Jabez is a notable figure within the extensive genealogical lists of 1 Chronicles, emerging from the records of the tribe of Judah. Specifically, he is found in the lineage of descendants stemming from Caleb, Judah’s son. He is not a patriarch, a king, or a prophet, but a man remembered for a heartfelt prayer during a time of personal distress.
The name Jabez, meaning “he causes pain” or “he will cause pain,” seems to reflect a difficult childbirth. His mother bore him in pain, and this event had a significant enough impact for her to name her child in relation to it. Despite the negative connotation of his name, Jabez did not let it define his destiny.
In his prayer, Jabez calls on the God of Israel asking for His blessing and for an enlargement of his territory. This could be interpreted literally, as a request for more land, or symbolically, as a request for increased influence, responsibilities, or opportunities. Jabez also asks for God’s hand to be with him, seeking God’s guidance and support. Furthermore, he asks for protection from harm so that he might not experience pain.
The Bible notes that God granted Jabez’s request, demonstrating the power of sincere prayer. This brief narrative about Jabez has inspired many believers over the centuries to seek God’s blessings and protection in their own lives.
- 1 Chronicles 4:9: Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”
- 1 Chronicles 4:10: And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
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