Sarah (Tobiah's wife)

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Sarah was a wife of Tobiah. She was a daughter of Raguel and Edna.

Biography[edit]

Curse and prayer[edit]

She was married seven times prior to marrying Tobiah, but the demon Asmodeus slew her husbands before the husbands could consummate their marriage with Sarah. Her father's maid accused Sarah of murdering her husbands and cursed Sarah, telling her to die and wishing for her to never have children of her own.

Sarah became sad and considered committing suicide but finally rejected the idea, saying:

No! May people never reproach my father and say to him, You had only one beloved daughter, but she hanged herself because of her misfortune. And thus would I bring my father laden with sorrow in his old age to Hades. It is far better for me not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord that I might die, and no longer have to listen to such reproaches in my lifetime.

— Tobit 3:10 (NABRE)

Sarah then prayed for God to end her life.

Blessed are you, merciful God!
Blessed be your holy and honorable name forever!
May all your works forever bless you.
Now to you, Lord, I have turned my face
and have lifted up my eyes.
Bid me to depart from the earth,
never again to listen to such reproaches.

You know, Master, that I am clean
of any defilement with a man.
I have never sullied my own name
or my father’s name in the land of my captivity.

I am my father’s only daughter,
and he has no other child to be his heir,
Nor does he have a kinsman or close relative
whose wife I should wait to become.
Seven husbands of mine have already died.
Why then should I live any longer?
But if it does not please you, Lord, to take my life,
look favorably upon me and have pity on me,
that I may never again listen to such reproaches!

— Tobit 3:11–3:15 (NABRE)

This prayer was given on the same day that Tobit prayed for his own death. God heard both prayers and sent His angel Raphael to help both Tobit and Sarah.

Tobiah's journey[edit]

While preparing his son Tobiah for the future, Tobit instructed Tobiah to marry a women from their own folk.

Be on your guard, son, against every kind of fornication, and above all, marry a woman of your own ancestral family. Do not marry a foreign woman, one who is not of your father’s tribe, because we are descendants of the prophets, who were the first to speak the truth. Noah prophesied first, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our ancestors from the beginning of time. Son, remember that all of them took wives from among their own kindred and were blessed in their children, and that their posterity would inherit the land. Therefore, son, love your kindred. Do not act arrogantly toward any of them, the sons and daughters of your people, by refusing to take a wife for yourself from among them. For in arrogance there is ruin and great instability. In idleness there is loss and dire poverty, for idleness is the mother of famine.

— Tobit 4:12–4:13 (NABRE)

Tobit told Tobiah about ten talents of silver he had left with his kinsman Gabael and instructed him to retrieve it before Tobit's eventual death. Tobit gave Tobiah a bond that that allow Gabael know that Tobiah was Tobit's son and instructed Tobiah to find a trustworthy guide and companion for the journey. Tobiah found Raphael, who Tobiah did not recognize as an angel, and decided to have Raphael accompany and guide him on the journey.

Raphael tells Tobiah about Sarah[edit]

While washing his feet at the Tigris River, a feet lunged at Tobiah and tried to swallow his foot. Raphael told Tobiah to grab the fish and retrieve its gall, heart, and liver in order to use those parts as medicine, and Tobiah did this.

As they approached Ecbatana in Media, Raphael told Tobiah that they would be staying at Raguel's house. He also told Tobiah about Sarah and Tobiah's right to marry her.

Tonight we must stay in the house of Raguel, who is a relative of yours. He has a beautiful daughter named Sarah, but no other son or daughter apart from Sarah. Since you are Sarah’s closest relative, you more than any other have the right to marry her. Moreover, her father’s estate is rightfully yours to inherit. The girl is wise, courageous, and very beautiful; and her father is a good man who loves her dearly.

— Tobit 6:11–6:12 (NABRE)

Raphael then told Tobiah about his plan to have Tobiah marry Sarah. Tobiah objected due to the deaths of Sarah's other husbands. Raphael reassured Tobiah, told him how to drive the husband-killing demon away, and told him that Tobiah and Sarah were destined to be married and have a family together.

Do you not remember your father’s commands? He ordered you to marry a woman from your own ancestral family. Now listen to me, brother; do not worry about that demon. Take Sarah. I know that tonight she will be given to you as your wife! When you go into the bridal chamber, take some of the fish’s liver and the heart, and place them on the embers intended for incense, and an odor will be given off. As soon as the demon smells the odor, it will flee and never again show itself near her. Then when you are about to have intercourse with her, both of you must first get up to pray. Beg the Lord of heaven that mercy and protection be granted you. Do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed. You will save her, and she will go with you. And I assume that you will have children by her, and they will be like brothers for you. So do not worry.

— Tobit 6:16–6:18 (NABRE)

Tobiah then loved and desired Sarah.

Meeting Tobiah[edit]

When Raphael and Tobiah entered Ecbatana, Tobiah asked Raphael to lead him straight to Raguel's house. Raphael and Tobiah greeted Raguel, and Raguel greeted them in return. Raguel told his wife Edna that Tobiah resembled Tobit, the son of his uncle. Raguel questioned Tobiah, and Tobiah confirmed that he was Tobit's son. Raguel, Edna, and Sarah then wept for Tobit, who was afflicted with blindness.

While sitting at a table for a meal, Tobiah asked Raphael to ask Raguel for Sarah's hand in marriage. Raguel told Tobiah that although Tobiah has the right to marry her, all of her previous husbands had died. Raguel asked Tobiah to eat and drink, but Tobiah told Raguel that he will not eat or drink until the matter of the proposed marriage was settle. Raguel permitted Tobiah to marry Sarah and asked God to allow the couple to prosper and to have mercy and peace. Raguel had Edna bring him writing materials, which he used to write the contact for the marriage.

Raguel asked Edna to prepare a room for Tobiah and Sarah and to bring Sarah there. Edna did this and wept for Sarah. She then told Sarah to be brave and asked God to give Sarah joy.

A lasting marriage[edit]

They showed Tobiah the room, and Tobiah placed the fish liver and heart on embers, as Raphael had instructed, and the demon fled to Egypt. Once left alone in the room with his wife, Tobiah asked Sarah to pray to god with him and ask God for mercy and protection. They then did this: they praised God and asked God for mercy and to bless them with children.

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.
You 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.

Now, 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.

— Tobit 8:5–8:7 (NABRE)

Meanwhile, Raguel and his servants dug a grave for Tobiah in case he died like the other husbands before him. Once the grave was completely dug, Raguel asked Edna to have one of their maids check to see whether Tobiah was still alive. The maid found Tobiah still living and reported her findings. They then prayed to God, giving God their thanks and asking God to make the couple's lives happy. Raguel then told his servants to fill the grave.

Raguel and Edna then prepared a feast for the new couple. Edna baked bread, while Raguel slaughters two steers and four rams. The feast lasted fourteen days. Raguel gave half of his property to Tobiah as dowry and promised Tobiah the remainder once Raguel and Edna die. Raguel then committed himself and his wife to Tobiah as father- and mother-in-laws.

Since Tobiah would be staying in Ecbatana for longer than expected, Tobiah sent Raphael to Gabael on his behalf and with the bond, four servants, and two camels in order to retrieve the silver and to invite Gabael to the wedding celebration. Raphael did this and returned with Gabael and the silver. Gabael then asked God to bless Tobiah and Sarah and compared Tobiah favorably to Tobit.

Leaving with Tobiah[edit]

Tobiah was worried about his parent and sought to return to them. After some reluctance, Raguel allowed Tobiah to leave with Sarah and the property granted to him. Raguel saw the couple off, asked God to allow the couple to prosper, and asked Tobiah to allow him to see his grandchildren before he dies. He also told Sarah to honor his new father- and mother-in-laws.

Embracing Tobiah, he said to him: Farewell, son. Have a safe journey. May the Lord of heaven grant prosperity to you and to your wife Sarah. And may I see children of yours before I die! Then he said to his daughter Sarah, My daughter, honor your father-in-law and your mother-in-law, because from now on they are as much your parents as the ones who brought you into the world. Go in peace, daughter; let me hear a good report about you as long as I live. Finally he said good-bye to them and let them go.

— Tobit 10:11–10:12 (NABRE)

Edna asked God to bring the couple back safely and to allow her to live long enough to see grandchildren. She also told Tobiah that she was entrusting him with her daughter, and she asked God to allow to the couple to prosper.

Edna also said to Tobiah: My child and beloved kinsman, may the Lord bring you back safely, and may I live long enough to see children of you and of my daughter Sarah before I die. Before the Lord, I entrust my daughter to your care. Never cause her grief all the days of your life. Go in peace, son. From now on I am your mother, and Sarah is your sister. Together may we all prosper throughout the days of our lives. She kissed them both and saw them safely off.

— Tobit 10:12 (NABRE)

Tobiah praised God and asked God to bless his new in-laws and stated that he was now pledged to his new family.

At Raphael's suggestion, Tobiah and Raphael went ahead of Sarah to Tobiah's parents. Following Raphael's instructions, Tobiah used a fish gall to cure his father's blindness. Tobit now saw his son, embraced him, and wept. Tobit then prayed to God, praising God and his angels and thanking God.

Tobiah told Tobit everything that had happened, including his marriage to Sarah. Tobit then went to meet Sarah at Nineveh's gate and proclaimed God's mercy along the way. Tobit greeted Sarah and asked God to bless her and her family.

The Jews of Nineveh rejoiced, and they had a seven-day-long wedding feast.

Raphael reveals himself[edit]

Tobiah and Tobit sought to pay Raphael for everything he had done. Raphael then told them how to live a good good and revealed himself to be an angel. He revealed himself to be the angel that presented Tobit's and Sarah's prayers to God, the angel who tested Tobit, and the angel sent by God to heal Tobit and Sarah.

Tobit and Tobiah prostrated themselves before the angel, and the angel told them not to fear him and to praise God, since it was God who sent him. Raphael instructed them to record what they have witnessed, and Raphael left. They did as they were instructed, praising God. Tobit also composed a song of praise to God.

Tobit's death[edit]

Years later, as Tobit was dying, Tobit summoned Tobiah and Tobiah's even sons and told them to flee to Media due to God's approaching judgment against Assyria, as prophesied by the prophet Nahum. Tobit told them about God's judgment, mercy, and promises for the future. Tobit instructed Tobiah and Tobiah's sons to serve and praise God faithfully and truly. Tobit told them to leave as soon as Tobit and Anna are buried with each other, and he told them about the importance of alms-giving and the recessions of treachery and wickedness.

Tobit died, and then Anna died. As instructed, they buried the couple next to each other. Tobiah and his children then moved to Media. Tobiah lived long enough to see Nineveh's destruction, and he praised God.