Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Jabez (1)

("sorrowful".) In the genealogy connected with Bethlehem his name is explained by the sorrow with which his mother bore him; also by his prayer "that evil might not grieve him," i.e., though his name expressed sorrow, that God would preserve him from it. His prayer is one of the most comprehensive in the Bible, and shines forth like a brilliant star in the midst of a genealogical catalog of names; probably offered in setting out in life, an admirable model for youths.

"Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed (God alone knows what is not only seemingly, but indeed, good for us, not earthly shadows but heavenly realities, and all things here that tend toward them) and enlarge my coast," not merely in temporal but in spiritual interests (1 Kings 4:29; Psalms 18:19; Psalms 31:8; Psalms 118:5), "and that Thine hand might be with me (as 'the hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek Him': Ezra 8:18; Ezra 8:22; Ezra 7:6; Ezra 7:9), and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil," etc. (Matthew 6:13; John 17:15; Luke 22:40; Luke 22:46; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9; Revelation 3:10).

Evil may assail, but cannot finally "grieve," the believer. Jabez, the son of sorrow, by prayerful faith inherited joy in the end (Matthew 5:4; Psalms 90:15; Hebrews 12:11). Prayer was the secret of his being "more honourable than his brethren" (1 Samuel 2:30). His name may have been given to the city Jabez, famed for its scribes. The abrupt mention of him shows he was a man of note when Ezra wrote Chronicles. His prayer was to "the God of Israel" with whom Jacob wrestled in prayer, and "by his strength had power with God" (Hosea 12:3-4), and so got the new name "Israel." "God granted" him according to the faith of his request (Ephesians 3:20; Matthew 9:29).

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Jabez (1)'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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