The good example of Tobit
1 This is the story of Tobit son of Tobiel, son of Ananiel, son of Ado nel, son of Gabael of the race of Asiel, of the tribe of Naphtali. 2 In the days of Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, Tobit was deported from Thisbe, which is to the south of Ke desh of Naphtali in Galilee, above Asher.
3 I, Tobit, have walked in the ways of truth and justice all the days of my life; I have given many alms to my brethren and to those of my countrymen who were deported with me to Nineveh, a city in the country of the Assyrians.
4 When I was a young man in my country, the land of Israel, all the tribe of my father Naphtali broke away from the family of David in Jerusalem. This was, however, the city chosen among all the tribes of Israel to be the place of sacrifice for all the tribes, and where the Temple, the house of God the Most High, had been built and consecrated for all generations forever.
5 All the tribes which had separated, including the tribe of Naphtali my father, sacrificed to the calf Baal which Jero boam, king of Israel, had set up at Dan, in the hills of Galilee. 6 I, alone, often went to Jerusalem for the feasts, as is ordered for all the people of Israel by an everlasting decree. I went with the first fruits and tithes of my crop, and with the first shearings of the sheep. 7 I gave these for the altar, to the priests, sons of Aaron; I gave a tithe of the corn, the wine, the olives, the pomegranates, the figs and the other fruits to the Levites who officiated in Jerusalem. I sold the second tithe every six years and went to distribute the money in Jerusalem.
8 I gave the third tithe to the orphans and widows and to the pagan converts who had joined the Israelites. I gave them every three years and we ate according to the rules which had been laid down on this matter in the Law of Moses, and according to the recommendations made by Deborah, my fatherís mother, for my father had left me an orphan.
9 When I reached manhood I married Anna of the race of our fore fathers and she bore me a son, Tobias. 10 When I was taken to the city of Nineveh as a prisoner, all my relatives and those of our family ate the pagansí food. 11 But I watch ed over myself so as not to eat it 12 because I remembered God with all my heart. 13 The Most High let me be esteemed by Shalmaneser and I became his purchaser. 14 I used to go to Media to make purchases for him until he died; one day I left on deposit with Gabael, brother of Gabria, at Rages in Media, a sack containing ten talents of silver.
15 When Shalmaneser died, his son Sennacherib became king in his place. In his time the highways of Media were in a state of insurrection so that I could no longer go to Media. 16 In the days of Shal maneser I gave many alms to my kinsmen. 17 I gave my bread to those who were hungry, my garments to those who were naked, and if I saw anyone of my tribe dead, and his body thrown over the ramparts of Nineveh I would bury him. 18 I buried secretly those whom King Sen nacherib killed on returning from Judea in the days when he was punished by the king of Heaven because of the blasphemies which he had uttered. In his anger he slew a great number of Jews. The king looked for their bodies but could not find them. 19 One of the inhabitants of Nineveh went and told the king that I had buried them, so I went into hiding.
19 Then I learned that they were looking for me to put me to death. I was afraid and fled to a dis tance. 20 All my goods were confiscated and nothing was left to me that was not taken for the royal treasury, except Anna my wife and Tobias my son.
21 But only forty days had passed when Sennacherib was killed by his two sons. They fled to Mount Ararat and his son Esarhaddon became king in Senna cheribís place. Esar haddon appointed Ahikar, the son of my brother Anael, over all the admi n istration. 22 Ahikar intervened on my behalf and I returned to Nineveh. My nephew Ahikar was head of the cup bearers, keeper of the seals, ad ministrator and accountant. Esarhaddon made him second only to himself.