This article is about the given name and surname. For the unincorporated community, see Jabez, Kentucky.
Jabez or Jabes is a Biblical male given name from the Old Testament. It is of Hebrew origin. In 1 Chronicles, Jabez is a well-respected man (hinted to be an ancestor in the lineage of the kings' tribe of Judah, though none of his family is mentioned) whose prayer to God for blessing was answered (see 1 Chronicles 4:9-11).
The name Jabez is Hebrew (yabetz = יַעְבֵּץ) for "he makes sorrowful"; his mother stated "I gave birth to him in pain". Jabez was labelled with "sorrow" at birth, but his prayer against contracting sorrow nullified the label. His life contradicted his name.
Jabez's name is also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:55, possibly as a place named after him. Jabez possibly could have been a Jewish scribe in his later years. He might have been influential and well respected as a scribe because the city named after him was where the families of scribes lived.
^C.F. Keil and F. Delitsch: Commentary on the Old Testament, 10 Vols., Hendrickson Publishers Inc., Peabody, Massachusett, 1996, reprinted from the English edition of T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1866-91.
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