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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 4

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1 THAT same day Tobit remembered the money he had deposited with Gabael at Rages in Media, 2and he said to himself, ‘I have asked for death; before I die I ought to send for my son Tobias and explain to him about this money.’ 3So he sent for Tobias and, when he came, said to him: ‘When I die, give me decent burial. Honour your mother, and do not abandon her as long as she lives; do what will please her, and never grieve her heart in any way. 4Remember, my son, all the hazards she faced for your sake while you were in her womb. When she dies, bury her beside me in the same grave.

5‘Keep the Lord in mind every day of your life, my son, and never deliberately do what is wrong or violate his commandments. As long as you live do what is right, and avoid evil ways; 6for an honest life leads to success in any undertaking, and to all who do right the Lord will give good counsel.

7‘Distribute alms from what you possess and never with a grudging eye. Do not turn your face away from any poor man, and God will not turn away his face from you. 8Let your almsgiving match your means. If you have little, do not be ashamed to give the little you can afford; 9you will be laying up sound insurance against the day of adversity. 10Almsgiving preserves the giver from death and keeps him from going down into darkness. 11All who give alms are making an offering acceptable to the Most High.

12‘Be on your guard, my son, against fornication; and above all choose your wife from the race of your ancestors. Do not take a foreign wife, one not of your father's tribe, for we are descendants of the prophets. My son, remember that back to the earliest days our ancestors, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, all chose wives from their kindred. They were blessed in their children, and their descendants will possess the land. 13So you too, my son, must love your kindred; do not be too proud to take a wife from among the women of your own nation. Such pride breeds ruin and disorder, and the waster declines into poverty; waste is the mother of starvation.

14‘Pay any man who works for you his wages that same day; let no one wait for his money. If you serve God, you will be repaid. Be circumspect, my son, in all that you do, and in all your behaviour be true to your upbringing. 15Do to no one what you yourself would hate. Do not drink to excess or let drunkenness become a habit. 16Share your food with the hungry, your clothes with those who have none. Whatever you have beyond your own needs, distribute in alms, and do not give with a grudging look. 17Pour out your wine and offer your bread on the tombs of the righteous; but give nothing to sinners. 18Seek advice from every sensible person; do not despise any advice that may be of use. 19Praise the Lord God at all times and ask him to guide your steps; then all you do and all you plan will be crowned with success. The heathen lack such guidance; it is the Lord himself who gives all good things and who humbles whomsoever he chooses to the lowly grave. Now remember those injunctions, my son; let them never be effaced from your mind.

20‘And now, my son, I should tell you that I have ten talents of silver on deposit with Gabael son of Gabri at Rages in Media. 21Do not be anxious because we have become poor; there is great wealth awaiting you, if only you fear God and avoid all wickedness and do what is good in the sight of the Lord your God.’

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