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Who was Jabez?

Someone had written a question about the Jabez prayer materials circulating among many Christian bookstores and what not. I gave answer and then didn’t consider it too much thereafter. But now… I’ve heard and seen enough of this popular ‘fad’ among many of our Christian brethren, to where it’s becoming more than just a ‘fad’. An acquaintance just the other day handed me a prayer card, with a prayer of Jabez written upon it, and I decided that’s enough!
     So who was Jabez? “Well he’s written of in The Bible!”, is what some have said to me when I asked. Not wanting to offend those giving such an answer as that, I held my breath, for their Biblical illiteracy was apparent as to the word ‘Kenite’ even. Yes, I did follow their answer “he’s in The Bible” with a question: “So who are the Kenites”? And I saw a big “?” mark on their face. And many of you well know the next step in this matter, if you claim to be sincerely trying to follow Christ in His Word. One either makes a ‘stand’ for our Lord, and tells them the Truth about the Kenite, and lets the chips fall wherever, or you just keep silent while shaking your head. Either way, those ignorant about the Kenite from our Father’s Word, well, they’ll probably be aggravated at you any way you handle the matter. But alas, for the sake of those who do listen, and later come to realize who the Kenite represents later in their own Bible follow-up study, well then, making that ‘stand’ for our Lord would be worth it. So here goes, as we ask a Word of Wisdom from our Father in Christ Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen.

     Jabez is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4, as being “more honorable than his brethren” (1 Chron.4:9). That’s how the verse begins there with first mention of Jabez which is inserted among one of the family chronologies of Judah. But it’s not written who Jabez descended from exactly, nor ‘who’ his parents were. It’s one of those occurrences in God’s Word where we read and come to, and think, “what’s this doing here in between all these other verses?” Usually when that happens in God’s Word, it means our Father wants us to sharpen up and pay attention, for He’s trying to tell us something much deeper.
     Recall in Genesis 9:18 where “Canaan” is just mentioned ‘out of the blue’? One doesn’t discover why Canaan is mentioned so early in the event of Ham’s sin against his father Noah, until later in that same Chapter. Canaan was the son of Ham by incest with his mother (see Gen.9:18 – 27, and look up in Leviticus 18 and 20 for what the sin of “uncovering thy father’s nakedness” really means, or see the study on Genesis 9 ). This Jabez matter in 1 Chronicles 4 is a similar type of attention getter.

1 Chr 4:8    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 Ir-nahash. These are the men of Rechah.

     Now please tell me, from the above verses, just who ‘begat’ Jabez, and then, who did Jabez beget? It’s not there is it? You’ll even discover many Bible commentaries which go ahead and ‘assume’ Jabez was part of this 1 Chronicles 4 genealogy, but it’s just not clear is it? It is assumed Jabez was a descendant of Judah by many, just because of this special prayer he said to our Heavenly Father, and because God did grant it. Jabez truly did seek our Heavenly Father’s blessing, calling “on the God of Israel”.
     Then note the last verse above, that of 1 Chron.4:12. Who are the “men of Rechah” (Hebrew ‘Rekah’)? –

1 Chr 2:55   And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.

     This word “Rechab” (Hebrew ‘Rekab’) is of the same “Rechabites” (Hebrew ‘Rekah’) of Jeremiah 35. And the “house of Rechab” are the Kenites (son of Cain) who came of “Hemath“. This ‘Hemath‘ is Hebrew ‘Chamath’ meaning ‘fortress’ and symbolically referred to ancient Assyria, a place of idol worship (Strong’s no. 2574). This ‘Hemath‘ is ‘Hamath‘, and was an area of the Canaanites (Judges 3:3). Hamath became Judah’s inheritance, and this is how many of the Canaanites, including a mix of Kenites, crept into Judah’s stay in Judea (2 Kings 14:28; 2 Samuel 8:6; 2 Chron.8).
     So Jabez’s prayer was answered by God, with a city of the ‘Kenites’ even being named after him.

     What’s the deeper Message from our Father’s Word then? Jabez was not of Judah, but of the “house of Rechab”, i.e. the Kenites, which means ‘son of Cain’ (Strong’s no. 7014 – ‘Qayin’, meaning ‘Cain’). These particular scribes would help begin the foundations of the Pharisee religious system, and that ‘system’ among many of Judah, still exists today. Our Lord Jesus Christ gave many warnings about listening to the false doctrines of the “scribes and Pharisees” (see Matthew).
     Our Lord gave us a special Promise when He returns as The True KING over His coming spiritual everlasting Kingdom –

Zech 14:20    In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
21    Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

     The “Canaanite”, truly referring here to the Kenite which seek to follow ‘their’ father, and not our Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus, have crept into God’s House, and most are not even remotely aware (see Jeremiah 35). God is using the sons of Cain to test His People with, so naturally, God is not going to chastise them until it’s time (Judges 3; Numbers 24). Jabez may have ‘turned’ from his father, the false ‘rock’, and sought our True Heavenly Father The ROCK, and might have even prayed to be protected from the evil of his natural brethren, the Kenite. But recall 1 Chron.2:55 that the scribes of Kenites lived in a city named after Jabez. So what ‘kind’ of ‘honorable’ was Jabez? Honor in the eyes of men, or honor in the eyes of our Lord?
     Jabez’s prayer which is appearing in ‘so-called’ Christian literature today, and even on coffee mugs, is a sign of listening to the very ‘scribes and Pharisees’ which our Lord Jesus warned us against. And the method or purpose of its use seems to be a type of prosperity prayer, just like what Jabez prayed, for ‘material’ gain. Possibly some are so superstitious to think that if they just ‘buy’ an item with Jabez’s prayer on it, some of Jabez Aladdin’s lamp qualities will rub off to them? Moreover, this Jabez ‘fad’ is of a sort, the re-instituting of an earthly priest system, going through flesh men in prayer, instead of praying directly to God through His Son Jesus Christ. In essence then, to do such Jabez prayer, is to deny our Lord and Saviour’s Blood on the cross which He shed for us. Our Saviour paid the Price on the cross for us, just so we wouldn’t have to bow down to any ‘flesh’ ritual order for Salvation through Him (see Col.2; Hebrews).
     When we pray to God, we have no need to seek out a prayer specialist to write one for us. Our Heavenly Father wants us to seek Him in truth and in spirit, meaning we only need to talk to Him through His Son’s Name, in ‘our own words’. Would a child go through some unknown person down the street, to ask their flesh father for help? If one of my own children refused to come directly to me, I doubt I would listen to some ‘go between’. How then, does one think our Heavenly Father feels when we seek ‘outside’ help, instead of coming directly to Him in sincerity? Likewise then, don’t go through ‘Jabez’. Seek our Father directly, through His Son Jesus Christ!

Peace to you in Christ Jesus,
Dave Ramey.

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