In this chapter the names of other descendants of Judah than the descendants mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2 are given. Then follow the descendants of Simeon. The area of Simeon is in the middle of that of Judah.
In this chapter the names of other descendants of Judah than the descendants mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2 are given. Then follow the descendants of Simeon. The area of Simeon is in the middle of that of Judah.
1The sons of Judah [were] Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur and Shobal. 2Reaiah the son of Shobal became the father of Jahath, and Jahath became the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These [were] the families of the Zorathites. 3These [were] the sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash; and the name of their sister [was] Hazzelelponi. 4Penuel [was] the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These [were] the sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah. 6Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7The sons of Helah [were] Zereth, Izhar and Ethnan. 8Koz became the father of Anub and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum. 9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore [him] with pain.” 10Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep [me] from harm that [it] may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. 11Chelub the brother of Shuhah became the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton. 12Eshton became the father of Beth-rapha and Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13Now the sons of Kenaz [were] Othniel and Seraiah. And the sons of Othniel [were] Hathath and Meonothai. 14Meonothai became the father of Ophrah, and Seraiah became the father of Joab the father of Ge-harashim, for they were craftsmen. 15The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh [were] Iru, Elah and Naam; and the son of Elah [was] Kenaz. 16The sons of Jehallelel [were] Ziph and Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel. 17The sons of Ezrah [were] Jether, Mered, Epher and Jalon. (And these are the sons of Bithia the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took) and she conceived [and bore] Miriam, Shammai and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18His Jewish wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, [were] the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20The sons of Shimon [were] Amnon and Rinnah, Benhanan and Tilon. And the sons of Ishi [were] Zoheth and Ben-zoheth. 21The sons of Shelah the son of Judah [were] Er the father of Lecah and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of the linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22and Jokim, the men of Cozeba, Joash, Saraph, who ruled in Moab, and Jashubi-lehem. And the records are ancient. 23These were the potters and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah; they lived there with the king for his work.
In this section, the name of the otherwise completely unknown Jabez stands out (verses 9-109Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore [him] with pain.”10Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep [me] from harm that [it] may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.). However, he is not unknown to God. He is mentioned because of his personal faith in God. God has blessed in the midst of His people each individual person who trusts Him.
The name “Jabez” is associated here with a verb that means “cause suffering”. The mother of Jabez recognizes in the name she gives her son, the judgment God has pronounced on the woman (Gen 3:16a16To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”
). All children are born with pain. This also applies to the new birth that someone gets through conversion. Conversion and new life do not begin with joy, but with tears of repentance.
The prayer that Jabez says shows that he agrees with the name his mother gave him. Jabez is “more honorable than his brothers” because he knows what grief is and because he is a man of prayer. The acknowledgment of his natural state makes him appeal to God. He does not do so in vain. The reason of the prayer is not mentioned. It is a prayer of childlike faith, in which he addresses “the God of Israel”, the only God.
His prayer includes four points. Around these four points his entire prayer life will have taken place.
1. The first thing Jabez asks God is to “bless” him “indeed”. For us it means that we ask the Lord to teach us about our heavenly blessings. For this Paul prays in the first prayer he does for the Ephesians (Eph 1:15-2315For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which [exists] among you and your love for all the saints,16do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention [of you] in my prayers;17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.18[I pray that] the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. [These are] in accordance with the working of the strength of His might20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly [places],21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.).
2. “and enlarge my border,” Then Jabez asks for expansion of its area. For us, the question of being introduced deeper into our heavenly blessings in Christ, that we can learn more from them. For this Paul prays in the second prayer he does for the Ephesians (Eph 3:14-2114For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,15from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; [and] that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.20Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,21to Him [be] the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.). It is about the taking possession of “the inheritance of the saints in the light” and being impressed by what this inheritance is all about (Col 1:9-239For this reason also, since the day we heard [of it], we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,10so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please [Him] in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;11strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.16For by Him all things were created, [both] in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.18He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.19For it was the [Father’s] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, [I say,] whether things on earth or things in heaven.21And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, [engaged] in evil deeds,22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—23if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.).
3. “and that Your hand might be with me,” Then Jabez asks for God’s support, for nothing will succeed in his own strength. For us it means that we realize that we cannot do anything without the Lord Jesus (Jn 15:5b5I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.). Paul therefore appeals us to strengthen ourselves in the Lord and in the power of His strength (Eph 6:1010Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.). He experienced this himself (2Tim 4:1717But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth.).
4. “and that You would keep [me] from harm that [it] may not pain me!” Finally, Jabez asks for protection against evil. He recognizes its presence and realizes that only God can protect him from it. For us it means that we are aware that there are evil powers that want to rob us of the enjoyment of our inheritance. To defend ourselves against these evil powers God has given us His armor (Eph 6:11-1811Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].13Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil [one].17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,).
In short, he prays for
3. support) and
Jabez gets everything he asks for. God never disappoints when we ask things of Him that honor Him.
Othniel (verse 1313Now the sons of Kenaz [were] Othniel and Seraiah. And the sons of Othniel [were] Hathath and Meonothai.) is the first judge of Israel in the time of the judges (Jdg 3:9-119When the sons of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.10The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. When he went out to war, the LORD gave Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, so that he prevailed over Cushan-rishathaim.11Then the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.).
A profession is also mentioned, that of “craftsmen” (verse 1414Meonothai became the father of Ophrah, and Seraiah became the father of Joab the father of Ge-harashim, for they were craftsmen.). It is a call that is practiced in “Ge-harashim”, or “the Valley of craftsmen” as it also can be translated. A valley indicates that there is nothing wrong with it. This means that the profession of craftsman is practiced in humility. A good craftsman is an artist. In such a person, pride can quickly arise because of a performance delivered. It is a picture of the practice of faith life. Only if we are humble our lives will be in practice to God’s glory.
In Judah Caleb (verse 1515The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh [were] Iru, Elah and Naam; and the son of Elah [was] Kenaz.) stands out. God remembers him with joy, as it were, all the more because Caleb is of pagan origin – he is a Kenite – but has been incorporated in Judah.
Another profession is called, “the linen workers” (verse 2121The sons of Shelah the son of Judah [were] Er the father of Lecah and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of the linen workers at Beth-ashbea;). This is reminiscent of the bride’s robe in Revelation 19, which consists of “fine linen, bright [and] clean”. What this represents is directly behind it: “For the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints” (Rev 19:88It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright [and] clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.). We can say that the fine linen is the symbol of what people see of us. The linen workers represent believers who tell their fellow believers about what they are in Christ and how they can behave accordingly in practice. The point is that we have put on the new man and also show the features of it (Eph 4:20-2420But you did not learn Christ in this way,21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self [lit man], which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,24and put on the new self [lit man], which in [the likeness of] God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.; Col 3:9-159Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its [evil] practices,10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—11[a renewal] in which there is no [distinction between] Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.14Beyond all these things [put on] love, which is the perfect bond of unity.15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.).
It also contains names that do not evoke admiration, but shame (verse 2222and Jokim, the men of Cozeba, Joash, Saraph, who ruled in Moab, and Jashubi-lehem. And the records are ancient.). They may point to a glorious past. Then they ruled over the Moabites. But at the moment the chronicler writes this down, he must mention that “the records are ancient”. Now it seems that this is no longer the case.
From a spiritual point of view, there is an important lesson to be learned here. Moab is a picture of the sinful flesh (Isa 16:66We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride;
[Even] of his arrogance, pride, and fury;
His idle boasts are false.
). It is usually the case that someone who has just come to repentance and faith, in his first enthusiasm, lives completely for the Lord. Unfortunately, it can happen that as he gets older, the sinful flesh gets a chance to assert itself again. The first love is left (Rev 2:44But I have [this] against you, that you have left your first love.). Then life in faith is something “ancient”. Faith must be refreshed every day. If we do feed with God’s Word every day, we will be preserved for the experience of the men mentioned in verse 2222and Jokim, the men of Cozeba, Joash, Saraph, who ruled in Moab, and Jashubi-lehem. And the records are ancient..
Finally, some other professions are mentioned (verse 2323These were the potters and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah; they lived there with the king for his work.; cf. verse 1414Meonothai became the father of Ophrah, and Seraiah became the father of Joab the father of Ge-harashim, for they were craftsmen.). The “potters” make pots. They are empty pots or vessels that are meant to put something in it. Pots or vessels represent persons intended to serve the Lord (Acts 9:1515But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;). To be useful to the Master, they must be vessels of honor, cleansed of false doctrine (2Tim 2:2121Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these [things], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.). An empty vessel can be filled with oil (2Kgs 4:1-71Now a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.”2Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”3Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels at large for yourself from all your neighbors, [even] empty vessels; do not get a few.4And you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out into all these vessels, and you shall set aside what is full.”5So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing [the vessels] to her and she poured.6When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not one vessel more.” And the oil stopped.7Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you [and] your sons can live on the rest.”). In a vessel filled with oil, we see the picture of the believer filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18b18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,). Oil is used to anoint priests and kings and occasionally prophets. Oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit (1Jn 2:2020But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.).
The potters live in “Netaim and Gederah”. In other translations these place names are translated as “plantations and gardens” (Dutch Statenvertaling) or “plantations and walls” (German Elberfelder translation) and “plantations and enclosures” (English Darby translation). If it is so rendered, this verse contains a lesson for all who wish to serve as a vessel in caring for the plants in the (walled, enclosed) garden of the Lord (cp. Song 4:1212“A garden locked is my sister, [my] bride,
A rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.). After all, the church is compared to a field where there is care for what grows on it (1Cor 3:6-96I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.8Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.). The work in the gardens we see for example in what Paul and Apollos do. They have planted and watered in the field of God, that those planted in the house of the LORD may grow in the courts of God (Psa 92:12-1312The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13Planted in the house of the LORD,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
In order to work the garden properly, it is necessary to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Only those who “lived there with the king” (verse 2323These were the potters and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah; they lived there with the king for his work.) are able “for his work”.
24The sons of Simeon [were] Nemuel and Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25Shallum his son, Mibsam his son, Mishma his son. 26The sons of Mishma [were] Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27Now Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers did not have many sons, nor did all their family multiply like the sons of Judah. 28They lived at Beersheba, Moladah and Hazar-shual, 29at Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-biri and Shaaraim. These [were] their cities until the reign of David. 32Their villages [were] Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen and Ashan, five cities; 33and all their villages that [were] around the same cities as far as Baal. These [were] their settlements, and they have their genealogy. 34Meshobab and Jamlech and Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35and Joel and Jehu the son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel, 36and Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah; 38these mentioned by name [were] leaders in their families; and their fathers’ houses increased greatly. 39They went to the entrance of Gedor, even to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks. 40They found rich and good pasture, and the land was broad and quiet and peaceful; for those who lived there formerly [were] Hamites. 41These, recorded by name, came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and attacked their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and destroyed them utterly to this day, and lived in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42From them, from the sons of Simeon, five hundred men went to Mount Seir, with Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, as their leaders. 43They destroyed the remnant of the Amalekites who escaped, and have lived there to this day.
In verses 39-4339They went to the entrance of Gedor, even to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks.40They found rich and good pasture, and the land was broad and quiet and peaceful; for those who lived there formerly [were] Hamites.41These, recorded by name, came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and attacked their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and destroyed them utterly to this day, and lived in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks.42From them, from the sons of Simeon, five hundred men went to Mount Seir, with Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, as their leaders.43They destroyed the remnant of the Amalekites who escaped, and have lived there to this day., we see that Simeon is enlarging his area. As a result of his sin Simeon is scattered among Israel (Gen 49:5-75“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Their swords are implements of violence.
6“Let my soul not enter into their council;
Let not my glory be united with their assembly;
Because in their anger they slew men,
And in their self-will they lamed oxen.
7“Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will disperse them in Jacob,
And scatter them in Israel.) and remained small in number, without own territory. For the sake of faith, however, enlargement is still possible. With Simeon this happens in the days of a revival under Hezekiah (verse 4141These, recorded by name, came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and attacked their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and destroyed them utterly to this day, and lived in their place, because there was pasture there for their flocks.). He puts into practice what Jabez has prayed for (verse 1010Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep [me] from harm that [it] may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested.). No matter at what time in history, there is always room for expansion.
Some of Simeon’s descendants are looking for good pasture for their herds. That is an important work, it is the work of a shepherd. A good shepherd will look for good pasture for his flock. The Lord Jesus gives the example as “the good Shepherd” (Jn 10:1111“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.), “the great Shepherd” (Heb 13:2020Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, [even] Jesus our Lord,) and “the chief Shepherd” (1Pet 5:44And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.). All who care for the flock can only do so if He is their example and they realize that it is the flock of God and not their flock (1Pet 5:22shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to [the will of] God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;; Acts 20:2828Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.).