A Bible open to the page referencing Jabez, symbolizing the search for answers about his mother.

Who Was Jabez’S Mother In The Bible?

If you’re wondering who Jabez’s mother was in the Bible, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive article will examine everything the Bible tells us about this intriguing woman and her extraordinary son.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Bible doesn’t explicitly name Jabez’s mother. But some scholars speculate she may have been an Israelite woman from the tribe of Judah.

The Story of Jabez in Scripture

Jabez’s Prayer in 1 Chronicles

The story of Jabez is found in just two verses, 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, yet it provides a powerful example of prayer and God’s blessing. Jabez was an honorable man from the tribe of Judah. His prayer demonstrates complete dependence on God and faith that God would fulfill his requests.

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

This short prayer reveals key components for seeing God’s blessings and favor. Jabez begins by asking for God’s blessing. He recognizes that true prosperity comes from the Lord’s hand. Next, he asks for more influence and impact, that God would “enlarge his territory” – a bigger sphere of effective ministry.

Thirdly, he prays for God’s presence and protection, that God’s hand would be with him and keep him from harm. Lastly, he asks to be kept from pain and trouble that could limit his effectiveness for God.

Jabez’s bold prayer demonstrates complete dependence on God as the source of blessing and prosperity. His motives seem pure – to honor God and walk in His blessings so that God would be glorified in a wider territory. And God was pleased to answer his prayer!

Jabez’s Lineage and Ancestry

Though Jabez was an honorable man, his background was less than ideal. He was the son of his mother, not his father, indicating he was likely born out of wedlock. His name Jabez means “pain” because his mother said, “I gave birth to him in pain.”

This was likely a physical reference to a difficult childbirth but also symbolic of a painful life.

Jabez descended from Judah through the marriages of Hezron’s children. His brothers included Caleb and Carmi. Though Jabez came from a messgy family tree, he rose above his circumstances and became an honorable man who sought the Lord.

Despite his difficult beginnings, Jabez cried out to God, who answered his prayer and changed his legacy.

The fact that Jabez was mentioned at all indicates he was a significant figure. The author of Chronicles selected him for inclusion among a long list of names. In just two verses, we see that Jabez left an honorable legacy and gives us an example of a prayer that invites God’s blessing.

Though Jabez came from humble beginnings, his zeal for God allowed him to rise above his circumstances. His story displays God’s grace in anyone who seeks Him with their whole heart. Jabez teaches us that our past does not have to define our future.

Through earnest prayer and dependence on God, anyone can live an honorable life that glorifies Him.

Clues About Jabez’s Identity and Family

Jabez May Have Been from the Tribe of Judah

The Bible does not explicitly state which of the 12 tribes of Israel Jabez belonged to. However, some clues in the text suggest he may have been from the tribe of Judah. According to 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, Jabez was the son of a woman named Keziah.

In the Old Testament, there are only two women with the name Keziah mentioned:

  • Keziah – One of the three daughters of Job who received an inheritance from their father (Job 42:14)
  • Keziah – A descendant from the tribe of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:21)

Since the Keziah mentioned in Job lived during the time of the patriarchs, she is probably not Jabez’s mother. It is more likely his mother Keziah was from the lineage of Judah recorded in Chronicles. Though not definitive, this suggests Jabez may have also belonged to that prominent southern tribe.

Jabez’s Name Provides a Clue

The meaning of Jabez’s name also gives a hint regarding his background. His name means “he makes sorrowful or causes pain” indicating his mother gave him this name because her labor was difficult during childbirth.

According to scholar John Gill, ancient Jewish tradition elaborated that Jabez caused his mother more pain during delivery than usual.

Why would a loving mother give such a negative name to her baby? Biblical names often told a story and provided meaning regarding people’s lives and backgrounds. In those days, women relied heavily on their kinsman-redeemer to take care of them.

From this, one possibility raised by Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary is that Jabez did not have an honorable earthly father figure. His mother was in sorrow and left to fend for herself, so she projected this into her son’s name.

This lack of a caring patriarch in Jabez’s family gives hints to his social and spiritual background. Though coming from disadvantage, Jabez became an honorable man of God (1 Chronicles 4:9-10). His story reveals that while circumstances of birth can negatively impact someone’s start in life, one’s choices and relationship with God still determine their future path.

Theories on Jabez’s Mother’s Identity

Jabez’s Mother as an Israelite Woman

The Bible provides little information about Jabez’s family background. However, some scholars theorize that his mother was likely an Israelite woman from the tribe of Judah. Here are some reasons for this theory:

  • Jabez is specifically mentioned as being more honorable than his brothers, indicating he likely came from a common Israelite family (1 Chronicles 4:9).
  • His name Jabez means “he causes pain” or “he agonizes”, which may suggest his mother struggled through a painful childbirth.
  • Jabez cries out to the God of Israel in his prayer, signifying his family’s connection to the Israelites (1 Chronicles 4:10).
  • He lived in the territory allotted to the tribe of Judah, the preeminent tribe from which King David came.
  • If Jabez descended from an ordinary Israelite family, it would better explain the adversity he faced that led him to plead for God’s blessings and favor. His honorable character shined despite his obscure lineage.

    Jabez’s Mother as a Foreign Woman

    Another theory posits that Jabez’s mother was a foreign woman, possibly from one of the Canaanite peoples inhabiting the Promised Land. Proponents of this view offer the following ideas:

  • His name Jabez connects to a root word meaning “pain” in other Semitic languages like Arabic.
  • Intermarriage with Canaanites was common in Israel at the time, evidenced by figures like Salmon and Rahab.
  • As the son of a foreign woman, Jabez may have faced more prejudice and opposition, spurring his fervent prayer.
  • Thescribal genealogies focused on Judahite men but often omitted matriarchal ancestry.
  • According to this perspective, Jabez’s remarkable faith and character become more noteworthy if he overcame discrimination as a child of a mixed marriage. God answering his prayer demonstrates His blessing across cultural divides.

    The Significance of Jabez’s Story

    God’s Blessing Despite Humble Origins

    Jabez’s story in the Bible is found in just two verses in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, yet it is full of meaning. His name means “he will cause pain” or “he brings sorrow”, which was likely given by his mother due to some difficulty in childbirth.

    Despite his humble and painful beginnings, Jabez cried out to the God of Israel asking for blessing and favor. God answered his prayer and granted him what he requested.

  • This shows that God’s blessing is not dependent on one’s background or circumstances of birth.
  • Although Jabez seemed destined for misfortune based on his name and circumstances of birth, God’s favor is greater than any limitation placed on a person. Jabez’s short but remarkable story is an inspiration, revealing that a person can rise above their background if they wholeheartedly seek God.

  • As Matthew Henry said in his commentary, “The way to be truly great is to be truly good and to pray much.
  • Jabez’s Example of Faith

    Jabez provides a shining example of diligent faith and trust in God despite one’s past or reputation. His prayerful petition of God’s blessing was not presumptuous, but flowed from a heart steadfastly seeking the good and purpose God had for his life.

  • Jabez’s bold prayer shows that humility and faith can lead to divine blessing.
  • When we seek God’s guidance for our lives rather than struggling without hope, we open ourselves to His grace and favor.

    Though Jabez came from an obscure, even ominous background, he was transformed into an honored man through his earnest walk with God.

  • We too can rise above our past limitations and human stigma by fully trusting in the Almighty.
  • We have every reason to hope, as nothing separates us from God’s love and power to bless our sincere devotion.

    Just as God answered Jabez’s prayer, He stands ready even now to guide our steps into new realms of purpose.


    In the end, the Bible simply doesn’t provide enough information to conclusively identify who Jabez’s mother was. But his story highlights some powerful truths. Despite his mother’s apparent low status, Jabez was still mightily blessed by God. And his bold prayer of faith remains an inspiration.

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