The Lost Prayer of Jabez | Leaving the Rapture Behind

Hear from Jabez himself—
"From Jabez, With Regrets"

So What Did Jabez Really Pray?

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Excerpts from the Book
Translations and commentaries alike have missed an important clue in the original Hebrew text that leads us to a startling new interpretation of what Jabez actually prayed. Some critical editions of the Hebrew text have hinted at this possible option for some time. Only trained specialists, however, have access to this information. And even they have not seen all the evidenced mustered in a convenient form, until now.

It is commonly understood that Jabez's name means something like "pain," "he who causes pain," "he's a pain," or some such rendering. This is incorrect. It does not mean this, in spite of what everyone is saying. Let me explain...

The prayer of Jabez is being paraded as the new "model prayer" to follow. But surely this isolated request by Jabez is a slender thread on which to hang a theology of prayer or divine blessing. This is especially so in light of the "discovery" to be presented later.

The words "keep me from evil" are alleged to indicate Jabez's desire not to be led into temptation. He wants to eradicate sin from his life. Noble sentiments, but is this what Jabez actually prayed?

A good illustration of how unsatisfactory our current understanding of this prayer is comes from the earliest known translation of the Old Testament, the Greek "Septuagint" (often abbreviated LXX, so named because of the tradition that states the number of translators involved as being "seventy"). Produced several centuries before Christ, the Septuagint reveals an alternate understanding of the
text.... Their instincts were right. Their remedy was not.

Centuries after the time of Christ a new feature was added to the spelling of Hebrew. Various systems of vowel markings gradually developed. These consisted of sequences of dots and dashes that were added above, below, inside of and next to the original consonants.

The most telling issue of all, however, is that the Hebrew text as it is generally understood simply does not make good sense. Translators and commentators have wrestled with the expression... without much success. Their decision has been basically to ignore the problem and provide what is demanded by context, or at least what would seem to be demanded by context.

The Jabez promoters are guilty of "retrofitting" an alleged application for us back into Jabez's own situation. Jabez is portrayed as asking God for more "influence," more "opportunity for service," more "ability" to be used by God. All of this is smuggled back into the text by overzealous expositors.

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