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(a) The books and parts of books from Tobit through 2 Maccabees are recognized as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Roman Catholic, Greek, and Russian Orthodox Churches.

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.

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

Tobit and his background

This scroll is a story told by Tobit. He was the son of Tobiel son of Hananiel son of Aduel son of Gabael son of Raphael son of Raguel, whose family came from Asiel, of the Naphtali tribe. In the days of Shalmaneser king of the Assyrians, he was captured in Thisbe, south of Kedesh-naphtali in the upper hills of Galilee, northwest of Hazor and north of Peor.

Tobit’s piety

I, Tobit, was trustworthy and behaved righteously during my entire life. I would help support my relatives and others of my country who were captured and taken with me to Nineveh in the country of the Assyrians.

While I was young and in my own country of Israel, the tribe of my ancestor Naphtali deserted the descendants of my ancestor David and stayed away from Jerusalem, the city chosen from among all the tribes of Israel for offering sacrifices on behalf of all the tribes of Israel. There God’s own dwelling place, the temple, was built and dedicated for use by all future generations. Instead, all my relatives and the whole tribe of my ancestor Naphtali would offer sacrifices on all the hills of Galilee to the image of a calf that Israel’s King Jeroboam had set up in Dan.

I would often go by myself to Jerusalem on religious holidays, as the Law commanded for every Israelite for all time. I would hurry off to Jerusalem and take with me the early produce of my crops, a tenth of my flocks, and the first portion of the wool cut from my sheep. I would present these things at the altar to the priests, the descendants of Aaron. I would give the first tenth of my grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and other fruit to the Levites who served in Jerusalem. For six out of seven years,[a] I also brought the cash equivalent of the second tenth of these crops to Jerusalem where I would spend it every year. I gave this to orphans and widows, and to Gentiles who had joined Israel. In the third year, when I brought and gave it to them, we would eat together according to the instruction recorded in Moses’ Law, as Deborah my grandmother[b] had taught me (for my father had died and left me an orphan).

When I became an adult, I married a woman from our clan.[c] Together we had a son, whom I named Tobias.

Tobit rewarded for his piety

10 After I was taken captive to Assyria and came to Nineveh,[d] all my relatives and fellow Jews there were eating Gentile food. 11 I, however, avoided eating the Gentiles’ food. 12 Because I kept God in view with all my heart, 13 the Most High gave me favor and good standing before Shalmaneser, and I would buy for him everything he needed. 14 I used to go to Media on business for him until he died. While in the land of Media, I entrusted 570 pounds of silver to Gabael brother of Gabri.

15 When Shalmaneser died, Sennacherib his son ruled in his place. The roads to Media became dangerous,[e] and I couldn’t travel there any longer.

Tobit is harassed for his pious acts

16 During the time of Shalmaneser, I gave away a lot of money to my relatives, my fellow Jews. 17 I gave a portion of my food to the hungry and clothes to the naked. Whenever I saw that the corpse of anyone from my nation had been flung outside the wall of Nineveh, I buried it.

18 I also buried anyone whom Sennacherib murdered after fleeing home from Judea, at the time when the king of heaven had punished him for all his insulting actions. In his rage Sennacherib killed many Israelites. However, I would take their bodies and bury them secretly. Sennacherib looked for them, but he didn’t find them. 19 A native Ninevite went to the king and told him that I was the one burying the bodies. So I went into hiding. When I found out[f] that I was being hunted down to be put to death, I fled from the city in fear. 20 All my possessions were seized, and everything of mine became royal property except for my wife Anna and my son Tobias.

21 Within forty days Sennacherib was killed by two of his sons, who escaped to the mountains of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon became king in his place. He hired Ahikar, my brother Hanael’s son, to be in charge of all the financial accounts of his kingdom and all the king’s treasury records.

22 Ahikar petitioned the king on my behalf, and I returned to Nineveh. Ahikar had been the chief officer,[g] the keeper of the ring with the royal seal, the auditor of accounts, and the keeper of financial records under Assyria’s King Sennacherib. And Esarhaddon promoted him to be second in charge after himself. Ahikar was my nephew and one of my family.

Footnotes

  1. Tobit 1:7 Gk For six years
  2. Tobit 1:8 LXX2 the mother of our father Hananiel
  3. Tobit 1:9 Or ancestral kindred
  4. Tobit 1:10 LXX2 After I was taken into captivity into Assyria and when I was taken captive, I went into Nineveh.
  5. Tobit 1:15 Or slipped from his control
  6. Tobit 1:19 Gk adds that the king was aware of me and
  7. Tobit 1:22 Or chief cupbearer

Tobias of the tribe and city of Nephtali, (which is in the upper parts of Galilee above Naasson, beyond the way that leadeth to the west, having on the right hand the city of Sephet,)

When he was made captive in the days of Salmanasar king of the Assyrians, even in his captivity, forsook not the way of truth,

But every day gave all he could get to his brethren his fellow captives, that were of his kindred.

And when he was younger than any of the tribe of Nephtali, yet did he no childish thing in his work.

Moreover when all went to the golden calves which Jeroboam king of Israel had made, he alone fled the company of all,

And went to Jerusalem to the temple of the Lord, and there adored the Lord God of Israel, offering faithfully all his firstfruits, and his tithes,

So that in the third year he gave all his tithes to the proselytes, and strangers.

These and such like things did he observe when but a boy according to the law of God.

But when he was a man, he took to wife Anna of his own tribe, and had a son by her, whom he called after his own name,

10 And from his infancy he taught him to fear God, and to abstain from all sin.

11 And when by the captivity he with his wife and his son and all his tribe was come to the city of Ninive,

12 (When all ate of the meats of the Gentiles) he kept his soul and never was defiled with their meats.

13 And because he was mindful of the Lord with all his heart, God gave him favour in the sight of Salmanasar the king.

14 And he gave him leave to go whithersoever he would, with liberty to do whatever he had a mind.

15 He therefore went to all that were in captivity, and gave them wholesome admonitions.

16 And when he was come to Rages a city of the Medes, and had ten talents of silver of that with which he had been honoured by the king:

17 And when amongst a great multitude of his kindred, he saw Gabelus in want, who was one of his tribe, taking a note of his hand he gave him the aforesaid sum of money.

18 But after a long time, Salmanasar the king being dead, when Sennacherib his son, who reigned in his place, had a hatred for the children of Israel:

19 Tobias daily went among all his kindred, and comforted them, and distributed to every one as he was able, out of his goods:

20 He fed the hungry, and gave clothes to the naked, and was careful to bury the dead, and they that were slain.

21 And when king Sennacherib was come back, fleeing from Judea by reason of the slaughter that God had made about him for his blasphemy, and being angry slew many of the children of Israel, Tobias buried their bodies.

22 But when it was told the king, he commanded him to be slain, and took away all his substance.

23 But Tobias fleeing naked away with his son and with his wife, lay concealed, for many loved him.

24 But after forty-five days, the king was killed by his own sons.

25 And Tobias returned to his house, and all his substance was restored to him.

I am Tobit and this is the story of my life. My father was Tobiel, my grandfather was Ananiel, and my great-grandfather was Aduel. Aduel's father was Gabael; his grandfather was Raphael; and his great-grandfather was Raguel, who belonged to the clan of Asiel, a part of the tribe of Naphtali. (A)During the time that Shalmaneser was emperor of Assyria, I was taken captive in my hometown of Thisbe, located in northern Galilee, south of Kadesh in Naphtali, northwest of Hazor, and north of Phogor.

Tobit's Early Life

All my life I have been honest and have tried to do what was right. I often gave money to help needy relatives and other Jews who had been deported with me to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.

When I was young, I lived in northern Israel. All the tribes in Israel were supposed to offer sacrifices in Jerusalem. It was the one city that God had chosen from among all the Israelite cities as the place where his Temple was to be built for his holy and eternal home. But my entire tribe of Naphtali rejected the city of Jerusalem and the kings descended from David. (B)Like everyone else in this tribe, my own family used to go to the city of Dan in the mountains of northern Galilee to offer sacrifices to the gold bull-calf which King Jeroboam of Israel had set up there.

Tobit's Faithfulness to His Religion

(C)I was the only one in my family who regularly went to Jerusalem to celebrate the religious festivals, as the Law of Moses commands everyone to do. I would hurry off to Jerusalem with the first part of my harvest, the first-born of my animals, a tenth of my cattle, and the freshly clipped wool from my sheep. Then I would stand before the altar in the Temple, and give these offerings to the priests, the descendants of Aaron. I would give a tenth of my grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and other fruits to the Levites who served God in Jerusalem. Every year, except the seventh year when the land was at rest,[a] I would sell a second tenth of my possessions and spend the money in Jerusalem on the festival meal.

But every third year, I would give a third tithe[b] to widows and orphans and to foreigners living among my people, and we would eat the festival meal together. I did this in keeping with the Law of Moses, which Deborah, the mother of my grandfather Ananiel, had taught me to obey. (I had been left an orphan when my father died.)

Tobit's Faithfulness in Exile

When I grew up, I married Anna, a member of my own tribe. We had a son and named him Tobias. 10 Later, I was taken captive and deported to Assyria, and that is how I came to live in Nineveh.

While we lived in Nineveh, all my relatives and the other Jews used to eat the same kind of food as the other people who lived there, 11 but I refused to do so. 12 Since I took seriously the commands of the Most High God, 13 he made Emperor Shalmaneser respect me, and I was placed in charge of purchasing all the emperor's supplies.

14 Before the emperor died, I made regular trips to the land of Media to buy things for him there. Once, when I was in the city of Rages in Media, I left some bags of money there with Gabael, Gabrias' brother, and asked him to keep them for me. There were more than 600 pounds of silver coins in those bags. 15 When Shalmaneser died, his son Sennacherib succeeded him as emperor. It soon became so dangerous to travel on the roads in Media that I could no longer go there.

Tobit Buries the Dead

16 While Shalmaneser was still emperor, I took good care of my own people whenever they were in need. 17 (D)If they were hungry, I shared my food with them; if they needed clothes, I gave them some of my own. Whenever I saw that the dead body of one of my people had been thrown outside the city wall, I gave it a decent burial.

18 One day Sennacherib cursed God, the King of Heaven; God punished him, and Sennacherib had to retreat from Judah. On his way back to Media he was so furious that he killed many Israelites. But I secretly removed the bodies and buried them; and when Sennacherib later searched for the bodies, he could not find them.

19 Then someone from Nineveh told the emperor that I was the one who had been burying his victims. As soon as I realized that the emperor knew all about me and that my life was in danger, I became frightened. So I ran away and hid. 20 Everything I owned was seized and put in the royal treasury. My wife Anna and my son Tobias were all I had left.

Tobit's Nephew Rescues Him

21 About six weeks later, two of Sennacherib's sons assassinated him and then escaped to the mountains of Ararat. Another son, Esarhaddon, became emperor and put Ahikar, my brother Anael's son, in charge of all the financial affairs of the empire. 22 This was actually the second time Ahikar was appointed to this position, for when Sennacherib was emperor of Assyria, Ahikar had been wine steward, treasurer, and accountant, and had been in charge of the official seal. Since Ahikar was my nephew, he put in a good word for me with the emperor, and I was allowed to return to Nineveh.

Footnotes

  1. Tobit 1:7 the land was at rest: See Lv 25.1-7.
  2. Tobit 1:8 a third tithe; some manuscripts have the money.

Tobit[a] was of the lineage and of the city of Naphtali, which is in the higher parts of Galilee, above Hazor, behind [or after] the way that leadeth to the west, and it hath in the left side the city of Thisbe,

when he was taken [or when he was caught] in the days of Shalmaneser, king of Assyrians [or king of Assyria], nevertheless he set in captivity, either taken prisoner, forsook not the way of truth,

so that he parted each day all things which he might have, with his captive brethren that were of his kin.

And when he was younger than all (the) others in the lineage of Naphtali, nevertheless he did no childish thing in work [or in deed].

Forsooth when all the Jews went to worship the golden calves, which Jeroboam, the king of Israel, had made, this Tobit alone fled the companies of all those Jews [or this alone flew the company of all];

and he went to Jerusalem, to the temple of the Lord, and there he worshipped the Lord God of Israel; and he offered faithfully all his first fruits, and his tithes;

so that in the third year he gave all his tithe to converts, that is, men that were turned to the belief [or the converted from Gentiles], and to comelings (or to newcomers).

The young man kept (or did) these things, and things like these, by, [or after], (or according to) the law of (the) God of heaven.

And when he was made a man, he took a wife, Anna, of his lineage; and he (en)gendered [or he begat] of (or by) her a son, and he put his own name to him;

10 whom he taught from young childhood to dread God, and for to abstain from all sin. [whom from the time that he began to speak, he taught to dread God, and to abstain from all sin.]

11 Therefore when by captivity Tobit was come, with his wife and son, into the city of Nineveh, with all his lineage,

12 and all ate there of the meats of heathen men [or and all ate of the meats of Gentiles], this Tobit kept his soul, or his conscience, clean, and he was never defouled (or defiled) in (or with) the meats of them, that were forbidden to (the) Jews by Moses’ law.

13 And for he was mindful of the Lord in all his heart, God gave grace to him in the sight of Shalmaneser, the king;

14 and he gave to Tobit power to go wither ever he would, and he had freedom to do whatever things he would.

15 Therefore he went by (or unto) all men that were in (the) captivity, and gave to them the behests of health (or of deliverance). [Then he went by all that were in the captivity, and admonishings of health he gave to them.]

16 And when he was come into Rages, a city of Media, and had ten talents of silver, of these things by [or with] which he was honoured of (or by) the king;

17 and (when) he saw Gabael needy, that was of his lineage, with much company of his kin, Tobit gave to him, under an obligation, [or under writing], (or pledge), the foresaid weight of silver.

18 And after much time, after that Shalmaneser, the king, was dead, when Sennacherib, his son, reigned for him [or when his son Sennacherib reigned for him], and had the sons of Israel hateful in his sight,

19 Tobit went each day by all his kindred, and comforted them, and he parted (some) of his chattel to each man, as he might [or and divided to each, as he might, of his faculties];

20 he fed hungry men, and gave clothes to naked men, and he busily ordained sepulchre(s) to (or for) dead men and (the) slain. [the hungry men he fed, and to the naked he gave clothes, and to the dead and the slain busily he found sepulchre(s).]

21 And when king Sennacherib (re)turned again, fleeing from Judea for the vengeance that God did there to him for his blasphemy, and was wroth, and killed [or slew] many of the sons of Israel, Tobit buried their bodies.

22 And after that this was told to the king, he commanded Tobit to be slain, and he took (away) from him all his chattel [or all his substance].

23 And Tobit fled with his son and with his wife, and he was hid naked, that is, spoiled, (or bereft), of all his chattel, for many men loved him [or for many loved him].

24 Forsooth after five and forty days, the sons of the king killed [or slew] the king;

25 and then Tobit (re)turned again to his house, and all his chattel [or and all his faculties] was restored to him.

Footnotes

  1. Tobit 1:1 This story of Tobit befelled in the sixth year of king Hezekiah.