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Tobit 12-14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VII. Raphael Reveals His Identity

Chapter 12

Raphael’s Wages.[a] When the wedding celebration came to an end, Tobit called his son Tobiah and said to him, “Son, see to it that you pay his wages to the man who made the journey with you and give him a bonus too.” Tobiah said: “Father, how much shall I pay him? It would not hurt to give him half the wealth he brought back with me. He led me back safe and sound, healed my wife, brought the money back with me, and healed you. How much should I pay him?” Tobit answered, “It is only fair, son, that he should receive half of all that he brought back.” So Tobiah called Raphael and said, “Take as your wages half of all that you have brought back, and farewell!”

Exhortation.[b] Raphael called the two of them aside privately and said to them: “Bless God and give him thanks before all the living for the good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Proclaim before all with due honor the deeds of God, and do not be slack in thanking him.[c] A king’s secret should be kept secret, but one must declare the works of God and give thanks with due honor. Do good, and evil will not overtake you. Prayer with fasting is good. Almsgiving with righteousness is better than wealth with wickedness. It is better to give alms than to store up gold, for almsgiving saves from death, and purges all sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, 10 but those who commit sin and do evil are their own worst enemies.

Raphael’s Identity. 11 “I shall now tell you the whole truth and conceal nothing at all from you. I have already said to you, ‘A king’s secret should be kept secret, but one must declare the works of God with due honor.’ 12 Now when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and likewise whenever you used to bury the dead.[d] 13 When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury that dead man, 14 I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. 15 I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord.”

16 Greatly shaken, the two of them fell prostrate in fear. 17 But Raphael said to them: “Do not fear; peace be with you! Bless God now and forever. 18 As for me, when I was with you, I was not acting out of any favor on my part, but by God’s will. So bless God every day; give praise with song. 19 Even though you saw me eat and drink, I did not eat or drink anything; what you were seeing was a vision. 20 So now bless the Lord on earth and give thanks to God. Look, I am ascending to the one who sent me. Write down all that has happened to you.” And he ascended. 21 They stood up but were no longer able to see him. 22 They kept blessing God and singing his praises, and they continued to give thanks for these marvelous works that God had done, because an angel of God appeared to them.

VIII. Tobit’s Song of Praise

Chapter 13

[e]Then Tobit spoke and composed a song of joyful praise; he said:

Blessed be God who lives forever,
    because his kingship lasts for all ages.
For he afflicts and shows mercy,
    casts down to the depths of Hades,
    brings up from the great abyss.
What is there that can snatch from his hand?

Give thanks to him, you Israelites, in the presence of the nations,
    for though he has scattered you among them,
    even there recount his greatness.
Exalt him before every living being,
    because he is your Lord, and he is your God,
    our Father and God forever and ever!
He will afflict you for your iniquities,
    but will have mercy on all of you.
He will gather you from all the nations
    among whom you have been scattered.

When you turn back to him with all your heart,
    and with all your soul do what is right before him,
Then he will turn to you,
    and will hide his face from you no longer.

Now consider what he has done for you,
    and give thanks with full voice.
Bless the Lord of righteousness,
    and exalt the King of the ages.

In the land of my captivity I give thanks,
    and declare his power and majesty to a sinful nation.
According to your heart do what is right before him:
    perhaps there will be pardon for you.

As for me, I exalt my God,
    my soul exalts the King of heaven,
    and rejoices all the days of my life.
Let all sing praise to his greatness,
    let all speak and give thanks in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, holy city,
    he will afflict you for the works of your hands,[f]
    but will again pity the children of the righteous.
10 Give thanks to the Lord with righteousness,
    and bless the King of the ages,
    so that your tabernacle may be rebuilt in you with joy.
May he gladden within you all who are captives;
    may he cherish within you all who are distressed
    for all generations to come.

11 A bright light will shine to the limits of the earth.
    Many nations will come to you from afar,
And inhabitants of all the ends of the earth
    to your holy name,
Bearing in their hands gifts for the King of heaven.
Generation after generation will offer joyful worship in you;
    your name will be great forever and ever.

12 Cursed be all who despise you and revile you;
    cursed be all who hate you and speak a harsh word against you;
    cursed be all who destroy you
    and pull down your walls,
And all who overthrow your towers
    and set fire to your homes.
    But blessed forever be all those who respect you.

13 Go, then, rejoice and exult over the children of the righteous,
    for they will all be gathered together
    and will bless the Lord of the ages.
14 Happy are those who love you,
    and happy are those who rejoice in your peace.
Happy too are all who grieve
    over all your afflictions,
For they will rejoice over you
    and behold all your joy forever.

15 My soul, bless the Lord, the great King;
16     for Jerusalem will be rebuilt as his house forever.
Happy too will I be if a remnant of my offspring survives
    to see your glory and to give thanks to the King of heaven!

The gates of Jerusalem will be built with sapphire and emerald,
    and all your walls with precious stones.
The towers of Jerusalem will be built with gold,
    and their battlements with purest gold.
17 The streets of Jerusalem will be paved
    with rubies and stones of Ophir;
18 The gates of Jerusalem will sing hymns of gladness,
    and all its houses will cry out, Hallelujah!
Blessed be the God of Israel for all ages!
For in you the blessed will bless the holy name forever and ever.

IX. Epilogue

Chapter 14

Parting Advice. So the words of Tobit’s hymn of praise came to an end. Tobit died in peace at the age of a hundred and twelve and was buried with honor in Nineveh. He was fifty-eight years old when he lost his eyesight, and after he recovered it he lived in prosperity, giving alms; he continued to fear God and give thanks to the divine Majesty.

As he was dying, he summoned his son Tobiah and Tobiah’s seven sons, and commanded him, “Son, take your children and flee into Media, for I believe God’s word that Nahum[g] spoke against Nineveh. It will all happen and will overtake Assyria and Nineveh; indeed all that was said by Israel’s prophets whom God sent will come to pass. Not one of all their words will remain unfulfilled, but everything will take place in the time appointed for it. So it will be safer in Media than in Assyria or Babylon. For I know and believe that whatever God has said will be accomplished. It will happen, and not a single word of the prophecies will fail.

As for our kindred who dwell in the land of Israel, they will all be scattered and taken into captivity from the good land. All the land of Israel will become a wilderness; even Samaria and Jerusalem will be a wilderness! For a time, the house of God will be desolate and will be burned. But God will again have mercy on them and bring them back to the land of Israel. They will build the house again, but it will not be like the first until the era when the appointed times will be completed.[h] Afterward all of them will return from their captivity, and they will rebuild Jerusalem with due honor. In it the house of God will also be rebuilt, just as the prophets of Israel said of it. All the nations of the world will turn and reverence God in truth; all will cast away their idols, which have deceitfully led them into error.[i] They will bless the God of the ages in righteousness. All the Israelites truly mindful of God, who are to be saved in those days, will be gathered together and will come to Jerusalem; in security will they dwell forever in the land of Abraham, which will be given to them. Those who love God sincerely will rejoice, but those who commit sin and wickedness will disappear completely from the land.

, “Now, my children, I give you this command: serve God sincerely and do what is pleasing in his sight; you must instruct your children to do what is right and to give alms, to be mindful of God and at all times to bless his name sincerely and with all their strength. Now, as for you, son, leave Nineveh; do not stay here. 10 The day you bury your mother next to me, do not even stay overnight within the confines of the city. For I see that there is much wickedness in it, and much treachery is practiced in it, and people are not ashamed. See, my son, all that Nadin[j] did to Ahiqar, the very one who reared him. Was not Ahiqar brought down alive into the earth? Yet God made Nadin’s disgraceful crime rebound against him. Ahiqar came out again into the light, but Nadin went into the everlasting darkness, for he had tried to kill Ahiqar. Because Ahiqar had given alms he escaped from the deadly trap Nadin had set for him. But Nadin fell into the deadly trap himself, and it destroyed him. 11 So, my children, see what almsgiving does, and also what wickedness does—it kills! But now my spirit is about to leave me.”

Death of Tobit and Tobiah. They laid him on his bed, and he died; and he was buried with honor. 12 When Tobiah’s mother died, he buried her next to his father. He then departed with his wife and children for Media, where he settled in Ecbatana with his father-in-law Raguel. 13 He took respectful care of his aging father-in-law and mother-in-law; and he buried them at Ecbatana in Media. Then he inherited Raguel’s estate as well as that of his father Tobit. 14 He died highly respected at the age of one hundred seventeen. 15 But before he died, he saw and heard of the destruction of Nineveh. He saw the inhabitants of the city being led captive into Media by Cyaxares,[k] the king of Media. Tobiah blessed God for all that he had done against the Ninevites and Assyrians. Before dying he rejoiced over Nineveh, and he blessed the Lord God forever and ever.

Footnotes:

  1. 12:1–5 Tobit and his son generously agree to give Raphael far more than the wages agreed upon in 5:15–16.
  2. 12:6–10 In the fashion of a wisdom teacher, Raphael gives the two men a short exhortation similar to the one Tobit gave his son in 4:3–19.
  3. 12:6–7 The faithful considered the praise of God their most esteemed privilege. Without it, life was meaningless; cf. Is 38:16–20.
  4. 12:12 Raphael is one of the seven Angels of the Presence, specially designated intercessors who present prayers to God. Angelology was developing in this period. The names of two other of these seven angels are given in the Bible: Gabriel (Dn 8:16; 9:21; Lk 1:19, 26) and Michael (Dn 10:13, 21; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev 12:7). See 1 Enoch for the names of the rest.
  5. 13:1–18 Tobit’s hymn of praise is divided into two parts. The first part (vv. 1–8) is a song of praise that echoes themes from the psalms; the second (vv. 9–18) is addressed to Jerusalem in the style of those prophets who spoke of a new and ideal Jerusalem (Is 60; cf. Rev 21). Joyful praise: words for joy and gladness occur throughout this prayer (vv. 1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18).
  6. 13:9 Works of your hands: idols.
  7. 14:4–5 Nahum: one of the minor prophets, whose book contains oracles of doom against Nineveh. Here, in keeping with the period in which the story is set, the author makes Tobit speak as if the punishment of Nineveh, the destruction of Jerusalem (587 B.C.), the exile from Judah and the return, would all take place in the future. The technique of using the facts of past history as seemingly future predictions is a frequent device of apocalyptic writers. The good land: a favorite name for the promised land. Cf. Dt 1:35; 3:25; 4:21–22.
  8. 14:5 Until the era…completed: a reference to the coming of the day of the Lord, when a new, more perfect temple was to be expected. Cf. Hb 9:1–14.
  9. 14:6 Conversion of the nations is also to come with the day of the Lord.
  10. 14:10 Nadin: in the Story of Ahiqar, the hero Ahiqar, chancellor under the Assyrian kings Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, adopts his nephew Nadin and prepares him to become his successor. But Nadin treacherously plots to have his uncle put to death. Ahiqar hides in a friend’s house and is finally vindicated when Nadin’s scheme is discovered. Thereupon Nadin is thrown into a dungeon where he dies. It was Ahiqar’s almsgiving that delivered him from death; see note on 2:2. The Greek and Latin versions of the Book of Tobit read the name as Nadab, but the Aramaic form has the ancient name Nadin, which is also found in the fifth-century B.C. Aramaic Story of Ahiqar.
  11. 14:15 Cyaxares: Nabopolassar, king of Babylon, and Cyaxares conquered and destroyed Nineveh in 612 B.C.; see note on 1:15.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 30:1-17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VII. Sayings of Agur and Others

Chapter 30

[a]The words of Agur, son of Jakeh the Massaite:

The pronouncement of mortal man: “I am weary, O God;
    I am weary, O God, and I am exhausted.
I am more brute than human being,
    without even human intelligence;
[b]Neither have I learned wisdom,
    nor have I the knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down again—
    who has cupped the wind in the hollow of the hand?
Who has bound up the waters in a cloak—
    who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is that person’s name, or the name of his son?”[c]

[d]Every word of God is tested;
    he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Add nothing to his words,
    lest he reprimand you, and you be proved a liar.

[e]Two things I ask of you,
    do not deny them to me before I die:
Put falsehood and lying far from me,
    give me neither poverty nor riches;
    provide me only with the food I need;
Lest, being full, I deny you,
    saying, “Who is the Lord?”
Or, being in want, I steal,
    and profane the name of my God.
10 Do not criticize servants to their master,
    lest they curse you, and you have to pay the penalty.
11 [f]There are some who curse their fathers,
    and do not bless their mothers.
12 There are some pure in their own eyes,
    yet not cleansed of their filth.
13 There are some—how haughty their eyes!
    how overbearing their glance!
14 There are some—their teeth are swords,
    their teeth are knives,
Devouring the needy from the earth,
    and the poor from the human race.
15 [g]The leech has two daughters:
    “Give,” and “Give.”
Three things never get their fill,
    four never say, “Enough!”
16 Sheol, a barren womb,
    land that never gets its fill of water,
    and fire, which never says, “Enough!”
17 The eye that mocks a father,
    or scorns the homage due a mother,
Will be plucked out by brook ravens;
    devoured by a brood of vultures.

Footnotes:

  1. 30:1–6 Scholars are divided on the original literary unit. Is it vv. 1–3, 1–4, 1–5, or 1–6? The unit is probably vv. 1–6, for a single contrast dominates: human fragility (and ignorance) and divine power (and knowledge). A similar contrast is found in Jb 28; Ps 73; Is 49:1–4. The language of self-abasement is hyperbolic; cf. 2 Sm 9:8; Ps 73:21–22; Jb 25:4–6. Agur: an unknown person. Massaite: from Massa in northern Arabia, elsewhere referred to as an encampment of the Ishmaelites (Gn 25:14). But Heb. massa may not be intended as a place name; it might signify “an oracle,” “a prophecy,” as in Is 15:1; 17:1; etc.
  2. 30:3–4 Agur denies he has secret heavenly knowledge. The purpose of the denial is to underline that God directly gives wisdom to those whose conduct pleases him.
  3. 30:4 The Hebrew text has the phrase “do you know?” at the end of v. 4, which is supported by the versions. The phrase, however, does not appear in the important Greek manuscripts Vaticanus and Sinaiticus and spoils the sense, for Agur, not God, is the questioner. The phrase seems to be an addition to the Hebrew text, borrowed from Job 38:5, where it also follows a cosmic question.
  4. 30:5–6 Verse 5, like the confession of the king in Ps 18:31 (and its parallel, 2 Sm 22:31), expresses total confidence in the one who rescues from death. Agur has refused a word from any other except God and makes an act of trust in God.
  5. 30:7–9 A prayer against lying words and for sufficiency of goods, lest reaction to riches or destitution lead to offenses against God.
  6. 30:11–14 Perverted people are here classified as unfilial (v. 11), self-righteous (v. 12), proud (v. 13) and rapacious (v. 14).
  7. 30:15–16 Here begins a series of numerical sayings; the pattern is n, n + 1. The slight variation in number (two and three, three and four) is an example of parallelism applied to numbers. The poetic technique is attested even outside the Bible. Two daughters: “Give,” and “Give”: the text is obscure; as the leech (a bloodsucking worm) is insatiable in its desire for blood (v. 15), so are the nether world for victims, the barren womb for offspring, the earth for water, and fire for fuel (v. 16). Sheol: here not so much the place of the dead as a force (death) that eventually draws all the living into it; cf. 27:20; Is 5:14; Hb 2:5. Land…fire: land (especially the dry land of Palestine) always absorbs more water; fire always requires more fuel.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Philemon New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Address and Greeting. [a]Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our beloved and our co-worker, to Apphia our sister,[b] to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church at your house. Grace to you and peace[c] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving. [d]I give thanks to my God always, remembering you in my prayers, as I hear of the love and the faith you have in the Lord Jesus and for all the holy ones,[e] so that your partnership in the faith may become effective in recognizing every good there is in us[f] that leads to Christ.

Plea for Onesimus. For I have experienced much joy and encouragement[g] from your love, because the hearts of the holy ones have been refreshed by you, brother. Therefore, although I have the full right[h] in Christ to order you to do what is proper, I rather urge you out of love, being as I am, Paul, an old man,[i] and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus. 10 I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment, 11 who was once useless to you but is now useful[j] to [both] you and me. 12 I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. 13 I should have liked to retain him for myself, so that he might serve[k] me on your behalf in my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary. 15 Perhaps this is why he was away from[l] you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man[m] and in the Lord. 17 So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me. 18 [n]And if he has done you any injustice or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, write this in my own hand: I will pay. May I not tell you that you owe me your very self. 20 Yes, brother, may I profit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.

21 With trust in your compliance I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time prepare a guest room for me, for I hope to be granted to you through your prayers.

Final Greetings. 23 Epaphras,[o] my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as well as Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my co-workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Prisoner: as often elsewhere (cf. Romans, 1 Corinthians, Galatians especially), the second word in Greek enunciates the theme and sets the tone of the letter. Here it is the prisoner appealing rather than the apostle commanding.
  2. 2 Apphia our sister: sister is here used (like brother) to indicate a fellow Christian. The church at your house: your here is singular. It more likely refers to Philemon than to the last one named, Archippus; Philemon is then the owner of the slave Onesimus (Phlm 10). An alternate view is that the actual master of the slave is Archippus and that the one to whom the letter is addressed, Philemon, is the most prominent Christian there; see note on Col 4:17.
  3. 3 Grace…and peace: for this greeting, which may be a combination of Greek and Aramaic epistolary formulae, see note on Rom 1:1–7.
  4. 4 In my prayers: literally, “at the time of my prayers.”
  5. 5 Holy ones: a common term for members of the Christian community (so also Phlm 7).
  6. 6 In us: some good ancient manuscripts have in you (plural). That leads to Christ: leads to translates the Greek preposition eis, indicating direction or purpose.
  7. 7 Encouragement: the Greek word paraklēsis is cognate with the verb translated “urge” in Phlm 9, 10, and serves as an introduction to Paul’s plea. Hearts: literally, “bowels,” expressing in Semitic fashion the seat of the emotions, one’s “inmost self.” The same Greek word is used in Phlm 12 and again in Phlm 20, where it forms a literary inclusion marking off the body of the letter.
  8. 8 Full right: often translated “boldness,” the Greek word parrēsia connotes the full franchise of speech, as the right of a citizen to speak before the body politic, claimed by the Athenians as their privilege (Euripides).
  9. 9 Old man: some editors conjecture that Paul here used a similar Greek word meaning “ambassador” (cf. Eph 6:20). This conjecture heightens the contrast with “prisoner” but is totally without manuscript support.
  10. 11 Useless…useful: here Paul plays on the name Onesimus, which means “useful” or “beneficial.” The verb translated “profit” in Phlm 20 is cognate.
  11. 13 Serve: the Greek diakoneō could connote a ministry.
  12. 15 Was away from: literally, “was separated from,” but the same verb means simply “left” in Acts 18:1. It is a euphemism for his running away.
  13. 16 As a man: literally, “in the flesh.” With this and the following phrase, Paul describes the natural and spiritual orders.
  14. 18–19 Charge it to me…I will pay: technical legal and commercial terms in account keeping and acknowledgment of indebtedness.
  15. 23–24 Epaphras: a Colossian who founded the church there (Col 1:7) and perhaps also in Laodicea and Hierapolis (Col 2:1; 4:12–13). Aristarchus: a native of Thessalonica and fellow worker of Paul (Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2). For Mark, Demas, and Luke, see 2 Tm 4:9–13 and the note there.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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