fish's heart and liver with you and place them on the burning incense, 17so that the odour will spread throughout the room. When the demon smells it, he will leave and never come near Sarah again. But before you consummate the marriage, both of you must get up and pray for the Lord in heaven to be merciful to you and to protect you. Don't be afraid. Sarah was meant to be yours from the beginning of creation. You will rescue her from the demon, and she will go with you to your home. You and Sarah will have many children, whom you will love very much. So don't worry!”
Tobias listened very carefully to what Raphael had to say. He knew that Sarah was a relative on his father's side of the family. He began to fall in love with her and looked forward to marrying her.