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Hebrew Tales

Tobias & the Angel

Chapter 1

Tobit is exiled to a precarious life in Nineveh but keeps faith with God's law.

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[1] The book of the words of Tobit, son of Tobiel, the son of Ananiel, the son of Aduel, the son of Gabael, a descendent of Asael, of the tribe of Naphtali, [2] who, in the time of Shalmaneser king of the Assyrians, was led captive out of Thisbe, which is at the right hand of that city, which is properly called Naphtali, in Galilee above Asher.

[3] I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life in the ways of truth and justice, and I performed many charitable deeds for my brethren and my nation, who came with me to Nineveh into the land of the Assyrians.

[4] And when I was in my own country, in the land of Israel, in my youth, with all the tribe of Naphtali, my father fell away from the house of Jerusalem, which was chosen out of all the tribes of Israel so that all the tribes should sacrifice there, where the Temple of the dwelling place of the most High was consecrated and built for all ages. [5] Now all the tribes which revolted together, and the house of my father Naphtali, sacrificed to the heifer Baal.

[6] But I alone went often to Jerusalem at the feasts, as it was ordained for all the people of Israel by an everlasting decree, bringing the first fruits and tenths of increase, with the first-shorn sheep, and these I gave at the altar to the priests, the children of Aaron. [7] The first tenth part of all increase I gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem; another tenth part I sold, and went, and spent it every year at Jerusalem; [8] and the third I gave to those who were in need, as Deborah my father’s mother had commanded me, because I was left an orphan by my father.

[9] Furthermore, when I had reached the age of a man, I married Anna of my own kindred, and of her, I fathered Tobias.

[10] And when we were carried away captives to Nineveh, all my brethren and those who were of my kindred ate of the bread of the Gentiles. [11] But I kept myself from eating, [12] because I remembered God with all my heart. [13] And the most High gave me grace and favor before Shalmaneser, so that I was his purveyor.

[14] And I went into Media, and I left in trust with Gabael, the brother of Gabrias, at Rages a city of Media, ten talents of silver.

[15] Now when Shalmaneser was dead, Sennacherib his son reigned in his place; but his reign was troubled so that I could not go into Media.

[16] And in the time of Shalmaneser I gave many alms to my brethren and gave my bread to the hungry, [17] and my clothes to the naked; and if I saw any of my nation dead, or cast out around the walls of Nineveh, I buried him. [18] And if the king Sennacherib had slain anyone, when he arrived and fled from Judea, I buried him privately; for in his wrath he killed many, but the bodies were not found when they were sought by the king.

[19] And when one of the Ninevites went and complained to the king about me, that I buried them and hid myself, I understood that I was sought to be put to death, so I withdrew myself out of fear. [20] Then all my goods were forcibly taken away, neither was there anything left for me, except my wife Anna and my son Tobias.

[21] And before fifty-five days had passed, two of his sons killed him and they fled into the mountains of Ararath; and Sarchedonus his son reigned in his place; he appointed, over his father’s accounts and over all his affairs, Achiacharus, my brother Anael’s son.

[22] And since Achiacharus petitioned for me, I returned to Nineveh. Now Achiacharus was cupbearer and keeper of the signet and steward and overseer of the accounts; and Sarchedonus appointed him next to him; and he was my brother’s son.

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Source:

This text has been reproduced from:

The World English Bible, a copyright-free modern English rendering of a 1901 translation that has now passed into the public domain.