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[JAY biz] (he will cause pain)-the name of a place and a person in the Old Testament:1. An unidentified place where several families of scribes lived (1 Chron 2:55).

2. The head of a family of the tribe of Judah noted for his honorable character (1 Chron 4:9-10).

1 Chron 4:1-10 NIV

1 Chronicles 4

4:1 The descendants of Judah:

Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur and Shobal. 2 Reaiah son of Shobal was the father of Jahath, and Jahath the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites. 3 These were the sons of Etam:

Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi. 4 Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These were the descendants of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah and father of Bethlehem. 5 Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah. 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari. These were the descendants of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah: Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan, 8 and Koz, who was the father of Anub and Hazzobebah and of the clans of Aharhel son of Harum.

Why did the author of 1 Chronicles suddenly stop at Jabez to write verse nine and ten?

9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.

Then the author continued:

11 Kelub, Shuhah's brother, was the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton. 12 Eshton was the father of Beth Rapha, Paseah and Tehinnah the father of Ir Nahash. These were the men of Recah…


In Hebrew the word Jabez means "pain." A literal rendering could read, "He causes (or will cause) pain." A name was often taken as a wish for a prophecy about the child's future. For example, Jacob can mean "grabber," a good one-word biography for that scheming patriarch. Naomi and her husband named their two sons Mahlon and Chilion. Translation? "Puny" and "pining." And that was exactly what they were. Both of them died in early adulthood. Solomon means "peace," and sure enough, he became the first king of Israel to reign without going to war. A name that meant "pain" didn't bode well for Jabez's future.

Despite his dismal prospects, Jabez found a way out. He had grown up hearing about the God of Israel who freed his forefathers from slavery, rescued them from powerful enemies, and established them in a land of plenty. By the time he was an adult, Jabez believed and fervently hoped in this God of miracles and new beginnings. So why not ask for one? That's what he did. He prayed the biggest, most improbable request imaginable:

"Oh, that You would bless me indeed…!"

To bless in the biblical sense means to ask for or to impart supernatural favor. When we ask for God's blessing, we're not asking for more of what we could get ourselves. We're crying out for the wonderful, unlimited goodness that only God has the power to know about or give to us. This kind of richness is what the writer was referring to in Proverbs: "The Lord's blessing is our greatest wealth; all our work adds nothing to it" (Proverbs 10:22).

Notice a radical aspect of Jabez's request for blessing: He left it entirely up to God to decide what the blessings would be and where, when, and how Jabez would receive them.

"Ask," promised Jesus, "and it will be given to you" (Matthew 7:7). "You do not have because you do not ask," said James (James 4:2).

Even though there is no limit to God's goodness, if you didn't ask Him for a blessing yesterday, you didn't get all that you were supposed to have.

That's the catch - if you don't ask for His blessing, you forfeit those that come to you only when you ask. In the same way that a father is honored to have a child beg for his blessing, your Father is delighted to respond generously when His blessing is what you covet most.


Excerpt from The Prayer of Jabez by Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson


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