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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Chronicles 4

Verse 3

1 Chronicles 4:3. These were of the father of Etam These are the race of Etam. Houbigant. The Hebrew may be rendered, says Kennicott, these or those are the father of Etam. The ancient versions read sons instead of father. At the end of the 7th verse Houbigant reads, and Coz, and so, at the end of the 8th, and Jabez.

Verse 18

1 Chronicles 4:18. The daughter of Pharaoh Pharaoh, in this place, is not the name of an Egyptian king, but of some Israelite called by that name.

Verse 23

1 Chronicles 4:23. Those that dwelt among plants and hedges Amongst the plantations, and at Gaderah. Houbigant. See the LXX.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Among the numerous descendants of Judah, in the line of Pharez, Jabez is especially taken notice of, who seems to be of the family of Aharhel.

1. His name was given him from the pangs of travail that his mother endured: a memorial of the mercy of God to herself, who restored her from the jaws of death; or to him, of the sorrow and trouble to which man is as naturally born, as the sparks fly upwards.
2. He was a great man, more honourable than his brethren, either for wealth, or courage, or wisdom; or, above all, as from his prayer it appears, for piety. Greatness, when united with goodness, is doubly distinguished.
3. His prayer and the answer are recorded to his honour; for, nothing is more truly noble, than in prayer to have power with God as a prince, and to prevail. (1.) The prayer is addressed to the God of Israel, his covenant God. Note; They who draw near to God with faith, as interested in a covenant of grace, may expect with confidence that they shall be heard and answered. (2.) The substance of it is, for God's blessing; either temporal, as the enlargement of his border in the expulsion of the Canaanites; the support of God in his attempts against them, and preservation from danger; or spiritual blessings, as the enlargement of his heart in light and love, and every holy affection; the strength of divine grace to subdue his corruptions; and protection from that greatest of evils, sin, and its present and eternal consequences. Note; (1.) Every blessing, temporal and spiritual, comes from God, and should be sought in the way of prayer. (2.) They who wait upon God, will renew their strength, and be kept from the power of the evil one, the evil heart, and the evil world. (3.) Unless God strengthen us, we become a prey to the weakest of our enemies.

4. God granted his prayer: so ready is God to give to him that asketh, and to supply the largest desires of our souls.

2nd, We have here, among the descendants of Judah, two families distinguished as being craftsmen and weavers. These trades descended from father to son: one of these craftsmen was, it seems, nobly allied, 1 Chronicles 4:18.; for it was not then counted mean to be an ingenious mechanic. Another family had, during the days of Moab's subjection, been sent thither as governors for David; but since those ancient conquests, times were now sadly changed, and they were reduced to be potters and husbandmen to the king of Babylon, and earned their bread with the sweat of their brow. Note; This world is a changing scene: nothing substantial or enduring is to be expected in it. Let it quicken our diligence, then, to secure a better, where our dignity will be secure without variableness or shadow of turning.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 4". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.