Go to Procursus.
Previous Chapter, Next Chapter
File last modified:

Hebrew Tales

Tobias & the Angel

Chapter 2

Tobit, despite his great virtue, loses his eyesight.

Chapter Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

[1] Now when I arrived home again, and my wife Anna was restored to me with my son Tobias, at the feast of Pentecost, which is the holy feast of the seven weeks, a good dinner was prepared for me, which I sat down to eat.

[2] And when I saw the abundance of meat, I said to my son, “Go and bring whatsoever poor man you find among our brethren, who is mindful of the Lord, and, see, I will wait for you.”

[3] But he returned and said, “Father, one of our nation was strangled and cast out in the marketplace.” [4] Then, before I had tasted any of the meat, I went out, and took him up into a room until sundown. [5] Then I returned, and washed myself, and ate my meat in sadness, [6] remembering the prophecy of Amos, as he said, “Your feasts shall be turned into mourning and all your mirth into lamentation.” [7] Therefore I wept, and after sundown I went and made a grave and buried him.


The virtuous Tobias illegally buries the unknown dead (left) but loses his sight to a passing sparrow. (right) (Medieval MS in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek Nederlands)

[8] But my neighbors mocked me and said, “This man is still not afraid to be put to death for this matter; and, see, though he fled away before, he now buries the dead again.”

[9] That same night, I returned from the burial and slept by the wall of my courtyard, because I was polluted. And my face was uncovered, [10] and I didn’t know that there were sparrows in the wall. And, since my eyes were open, the sparrows emitted warm dung into my eyes, and a whiteness fell into my eyes. And I went to the physicians, but they didn’t help me. Moreover, Achiacharus had to nourish me, until I went into Elymais.

[11] And my wife Anna took in women’s work.


Tobit upbraids Anna because he does not understand the situation.
(Rembrandt, 1606-1669, Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen, Berlin)

[12] And when she had sent these home again to the owners, they paid her her wages and gave her in addition a young goat. [13] And when it was in my house, and began to call out, I said to her, “Where did this young goat come from? Is it not stolen? Return it to the owners, for it is not lawful to eat anything which is stolen.”

[14] But she replied to me, “It was given as a gift, over and above my wages.” However, I did not believe her, but directed her to return it to the owners, and I was ashamed at her. But she replied to me, “Where are your alms and your righteous deeds? See now, you and all your works are known.”

Go to Previous Chapter, Next Chapter
Return to top.


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.