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Tobit's Prayer
1I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I sighed and began to cry. Then, as I choked back my tears, I prayed:
2“You are righteous, O Lord!
You are merciful#3.2: merciful; some manuscripts add and just. in all you do,
faithful in all your ways.
You are the judge of this world.#3.2: You are the judge of this world; some manuscripts have You are always fair and just when you judge.
3-4I beg you, treat me with kindness.
Do not punish me for my sins,
not even for sins of which I am unaware.
My ancestors rebelled and disobeyed#3.3-4: My ancestors … disobeyed; some manuscripts have I disobeyed. your commands,
but do not punish me for their sins.
You let our people be plundered,
taken captive and killed.
You made an example of our people,
an object of contempt and disgrace
in all the nations where you scattered us.
5You have often judged my ancestors for their sins
and punished me for mine.
We were disloyal and rejected your commands,
so our punishment has always been just.
6“Now treat me as you please.
Take my life away and free me from this world;
let my body return to the earth.
I would be better off dead.
I am tormented by insults I don't deserve,
and weighed down with despair.
Lord, give the command—
bring all my troubles to an end,
take me to my eternal rest.
Don't reject my prayer.
I would rather die than live in misery
and face such cruel insults.”
Sarah's Troubles
7That same day in the city of Ecbatana in Media, it happened that Sarah, the daughter of a man named Raguel, was insulted by one of her father's servant women. 8Sarah had been married seven times, but the evil demon, Asmodeus, killed each husband before the marriage could be consummated. The servant woman said to Sarah, “You husband killer! Look at you! You've already had seven husbands, but not one of them lived long enough to give you a son.#3.8: but … son; some manuscripts have but it hasn't done you a bit of good. 9Why should you take it out on us? Why don't you go and join your dead husbands? I hope we never see a child of yours!”
10Sarah was so depressed that she burst into tears and went upstairs determined to hang herself. But when she thought it over, she said to herself, “No, I won't do it! People would insult my father and say, ‘You had only one child, a daughter whom you loved dearly, but she hanged herself because she felt so miserable.’ Such grief would bring my gray-haired father to his grave, and I would be responsible. I won't kill myself; I'll just beg the Lord to let me die. Then I won't have to listen to those insults any longer!”
Sarah's Prayer
11Then Sarah stood by the window, raised her arms in prayer, and said,
“God of mercy, worthy of our praise,
may your name always be honored,
may all your creation praise you forever.
12“Lord, I look to you for help.
13Speak the word and set me free from this life;
then I will no longer have to hear these insults.
14You know, O Lord, that I'm still a virgin;
I have never been defiled by a man.
15Never have I disgraced myself or my father's name,
as long as we have lived in this land of exile.
My father has no other child to be his heir,
and there is no relative#3.15: relative: In Israel it was customary to marry within one's own tribe. whom I can marry.
I have already lost seven husbands,
so why should I live any longer?
But if it is not your will to take my life,
at least show mercy to me.
Don't let me hear those insults again!”#3.15: at least … again; some manuscripts have at least listen to my complaint.
God Hears the Prayers of Tobit and Sarah
16As Tobit and Sarah were praying, God in heaven heard their prayers 17#Nu 36.6-9Tb 6.10-12 and sent his angel Raphael to help them. He was sent to remove the white film from Tobit's eyes, so that he could see again, and to arrange a marriage between Sarah and Tobit's son Tobias, who, as her cousin, had the right to marry her. Raphael was also ordered to expel the demon Asmodeus from Sarah. At the very moment that Tobit went back into his house from the courtyard, Sarah, in her house in Ecbatana, was coming downstairs.
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