|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-43 Genealogies. - In this chapter we have a further account of Judah, the most numerous and most famous of all the tribes; also an account of Simeon. The most remarkable person in this chapter is Jabez. We are not told upon what account Jabez was more honourable than his brethren; but we find that he was a praying man. The way to be truly great, is to seek to do God's will, and to pray earnestly. Here is the prayer he made. Jabez prayed to the living and true God, who alone can hear and answer prayer; and, in prayer he regarded him as a God in covenant with his people. He does not express his promise, but leaves it to be understood; he was afraid to promise in his own strength, and resolved to devote himself entirely to God. Lord, if thou wilt bless me and keep me, do what thou wilt with me; I will be at thy command and disposal for ever. As the text reads it, this was the language of a most ardent and affectionate desire, Oh that thou wouldest bless me! Four things Jabez prayed for. 1. That God would bless him indeed. Spiritual blessings are the best blessings: God's blessings are real things, and produce real effects. 2. That He would enlarge his coast. That God would enlarge our hearts, and so enlarge our portion in himself, and in the heavenly Canaan, ought to be our desire and prayer. 3. That God's hand might be with him. God's hand with us, to lead us, protect us, strengthen us, and to work all our works in us and for us, is a hand all-sufficient for us. 4. That he would keep him from evil, the evil of sin, the evil of trouble, all the evil designs of his enemies, that they might not hurt, nor make him a Jabez indeed, a man of sorrow. God granted that which he requested. God is ever ready to hear prayer: his ear is not now heavy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Meonothai,.... Another son of Othniel:
begat Ophrah; and Seraiah, the brother of Othniel, begat Joab; not David's general, but another of the same name, who lived long before him, see 1 Chronicles 2:54.
the father of the valley of Charashim: of the inhabitants of the valley, or the prince of them, called the valley of craftsmen, Nehemiah 11:35 the reason of which is here given:
for they were craftsmen; that dwelt in it, carpenters and smiths, both which the word signifies, men that wrought in stone, wood, and iron.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Joab, the father of the valley of Carashim—literally, "the father of the inhabitants of the valley"—"the valley of craftsmen," as the word denotes. They dwelt together, according to a custom which, independently of any law, extensively prevails in Eastern countries for persons of the same trade to inhabit the same street or the same quarter, and to follow the same occupation from father to son, through many generations. Their occupation was probably that of carpenters, and the valley where they lived seems to have been in the neighborhood of Jerusalem (Ne 11:35).
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