|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.
Verses 5-7. - Another before-mentioned person (1 Chronicles 2:24) is brought forward, viz. Ashur, the posthumous son of Hezron by Abia, now again, as there, styled father, or chief, of Tekoa, a town, as above, near Etam, Bethlehem, etc. He is brought forward that the names of his two wives, with four children to the latter of them and three to the former, may be given. The Roman Septuagint unaccountably gives different names to the mothers, and reverses the groups of the four and three children. Nothing else is known of these nine persons. The last two names of the group of four more resemble in form the name of the head of a family than an individual name; and for Jezoar, the middle name of the group of three, the easy Keri of "and Zohar" is followed by the Septuagint, and was followed by our 1611 Authorized Version.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Ashur the father of Tekoa,.... A son of Hezron by Abiah, 1 Chronicles 2:24.
had two wives, Helah and Naarah; as Lamech had, polygamy not being reckoned unlawful in those times.
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