1 Chronicles 4:40
And they found fat pasture and good, and the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for they of Ham had dwelled there of old.
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(40) And they found fat pasture and good.—If Gerar was the right reading in 1Chronicles 4:39, we might compare Genesis 26:17 seq.

And the land was wide.Genesis 34:21. Literally, broad of both handsi.e., on both sides. An open plain is meant.

And quiet and peaceable.—Like Laish, which the Danites took by surprise (Judges 18:7; Judges 18:28).

They of Ham had dwelt there of old.—That is, they who were then dwelling there were Hamites or Canaanites (1Chronicles 1:8).

Of old.—Literally, before (lephānîm); that is, before the Simeonite invasion.

1 Chronicles 4:40. They found fat pasture, &c. — Those who thus dwelt (as we do) in a fruitful country, and whose land is wide, and quiet, and peaceable, have reason to own themselves indebted to that God, who appoints the bounds o four habitation. Of Ham — The Canaanites, who descended from Ham. And, accordingly, these words contain a reason why they went and possessed this place, because it was not in the hands of their brethren of Judah, but in the possession of that people which they had authority to expel.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.Gedor - Rather read, "Gerar" (Septuagint) a fertile district Genesis 26:6-12; 2 Chronicles 14:14-15 in Philistine country. 38, 39. increased greatly, and they went to the entrance of Gedor—Simeon having only a part of the land of Judah, they were forced to seek accommodation elsewhere; but their establishment in the new and fertile pastures of Gederah was soon broken up; for, being attacked by a band of nomad plunderers, they were driven from place to place till some of them effected by force a settlement on Mount Seir. They of Ham, i.e. the posterity of that cursed Ham; either the Arabians; or the Canaanites or Philistines, who descended from Ham, Genesis 10:6. And accordingly these words contain a reason, either,

1. To prove that the land was good; because the Arabians, who, being wholly given to pasturage, used to find out the choicest grounds, had formerly pitched their tents there. Or,

2. Why they went and possessed this place, because it was not in the hands of their brethren of Judah, but in the possession of that people which they had authority and command to expel.

Had dwelt there of old, i.e. had possessed it of old and hitherto. Or, dwelt there before, i.e. before they came and cast them out of their possessions. And they found fat pasture and good,.... In or near the valley of Gedor:

and the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable; there was room enough for them and their flocks, and they had no enemies on either side to disturb them:

for they of Ham had dwelt there of old; either the Canaanites who descended from Canaan the son of Ham, and had never been expelled from thence; or the Philistines, who were a colony of the Egyptians, the posterity of Ham; and these inhabitants being of this cursed race, the Simeonites scrupled not to dispossess them.

And they found fat pasture and good, and the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceable; for they of Ham had dwelt there of old.
40. they of Ham] Canaanites who had not been dispossessed at the Conquest and therefore expected no disturbance at a later time.Emigrations of Simeonite families into other districts. - 1 Chronicles 4:34-41 record an expedition of the Simeonites, in the time of Hezekiah, undertaken for purposes of conquest. In 1 Chronicles 4:34-36, thirteen princes of the tribe of Simeon are enumerated who undertook this expedition. The families of some of them are traced through several generations, but in no case are they traced down so far as to show their connection with the families named in 1 Chronicles 4:24-26.
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