Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Chronicles
Book: 1 Chronicles
Chapter: 4

- 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.