The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Tobias
Father, answered the young Tobias, I will do all thy bidding;
but as for recovering the money, I have little hope. Here is one who is a stranger to me, and I to him; what proof can I bring forward? Meanwhile, I must find my way to Rages, and of that I have no experience.
Nay, said his father, I have the man’s bond here; do but shew him that, and he will restore the money without more ado.
Up then, and find some man of credit, that will go with thee upon condition of a due reward; must I die before thou bring the money back to me?
With that, his son went out, and at the door stood a young man of noble mien, all girt about, as if he were ready for a journey.
Little he knew that this was an angel of God, as he gave him welcome; Fair sir, he asked, whence comest thou?
And on hearing that he had been among the men of Israel, Why then, said he, thou knowest the road from here to Media?
I know it well, he answered; no step of it but I have marched often enough, when I would visit a fellow-countryman of ours who lives there; one Gabelus. The city where he dwells, Rages, is in Media, in the hill-country about Ecbatana.
Wait for me here, Tobias asked of him, while I give my father news of this.
Then he went back, and told the story to his father, who was all astonishment, and would have the stranger brought in.
So in he came, and wished him abiding happiness.
Happiness! Tobias said; little happiness for me, that sit here in the dark, and see never the light of day!
Take courage, the stranger said, God means thy soon recovery.
Then Tobias asked, Wilt thou take my son with thee, and guide him to Media, to Rages, and so to the house of Gabelus? There shall be a reward awaiting thee on thy return.
I will take him there, said the angel, and bring him home again besides.
Then Tobias would know of what household or tribe he came.
It was indeed no other than the angel Raphael that spoke to him; What, he answered, is it my lineage, not myself, thou wouldst have for thy son’s escort?
But set thy mind at rest; my name is Azarias,✻ and a man of renown, Ananias, was my father.
Forgive me, Tobias said, for doubting thy lineage; thou comest of good stock indeed.
Raphael, then, promised to conduct the boy safely and bring him safely home,
and Tobias bade them good speed; God be with you, said he, on your journey, and may his angel bear you company!
Then, when his pack was ready, the young Tobias bade his father and mother farewell, and the travellers set out together.
Now that the boy had gone, his mother fell a-weeping; Here was the only support of our old age, said she, why hast thou passed him on into other hands?
Would to God the money thou hast sent him to claim had never been thine!
We were content in our poverty; the very sight of the lad was riches enough.
Dry thy tears, Tobias answered; safe will he fare, this son of ours, and safe return; those eyes shall have sight of him again.
I hold it for truth that some good angel of the Lord escorts him, to see that all goes well with him and grant him happy return.
Thus comforted, the mother dried her tears and complained no more.✻
The Holy Bible