12When the wedding celebration was ended, Tobit called his son Tobias and said to him, My child, see to paying the wages of the man who went with you, and give him a bonus as well. 2He replied, Father, how much shall I pay him? It would do no harm to give him half of the possessions brought back with me. 3For he has led me back to you safely, he cured my wife, he brought the money back with me, and he healed you. How much extra shall I give him as a bonus? 4Tobit said, He deserves, my child, to receive half of all that he brought back. 5So Tobias* called him and said, Take for your wages half of all that you brought back, and farewell.
6 Then Raphael* called the two of them privately and said to them, Bless God and acknowledge him in the presence of all the living for the good things he has done for you. Bless and sing praise to his name. With fitting honour declare to all people the deeds* of God. Do not be slow to acknowledge him. 7It is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to acknowledge and reveal the works of God, and with fitting honour to acknowledge him. Do good, and evil will not overtake you. 8Prayer with fasting* is good, but better than both is almsgiving with righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than wealth with wrongdoing.* It is better to give alms than to lay up gold. 9For almsgiving saves from death and purges away every sin. Those who give alms will enjoy a full life, 10but those who commit sin and do wrong are their own worst enemies.
11 I will now declare the whole truth to you and will conceal nothing from you. Already I have declared it to you when I said, It is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to reveal with due honour the works of God. 12So now, when you and Sarah prayed, it was I who brought and read* the record of your prayer before the glory of the Lord, and likewise whenever you buried the dead. 13And that time when you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner to go and bury the dead, 14I was sent to you to test you. And at the same time God sent me to heal you and Sarah your daughter-in-law. 15I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ready and enter before the glory of the Lord.
16 The two of them were shaken; they fell face down, for they were afraid.
17But he said to them, Do not be afraid; peace be with you. Bless God for evermore.
18As for me, when I was with you, I was not acting on my own will, but by the will of God. Bless him each and every day; sing his praises.
19Although you were watching me, I really did not eat or drink anythingbut what you saw was a vision.
20So now get up from the ground,* and acknowledge God. See, I am ascending to him who sent me. Write down all these things that have happened to you. And he ascended.
21Then they stood up, and could see him no more.
22They kept blessing God and singing his praises, and they acknowledged God for these marvellous deeds of his, when an angel of God had appeared to them.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011