Don’t be a Pain in the Butt

When I study the Bible, I use multiple versions (translations), depending on my mood and goals.  One version that I seldom use, however, is the New King James Version (NKJV).  There’s no particular reason, it’s just how things have worked out.

There is only one passage that I have memorized using the NKJV.  It is 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, the “prayer of Jabez,” which reads:

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.

I like this rendering because, unlike the over versions I’ve checked, the reoccurring word “pain” connects his past — his birth — with his hope for the future.  To make my point, consider a couple of tweaks in today’s vernacular:

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother had nicknamed him “hemorrhoid’ and always called him a “pain in the butt,” because his birth was so painful. And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may no longer be viewed as a pain in the butt!” So God granted him what he requested.

The mother of Jabez gave him a terrible legacy — and the God of Jabez took it away!