When I returned to my house in the time of King Esarhaddon, my wife Anna and my son Tobias were restored to me. During our Festival of Pentecost, which is the holy Festival of Weeks, a splendid meal was cooked for me, and I lay down to eat.
The table was set before me, and many fine foods were brought to me. Then I said to my son Tobias, "Go, my son, and find one of our poorer relatives captive here in Nineveh, someone who pays attention to God with all his heart. Bring him here to eat with me. I will wait here, son, until you return."
Tobias left to find some poor person among our relatives. When he returned, he said, "Father?" I answered, "I'm here, my son." He exclaimed, "Father, one of our people has been murdered and tossed into the marketplace; his strangled body is just lying there."
I got up and left the meal before tasting it. I removed the body from the street and placed it in one of the smaller houses until sunset when I would bury it.
Then, when I returned, I washed myself and ate my food in sadness.
I remembered the word that Amos the prophet pronounced against Bethel: Your festivals will be transformed into sadness and all your songsainto sorrowful wailing.b And I wept.
After sunset I went out, dug a hole, and buried him.
My neighbors made fun of me, saying, "Is he no longer afraid that he will be killed for doing this kind of thing? He ran away, but now look: he is burying the dead again!"
That night I washed myself and went into my courtyard and fell asleep alongside the courtyard wall, with my face uncovered because of the heat.
I didn't know that there were sparrows in the wall above me, and their warm droppings fell into my eyes, forming white spots. I went to doctors to be healed, but the more they applied their medicines on me, the worse the white spots became until I was completely blinded. I couldn't see with my eyes for four years. All my relatives felt sorry for me, and Ahikar took care of me for two years until he went to Elymais.
At that time my wife Anna made a living by weaving cloth out of wool.c12
She would send the cloth to the wool suppliers,d and they would pay her for it. On the seventh day of Dystrus,e she finished a piece on the loom for her employers. They gave her the full wages, along with a young goat from their herd for her home.
When it approached me, the kid began to bleat. So I called to Anna and said, "Where does this goat come from? It isn't stolen, is it? Return it to its owners, for we have no right to eat anything that is stolen!"
But she said to me, "It was given to me as a bonus in addition to my pay." I didn't believe her and demanded that she return it to the owners. I grew red with anger at her. But she replied and said to me, "And what's become of your charitable donations? What's become of your righteous deeds? You have a reputation for that sort of thing, don't you?!"f