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

Chapter 5

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1Tobias said: ‘I will do all that you have told me, father. 2But how shall I be able to recover this money from Gabael, since he does not know me and I do not know him? What proof of identity shall I give him to make him trust me and give me the money? Besides, I do not know the roads which would get me to Media.’ 3To this Tobit replied: ‘He gave me his note of hand, and I divided it in two and we took one part each. I kept one half of it and put half with the money. It is all of twenty years since I deposited that money! Now, my son, find someone reliable to go with you, and we shall pay him his wages up to the time of your return; then go and recover the money from Gabael.’

4Tobias went out to look for someone who knew the way and would accompany him to Media, and found himself face to face with the angel Raphael. 5Not knowing he was an angel of God, he questioned him: ‘Where do you come from, young man?’ ‘I am an Israelite,’ he replied, ‘one of your fellow-countrymen, and I have come here to find work.’ Tobias asked, ‘Do you know the road to Media?’ 6‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I have been there many times; I am familiar with all the routes, I know them well. I have frequently travelled into Media and used to stay with Gabael our fellow-countryman who lives there in Rages a 5:6 in Rages: so one Vs. (cp. 4:1); Gk in Ecbatana. . It is two full days' journey to Rages from Ecbatana; for Rages is situated in the hills, and Ecbatana lies in the middle of the plain.’ 7Tobias said: ‘Wait for me, young man, while I go in and tell my father. I need you to go with me and I shall pay you for it.’ 8‘Very well, I shall wait,’ he answered, ‘only do not be long.’

Tobias went in and told his father. ‘I have found a fellow-Israelite to accompany me,’ he said. His father replied, ‘Call him in; I must find out the man's family and tribe and make sure, my son, that he will be a trustworthy companion for you.’

9Tobias went out and called him: ‘Young man, my father is asking for you.’ When he entered, Tobit greeted him first. To Raphael's reply, ‘May all be well with you!’ Tobit retorted: ‘How can anything be well with me any more? I am now blind; I cannot see the light of heaven, but lie in darkness like the dead who can no longer see the light. Though still alive, I am as good as dead. I hear voices, but I cannot see those speaking.’ Raphael answered: ‘Take heart; in God's design your cure is at hand. Take heart!’ Tobit went on: ‘My son Tobias wishes to travel to Media. Can you go with him as his guide? I shall pay you, my friend.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘I can go with him. I know all the roads, for I have often been to Media. I have travelled over all the plains and mountains there and am familiar with the whole way.’ 10Tobit said to him, ‘Tell me, my friend, what family and tribe do you belong to?’ 11He asked, ‘Why do you need to know my tribe?’ Tobit said, ‘I wish to know whose son you are, my friend, and what your name is.’ 12‘I am Azarias,’ he replied, ‘son of the older Ananias, one of your kinsmen.’

13Tobit said to him: ‘Welcome, may all be well with you! Do not be angry with me, my friend, for wanting to know all about you and your parentage. You are, as it turns out, a kinsman and a man of good and honourable family. I knew Ananias and Nathan, the two sons of the older Semelias. They used to go with me to Jerusalem and worship with me there; they were never led into error. Your kinsmen are worthy men; you come of a sound stock. You are indeed welcome.’ 14And he added: ‘I shall pay you a drachma a day and allow you the same expenses as my son. 15Accompany him, and I shall give you something over and above your wage.’ 16Raphael agreed: ‘I shall go with him. Never fear; we shall travel there and back without mishap, for the road is not dangerous.’ Tobit said to him, ‘God bless you, my friend!’ He called his son and said: ‘My son, get ready what you need for the journey and go with your kinsman. May God in heaven preserve you both on your journey there, and restore you to me safe and sound. May his angel safely escort you both, my son.’ Before setting out Tobias kissed his father and mother, and Tobit wished him a safe journey.

17Then his mother burst into tears. ‘Why must you send my boy away?’ she said to Tobit. ‘Is he not the staff on which we lean? Do we not depend on him at every turn? 18Why the haste to lay out money for money? For the sake of our boy write it off! 19Let us be content to live the life appointed for us by the Lord.’ 20‘Do not worry,’ replied Tobit, ‘our son will go safely and come back safely, and you will see him with your own eyes on the day of his return. Do not worry or be anxious about them, my dear. 21A good angel will go with him; his journey will prosper and he will come back without mishap.’ 22At that she stopped weeping.

Notes:

a 5:6 in Rages: so one Vs. (cp. 4:1); Gk in Ecbatana.

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