The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Tobias
There was a man of Nephthali dwelling in the city of that name, which lies in the hill-country of Galilee, beyond Naasson, by the road leading westwards with Sephet on the left of it. His name was Tobias;
and when he was carried off as a prisoner by the Assyrians under king Salmanasar, he would not make his exile an excuse for deserting true religion.
Every day he would share whatever means he had with his fellow-captives, that were men of his own clan.
Even when he was a boy, and was of least regard among the men of Nephthali, no boyish levity did his acts display.
While the rest had recourse to the golden calves Jeroboam had set up when he reigned in Israel, Tobias shunned their company and went his own way;
went up to Jerusalem to the Lord’s temple, and worshipped the Lord that was God of Israel. First-fruit and tithe he duly offered,
and every third year he tithed his goods afresh, for the needs of wanderers and homeless folk.
By such acts as these he shewed, even in boyhood, what loyalty he had for the law of God;
when he grew up it was a maiden of his own tribe, called Anna, that he wedded, and their son, called by his father’s name,
was brought up to fear God and keep clear of every fault.
Such was he, when, like all his tribe, he was carried away, with his wife and his son, to Nineve.
All the rest might share the food of the Gentiles, he would not lose his innocence, he would not defile himself by eating what the law forbade.
And God, finding his heart so loyal to the divine commands, won him favour with king Salmanasar.
From this king he had leave to go where he would, and spend his time as he would;
so he made a round of all his fellow-exiles, giving them such good counsel as might avail them.
Once he was at a Median city called Rages, and had with him ten talents of silver, a gift from the king’s bounty.
To what use should he put it? He found there a fellow-tribesman of his own, called Gabelus, who was in great need; to him, then, he lent the aforesaid silver under a bond.
Time passed; Salmanasar died, and the throne passed to his son Sennacherib, who was no friend to the Jews;
and now it was Tobias’ daily task to visit his own clansmen, comforting them and providing for each of them as best he could, out of what store he had;
it was for him to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to honour with careful burial men that had died of sickness, and men slain.
When Sennacherib came home from Judaea, escaping while he might from the divine vengeance his blasphemies had brought upon him, he killed many an Israelite in his anger; and these too Tobias would bury.
When this came to the king’s ears, he gave orders that Tobias should be put to death, and seized all his property;
but he escaped, with his wife and son, into safe hiding; destitute as he was, he had many friends.
And then, forty-five days later, Sennacherib was murdered by his own sons,
whereupon Tobias came back home, and had all his goods restored to him.✻
The Holy Bible