3Then with much grief and anguish of heart I wept, and with groaning began to pray:
2 You are righteous, O Lord,
and all your deeds are just;
all your ways are mercy and truth;
you judge the world.*
3 And now, O Lord, remember me
and look favourably upon me.
Do not punish me for my sins
and for my unwitting offences
and those that my ancestors committed before you.
They sinned against you,
4 and disobeyed your commandments.
So you gave us over to plunder, exile, and death,
to become the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach,
among all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.
5 And now your many judgements are true
in exacting penalty from me for my sins.
For we have not kept your commandments
and have not walked in accordance with truth before you.
6 So now deal with me as you will;
command my spirit to be taken from me,
so that I may be released from the face of the earth and become dust.
For it is better for me to die than to live,
because I have had to listen to undeserved insults,
and great is the sorrow within me.
Command, O Lord, that I be released from this distress;
release me to go to the eternal home,
and do not, O Lord, turn your face away from me.
For it is better for me to die
than to see so much distress in my life
and to listen to insults.
7 On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it also happened that Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was reproached by one of her fathers maids. 8For she had been married to seven husbands, and the wicked demon Asmodeus had killed each of them before they had been with her as is customary for wives. So the maid said to her, You are the one who kills* your husbands! See, you have already been married to seven husbands and have not borne the name of* a single one of them. 9Why do you beat us? Because your husbands are dead? Go with them! May we never see a son or daughter of yours!
10 On that day she was grieved in spirit and wept. When she had gone up to her fathers upper room, she intended to hang herself. But she thought it over and said, Never shall they reproach my father, saying to him, You had only one beloved daughter but she hanged herself because of her distress. And I shall bring my father in his old age down in sorrow to Hades. It is better for me not to hang myself, but to pray the Lord that I may die and not listen to these reproaches any more.
11At that same time, with hands outstretched towards the window, she prayed and said,
Blessed are you, merciful God!
Blessed is your name for ever;
let all your works praise you for ever.
12 And now, Lord,* I turn my face to you,
and raise my eyes towards you.
13 Command that I be released from the earth
and not listen to such reproaches any more.
14 You know, O Master, that I am innocent
of any defilement with a man,
15 and that I have not disgraced my name
or the name of my father in the land of my exile.
I am my fathers only child;
he has no other child to be his heir;
and he has no close relative or other kindred
for whom I should keep myself as wife.
Already seven husbands of mine have died.
Why should I still live?
But if it is not pleasing to you, O Lord, to take my life,
hear me in my disgrace.
16 At that very moment, the prayers of both of them were heard in the glorious presence of God. 17So Raphael was sent to heal both of them: Tobit, by removing the white films from his eyes, so that he might see Gods light with his eyes; and Sarah daughter of Raguel, by giving her in marriage to Tobias son of Tobit, and by setting her free from the wicked demon Asmodeus. For Tobias was entitled to have her before all others who had desired to marry her. At the same time that Tobit returned from the courtyard into his house, Sarah daughter of Raguel came down from her upper room.
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