Monday, February 23, 2009

The Devil and Daniel Webster | Biblical Jabez's Prayer

The main character in the short story The Devil and Daniel Webster and its 1941 and 2001 film adaptations living is a farmer with a guiltridden and godfearing mother named Jabez.

I instantly recognized this biblical name from a common Christian prayer The Prayer of Jabez which is offered as faith for financial blessings.

In the I Book of Chronicles Jabez is a well-respected man (ancestor in the lineage of the kings tribe of Judah whose prayer to God for blessing was answered, see 1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Moreover the author paused in this long list to give Jabez a place of honour in the long list of Kings and lineage.

This short passage of scripture came to the attention of millions of Christians following the publication of the book The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, in which he encouraged Christians to pray the way Jabez did.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 King James Version 9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.

Have no confirmation for the short story author's intentions for using name 'Jabez' but the parallels of financial blessing coming from the 'opposite source' is pretty obvious. Stay tuned.


Electronic text for "The Devil and Daniel Webster" short story by Stephen Vincent Benét.
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