The prayer of Jabez is a cry for deliverance from a life of pain. The name Jabez means "distress," or "pain," and accordingly, from the day of his birth, Jabez endured much pain.
Satan seeks to afflict those who are honorable with pain and sorrow in order to destroy their effectiveness. Jabez prayed for God to turn the devil's curse into blessing and his own limitations into enlargement. Our prayers, too, should be for God to enlarge our territory just as He did for Jabez, who had been through such pain and sorrow. We want to be enlarged, not for personal pride and pleasure, but to reach into the regions beyond with the Gospel.
Jabez also prayed that God would keep him from harm so he could be delivered from a life of pain, sorrow, and distraction. And God granted his request!
Why not pray today for God to reverse the curse and break the limitations you have faced, perhaps even from birth? He will spread His protection over you (Psalm 5:11) and surround you with favor as with a shield (v. 12)!
6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari. These were the descendants of Naarah.
7 The sons of Helah:
Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan,8 and Koz, who was the father of Anub and Hazzobebah and of the clans of Aharhel son of Harum.
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez,
11 Kelub, Shuhah’s brother, was the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton.12 Eshton was the father of Beth Rapha, Paseah and Tehinnah the father of Ir Nahash.
13 The sons of Kenaz:
The sons of Othniel:
Hathath and Meonothai.
Seraiah was the father of Joab,
the father of Ge Harashim.
15 The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh:
Iru, Elah and Naam.
The son of Elah:
16 The sons of Jehallelel:
Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel.
17 The sons of Ezrah:
Jether, Mered, Epher and Jalon. One of Mered’s wives gave birth to Miriam,
19 The sons of Hodiah’s wife, the sister of Naham:
20 The sons of Shimon:
Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-Hanan and Tilon.
The descendants of Ishi:
Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth.
21 The sons of Shelah
Er the father of Lekah, Laadah the father of Mareshah and the clans of the linen workers at Beth Ashbea,22 Jokim, the men of Kozeba, and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. (These records are from ancient times.)23 They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah; they stayed there and worked for the king.
24 The descendants of Simeon:
Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib,
25 Shallum was Shaul’s son, Mibsam his son and Mishma his son.
26 The descendants of Mishma:
Hammuel his son, Zakkur his son and Shimei his son.
27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers did not have many children; so their entire clan did not become as numerous as the people of Judah.28 They lived in Beersheba,
34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah,35 Joel, Jehu son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel,36 also Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah,37 and Ziza son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah.
38 The men listed above by name were leaders of their clans. Their families increased greatly,39 and they went to the outskirts of Gedor
41 The men whose names were listed came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. They attacked the Hamites in their dwellings and also the Meunites
5 The sons of Reuben
4 The descendants of Joel:
Shemaiah his son, Gog his son,
Shimei his son,5 Micah his son,
Reaiah his son, Baal his son,
6 and Beerah his son, whom Tiglath-Pileser
7 Their relatives by clans,
Jeiel the chief, Zechariah,8 and Bela son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel. They settled in the area from Aroer
12 Joel was the chief, Shapham the second, then Janai and Shaphat, in Bashan.
13 Their relatives, by families, were:
Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jakan, Zia and Eber—seven in all.
14 These were the sons of Abihail son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz.
15 Ahi son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, was head of their family.
16 The Gadites lived in Gilead, in Bashan and its outlying villages, and on all the pasturelands of Sharon as far as they extended.
5 Ashhur (the father of Tekoa) had two wives, named Helah and Naarah.6 Naarah gave birth to Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari.7 Helah gave birth to Zereth, Izhar,
9 There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez
11 Kelub (the brother of Shuhah) was the father of Mehir. Mehir was the father of Eshton.12 Eshton was the father of Beth-rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah. Tehinnah was the father of Ir-nahash. These were the descendants of Recah.
13 The sons of Kenaz were Othniel and Seraiah. Othniel’s sons were Hathath and Meonothai.
15 The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh were Iru, Elah, and Naam. The son of Elah was Kenaz.
16 The sons of Jehallelel were Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel.
17 The sons of Ezrah were Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. One of Mered’s wives became
19 Hodiah’s wife was the sister of Naham. One of her sons was the father of Keilah the Garmite, and another was the father of Eshtemoa the Maacathite.
20 The sons of Shimon were Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-hanan, and Tilon.
The descendants of Ishi were Zoheth and Ben-zoheth.
21 Shelah was one of Judah’s sons. The descendants of Shelah were Er (the father of Lecah); Laadah (the father of Mareshah); the families of linen workers at Beth-ashbea;22 Jokim; the men of Cozeba; and Joash and Saraph, who ruled over Moab and Jashubi-lehem. These names all come from ancient records.23 They were the pottery makers who lived in Netaim and Gederah. They lived there and worked for the king.
24 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel,
25 The descendants of Shaul were Shallum, Mibsam, and Mishma.
26 The descendants of Mishma were Hammuel, Zaccur, and Shimei.
27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but none of his brothers had large families. So Simeon’s tribe never grew as large as the tribe of Judah.
28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual,29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad,30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag,31 Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri, and Shaaraim. These towns were under their control until the time of King David.32 Their descendants also lived in Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token, and Ashan—five towns33 and their surrounding villages as far away as Baalath.
34 Other descendants of Simeon included Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah,35 Joel, Jehu son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel,36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah,37 and Ziza son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah.
38 These were the names of some of the leaders of Simeon’s wealthy clans. Their families grew,39 and they traveled to the region of Gerar,
Some of Ham’s descendants had been living in that region.41 But during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah, these leaders of Simeon invaded the region and completely destroyed
5 The oldest son of Israel
3 The sons of Reuben, the oldest son of Israel, were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
4 The descendants of Joel were Shemaiah, Gog, Shimei,5 Micah, Reaiah, Baal,6 and Beerah. Beerah was the leader of the Reubenites when they were taken into captivity by King Tiglath-pileser
The Reubenites lived in the area that stretches from Aroer to Nebo and Baal-meon.9 And since they had so many livestock in the land of Gilead, they spread east toward the edge of the desert that stretches to the Euphrates River.
10 During the reign of Saul, the Reubenites defeated the Hagrites in battle. Then they moved into the Hagrite settlements all along the eastern edge of Gilead.
11 Next to the Reubenites, the descendants of Gad lived in the land of Bashan as far east as Salecah.12 Joel was the leader in the land of Bashan, and Shapham was second-in-command, followed by Janai and Shaphat.
13 Their relatives, the leaders of seven other clans, were Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber.14 These were all descendants of Abihail son of Huri, son of Jaroah, son of Gilead, son of Michael, son of Jeshishai, son of Jahdo, son of Buz.15 Ahi son of Abdiel, son of Guni, was the leader of their clans.
16 The Gadites lived in the land of Gilead, in Bashan and its villages, and throughout all the pasturelands of Sharon.17 All of these were listed in the genealogical records during the days of King Jotham of Judah and King Jeroboam of Israel.
5 And Ashur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.
6 And Naarah bare him Ahuzam, and Hepher, and Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah.
7 And the sons of Helah were, Zereth, and Jezoar, and Ethnan.
8 And Coz begat Anub, and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum.
9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
11 And Chelub the brother of Shuah begat Mehir, which was the father of Eshton.
12 And Eshton begat Bethrapha, and Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Irnahash. These are the men of Rechah.
13 And the sons of Kenaz; Othniel, and Seraiah: and the sons of Othniel; Hathath.
14 And Meonothai begat Ophrah: and Seraiah begat Joab, the father of the valley of Charashim; for they were craftsmen.
15 And the sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh; Iru, Elah, and Naam: and the sons of Elah, even Kenaz.
16 And the sons of Jehaleleel; Ziph, and Ziphah, Tiria, and Asareel.
17 And the sons of Ezra were, Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon: and she bare Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa.
18 And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these are the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took.
19 And the sons of his wife Hodiah the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite.
20 And the sons of Shimon were, Amnon, and Rinnah, Benhanan, and Tilon. And the sons of Ishi were, Zoheth, and Benzoheth.
21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah were, Er the father of Lecah, and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, of the house of Ashbea,
22 And Jokim, and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had the dominion in Moab, and Jashubilehem. And these are ancient things.
23 These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.
24 The sons of Simeon were, Nemuel, and Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul:
25 Shallum his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son.
26 And the sons of Mishma; Hamuel his son, Zacchur his son, Shimei his son.
27 And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters: but his brethren had not many children, neither did all their family multiply, like to the children of Judah.
28 And they dwelt at Beersheba, and Moladah, and Hazarshual,
29 And at Bilhah, and at Ezem, and at Tolad,
30 And at Bethuel, and at Hormah, and at Ziklag,
31 And at Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusim, and at Bethbirei, and at Shaaraim. These were their cities unto the reign of David.
32 And their villages were, Etam, and Ain, Rimmon, and Tochen, and Ashan, five cities:
33 And all their villages that were round about the same cities, unto Baal. These were their habitations, and their genealogy.
34 And Meshobab, and Jamlech, and Joshah, the son of Amaziah,
35 And Joel, and Jehu the son of Josibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel,
36 And Elioenai, and Jaakobah, and Jeshohaiah, and Asaiah, and Adiel, and Jesimiel, and Benaiah,
37 And Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah;
38 These mentioned by their names were princes in their families: and the house of their fathers increased greatly.
39 And they went to the entrance of Gedor, even unto the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks.
40 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.
41 And these written by name came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and smote their tents, and the habitations that were found there, and destroyed them utterly unto this day, and dwelt in their rooms: because there was pasture there for their flocks.
42 And some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi.
43 And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day.
5 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:)
3 The sons, I say, of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were, Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
4 The sons of Joel; Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,
5 Micah his son, Reaia his son, Baal his son,
6 Beerah his son, whom Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria carried away captive: he was prince of the Reubenites.
7 And his brethren by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned, were the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah,
8 And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baalmeon:
9 And eastward he inhabited unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates: because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead.
10 And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east land of Gilead.
11 And the children of Gad dwelt over against them, in the land of Bashan unto Salcah:
12 Joel the chief, and Shapham the next, and Jaanai, and Shaphat in Bashan.
13 And their brethren of the house of their fathers were, Michael, and Meshullam, and Sheba, and Jorai, and Jachan, and Zia, and Heber, seven.
14 These are the children of Abihail the son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz;
15 Ahi the son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, chief of the house of their fathers.
16 And they dwelt in Gilead in Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders.
17 All these were reckoned by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.
25 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus
6 After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he convened the court
10 Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews,
12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”
13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea
16 “I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges.
22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.”
He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”
23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice
25 Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea to take over his new responsibilities, he left for Jerusalem,2 where the leading priests and other Jewish leaders met with him and made their accusations against Paul.3 They asked Festus as a favor to transfer Paul to Jerusalem (planning to ambush and kill him on the way).4 But Festus replied that Paul was at Caesarea and he himself would be returning there soon.5 So he said, “Those of you in authority can return with me. If Paul has done anything wrong, you can make your accusations.”
6 About eight or ten days later Festus returned to Caesarea, and on the following day he took his seat in court and ordered that Paul be brought in.7 When Paul arrived, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem gathered around and made many serious accusations they couldn’t prove.
8 Paul denied the charges. “I am not guilty of any crime against the Jewish laws or the Temple or the Roman government,” he said.
9 Then Festus, wanting to please the Jews, asked him, “Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there?”
10 But Paul replied, “No! This is the official Roman court, so I ought to be tried right here. You know very well I am not guilty of harming the Jews.11 If I have done something worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die. But if I am innocent, no one has a right to turn me over to these men to kill me. I appeal to Caesar!”
12 Festus conferred with his advisers and then replied, “Very well! You have appealed to Caesar, and to Caesar you will go!”
13 A few days later King Agrippa arrived with his sister, Bernice,
17 “When his accusers came here for the trial, I didn’t delay. I called the case the very next day and ordered Paul brought in.18 But the accusations made against him weren’t any of the crimes I expected.19 Instead, it was something about their religion and a dead man named Jesus, who Paul insists is alive.20 I was at a loss to know how to investigate these things, so I asked him whether he would be willing to stand trial on these charges in Jerusalem.21 But Paul appealed to have his case decided by the emperor. So I ordered that he be held in custody until I could arrange to send him to Caesar.”
22 “I’d like to hear the man myself,” Agrippa said.
And Festus replied, “You will—tomorrow!”
23 So the next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived at the auditorium with great pomp, accompanied by military officers and prominent men of the city. Festus ordered that Paul be brought in.24 Then Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are here, this is the man whose death is demanded by all the Jews, both here and in Jerusalem.25 But in my opinion he has done nothing deserving death. However, since he appealed his case to the emperor, I have decided to send him to Rome.
26 “But what shall I write the emperor? For there is no clear charge against him. So I have brought him before all of you, and especially you, King Agrippa, so that after we examine him, I might have something to write.27 For it makes no sense to send a prisoner to the emperor without specifying the charges against him!”
25 Now when Festus was come into the province, after three days he ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem.
2 Then the high priest and the chief of the Jews informed him against Paul, and besought him,
3 And desired favour against him, that he would send for him to Jerusalem, laying wait in the way to kill him.
4 But Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he himself would depart shortly thither.
5 Let them therefore, said he, which among you are able, go down with me, and accuse this man, if there be any wickedness in him.
6 And when he had tarried among them more than ten days, he went down unto Caesarea; and the next day sitting on the judgment seat commanded Paul to be brought.
7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.
9 But Festus, willing to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these things before me?
10 Then said Paul, I stand at Caesar's judgment seat, where I ought to be judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, as thou very well knowest.
11 For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Caesar? unto Caesar shalt thou go.
13 And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto Caesarea to salute Festus.
14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause unto the king, saying, There is a certain man left in bonds by Felix:
15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.
16 To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.
17 Therefore, when they were come hither, without any delay on the morrow I sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought forth.
18 Against whom when the accusers stood up, they brought none accusation of such things as I supposed:
19 But had certain questions against him of their own superstition, and of one Jesus, which was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.
20 And because I doubted of such manner of questions, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem, and there be judged of these matters.
21 But when Paul had appealed to be reserved unto the hearing of Augustus, I commanded him to be kept till I might send him to Caesar.
22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.
23 And on the morrow, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice, with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus' commandment Paul was brought forth.
24 And Festus said, King Agrippa, and all men which are here present with us, ye see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews have dealt with me, both at Jerusalem, and also here, crying that he ought not to live any longer.
25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.
26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write unto my lord. Wherefore I have brought him forth before you, and specially before thee, O king Agrippa, that, after examination had, I might have somewhat to write.
27 For it seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not withal to signify the crimes laid against him.
for to you I pray.
in the morning I lay my requests before you
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
in your presence.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, Lord, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
toward your holy temple.
because of my enemies—
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with malice.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
Spread your protection over them,
1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
5 Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
for you hate all who do evil.
6 You will destroy those who tell lies.
The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.
10 O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
5 Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation.
2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
19 A brother wronged
disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.
19 An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.
Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.
19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.