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Tobit 4 Good News Translation (GNT)

Tobit's Advice to Tobias

That same day, Tobit remembered the money that he had left with Gabael at Rages in Media. He thought to himself,

Now that I have asked God to let me die, I should call my son Tobias and tell him about the money.

3-4 So Tobit called Tobias and said to him,
    Son, when I die, give me a proper burial. And after I'm gone, show respect to your mother. Take care of her for the rest of her life, and when she dies, bury her beside me. Remember, she risked her life to bring you into this world, so try to make her happy and never do anything that would worry her.

Every day of your life, keep the Lord our God in mind. Never sin deliberately or disobey any of his commands. Always do what is right and never get involved in anything evil. Be honest, and you will succeed in whatever you do.

Give generously to anyone who faithfully obeys God.[a] If you are stingy in giving to the poor, God will be stingy in giving to you. Give according to what you have. The more you have, the more you should give. Even if you have only a little, be sure to give something. This is as good as money saved. You will have your reward in a time of trouble. 10-11 Taking care of the poor is the kind of offering that pleases God in heaven. Do this, and you will be kept safe from the dark world of the dead.

12 Son, be on your guard against prostitutes. Above all, marry a woman of our tribe, because we are descendants of the prophets. Do not marry anyone who is not related to us. Remember that Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our earliest ancestors, all married relatives. God blessed them with children, and so their descendants will inherit the land of Israel. 13 Son, be loyal to your own relatives. Don't be too proud to marry one of them. Such pride leads to terrible frustration and ruin, just as laziness brings on severe poverty and causes starvation.

14 Pay your workers each day; never keep back their wages overnight. Honor God in this way, and he will reward you. Behave properly at all times. 15 Never do to anyone else anything that you would not want someone to do to you.

Do not drink so much wine that you get drunk, and do not let drinking become a habit.

16 Give food to the hungry and clothes to people in need. If you are prosperous, give generously, and do it gladly!

17 When one of God's faithful people has died, prepare food for the family,[b] but never do this when someone evil dies.

18 Take the advice of sensible people, and never treat any useful advice lightly.

19 Take advantage of every opportunity to praise the Lord your God. Ask him to make you prosper in whatever you set out to do. He does not give his wisdom to the people of any other nation. He is the source of all good things, but he can also destroy you and bring you to certain death, if he wishes.

Remember all my instructions. Don't forget them for one minute.

20 Tobias, I want you to know that I once left a large sum of money with Gabrias' son, Gabael, at Rages in Media. 21 We're poor now, but don't worry. If you obey God and avoid sin, he will be pleased with you and make you prosperous.

Footnotes:

  1. Tobit 4:7 The translation of verses 7b-19b, accidentally omitted in the Greek manuscript that this translation normally follows, is based on other Greek manuscripts.
  2. Tobit 4:17 prepare...family; or put food on his grave.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Tobit 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Tobit Gives Instructions to His Son

That same day Tobit remembered the money that he had left in trust with Gabael at Rages in Media, and he said to himself, “Now I have asked for death. Why do I not call my son Tobias and explain to him about the money before I die?” Then he called his son Tobias, and when he came to him he said, “My son, when I die,[a] give me a proper burial. Honor your mother and do not abandon her all the days of her life. Do whatever pleases her, and do not grieve her in anything. Remember her, my son, because she faced many dangers for you while you were in her womb. And when she dies, bury her beside me in the same grave.

“Revere the Lord all your days, my son, and refuse to sin or to transgress his commandments. Live uprightly all the days of your life, and do not walk in the ways of wrongdoing; for those who act in accordance with truth will prosper in all their activities. To all those who practice righteousness[b] give alms from your possessions, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it. Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor, and the face of God will not be turned away from you. If you have many possessions, make your gift from them in proportion; if few, do not be afraid to give according to the little you have. So you will be laying up a good treasure for yourself against the day of necessity. 10 For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps you from going into the Darkness. 11 Indeed, almsgiving, for all who practice it, is an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High.

12 “Beware, my son, of every kind of fornication. First of all, marry a woman from among the descendants of your ancestors; do not marry a foreign woman, who is not of your father’s tribe; for we are the descendants of the prophets. Remember, my son, that Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our ancestors of old, all took wives from among their kindred. They were blessed in their children, and their posterity will inherit the land. 13 So now, my son, love your kindred, and in your heart do not disdain your kindred, the sons and daughters of your people, by refusing to take a wife for yourself from among them. For in pride there is ruin and great confusion. And in idleness there is loss and dire poverty, because idleness is the mother of famine.

14 “Do not keep over until the next day the wages of those who work for you, but pay them at once. If you serve God you will receive payment. Watch yourself, my son, in everything you do, and discipline yourself in all your conduct. 15 And what you hate, do not do to anyone. Do not drink wine to excess or let drunkenness go with you on your way. 16 Give some of your food to the hungry, and some of your clothing to the naked. Give all your surplus as alms, and do not let your eye begrudge your giving of alms. 17 Place your bread on the grave of the righteous, but give none to sinners. 18 Seek advice from every wise person and do not despise any useful counsel. 19 At all times bless the Lord God, and ask him that your ways may be made straight and that all your paths and plans may prosper. For none of the nations has understanding, but the Lord himself will give them good counsel; but if he chooses otherwise, he casts down to deepest Hades. So now, my child, remember these commandments, and do not let them be erased from your heart.

Money Left in Trust with Gabael

20 “And now, my son, let me explain to you that I left ten talents of silver in trust with Gabael son of Gabrias, at Rages in Media. 21 Do not be afraid, my son, because we have become poor. You have great wealth if you fear God and flee from every sin and do what is good in the sight of the Lord your God.”

Footnotes:

  1. Tobit 4:3 Lat
  2. Tobit 4:6 The text of codex Sinaiticus goes directly from verse 6 to verse 19, reading To those who practice righteousness 19 the Lord will give good counsel. In order to fill the lacuna verses 7 to 18 are derived from other ancient authorities
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

Tobit 4 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

Therefore when Tobias thought that his prayer was heard that he might die, he called to him Tobias his son,

And said to him: Hear, my son, the words of my mouth, and lay them as a foundation in thy heart.

When God shall take my soul, thou shalt bury my body: and thou shalt honour thy mother all the days of her life:

For thou must be mindful what and how great perils she suffered for thee in her womb.

And when she also shall have ended the time of her life, bury her by me.

And all the days of thy life have God in thy mind: and take heed thou never consent to sin, nor transgress the commandments of the Lord our God.

Give alms out of thy substance, and turn not away thy face from any poor person: for so it shall come to pass that the face of the Lord shall not be turned from thee.

According to thy ability be merciful.

If thou have much give abundantly: if thou have a little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little.

10 For thus thou storest up to thyself a good reward for the day of necessity.

11 For alms deliver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness.

12 Alms shall be a great confidence before the most high God, to all them that give it.

13 Take heed to keep thyself, my son, from all fornication, and beside thy wife never endure to know a crime.

14 Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind, or in thy words: for from it all perdition took its beginning.

15 If any man hath done any work for thee, immediately pay him his hire, and let not the wages of thy hired servant stay with thee at all.

16 See thou never do to another what thou wouldst hate to have done to thee by another.

17 Eat thy bread with the hungry and the needy, and with thy garments cover the naked.

18 Lay out thy bread, and thy wine upon the burial of a just man, and do not eat and drink thereof with the wicked.

19 Seek counsel always of a wise man.

20 Bless God at all times: and desire of him to direct thy ways, and that all thy counsels may abide in him.

21 I tell thee also, my son, that I lent ten talents of silver, while thou wast yet a child, to Gabelus, in Rages a city of the Medes, and I have a note of his hand with me:

22 Now therefore inquire how thou mayst go to him, and receive of him the foresaid sum of money, and restore to him the note of his hand.

23 Fear not, my son: we lead indeed a poor life, but we shall have many good things if we fear God, and depart from all sin, and do that which is good.

Tobit 4 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

III. Preparation for the Journey

Chapter 4

A Father’s Instruction. That same day Tobit remembered the money he had deposited in trust with Gabael at Rages in Media. He thought to himself, “Now that I have asked for death, why should I not call my son Tobiah and let him know about this money before I die?” So he called his son Tobiah; and when he came, he said to him:[a] “Son, when I die, give me a decent burial. Honor your mother, and do not abandon her as long as she lives. Do whatever pleases her, and do not grieve her spirit in any way. Remember, son, how she went through many dangers for you while you were in her womb. When she dies, bury her in the same grave with me.

“Through all your days, son, keep the Lord in mind, and do not seek to sin or to transgress the commandments. Perform righteous deeds all the days of your life, and do not tread the paths of wickedness. For those who act with fidelity, all who practice righteousness, will prosper in their affairs.[b]

“Give alms from your possessions. Do not turn your face away from any of the poor, so that God’s face will not be turned away from you. Give in proportion to what you own. If you have great wealth, give alms out of your abundance; if you have but little, do not be afraid to give alms even of that little. You will be storing up a goodly treasure for yourself against the day of adversity. 10 For almsgiving delivers from death and keeps one from entering into Darkness. 11 Almsgiving is a worthy offering in the sight of the Most High for all who practice it.

12 “Be on your guard, son, against every kind of fornication, and above all, marry a woman of your own ancestral family. Do not marry a foreign woman, one who is not of your father’s tribe, because we are descendants of the prophets, who were the first to speak the truth. Noah prophesied first, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our ancestors from the beginning of time. Son, remember that all of them took wives from among their own kindred and were blessed in their children, and that their posterity would inherit the land. 13 Therefore, son, love your kindred. Do not act arrogantly toward any of them, the sons and daughters of your people, by refusing to take a wife for yourself from among them. For in arrogance there is ruin and great instability. In idleness there is loss and dire poverty, for idleness is the mother of famine.

14 “Do not keep with you overnight the wages of those who have worked for you, but pay them at once. If you serve God thus, you will receive your reward. Be on your guard, son, in everything you do; be wise in all that you say and discipline yourself in all your conduct. 15 Do to no one what you yourself hate. Do not drink wine till you become drunk or let drunkenness accompany you on your way.

16 “Give to the hungry some of your food, and to the naked some of your clothing. Whatever you have left over, give away as alms; and do not let your eye begrudge the alms that you give. 17 Pour out your wine and your bread on the grave of the righteous, but do not share them with sinners.[c]

18 “Seek counsel from every wise person, and do not think lightly of any useful advice. 19 At all times bless the Lord, your God, and ask him that all your paths may be straight and all your endeavors and plans may prosper. For no other nation possesses good counsel, but it is the Lord who gives all good things. Whomever the Lord chooses to raise is raised; and whomever the Lord chooses to cast down is cast down to the recesses of Hades. So now, son, keep in mind these my commandments, and never let them be erased from your heart.

20 “Now, I must tell you, son, that I have deposited in trust ten talents of silver with Gabael, the son of Gabri, at Rages in Media. 21 Do not fear, son, that we have lived in poverty. You will have great wealth, if you fear God, avoid all sin, and do what is good before the Lord your God.”

Footnotes:

  1. 4:3–19 A collection of maxims that parallel those in the wisdom literature, especially Proverbs and Sirach (see Introduction): duties toward parents (vv. 3–4; cf. also 14:13); perseverance in virtue and avoidance of evil (vv. 5–6, 14b); necessity and value of almsgiving and charity (vv. 7–11, 16–17); marriage within the clan (vv. 12–13a); industry (v. 13b); prompt payment of wages (v. 14a); the golden rule (v. 15a); temperance (v. 15b); docility (v. 18); prayer (v. 19).
  2. 4:6 It was commonly thought in the Old Testament that virtue guaranteed earthly prosperity, and sin earthly disaster (Prv 10:2; cf. Dt 28).
  3. 4:17 Tobit counsels his son to give alms in honor of the dead or, more probably, to give the “bread of consolation” to the family of the deceased. Cf. Jer 16:7; Ez 24:17.
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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