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JABEZ (jā'bĕz, Heb. ya‘bēts, to grieve)

The head of a family in Judah (1Chr.4.9). His offspring are listed as scribes and as Kenites (1Chr.2.55). He was more honorable than his brothers (1Chr.4.9). He made an earnest appeal for a blessing and it was granted (1Chr.4.10). Zobebah (1Chr.4.8) is probably another title for him.Jabez was also an unidentified town in Judah where scribes carried on their trade (1Chr.2.55).

JABEZ jā’ bĭz (יַעְבֵּ֔ץ). 1. A city in Judah, perhaps near Bethlehem, occupied by scribes, the descendants of Caleb (1 Chron 2:55).

2. The head of a family of Judah noted for his honorable character (1 Chron 4:9, 10). It is possible that Zobebah of v. 8 is corrupted from this name.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(ya`bets, "sorrow" ("height)):

(1) Place: An unidentified town probably in the territory of Judah, occupied by scribes (1Ch 2:55). For an ingenious reconstruction of the passage see EB, under the word

(2) Person: The head of a family of Judah, noted for his "honorable" character, though "his mother bare him with sorrow" (1Ch 4:9,10), ya`bets being interpreted as if it stood for ya`tsebh, "he causes pain." The same play upon words recurs in his prayer, "that it be not to my sorrow!" His request was granted, "and the sorrow implied by his ominous name was averted by prayer" (Dummelow, in the place cited.).