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Tobit 1-3New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

This book tells the story of Tobit son of Tobiel son of Hananiel son of Aduel son of Gabael son of Raphael son of Raguel of the descendants[a] of Asiel, of the tribe of Naphtali, who in the days of King Shalmaneser[b] of the Assyrians was taken into captivity from Thisbe, which is to the south of Kedesh Naphtali in Upper Galilee, above Asher toward the west, and north of Phogor.

Tobit’s Youth and Virtuous Life

I, Tobit, walked in the ways of truth and righteousness all the days of my life. I performed many acts of charity for my kindred and my people who had gone with me in exile to Nineveh in the land of the Assyrians. When I was in my own country, in the land of Israel, while I was still a young man, the whole tribe of my ancestor Naphtali deserted the house of David and Jerusalem. This city had been chosen from among all the tribes of Israel, where all the tribes of Israel should offer sacrifice and where the temple, the dwelling of God, had been consecrated and established for all generations forever.

All my kindred and our ancestral house of Naphtali sacrificed to the calf[c] that King Jeroboam of Israel had erected in Dan and on all the mountains of Galilee. But I alone went often to Jerusalem for the festivals, as it is prescribed for all Israel by an everlasting decree. I would hurry off to Jerusalem with the first fruits of the crops and the firstlings of the flock, the tithes of the cattle, and the first shearings of the sheep. I would give these to the priests, the sons of Aaron, at the altar; likewise the tenth of the grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and the rest of the fruits to the sons of Levi who ministered at Jerusalem. Also for six years I would save up a second tenth in money and go and distribute it in Jerusalem. A third tenth[d] I would give to the orphans and widows and to the converts who had attached themselves to Israel. I would bring it and give it to them in the third year, and we would eat it according to the ordinance decreed concerning it in the law of Moses and according to the instructions of Deborah, the mother of my father Tobiel,[e] for my father had died and left me an orphan. When I became a man I married a woman,[f] a member of our own family, and by her I became the father of a son whom I named Tobias.

Taken Captive to Nineveh

10 After I was carried away captive to Assyria and came as a captive to Nineveh, everyone of my kindred and my people ate the food of the Gentiles, 11 but I kept myself from eating the food of the Gentiles. 12 Because I was mindful of God with all my heart, 13 the Most High gave me favor and good standing with Shalmaneser,[g] and I used to buy everything he needed. 14 Until his death I used to go into Media, and buy for him there. While in the country of Media I left bags of silver worth ten talents in trust with Gabael, the brother of Gabri. 15 But when Shalmaneser[h] died, and his son Sennacherib reigned in his place, the highways into Media became unsafe and I could no longer go there.

Courage in Burying the Dead

16 In the days of Shalmaneser[i] I performed many acts of charity to my kindred, those of my tribe. 17 I would give my food to the hungry and my clothing to the naked; and if I saw the dead body of any of my people thrown out behind the wall of Nineveh, I would bury it. 18 I also buried any whom King Sennacherib put to death when he came fleeing from Judea in those days of judgment that the king of heaven executed upon him because of his blasphemies. For in his anger he put to death many Israelites; but I would secretly remove the bodies and bury them. So when Sennacherib looked for them he could not find them. 19 Then one of the Ninevites went and informed the king about me, that I was burying them; so I hid myself. But when I realized that the king knew about me and that I was being searched for to be put to death, I was afraid and ran away. 20 Then all my property was confiscated; nothing was left to me that was not taken into the royal treasury except my wife Anna and my son Tobias.

21 But not forty[j] days passed before two of Sennacherib’s[k] sons killed him, and they fled to the mountains of Ararat, and his son Esar-haddon[l] reigned after him. He appointed Ahikar, the son of my brother Hanael[m] over all the accounts of his kingdom, and he had authority over the entire administration. 22 Ahikar interceded for me, and I returned to Nineveh. Now Ahikar was chief cupbearer, keeper of the signet, and in charge of administration of the accounts under King Sennacherib of Assyria; so Esar-haddon[n] reappointed him. He was my nephew and so a close relative.

Then during the reign of Esar-haddon[o] I returned home, and my wife Anna and my son Tobias were restored to me. At our festival of Pentecost, which is the sacred festival of weeks, a good dinner was prepared for me and I reclined to eat. When the table was set for me and an abundance of food placed before me, I said to my son Tobias, “Go, my child, and bring whatever poor person you may find of our people among the exiles in Nineveh, who is wholeheartedly mindful of God,[p] and he shall eat together with me. I will wait for you, until you come back.” So Tobias went to look for some poor person of our people. When he had returned he said, “Father!” And I replied, “Here I am, my child.” Then he went on to say, “Look, father, one of our own people has been murdered and thrown into the market place, and now he lies there strangled.” Then I sprang up, left the dinner before even tasting it, and removed the body[q] from the square[r] and laid it[s] in one of the rooms until sunset when I might bury it.[t] When I returned, I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow. Then I remembered the prophecy of Amos, how he said against Bethel,[u]

    “Your festivals shall be turned into mourning,
    and all your songs into lamentation.”

And I wept.

Tobit Becomes Blind

When the sun had set, I went and dug a grave and buried him. And my neighbors laughed and said, “Is he still not afraid? He has already been hunted down to be put to death for doing this, and he ran away; yet here he is again burying the dead!” That same night I washed myself and went into my courtyard and slept by the wall of the courtyard; and my face was uncovered because of the heat. 10 I did not know that there were sparrows on the wall; their fresh droppings fell into my eyes and produced white films. I went to physicians to be healed, but the more they treated me with ointments the more my vision was obscured by the white films, until I became completely blind. For four years I remained unable to see. All my kindred were sorry for me, and Ahikar took care of me for two years before he went to Elymais.

Tobit’s Wife Earns Their Livelihood

11 At that time, also, my wife Anna earned money at women’s work. 12 She used to send what she made to the owners and they would pay wages to her. One day, the seventh of Dystrus, when she cut off a piece she had woven and sent it to the owners, they paid her full wages and also gave her a young goat for a meal. 13 When she returned to me, the goat began to bleat. So I called her and said, “Where did you get this goat? It is surely not stolen, is it? Return it to the owners; for we have no right to eat anything stolen.” 14 But she said to me, “It was given to me as a gift in addition to my wages.” But I did not believe her, and told her to return it to the owners. I became flushed with anger against her over this. Then she replied to me, “Where are your acts of charity? Where are your righteous deeds? These things are known about you!”[v]

Tobit’s Prayer

Then with much grief and anguish of heart I wept, and with groaning began to pray:

“You are righteous, O Lord,
    and all your deeds are just;
all your ways are mercy and truth;
    you judge the world.[w]
And now, O Lord, remember me
    and look favorably upon me.
Do not punish me for my sins
    and for my unwitting offenses
    and those that my ancestors committed before you.
They sinned against you,
    and disobeyed your commandments.
So you gave us over to plunder, exile, and death,
    to become the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach
    among all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.
And now your many judgments are true
    in exacting penalty from me for my sins.
For we have not kept your commandments
    and have not walked in accordance with truth before you.
So now deal with me as you will;
    command my spirit to be taken from me,
    so that I may be released from the face of the earth and become dust.
For it is better for me to die than to live,
    because I have had to listen to undeserved insults,
    and great is the sorrow within me.
Command, O Lord, that I be released from this distress;
    release me to go to the eternal home,
    and do not, O Lord, turn your face away from me.
For it is better for me to die
    than to see so much distress in my life
    and to listen to insults.”

Sarah Falsely Accused

On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it also happened that Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was reproached by one of her father’s maids. For she had been married to seven husbands, and the wicked demon Asmodeus had killed each of them before they had been with her as is customary for wives. So the maid said to her, “You are the one who kills[x] your husbands! See, you have already been married to seven husbands and have not borne the name of[y] a single one of them. Why do you beat us? Because your husbands are dead? Go with them! May we never see a son or daughter of yours!”

Sarah’s Prayer for Death

10 On that day she was grieved in spirit and wept. When she had gone up to her father’s upper room, she intended to hang herself. But she thought it over and said, “Never shall they reproach my father, saying to him, ‘You had only one beloved daughter but she hanged herself because of her distress.’ And I shall bring my father in his old age down in sorrow to Hades. It is better for me not to hang myself, but to pray the Lord that I may die and not listen to these reproaches anymore.” 11 At that same time, with hands outstretched toward the window, she prayed and said,

“Blessed are you, merciful God!
    Blessed is your name forever;
    let all your works praise you forever.
12 And now, Lord,[z] I turn my face to you,
    and raise my eyes toward you.
13 Command that I be released from the earth
    and not listen to such reproaches any more.
14 You know, O Master, that I am innocent
    of any defilement with a man,
15 and that I have not disgraced my name
    or the name of my father in the land of my exile.
I am my father’s only child;
    he has no other child to be his heir;
and he has no close relative or other kindred
    for whom I should keep myself as wife.
Already seven husbands of mine have died.
    Why should I still live?
But if it is not pleasing to you, O Lord, to take my life,
    hear me in my disgrace.”

An Answer to Prayer

16 At that very moment, the prayers of both of them were heard in the glorious presence of God. 17 So Raphael was sent to heal both of them: Tobit, by removing the white films from his eyes, so that he might see God’s light with his eyes; and Sarah, daughter of Raguel, by giving her in marriage to Tobias son of Tobit, and by setting her free from the wicked demon Asmodeus. For Tobias was entitled to have her before all others who had desired to marry her. At the same time that Tobit returned from the courtyard into his house, Sarah daughter of Raguel came down from her upper room.

Footnotes:

  1. Tobit 1:1 Other ancient authorities lack of Raphael son of Raguel of the descendants
  2. Tobit 1:2 Gk Enemessaros
  3. Tobit 1:5 Other ancient authorities read heifer
  4. Tobit 1:8 A third tenth added from other ancient authorities
  5. Tobit 1:8 Lat: Gk Hananiel
  6. Tobit 1:9 Other ancient authorities add Anna
  7. Tobit 1:13 Gk Enemessaros
  8. Tobit 1:15 Gk Enemessaros
  9. Tobit 1:16 Gk Enemessaros
  10. Tobit 1:21 Other ancient authorities read either forty-five or fifty
  11. Tobit 1:21 Gk his
  12. Tobit 1:21 Gk Sacherdonos
  13. Tobit 1:21 Other authorities read Hananael
  14. Tobit 1:22 Gk Sacherdonos
  15. Tobit 2:1 Gk Sacherdonos
  16. Tobit 2:2 Lat: Gk wholeheartedly mindful
  17. Tobit 2:4 Gk him
  18. Tobit 2:4 Other ancient authorities lack from the square
  19. Tobit 2:4 Gk him
  20. Tobit 2:4 Gk him
  21. Tobit 2:6 Other ancient authorities read against Bethlehem
  22. Tobit 2:14 Or to you; Gk with you
  23. Tobit 3:2 Other ancient authorities read you render true and righteous judgment forever
  24. Tobit 3:8 Other ancient authorities read strangles
  25. Tobit 3:8 Other ancient authorities read have had no benefit from
  26. Tobit 3:12 Other ancient authorities lack Lord
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 28:15-28New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
    is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor;
    but one who hates unjust gain will enjoy a long life.
17 If someone is burdened with the blood of another,
    let that killer be a fugitive until death;
    let no one offer assistance.
18 One who walks in integrity will be safe,
    but whoever follows crooked ways will fall into the Pit.[a]
19 Anyone who tills the land will have plenty of bread,
    but one who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20 The faithful will abound with blessings,
    but one who is in a hurry to be rich will not go unpunished.
21 To show partiality is not good—
    yet for a piece of bread a person may do wrong.
22 The miser is in a hurry to get rich
    and does not know that loss is sure to come.
23 Whoever rebukes a person will afterward find more favor
    than one who flatters with the tongue.
24 Anyone who robs father or mother
    and says, “That is no crime,”
    is partner to a thug.
25 The greedy person stirs up strife,
    but whoever trusts in the Lord will be enriched.
26 Those who trust in their own wits are fools;
    but those who walk in wisdom come through safely.
27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing,
    but one who turns a blind eye will get many a curse.
28 When the wicked prevail, people go into hiding;
    but when they perish, the righteous increase.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 28:18 Syr: Heb fall all at once
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Philippians 2New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Imitating Christ’s Humility

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus,

who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
    and gave him the name
    that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Shining as Lights in the World

12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmuring and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. 16 It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you— 18 and in the same way you also must be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy and Epaphroditus

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. 20 I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But Timothy’s[b] worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.

25 Still, I think it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus—my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger[c] and minister to my need; 26 for he has been longing for[d] all of you, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 He was indeed so ill that he nearly died. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, in order that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 Welcome him then in the Lord with all joy, and honor such people, 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ,[e] risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.

Footnotes:

  1. Philippians 2:5 Or that you have
  2. Philippians 2:22 Gk his
  3. Philippians 2:25 Gk apostle
  4. Philippians 2:26 Other ancient authorities read longing to see
  5. Philippians 2:30 Other ancient authorities read of the Lord
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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