Tobit 1-3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Tobit. 1 This book tells the story of Tobit,[a] son of Tobiel, son of Hananiel, son of Aduel, son of Gabael, son of Raphael, son of Raguel, of the family of Asiel and the tribe of Naphtali. 2 During the days of Shalmaneser,[b] king of the Assyrians, he was taken captive from Thisbe, which is south of Kedesh Naphtali in upper Galilee, above and to the west of Asher, north of Phogor.
I. Tobit’s Ordeals
His Virtue. 3 I, Tobit, have walked all the days of my life on paths of fidelity and righteousness. I performed many charitable deeds for my kindred and my people who had been taken captive with me to Nineveh, in the land of the Assyrians. 4 When I lived as a young man in my own country, in the land of Israel, the entire tribe of my ancestor Naphtali broke away from the house of David, my ancestor, and from Jerusalem, the city that had been singled out of all Israel’s tribes that all Israel might offer sacrifice there. It was the place where the temple, God’s dwelling, had been built and consecrated for all generations to come. 5 All my kindred, as well as the house of Naphtali, my ancestor, used to offer sacrifice on every hilltop in Galilee to the calf that Jeroboam, king of Israel, had made in Dan.[c]
6 But I alone used to go often to Jerusalem for the festivals, as was prescribed for all Israel by longstanding decree.[d] Bringing with me the first fruits of crops, the firstlings of the flock, the tithes of livestock, and the first shearings of sheep, I used to hasten to Jerusalem 7 and present them to the priests, Aaron’s sons, at the altar. To the Levites ministering in Jerusalem I used to give the tithe of grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and other fruits. Six years in a row, I used to give a second tithe in money, which each year I would go to pay in Jerusalem. 8 The third-year tithe I gave to orphans, widows, and converts who had joined the Israelites. Every third year I would bring them this offering, and we ate it in keeping with the decree laid down in the Mosaic law concerning it, and according to the commands of Deborah, the mother of my father Tobiel; for my father had died and left me an orphan.
9 When I reached manhood, I married Anna, a woman of our ancestral family. By her I had a son whom I named Tobiah. 10 Now, after I had been deported to the Assyrians and came as a captive to Nineveh, all my kindred and my people used to eat the food of the Gentiles, 11 but I refrained from eating that Gentile food. 12 Because I was mindful of God with all my heart, 13 the Most High granted me favor and status with Shalmaneser, so that I became purchasing agent for all his needs. 14 Until he died, I would go to Media to buy goods for him there. I also deposited pouches of silver worth ten talents[e] in trust with my kinsman Gabael, son of Gabri, who lived at Rages, in the land of Media. 15 When Shalmaneser died and his son Sennacherib[f] came to rule in his stead, the roads to Media became unsafe, so I could no longer go to Media.
Courage in Burying the Dead. 16 In the days of Shalmaneser I had performed many charitable deeds for my kindred, members of my people. 17 I would give my bread to the hungry and clothing to the naked. If I saw one of my people who had died and been thrown behind the wall of Nineveh, I used to bury him.[g] 18 Sennacherib returned from Judea, having fled during the days of the judgment enacted against him by the King of Heaven because of the blasphemies he had uttered; whomever he killed I buried. For in his rage he killed many Israelites, but I used to take their bodies away by stealth and bury them. So when Sennacherib looked for them, he could not find them. 19 But a certain Ninevite went and informed the king about me, that I was burying them, and I went into hiding. When I realized that the king knew about me and that I was being hunted to be put to death, I became afraid and took flight. 20 All my property was confiscated; I was left with nothing. All that I had was taken to the king’s palace, except for my wife Anna and my son Tobiah.[h]
21 But forty days did not pass before two of the king’s sons assassinated him and fled to the mountains of Ararat. A son of his, Esarhaddon,[i] succeeded him as king. He put Ahiqar, my kinsman Anael’s son, in charge of all the credit accounts of his kingdom, and he took control over the entire administration. 22 Then Ahiqar interceded on my behalf, and I returned to Nineveh. Ahiqar had been chief cupbearer, keeper of the signet ring, treasury accountant, and credit accountant under Sennacherib, king of the Assyrians; and Esarhaddon appointed him as Second to himself. He was, in fact, my nephew, of my father’s house, and of my own family.
1 Thus under King Esarhaddon I returned to my home, and my wife Anna and my son Tobiah were restored to me. Then on our festival of Pentecost, the holy feast of Weeks,[j] a fine dinner was prepared for me, and I reclined to eat. 2 The table was set for me, and the dishes placed before me were many. So I said to my son Tobiah: “Son, go out and bring in whatever poor person you find among our kindred exiled here in Nineveh who may be a sincere worshiper of God to share this meal with me. Indeed, son, I shall wait for you to come back.”[k]
3 Tobiah went out to look for some poor person among our kindred, but he came back and cried, “Father!” I said to him, “Here I am, son.” He answered, “Father, one of our people has been murdered! He has been thrown out into the market place, and there he lies strangled.” 4 I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched, carried the dead man from the square, and put him in one of the rooms until sundown, so that I might bury him. 5 I returned and washed[l] and in sorrow ate my food. 6 I remembered the oracle pronounced by the prophet Amos against Bethel:
“I will turn your feasts into mourning,
7 Then I wept. At sunset I went out, dug a grave, and buried him.
8 My neighbors mocked me, saying: “Does he have no fear? Once before he was hunted, to be executed for this sort of deed, and he ran away; yet here he is again burying the dead!”
Tobit’s Blindness. 9 That same night I washed and went into my courtyard, where I lay down to sleep beside the wall. Because of the heat I left my face uncovered. 10 I did not know that sparrows were perched on the wall above me; their warm droppings settled in my eyes, causing white scales[m] on them. I went to doctors for a cure, but the more they applied ointments, the more my vision was obscured by the white scales, until I was totally blind. For four years I was unable to see, and all my kindred were distressed at my condition. Ahiqar, however, took care of me for two years, until he left for Elam.
11 At that time my wife Anna worked for hire at weaving cloth, doing the kind of work women do. 12 When she delivered the material to her employers, they would pay her a wage. On the seventh day of the month of Dystrus,[n] she finished the woven cloth and delivered it to her employers. They paid her the full salary and also gave her a young goat for a meal. 13 On entering my house, the goat began to bleat. So I called to my wife and said: “Where did this goat come from? It was not stolen, was it? Give it back to its owners; we have no right to eat anything stolen!” 14 But she said to me, “It was given to me as a bonus over and above my wages.” Yet I would not believe her and told her to give it back to its owners. I flushed with anger at her over this. So she retorted: “Where are your charitable deeds now? Where are your righteous acts? Look! All that has happened to you is well known!”[o]
1 Then sad at heart, I groaned and wept aloud. With sobs I began to pray:[p]
Tobit’s Prayer for Death
2 “You are righteous, Lord,
“They sinned against you,
5 “Yes, your many judgments are right
6 “So now, deal with me as you please;
“Lord, command that I be released from such anguish;
II. Sarah’s Plight
Sarah Falsely Accused. 7 [r]On that very day, at Ecbatana in Media, it so happened that Raguel’s daughter Sarah also had to listen to reproaches from one of her father’s maids. 8 For she had been given in marriage to seven husbands, but the wicked demon Asmodeus[s] kept killing them off before they could have intercourse with her, as is prescribed for wives. The maid said to her: “You are the one who kills your husbands! Look! You have already been given in marriage to seven husbands, but you do not bear the name of a single one of them. 9 Why do you beat us? Because your husbands are dead? Go, join them! May we never see son or daughter of yours!”
10 That day Sarah was sad at heart. She went in tears to an upstairs room in her father’s house and wanted to hang herself. But she reconsidered, saying to herself: “No! May people never reproach my father and say to him, ‘You had only one beloved daughter, but she hanged herself because of her misfortune.’ And thus would I bring my father laden with sorrow in his old age to Hades. It is far better for me not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord that I might die, and no longer have to listen to such reproaches in my lifetime.”
11 At that same time, with hands outstretched toward the window,[t] she implored favor:
Sarah’s Prayer for Death
“Blessed are you, merciful God!
14 “You know, Master, that I am clean
“I am my father’s only daughter,
An Answer to Prayer. 16 At that very time, the prayer of both of them was heard in the glorious presence of God. 17 So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the white scales from Tobit’s eyes, so that he might again see with his own eyes God’s light; and to give Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, as a wife to Tobiah, the son of Tobit, and to rid her of the wicked demon Asmodeus. For it fell to Tobiah’s lot[u] to claim her before any others who might wish to marry her.
At that very moment Tobit turned from the courtyard to his house, and Raguel’s daughter Sarah came down from the upstairs room.
Proverbs 28:15-28 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
15 A roaring lion or a ravenous bear
Philippians 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Plea for Unity and Humility.[a] 1 If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. 3 Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, 4 each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.
5 Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,[b]
6 Who,[c] though he was in the form of God,
Obedience and Service in the World.[j] 12 So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling.[k] 13 For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work. 14 Do everything without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,[l] among whom you shine like lights in the world, 16 as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 But, even if I am poured out as a libation[m] upon the sacrificial service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with all of you. 18 In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.
IV. Travel Plans of Paul and His Assistants[n]
Timothy and Paul. 19 I hope, in the Lord Jesus, to send Timothy[o] to you soon, so that I too may be heartened by hearing news of you. 20 For I have no one comparable to him for genuine interest in whatever concerns you. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know his worth, how as a child with a father he served along with me in the cause of the gospel. 23 He it is, then, whom I hope to send as soon as I see how things go with me, 24 but I am confident in the Lord that I myself will also come soon.[p]
Epaphroditus. 25 With regard to Epaphroditus,[q] my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister in my need, I consider it necessary to send him to you. 26 For he has been longing for all of you and was distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 He was indeed ill, close to death; but God had mercy on him, not just on him but also on me, so that I might not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I send him therefore with the greater eagerness, so that, on seeing him, you may rejoice again, and I may have less anxiety. 29 Welcome him then in the Lord with all joy and hold such people in esteem, 30 because for the sake of the work of Christ he came close to death, risking his life to make up for those services to me that you could not perform.