Echoes of Genesis in 1 Chronicles 4:9–10: An Intertextual and Contextual Reading of Jabez’s Prayer

R. Christopher Heard


First Chronicles 4:9–10 has not received much sustained
scholarly attention, but Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez has made those
two verses both well-known and newly popular in mass-market Christianity.
Leaving aside the furor over Wilkinson’s popular treatment, this article
elucidates the sense (including overlooked ambiguities in the lexical sense) and
structure of this brief passage internal to Chronicles, explores certain
intertextual connections between 1 Chron 4:9–10 and selected passages in the
book of Genesis, and suggests some possible functions for 1 Chron 4:9–10 and
related passages in 1 Chron 4–5 within the socio-historical context of
Achaemenid Yehud.

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