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THEN Tobias sighed, and began to pray with tears,

Ver. 1.  Then, retiring, v. 25.

 

--- Tears.  He manifests no degree of impatience.  C.


2 Saying: Thou art just, O Lord, and all thy judgments are just, and all thy ways mercy, and truth, and judgment:

Ver. 2.  Judgment.  Even in punishing, God remembers mercy, (H.) and never fails to perform what he has promised.


3 And now, O Lord, think of me, and take not revenge of my sins, neither remember my offenses, nor those of my parents.

Ver. 3.  Parents, so as to punish me on their account. M.

 

--- The Scripture frequently seems to indicate that this is the case; (Ex. xx. 5.) and the Church still prays, Remember not, O Lord, our offences, nor those of our parents.  C.

 

--- But children are only punished when they imitate the wicked conduct of their ancestors: they may be afflicted, though innocent, as their virtue will thus be tried, and shine more gloriously.  H.

 

--- The pagans, being convinced that God can be guilty of no injustice, and perceiving that people who appeared to be free from sin were yet unhappy, concluded that they were explaining the sins committed in another world.  Plotin. ii. 13.  Origen, prin. iii.  C.

 

--- This might arise from a confused notion of original sin.  Pascal's Thoughts.  H.


4 For we have not obeyed thy commandments, therefore are we delivered to spoil and to captivity, and death, and are made a fable, and a reproach to all nations, amongst which thou hast scattered us.

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5 And now, O Lord, great are thy judgments, because we have not done according to thy precepts, and have not walked sincerely before thee: 6 And now, O Lord, do with me according to thy will, and command my spirit to be received in peace: for it is better for me to die, than to live.

Ver. 6.  Peace.  Gr. "that I may be dissolved, and return to the earth; (lit. become earth) because it is more advantageous for me to die than to live, since I have heard false reproaches, and am much grieved.  Command that I may be freed from this necessity, to go to my eternal place."  H.


7 Now it happened on the same day, that Sara daughter of Raguel, in Rages a city of the Medes, received a reproach from one of her father's servant maids,

Ver. 7.  Rages.  In the Greek it is Ecbatana which was also called Rages.  For there were two cities in Media of name of Rages: Raguel dwelt in one of them and Gabelus in the other.  Ch.  M.

 

--- Profane authors mention a Rages in the vicinity of Ecbatana.  Diod. Bib. 19.

 

--- It may here denote the province.  W.


8 Because she had been given to seven husbands, and a devil named Asmodeus had killed them, at their first going in unto her.

Ver. 8.  Asmodeus, "the fire of Media."  Heb. "king of the devils," of that country, exciting people to lust, (M. Serar. q. 8.) and destroying them. W.

 

--- Unto her.  Gr. and Heb. intimate, when they first entered the nuptial chamber.  C. vi. 14.


9 So when she reproved the maid for her fault, she answered her, saying: May we never see son, or daughter of thee upon the earth, thou murderer of thy husbands.

Ver. 9.  Murder.  Gr. "Dost thou not understand that thou hast suffocated thy husbands.  Thou has already had seven husbands, and has not received the name of any of them.  Why dost thou strike us on their account?  If they be dead, go along with them.  May we," &c.  H.


10 Wilt thou kill me also, as thou hast already killed seven husbands? At these words she went into an upper chamber of her house: and for three days and three nights did neither eat nor drink:

Ver. 10.  At.  Gr. and Heb. "Hearing these things she was much grieved, so as to be unable to breath; (H.  wste apagxasqai) or, on the point of strangling herself."  Grot.  C.

 

--- But this interpretation is groundless, (Houbigant) and very injurious to Sara.  H.

 

--- She could not entertain the thought without sin.  Yet the Jews had very relaxed notions on this head.  Judg. xvi. 30.  1Kings xxxi. 4.  God approved the conduct of Sara.  C.

 

--- Gr. continues, "and she said, I am the only daughter of my father.  If I do this thing, (as the servants suggested) it will be a disgrace for him...and she prayed before the window; and said, Blessed," v. 13.  H.

 

--- There is no mention of the three days.  Heb. and Syr. also omit v. 16 to 24.  C.


11 But continuing in prayer with tears besought God, that he would deliver her from this reproach. 12 And it came to pass on the third day, when she was making an end of her prayer, blessing the Lord,
13 She said: Blessed is thy name, O God of our fathers: who when thou hast been angry, wilt shew mercy, and in the time of tribulation forgivest the sins of them that call upon thee.

Ver. 13.  Name.  Gr. "Blessed art thou O Lord, my God, and blessed the name of thy glory, holy and glorious for ever.  May all thy works praise thee for ever."  H.

 

--- As she prayed for a long time, the Vulg. gives some sentences; and the Gr. and Heb. others.  Serar.  Salien.  M.


14 To thee, O Lord, I turn my face, to thee I direct my eyes. 15 I beg, O Lord, that thou loose me from the bond of this reproach, or else take me away from the earth.

Ver. 15.  Earth.  Holy men have thus desired to die, as was the case with Moses, Elias, Job, and S. Paul provided God was willing.  M.


16 Thou knowest, O Lord, that I never coveted a husband, and have kept my soul clean from all lust.

Ver. 16.  Coveted, through impure love.  Gr. "I am pure from all the sin of a man, and I have not defiled my name, nor the name of my father, in the land of our captivity.  I am only child, " &c.  H.

 

--- Lust: a very high ecomium; which Sara mentions without vanity, placing her confidence in God.  M.  Prov. xx. 9.


17 Never have I joined myself with them that play: neither have I made myself partaker with them that walk in lightness.

Ver. 17.  Play, lasciviously, (M.) or dance.  Hugo.  Ex. xxxii. 1.


18 But a husband I consented to take, with thy fear, not with my lust. 19 And either I was unworthy of them, or they perhaps were not worthy of me: because perhaps thou hast kept me for another man. 20 For thy counsel is not in man's power. 21 But this every one is sure of that worshippeth thee, that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned: and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to thy mercy.

Ver. 21.  Crowned.  Jam. i. 12.

 

--- Delivered from falling, (M.) and in due time from affliction.  H.


22 For thou art not delighted in our being lost: because after a storm thou makest a calm, and after tears and weeping thou pourest in joyfulness. 23 Be thy name, O God of Israel, blessed for ever. 24 At that time the prayers of them both were heard in the sight of the glory of the most high God: 25 And the holy angel of the Lord, Raphael was sent to heal them both, whose prayers at one time were rehearsed in the sight of the Lord.

Ver. 25.  Raphael, "the medicine of God."  He is invoked not only for health, but also in journeys. C.

 

--- Both.  Gr. and Heb. of Fagius add, "Tobit, by taking away the white film, and to give Sara...for a wife to Tobias...and to bind Asmodeus, the wicked devil; because Tobias was to have her.  At the same hour, Tobit returning entered his own house, and Sara...descended from her upper room."  H.

 

--- Lord, by the angel.  Acts x.  Apoc. v.  W.


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