1 Chronicles 4:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."

New Living Translation
There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful.

English Standard Version
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”

New American Standard Bible
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, "Because I bore him with pain."

King James Bible
And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez and said, "I gave birth to him in pain."

International Standard Version
Jabez enjoyed more honor than his relatives—his mother named him Jabez, she said, "because I bore him in pain."

NET Bible
Jabez was more respected than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, for she said, "I experienced pain when I gave birth to him."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez [Painful], because she said that his birth was painful.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Jabez was more honoured than his brethren, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I gave birth to him with sorrow.

King James 2000 Bible
And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow.

American King James Version
And Jabez was more honorable than his brothers: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow.

American Standard Version
And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Jabes was more honourable than any of his brethren, and his mother called his name Jabes, saying: Because I bore him with sorrow.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jabez was more honoured than his brethren; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with pain.

English Revised Version
And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Jabez was more honorable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow.

World English Bible
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers: and his mother named him Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him with sorrow."

Young's Literal Translation
And Jabez is honoured above his brethren, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, 'Because I have brought forth with grief.'
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - This is not less true of the name of vers. 9, 10, which, however, has made its own mark amid the whole scene. The episode of these two verses, offering itself amid what should seem, superficially, a dry mass of dead names, is welcome and grateful as the oasis of the desert, and it warns us that life lies hidden at our every footfall on this ground, spread over though it is with monument and inscription, and hollow, as we thought, with the deadest of the dead. But the glimpse of old real life given us in this brief fragment of a biography is refreshing and is very suggestive. It seems an insufficient and unnatural method of accounting for the suddenness of the appearance of this episode to suppose ('Speaker's Commentary,' in lee.) that the name of Jahez was well known, from any cause, to those for whom Chronicles may be supposed to have been primarily intended. We prefer by far one account of it, viz. that the work in our hands is not in its original complete state; or, variously put, that it is in its uncompleted original state. No root corresponding to the characters of this name in present order is known; it is possible that some euphonic reason makes the name יַעְבּצ out of the real word (future Kal) יַעִצֵב, i.e. he causes pains. We cannot suppose there would be any "play" appreciable on a transposition of alphabetical characters for mere play's sake. The resemblance that almost each part of this brief and abruptly introduced narration bears to incidents recorded in Genesis (Genesis 34:19; Genesis 33:20; Genesis 4:25; Genesis 29:32; Genesis 28:20) and Exodus speaks for itself, and strongly countenances the supposition that it is a genuine deposit of the genuinely olden history of Judah. The mother's reason for the naming of the child; the language and matter and form (Genesis 17:18-20; Exodus 32:32) of the prayer of the child, when presumably he was no longer a child; and the discriminating use of the words Elohim (ver. 10) of Israel, as comps, red with the name Jehovah (1 Chronicles 2:3; 5:41), generally found here, - all help to produce this impression, although some of these particulars would carry little conviction by themselves; e.g. a mother's reasons for assigning the name of her child long outlived the earlier times alone. Upon the whole, and regarding the passage in its present place, we may say that it must be very much misplaced, or else must be understood to connect Jabez with some branch of the family of Coz. There is the more room to assume this in the vagueness of the last preceding clause, "The families of Aharhel the son of Harum." The origin of the theories of some of the older Jewish writers, to the effect that Jabez was a doctor in the law, with a school of scribes around him, is probably to be found in the desire to find a connection between his proper name, Jabez, and the place so named (1 Chronicles 2:55), and where, as we are told, "families of scribes dwelt," belonging to the Kenites. That these were connected with Bethlehem, through Salma, and that Jabez of our present passage was also of a family connected with Bethlehem, is worthy of notice, but is not enough by a long way to countenance the thought, in spite of Targum and Talmud (Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' sub vet.). The Targum, as well here as in 1 Chronicles 2:55, identifies Jabez with Othniel "son of Keuaz" (Joshua 15:17; Judges 1:13; Judges 3:9), or more probably "the Kenizzite" merely; but there is nothing to sustain such an identification. The description, he was more honourable than his brethren, finds a close parallel, so far as the word honourable goes, in Genesis 34:19; although the honourableness of Shechem, the person there in question, does not come out to anything like the same advantage with that of Jabez, nor at all in the same direction. The word, however, is precisely the same, is often used elsewhere, and uniformly in a good sense, although the range of its application is wide. The essential idea of the root appears to be "weight." The phrase may therefore be supposed to answer to our expressive phrase, a "man of weight " - the weight being sometimes due chiefly to character, at other times to position and wealth in the first place, though not entirely divorced from considerations of character. We may safely judge, from what follows, that the intention in our present passage is to describe Jabez as a man of more ability and nobility than his brethren. It can scarcely be doubted that the meaning that lies on the surface is the correct interpretation, when it is said that his mother named him Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. The sorrow refers to unusual pains of travail, not to any attendant circumstances of domestic trial, as e.g. that the time of his birth was coincident with her own widowhood, as happened to the wife of Phinehas, when she named her offspring "Ichabod" (1 Samuel 4:19-22).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren,.... The Targum adds,"and wiser in the law than his brethren;''or he might be a man of great wealth and riches, or of great strength and courage, all which make a man honourable; or he may be so called, because a praying man, as follows, a man of devotion and religion, a man of God, see 1 Samuel 9:6, but who he was is not easy to say, probably a son or brother of Harum, or however that belonged to one of the families of Aharhel, mentioned in the preceding verse; for that he was Othniel, as say the Targumist and other Jewish writers (z), is not probable, and besides is after spoken of distinct from him, 1 Chronicles 4:13.

and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, because I bare him with sorrow; either with sorrow for her husband, being dead, or by reason of very sharp pains she endured at the birth of him; he was another Benoni.

(z) T. Bab. Temurah, fol. 16. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

1Ch 4:9-20. Of Jabez, and His Prayer.

9, 10. Jabez—was, as many think, the son of Coz, or Kenaz, and is here eulogized for his sincere and fervent piety, as well, perhaps, as for some public and patriotic works which he performed. The Jewish writers affirm that he was an eminent doctor in the law, whose reputation drew so many scribes around him that a town was called by his name (1Ch 2:55); and to the piety of his character this passage bears ample testimony. The memory of the critical circumstances which marked his birth was perpetuated in his name (compare Ge 35:15); and yet, in the development of his high talents or distinguished worth in later life, his mother must have found a satisfaction and delight that amply compensated for all her early trials. His prayer which is here recorded, and which, like Jacob's, is in the form of a vow (Ge 28:20), seems to have been uttered when he was entering on an important or critical service, for the successful execution of which he placed confidence neither on his own nor his people's prowess, but looked anxiously for the aid and blessing of God. The enterprise was in all probability the expulsion of the Canaanites from the territory he occupied; and as this was a war of extermination, which God Himself had commanded, His blessing could be the more reasonably asked and expected in preserving them from all the evils to which the undertaking might expose him. In these words, "that it may not grieve me," and which might be more literally rendered, "that I may have no more sorrow," there is an allusion to the meaning of his name, Jabez, signifying "grief"; and the import of this petition is, Let me not experience the grief which my name implies, and which my sins may well produce.

1 Chronicles 4:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Prayer of Jabez
9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, "Because I bore him with pain." 10Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested.…
Cross References
1 Chronicles 4:8
and Koz, who was the father of Anub and Hazzobebah and of the clans of Aharhel son of Harum.

1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
Treasury of Scripture

And Jabez was more honorable than his brothers: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bore him with sorrow.

more.

Genesis 34:19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight …

Isaiah 43:4 Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honorable, and …

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received …

Jabez. i.e., Sorrowful. I bare him.

1 Chronicles 7:23 And when he went in to his wife, she conceived, and bore a son, and …

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your …

Genesis 35:18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) …

1 Samuel 4:21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from …

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