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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 8


When they had finished eating and drinking, the girl's parents wanted to retire. They brought the young man out of the dining room and led him into the bedroom.


1 At this point Tobiah, mindful of Raphael's instructions, took the fish's liver and heart from the bag which he had with him, and placed them on the embers for the incense.


2 The demon, repelled by the odor of the fish, fled into Upper Egypt; Raphael pursued him there and bound him hand and foot. Then Raphael returned immediately.


When the girl's parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, "My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance."


She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words: "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever.


You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.'


Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age."


They said together, "Amen, amen,"


and went to bed for the night. But Raguel got up and summoned his servants. With him they went out to dig a grave,


for he said, "I must do this, because if Tobiah should die, we would be subjected to ridicule and insult."


When they had finished digging the grave, Raguel went back into the house and called his wife,


saying, "Send one of the maids in to see whether Tobiah is alive or dead, so that if necessary we may bury him without anyone's knowing about it."


She sent the maid, who lit a lamp, opened the bedroom door, went in, and found them sound asleep together.


The maid went out and told the girl's parents that Tobiah was alive, and that there was nothing wrong.


Then Raguel praised the God of heaven in these words: "Blessed are you, O God, with every holy and pure blessing! Let all your chosen ones praise you; let them bless you forever!


Blessed are you, who have made me glad; what I feared did not happen. Rather you have dealt with us according to your great mercy.


Blessed are you, for you were merciful toward two only children. Grant them, Master, mercy and deliverance, and bring their lives to fulfillment with happiness and mercy."


Then he told his servants to fill in the grave before dawn.


He asked his wife to bake many loaves of bread; he himself went out to the herd and picked out two steers and four rams which he ordered to be slaughtered. So the servants began to prepare the feast.


3 He summoned Tobiah and made an oath in his presence, saying: "For fourteen days you shall not stir from here, but shall remain here eating and drinking with me; and you shall bring joy to my daughter's sorrowing spirit.


Take, to begin with, half of whatever I own when you go back in good health to your father; the other half will be yours when I and my wife die. Be of good cheer, my son! I am your father, and Edna is your mother; and we belong to you and to your beloved now and forever. So be happy, son!"



1 [2] (2,3) The manner of coping with demonic influences among the ancients seems quaint to us. However, the fish here is part of the story, and not a recipe for exorcism. It is clear that the author places primary emphasis on the value of prayer to God ( Tobit 6:18; 8:4-8), on the role of the angel as God's agent, and on the pious disposition of Tobiah.

2 [3] Into Upper Egypt: to the desert there. The desert was considered the dwelling place of demons. Cf Isaiah 13:21; 34:14; Matthew 4:1; 12:43.

3 [20] For fourteen days: because of the happy, and unexpected, turn of events, Raguel doubles the time of the wedding feast. When Tobiah returns home, the usual seven-day feast is held ( Tobit 11:18). Cf Judges 14:12.

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