1Grief‐stricken in spirit, I groaned and wept aloud. Then with sobs I began to pray:
Tobit's Prayer for Death
2“You are righteous, O Lord, and all your deeds are just; All your ways are mercy and truth; you are the judge of the world. n Pss 25, 10; 119, 137; Dn 3, 27 . 3And now, O Lord, may you be mindfulof me, and look with favor upon me. Punish me not for my sins, nor for my inadvertent offenses, nor for those of my fathers. o Ex 34, 7 .
“They sinned against you, 4and disobeyed your commandments. So you handed us over to plundering,exile, and death, till we were an object lesson, abyword, a reproach in all the nations among whom youscattered us. p Dt 28, 15; Bar 1, 16–22; 2, 4f; 3, 8; Dn 9, 5f .
5“Yes, your judgments are many and true in dealing with me as my sins and those of my fathers deserve. For we have not kept yourcommandments, nor have we trodden the paths of truthbefore you.
6“So now, deal with me as you please, and command my life breath to betaken from me, that I may go from the face of the earthinto dust. It is better for me to die than to live,* because I have heard insultingcalumnies, and I am overwhelmed with grief. q Nm 11, 15; 1 Kgs 19, 4; Jb 7, 15; Jon 4, 3. 8 .
“Lord, command me to be deliveredfrom such anguish; let me go to the everlasting abode; Lord, refuse me not. For it is better for me to die than to endure so much misery in life, and to hear these insults!”
Sarah Falsely Accused. 7 *On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it so happened that Raguel's daughter Sarah also had to listen to abuse, from one of her father's maids. 8For she had been married to seven husbands, but the wicked demon Asmodeus* killed them off before they could have intercourse with her, as it is prescribed for wives. So the maid said to her: “You are the one who strangles your husbands! Look at you! You have already been married seven times, but you have had no joy with any one of your husbands. 9Why do you beat us? Because your husbands are dead? Then why not join them! May we never see a son or daughter of yours!”
10That day she was deeply grieved in spirit. She went in tears to an upstairs room in her father's house with the intention of hanging herself. But she reconsidered, saying to herself: “No! People would level this insult against my father: ‘You had only one beloved daughter, but she hanged herself because of ill fortune!’ And thus would I cause my father in his old age to go down to the nether world laden with sorrow. It is far better for me not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to have me die, so that I need no longer live to hear such insults.” r Tb 6, 15; Gn 37, 35; 42, 38; 44, 29. 31 .
11At that time, then, she spread out her hands, and facing the window,* poured out this prayer:
Sarah's Prayer for Death
“Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God! Forever blessed and honored is yourholy name; may all your works forever bless you. s 1 Kgs 8, 44, 48; Pss 28, 2; 134, 2; Dn 6, 11 . 12And now, O Lord, to you I turn my face and raise my eyes. 13Bid me to depart from the earth, never again to hear such insults.
14“You know, O Master, that I am innocent of any impure act with a man, 15And that I have never defiled my ownname or my father's name in the land of myexile.
“I am my father's only daughter, and he has no other child to make hisheir, Nor does he have a close kinsman orother relative whom I might bide my time to marry. I have already lost seven husbands; why then should I live any longer? But if it please you, Lord, not to slay me, look favorably upon me and have pityon me; never again let me hear these insults!”
An Answer to Prayer. 16At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God. 17 t Tb 4, 12f; 6, 12f; Gn 24, 3f . So Raphael was sent to heal them both: to remove the cataracts from Tobit's eyes, so that he might again see God's sunlight; and to marry Raguel's daughter Sarah to Tobit's son Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her. For Tobiah had the right* to claim her before any other who might wish to marry her.
In the very moment that Tobit returned from the courtyard to his house, Raguel's daughter Sarah came downstairs from her room.