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scripture

 

CHAPTER 8

Expulsion of the Demon. 1When they had finished eating and drinking, they wanted to retire. So they brought the young man out and led him to the bedroom. 2Tobiah, mindful of Raphael’s instructions, took the fish’s liver and heart from the bag where he had them, and put them on the embers intended for incense.* 3The odor of the fish repulsed the demon, and it fled to the upper regions of Egypt;* Raphael went in pursuit of it and there bound it hand and foot. Then Raphael returned immediately.

4When Sarah’s parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah rose from bed and said to his wife, “My sister, come, let us pray and beg our Lord to grant us mercy and protection.” 5She got up, and they started to pray and beg that they might be protected. He began with these words:

“Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors;

blessed be your name forever and ever!

Let the heavens and all your creation bless you forever.a

6You made Adam, and you made his wife Eve

to be his helper and support;

and from these two the human race has come.

You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;

let us make him a helper like himself.’b

7Now, not with lust,

but with fidelity I take this kinswoman as my wife.

Send down your mercy on me and on her,

and grant that we may grow old together.

Bless us with children.”

8They said together, “Amen, amen!” 9Then they went to bed for the night.

But Raguel got up and summoned his servants. They went out with him and dug a grave, 10for he said, “Perhaps Tobiah will die; then we would be a laughingstock and an object of mockery.” 11When they had finished digging the grave, Raguel went back into the house and called his wife, 12saying, “Send one of the maids in to see whether he is alive. If he has died, let us bury him without anyone knowing about it.” 13They sent the maid, lit a lamp, and opened the bedroom door; she went in and found them sleeping together. 14The maid came out and told them that Tobiah was alive, and that nothing was wrong. 15Then they praised the God of heaven in these words:

“Blessed are you, God, with every pure blessing!

Let all your chosen ones bless you forever!

16Blessed are you, for you have made me happy;

what I feared did not happen.

Rather you have dealt with us

according to your abundant mercy.

17Blessed are you, for you have shown mercy

toward two only children.

Grant them, Master, mercy and protection,

and bring their lives to fulfillment

with happiness and mercy.”

18Then Raguel told his servants to fill in the grave before dawn.

Wedding Feast. 19He asked his wife to bake many loaves of bread; he himself went out to the herd and brought two steers and four rams, which he ordered to be slaughtered. So they began to prepare the feast. 20He summoned Tobiah and said to him, “For fourteen days* you shall not stir from here, but shall remain here eating and drinking with me; you shall bring joy to my daughter’s afflicted spirit. 21Now take half of what I own here; go back in good health to your father. The other half will be yours when I and my wife die. Take courage, son! I am your father, and Edna is your mother; we belong to you and to your sister both now and forever. So take courage, son!”

* [8:23] The manner of coping with demonic influences among the ancients seems strange to us. However, the fish here is a folktale element, suggesting the hero’s fight with a dragon, and not a recipe for exorcism. It is clear that the author places primary emphasis on the value of prayer to God (6:18; 8:48), on the role of the angel as God’s agent, and on the pious disposition of Tobiah.

* [8:3] The desert was considered the dwelling place of demons. Cf. Is 13:21; 34:14; Mt 4:1; 12:43.

* [8:20] For fourteen days: because of the happy, and unexpected, turn of events, Raguel doubles the time of the wedding feast. When Tobiah returns home, the usual seven-day feast is held (11:18). Cf. Jgs 14:12.

a. [8:5] Dn 3:26.

b. [8:6] Gn 2:1823.






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