2Then during the reign of Esar-haddon* I returned home, and my wife Anna and my son Tobias were restored to me. At our festival of Pentecost, which is the sacred festival of weeks, a good dinner was prepared for me and I reclined to eat.
2When the table was set for me and an abundance of food placed before me, I said to my son Tobias, Go, my child, and bring whatever poor person you may find of our people among the exiles in Nineveh, who is wholeheartedly mindful of God,* and he shall eat together with me. I will wait for you, until you come back.
3So Tobias went to look for some poor person of our people. When he had returned he said, Father! And I replied, Here I am, my child. Then he went on to say, Look, father, one of our own people has been murdered and thrown into the market-place, and now he lies there strangled.
4Then I sprang up, left the dinner before even tasting it, and removed the body* from the square* and laid it* in one of the rooms until sunset when I might bury it.*
5When I returned, I washed myself and ate my food in sorrow.
6Then I remembered the prophecy of Amos, how he said against Bethel,*
Your festivals shall be turned into mourning,
and all your songs into lamentation.
And I wept.
7 When the sun had set, I went and dug a grave and buried him. 8And my neighbours laughed and said, Is he still not afraid? He has already been hunted down to be put to death for doing this, and he ran away; yet here he is again burying the dead! 9That same night I washed myself and went into my courtyard and slept by the wall of the courtyard; and my face was uncovered because of the heat. 10I did not know that there were sparrows on the wall; their fresh droppings fell into my eyes and produced white films. I went to physicians to be healed, but the more they treated me with ointments the more my vision was obscured by the white films, until I became completely blind. For four years I remained unable to see. All my kindred were sorry for me, and Ahikar took care of me for two years before he went to Elymais.
11 At that time, also, my wife Anna earned money at womens work. 12She used to send what she made to the owners and they would pay wages to her. One day, the seventh of Dystrus, when she cut off a piece she had woven and sent it to the owners, they paid her full wages and also gave her a kid for a meal. 13When she returned to me, the kid began to bleat. So I called her and said, Where did you get this kid? It is surely not stolen, is it? Return it to the owners; for we have no right to eat anything stolen. 14But she said to me, It was given to me as a gift in addition to my wages. But I did not believe her, and told her to return it to the owners. I became flushed with anger against her over this. Then she replied to me, Where are your acts of charity? Where are your righteous deeds? These things are known about you!*
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