The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Tobias
Tobias, meanwhile, was on the march, with his dog at his heels; they did not make their first halt until they reached the river Tigris.
And when he went down to wash the dust from his feet, up came a monstrous fish as if it would have devoured him.
At this, he cried out in an extreme of fear, Help, sir; he means mischief.
But the angel bade him catch it by the gill and pull it towards him; so catch it he did, and brought it out on to the dry land, where it lay struggling at his feet.
This fish, the angel told him, is worth the bowelling; heart and gall and liver of it thou must keep by thee, sovereign remedies all.
This done, he roasted part of the meat, which they ate on their journey, and salted the rest, to serve them for provisions till they should reach Rages in Media.
And now Tobias had a question to ask of the angel; Tell me, good Azarias, said he, what healing virtue lies in those parts of the fish I must needs keep by me?
Its heart, answered he, has this virtue, that if a morsel of it be laid on the coals, the smoke will rid man or woman of the fiend’s harassing, and that for ever.
As for the gall, it is a sovereign salve for healing eyes that have a white film binding them.✻
And for our journey, said Tobias, what is the next stage of that?
Our host’s name is Raguel, the angel told him, a tribesman and a kinsman of thy own. He has a daughter called Sara, and neither chick nor child besides.
Of all he possesses thou mayest be heir, if thou wilt claim his daughter’s hand in marriage;
thou hast but to ask him, and she is thine.
I hear stories told of this maid, Tobias answered; how she has been betrothed seven times, and to every bridegroom it brought death; how it was a fiend, if the tale be true, that made away with them.
If the like befall me too, it would go hard with those parents of mine; I am all the children they have, they are old now, and this were to give them a cheerless passage to the grave.
Heed me well, answered Raphael, and thou shalt hear why the fiend has power to hurt some and not others.
The fiend has power over such as go about their marrying with all thought of God shut out of their hearts and minds, wholly intent on their lust, as if they were horse or mule, brutes without reason.
Not such be thy mating, when thou hast won thy bride. For three days deny thyself her favours, and the time you spend together, spend all in prayer.
The first night, burn the liver of yonder fish, and therewith the fiend shall be driven away.
On the second night, union thou shalt have, but with the company of the holy patriarchs.✻
The third night, thy prayer shall win thee a blessing, of children safely born to thee and to her.
Then, when the third night is past, take the maid to thyself with the fear of the Lord upon thee, moved rather by the hope of begetting children than by any lust of thine. So, in the true line of Abraham, thou shalt have joy of thy fatherhood.
The Holy Bible