Jabez’s Prayer

Book of 1 Chronicles


And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Jabez or Jabes is a Biblical male given name from the Old Testament. In 1 Chronicles, Jabez is a well-respected man (hinted to be an ancestor in the lineage of the kings’ tribe of Judah, though none of his family is mentioned) whose prayer to God for blessing was answered (see 1 Chronicles 4:9-11). The name is Hebrew (yabetz = יַעְבֵּץ) for “he makes sorrowful”; his mother stated “I gave birth to him in pain”. Jabez was labelled with “sorrow” at birth, but his prayer against contracting sorrow nullified the label. His life contradicted his name. Jabez‘s name is also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:55, possibly as a place named after him. Jabez possibly could have been a Jewish scribe in his later years. He might have been influential and well respected as a scribe because the city named after him was where the families of scribes lived.

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