In the I Book of Chronicles Jabez is a well-respected man (ancestor in the lineage of the kings' tribe of Judah) whose prayer to God for blessing was answered, see 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Moreover the author paused in this long list to give Jabez a place of honour in the long list of Kings and lineage.

This short passage of scripture came to the attention of millions of Christians following the publication of the book The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, in which he encouraged Christians to pray the way Jabez did.[1]

The name Jabez sounds like the Hebrew word for pain, and was given to him because of the pain his mother suffered while bearing him; whether the pain was a result of the birth or coincided with the birth is unclear. It is speculated that, because Jabez was named by his mother, that there was no father in his life. Therefore, such birth out of wedlock would have been the source of pain and shame in Hebrew culture of the time. Hence the name. Whatever the interpretation, the prayer of Jabez has served both as a puzzle and also as an inspiration and model for some Christians. Jabez quite probably overcame adverse circumstances of birth to achieve a place of honor in his ancient society.[original research?]

Jabez is also mentioned in 1 Chronicles. 2:55, possibly as a place name.

The small town of Jabez, Kentucky is surrounded on three sides by the beautiful Lake Cumberland. The town is also is the home of the Kentucky Leadership Center.

The real name of prominent Hip-Hop artist, Dirk the Daring, is Jabez, presumably after the prayer or its speaker.

The main character (a farmer) in the short story The Devil and Daniel Webster and its 1941 and 2007 film adaptations was called Jabez - living with his guilt-ridden and God-fearing mother.


  1. The book became an international bestseller, topping the New York Times bestseller list and selling nine million copies. It received the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Gold Medallion Book of the Year award in 2001.

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