Travel Preparations
1 Then Tobias answered his father, “I'll do everything you told me. 2 But how can I get the money back from Gabael? We have never even met each other. How can I prove to him who I am, so that he will trust me and give me the money? Besides that, I don't know how to get to Media.”
3 Tobit replied, “Gabael and I both signed a document. I then tore it in two, and we each took a half. I put his half with the money. That was twenty years ago! Now, go and find a reliable person to travel with you to Media and back, and we will pay him when you return. But you must get the money that I left with Gabael.”
Tobias Meets Raphael
4 Tobias then went out to look for someone who knew the way to Media and would travel with him. Almost as soon as he left the house, he found himself face-to-face with Raphael. Tobias did not know that Raphael was an angel of God, 5 so he asked him where he was from.
“I am an Israelite,” Raphael answered, “one of your distant relatives, and I have come here to Nineveh to find work.”
“Do you know the way to Media?” Tobias asked.
6 “Yes, I do,” Raphael replied. “I have been there many times, and I know all the roads well. I used to stay with our relative Gabael, who lives there in the town of Rages. It takes at least two days to travel there from Ecbatana, the capital city, because Rages is up in the mountains.”
7 Then Tobias said to Raphael, “Wait here for me, my friend, while I go in and tell my father. I would like for you to travel with me, and I will pay you for the journey.”
8 “All right,” Raphael said, “I'll wait, but don't take too long.”
9 Tobias went in and told his father, “I have found an Israelite to travel with me.”
“Call the man in,” Tobit replied. “I would like to know what family and tribe he belongs to, and whether he is a reliable traveling companion for you.”
Tobit Meets Raphael
So Tobias went out and called to Raphael, “My father would like to meet you.” When Raphael came in, Tobit greeted him first.
Then Raphael returned the greeting, “I hope all is well with you.”
But Tobit replied, “How can all be well with me? I'm blind and can't see a thing. It's like being dead and no longer able to see the light. I might as well be dead! I can hear people talking, but I can't see them.”
“Cheer up!” Raphael said to him. “God is going to cure you soon, so don't worry!”
Tobit then said, “My son Tobias wants to go to Media. Can you go with him and show him the way? I will pay you, of course.”
Raphael replied, “Certainly I can go with him. I have traveled there many times and I know all the roads in the mountains and on the plains.”
10 Tobit questioned him further, “Tell me, my friend, what family and tribe do you belong to?”
11 But Raphael asked, “Why do you need to know that?”
“Tell me the truth,” said Tobit. “What is your name, and who are you?”
12 Raphael replied, “My name is Azarias, and I am the son of the older Ananias, one of your relatives.”
13 Then Tobit said to him, “Welcome to our home! God bless you, my son. Please don't be offended because I wanted to know the truth about you and your family. As it turns out, you are from a good family and a relative at that! I knew Ananias and Nathan, the two sons of the older Shemaiah. They were always loyal to their religion. We used to travel together to Jerusalem and worship there. Your relatives are fine people, and you come from good stock. Have a safe journey.”
14 Tobit continued, “I will pay the normal daily wage plus expenses for both of you. 15 Be a good companion to Tobias, and I will add a bonus to your wages.”
16 “I will go with him,” Raphael said. “And don't worry; we will get there and back safely. The roads are not dangerous.”
“God be with you!” Tobit replied. Then he called Tobias and said to him, “Son, get everything ready that you need for the journey, so that the two of you can be on your way. May God and his angel watch over you both and bring you back to me safe and sound.”
Before leaving for Media, Tobias kissed his father and mother good-bye. Tobit said again, “Have a safe journey!”
17 Then his mother began to cry. “How could you send my son away like this?” she complained. “He's our only means of support. Who will take care of us now? 18 Is that money so important to you that you are willing to risk your own son's life to get it back? 19 Why can't we be content to live on what the Lord has given us?”
20 “Calm down,” Tobit said to her. “He will get there and back safely, and with your own eyes you will see him return home safe and sound. 21 Now stop worrying about them, dear. A good angel will go with Tobias. He will have a successful journey and will come back in good health.” At that, Anna calmed down and stopped crying.