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Tobit 5 Good News Translation (GNT)

Travel Preparations

Then Tobias answered his father,
    I'll do everything you told me. But how can I get the money back from Gabael? We have never even met each other. How can I prove to him who I am, so that he will trust me and give me the money? Besides that, I don't know how to get to Media.

Tobit replied,
    Gabael and I both signed a document. I then tore it in two, and we each took a half. I put his half with the money. That was twenty years ago! Now, go and find a reliable person to travel with you to Media and back, and we will pay him when you return. But you must get the money that I left with Gabael.

Tobias Meets Raphael

Tobias then went out to look for someone who knew the way to Media and would travel with him. Almost as soon as he left the house, he found himself face-to-face with Raphael. Tobias did not know that Raphael was an angel of God, so he asked him where he was from.

I am an Israelite, Raphael answered,
one of your distant relatives, and I have come here to Nineveh to find work.

Do you know the way to Media? Tobias asked.

Yes, I do, Raphael replied.
I have been there many times, and I know all the roads well. I used to stay with our relative Gabael, who lives there in the town of Rages.[a] It takes at least two days to travel there from Ecbatana, the capital city, because Rages is up in the mountains.

Then Tobias said to Raphael,
    Wait here for me, my friend, while I go in and tell my father. I would like for you to travel with me, and I will pay you for the journey.

All right, Raphael said,
I'll wait, but don't take too long.

Tobias went in and told his father,
    I have found an Israelite to travel with me.

Call the man in, Tobit replied.
I would like to know what family and tribe he belongs to, and whether he is a reliable traveling companion for you.

Tobit Meets Raphael

So Tobias went out and called to Raphael,
    My father would like to meet you. When Raphael came in, Tobit greeted him first.

Then Raphael returned the greeting,
    I hope all is well with you.

But Tobit replied,
    How can all be well with me? I'm blind and can't see a thing. It's like being dead and no longer able to see the light. I might as well be dead! I can hear people talking, but I can't see them.

Cheer up! Raphael said to him.
God is going to cure you soon, so don't worry!

Tobit then said,
    My son Tobias wants to go to Media. Can you go with him and show him the way? I will pay you, of course.

Raphael replied,
    Certainly I can go with him. I have traveled there many times and I know all the roads in the mountains and on the plains.

10 Tobit questioned him further,
    Tell me, my friend, what family and tribe do you belong to?

11 But Raphael asked,
    Why do you need to know that?

Tell me the truth, said Tobit.
What is your name, and who are you?

12 Raphael replied,
    My name is Azarias, and I am the son of the older Ananias, one of your relatives.

13 Then Tobit said to him,
    Welcome to our home! God bless you, my son. Please don't be offended because I wanted to know the truth about you and your family. As it turns out, you are from a good family and a relative at that! I knew Ananias and Nathan, the two sons of the older Shemaiah. They were always loyal to their religion. We used to travel together to Jerusalem and worship there. Your relatives are fine people, and you come from good stock. Have a safe journey.

14 Tobit continued,
    I will pay the normal daily wage plus expenses for both of you. 15 Be a good companion to Tobias, and I will add a bonus to your wages.

    I will go with him, Raphael said.
    And don't worry; we will get there and back safely. The roads are not dangerous.

God be with you! Tobit replied. Then he called Tobias and said to him,
Son, get everything ready that you need for the journey, so that the two of you can be on your way. May God and his angel watch over you both and bring you back to me safe and sound.

Before leaving for Media, Tobias kissed his father and mother good-bye. Tobit said again,
    Have a safe journey!

17 Then his mother began to cry.
    How could you send my son away like this? she complained.
    He's our only means of support. Who will take care of us now? 18 Is that money so important to you that you are willing to risk your own son's life to get it back? 19 Why can't we be content to live on what the Lord has given us?

20 Calm down, Tobit said to her.
He will get there and back safely, and with your own eyes you will see him return home safe and sound. 21 Now stop worrying about them, dear. A good angel will go with Tobias. He will have a successful journey and will come back in good health.
At that, Anna calmed down and stopped crying.


  1. Tobit 5:6 Rages; Greek Ecbatana.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Tobit 5 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

Then Tobias answered his father, and said: I will do all things, father, which thou hast commanded me.

But how I shall get this money, I cannot tell; he knoweth me not, and I know not him: what token shall I give him? nor did I ever know the way which leadeth thither.

Then his father answered him, and said: I have a note of his hand with me, which when thou shalt shew him, he will presently pay it.

But go now, and seek thee out some faithful man, to go with thee for his hire: that thou mayst receive it, while I yet live.

Then Tobias going forth, found a beautiful young man, standing girded, and as it were ready to walk.

And not knowing that he was an angel of God, he saluted him, and said: From whence art thou, good young man?

But he answered: Of the children of Israel. And Tobias said to him: Knowest thou the way that leadeth to the country of the Medes?

And he answered: I know it: and I have often walked through all the ways thereof, and I have abode with Gabelus our brother, who dwelleth at Rages a city of the Medes, which is situate in the mount of Ecbatana.

And Tobias said to him: Stay for me, I beseech thee, till I tell these same things to my father.

10 Then Tobias going in told all these things to his father. Upon which his father being in admiration, desired that he would come in unto him.

11 So going in he saluted him, and said: Joy be to thee always.

12 And Tobias said: What manner of joy shall be to me, who sit in darkness, and see not the light of heaven?

13 And the young man said to him: Be of good courage, thy cure from God is at hand.

14 And Tobias said to him: Canst thou conduct my son to Gabelus at Rages, a city of the Medes? and when thou shalt return, I will pay thee thy hire.

15 And the angel said to him: I will conduct him thither, and bring him back to thee.

16 And Tobias said to him: I pray thee, tell me, of what family, or what tribe art thou?

17 And Raphael the angel answered: Dost thou seek the family of him thou hirest, or the hired servant himself to go with thy son?

18 But lest I should make thee uneasy, I am Azarias the son of the great Ananias.

19 And Tobias answered: Thou art of a great family. But I pray thee be not angry that I desired to know thy family.

20 And the angel said to him: I will lead thy son safe, and bring him to thee again safe.

21 And Tobias answering, said: May you have a good journey, and God be with you in your way, and his angel accompany you.

22 Then all things being ready, that were to be carried in their journey, Tobias bade his father and his mother farewell, and they set out both together.

23 And when they were departed, his mother began to weep, and to say: Thou hast taken the staff of our old age, and sent him away from us.

24 I wish the money for which thou hast sent him, had never been.

25 For poverty was sufficient for us, that we might account it as riches, that we saw our son.

26 And Tobias said to her: Weep not, our son will arrive thither safe, and will return safe to us, and thy eyes shall see him.

27 For I believe that the good angel of God doth accompany him, and doth order all things well that are done about him, so that he shall return to us with joy.

28 At these words his mother ceased weeping, and held her peace.

Tobit 5 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 5

The Angel Raphael. Then Tobiah replied to his father Tobit: “Everything that you have commanded me, father, I shall do. But how will I be able to get that money from him, since he does not know me, and I do not know him? What sign can I give him so that he will recognize and trust me, and give me the money? I do not even know the roads to Media, in order to go there.” Tobit answered his son Tobiah: “He gave me his bond,[a] and I gave him mine; I divided his into two parts, and each of us took one part; I put one part with the money. It is twenty years since I deposited that money! So, son, find yourself a trustworthy person who will make the journey with you, and we will give him wages when you return; but bring back that money from Gabael while I am still alive.”

Tobiah went out to look for someone who would travel with him to Media, someone who knew the way. He went out and found the angel Raphael standing before him (though he did not know[b] that this was an angel of God). Tobiah said to him, “Where do you come from, young man?” He replied, “I am an Israelite, one of your kindred. I have come here to work.” Tobiah said to him, “Do you know the way to Media?” “Yes,” he replied, “I have been there many times. I know the place well and am acquainted with all the routes. I have often traveled to Media; I used to stay with our kinsman Gabael, who lives at Rages in Media. It is a good two days’ journey from Ecbatana to Rages,[c] for Rages is situated in the mountains, but Ecbatana is in the middle of the plain.” Tobiah said to him, “Wait for me, young man, till I go in and tell my father; for I need you to make the journey with me. I will pay you your wages.” He replied, “Very well, I will wait; but do not be long.”

Tobiah went in and informed his father Tobit: “I have found someone of our own Israelite kindred who will go with me!” Tobit said, “Call the man in, so that I may find out from what family and tribe he comes, and whether he is trustworthy enough to travel with you, son.”

10 Tobiah went out to summon him, saying, “Young man, my father is calling for you.” When Raphael entered the house, Tobit greeted him first. He replied, “Joyful greetings to you!” Tobit answered, “What joy is left for me? Here I am, a blind man who cannot see the light of heaven, but must remain in darkness, like the dead who no longer see the light! Though alive, I am among the dead. I can hear people’s voices, but I do not see them.” The young man said, “Take courage! God’s healing is near; so take courage!” Tobit then said: “My son Tobiah wants to go to Media. Can you go with him to show him the way? I will pay you your wages, brother.” He answered: “Yes, I will go with him, and I know all the routes. I have often traveled to Media and crossed all its plains so I know well the mountains and all its roads.” 11 Tobit asked him, “Brother, tell me, please, from what family and tribe are you?” 12 He replied, “Why? What need do you have for a tribe? Aren’t you looking for a hired man?” Tobit replied, “I only want to know, brother, whose son you truly are and what your name is.”

13 He answered, “I am Azariah,[d] son of the great Hananiah, one of your own kindred.” 14 Tobit exclaimed: “Welcome! God save you, brother! Do not be provoked with me, brother, for wanting to learn the truth about your family. It turns out that you are a kinsman, from a noble and good line! I knew Hananiah and Nathan, the two sons of the great Shemeliah. They used to go to Jerusalem with me, where we would worship together. They were not led astray; your kindred are good people. You are certainly of good lineage. So welcome!”

15 Then he added: “For each day I will give you a drachma as wages,[e] as well as expenses for you and for my son. So go with my son, and 16 I will even add a bonus to your wages!” The young man replied: “I will go with him. Do not fear. In good health we will leave you, and in good health we will return to you, for the way is safe.” 17 Tobit said, “Blessing be upon you, brother.” Then he called his son and said to him: “Son, prepare whatever you need for the journey, and set out with your kinsman. May God in heaven protect you on the way and bring you back to me safe and sound; may his angel accompany you for your safety, son.”

Tobiah left to set out on his journey, and he kissed his father and mother. Tobit said to him, “Have a safe journey.” 18 But his mother began to weep and she said to Tobit: “Why have you sent my child away? Is he not the staff of our hands, as he goes in and out before us? 19 Do not heap money upon money! Rather relinquish it in exchange for our child! 20 What the Lord has given us to live on is certainly enough for us.” 21 Tobit reassured her: “Do not worry! Our son will leave in good health and come back to us in good health. Your own eyes will see the day when he returns to you safe and sound. So, do not worry; do not fear for them, my sister.[f] 22 For a good angel[g] will go with him, his journey will be successful, and he will return in good health.” Then she stopped weeping.


  1. 5:3 Bond: a document called in Greek cheirographon. In the Middle Ages, notably in England, a deed and its duplicate were written on one piece of parchment, with the Latin word chirographum inscribed across the top of the sheet or between the two copies of the text. The document was then cut in two in either a straight or a wavy line, the parts being given to the persons concerned. Perhaps this procedure was derived from the present verse of Tobit. Duplicate documents, usually one part open and the other sealed, are well known from the ancient Near East.
  2. 5:4 He did not know: the theme of an angel in disguise occurs frequently in folklore as well as in the Old Testament (Gn 18; cf. Hb 13:2).
  3. 5:6 It is a good two days’ journey from Ecbatana to Rages: Alexander’s army took eleven days in forced marches to cover this distance, about 180 miles. (See notes on 1:15; 3:7 and Introduction.)
  4. 5:13–14 Azariah, “Yhwh has helped”; Hananiah, “Yhwh has shown mercy”; Nathan is a shortened form of Nathaniah, “Yhwh has given”; Shemeliah may be a Greek corruption of the Hebrew name, Shemaiah, “Yhwh has heard.”
  5. 5:15 A drachma as wages: the normal wages, about seventeen cents, a day’s wage for a laborer.
  6. 5:21 My sister: “sister” was a term of endearment used in antiquity even for one’s wife; similarly “brother” for one’s husband. Cf. 7:11, 15; 8:4, 21; 10:6, 13; Sg 4:9–10, 12; 5:1–2.
  7. 5:22 A good angel: a reference to a guardian angel, though Tobit does not know, of course, that Raphael himself, disguised as Azariah, is the good angel in this case.
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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