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Comparison of versions of Book of Tobit


Douay-Rheims Bible   -  DRB

Tobias or Tobit Chapter 6: 16-22

16 Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail.


17 For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.

18 But thou when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her.

19 And on that night lay the liver of the fish on the fire, and the devil shall be driven away.

20 But the second night thou shalt be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs.

21 And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you.

22 And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children.



Tobias   8:4-5,  9-10


4 Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God to day, and to morrow, and the next day: because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock.

5 For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God.









9 And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.

10 Sara also said: Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, and let us grow old both together in health.




New American Bible


Tobit 6:16-18    [verses 19-22 are omitted in NAB]    

 16 Raphael said to him: “Do you not remember your father’s orders? He commanded you to marry a woman from your own family. So now listen to me, brother; do not give another thought to this demon, but marry Sarah. I know that tonight you shall have her for your wife!

17 When you go into the bridal chamber, take the fish’s liver and heart, and place them on the embers for the incense.


18 As soon as the demon smells the odor they give off, he will flee and never again show himself near her. Then when you are about to have intercourse with her, both of you first rise up to pray. Beg the Lord of heaven to show you mercy and grant you deliverance. But 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 suppose that you will have children by her, who will take the place of brothers for you. So do not worry.” When Tobiah heard Raphael say that she was his kinswoman, of his own family’s lineage, he fell deeply in love with her, and his heart became set on her.






Tobit 8:4-5, 7-9 [verses 7-9 in NAB correspond to 9-10 in DRB]     NAB


4 When the girl’s parents left the bedroom and closed the door behind them, Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, “My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance.”

5 She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words:

“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever.  Let the heavens and all your creation  praise you forever. ...

7 Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose.  Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”  8 They said together, “Amen, amen,”  9 and went to bed for the night. But Raguel got up and summoned his servants. With him they went out to dig a grave,




The DRB states that the devil prevails over lustful marriages (6:16-17), 
and makes a reference to three days of chastity (6:18),
and the explicit reference to “love of children” (6:22). 
These explicit references are omitted in NAB. 

In 8:9 DRB the reference to posterity was commonly understood to be a reference to children, but the corresponding 8:7 NAB reference to noble purpose is less explicit. 

The reference to “sister” should be understood in the wider sense of distant relative.  Tobiah seems to be an only son, NAB, Tobit 1:20.  Cf. 4:12


Greek, English, Latin comparison at New Advent

English and Latin Vulgate comparison

Vulgate Version



Different Versions :

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

TOBIAS - Introduction

" ... The Jews themselves have a great regard for the book of Tobias; (Grotius; Sixtus Senens. viii.) which Origen (ad Afric.) says they "read in Hebrew," meaning probably the Chaldee, (Calmet) out of which language St. Jerome translated it, preferring to displease the Pharisaical Jews, rather than not to satisfy the desires of the holy bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus. (Ep. t. iii.) (Worthington) ---

The Greek version seems to have been taken from another copy, or it has been executed with greater liberty by the Hellenist Jews, between the times of the Septuagint and of Theodotion. (Calmet) --- Huet and Prideaux esteem it more original; and Houbigant has translated it in his Bible, as the Council of Trent only spoke of the Latin editions then extant; and St. Jerome followed in his version the Hebrew one of a Jew, as he did not understand the Chaldee. (Haydock) ---

The Syriac and the modern Hebrew edition of Fagius, agree mostly with the Greek, as that of Munster and another Hebrew copy of Huet, and the Arabic version, both unpublished, are more conformable to the Vulgate. The most ancient Latin version used before St. Jerome, was taken from the Greek; and the Fathers who lived in those ages, speak of it when they call the book of Tobias canonical.

St. Augustine leaves it, however, to adopt St. Jerome's version, in his Mirrour. The copies of all these versions vary greatly, (Calmet) though the substance of the history is still the same; and in all we discover the virtues of a good parent, of a dutiful son, and virtuous husband, beautifully described.



Notes from NAB

Although the Book of Tobit is usually listed with the historical books, it more correctly stands midway between them and the wisdom literature. It contains numerous maxims like those found in the wisdom books (cf. 4:319, 21; 12:610; 14:7, 9) as well as standard wisdom themes:

 fidelity to the law, intercessory function of angels, piety toward parents, purity of marriage, reverence for the dead, and the value of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.  ...


Written most likely in Aramaic, the original of the book was lost for centuries. Fragments of four Aramaic texts and of one Hebrew text were discovered in Qumran Cave 4 in 1952 and have only recently been published.


These Semitic forms of the book are in substantial agreement with the long Greek recension of Tobit found in Codex Sinaiticus, which had been recovered from St. Catherine’s Monastery (Mount Sinai) only in 1844, and in mss. 319 and 910.


Two other Greek forms of Tobit have long been known: the short recension, found mainly in the mss. Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Venetus, and numerous cursive mss.; and an intermediate Greek recension, found in mss. 44, 106, 107.

The Book of Tobit has also been known from two Latin versions: the long recension in the Vetus Latina, which is closely related to the long Greek recension and sometimes is even closer to the Aramaic and Hebrew texts than the Greek is; and the short recension in the Vulgate, related to the short Greek recension.


The present English translation (in NAB) has been based mainly on Sinaiticus, which is the most complete form of the long Greek recension, despite two lacunae (Tobit 4:7–19b and Tobit 13:6i–10b) and some missing phrases, which make succeeding verses difficult to understand and make it necessary to supplement Sinaiticus from the Vetus Latina or from the short Greek recension.


Occasionally, phrases or words have been introduced from the Aramaic or Hebrew texts, when they are significantly different. Forms of the Book of Tobit are also extant in ancient Arabic, Armenian, Coptic (Sahidic), Ethiopic, and Syriac, but these are almost all secondarily derived from the short Greek recension. ...






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