Jabez [Jā'bĕz]—he makes sorrow or height. A man of Judah named Jabez by his mother because she bore him in sorrow. He was noted for his honorable character and in his vow there is a play upon the meaning of his name (1 Chron. 4:9, 10).
The Man Who Wanted a Blessing
The somewhat dreary genealogy of Judah in the opening chapters of Chronicles is enlivened by the heartfelt prayer of Jabez. Dr. Donald Fraser’s beautiful comment on the passage is worthy of note:
If the names are as rows of hard stones that fatigue us when we walk on them, all the more precious this fragrant shrub, growing among them, and casting a sweet scent around. For some cause untold, a mother bare her son with unusual grief and called him Jabez—Sorrowful; but it was God’s good pleasure to turn this Benoni into a Benjamin, the Son of Sorrow into the Son of the Right Hand; and the sad-hearted mother’s fear was not fulfilled, for Jabez proved more honorable than his brethren. If we inquire the reason, it was because he prayed.
He asked much and obtained much. The Lord did grant things for him, whereof, surely, Sorrowful was glad.
Jabez is also the name of a city in Judah where a family of scribes dwelt (1 Chron. 2:55).
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