Truth, Understanding, Insight

The Tents Of Kedar

16th November 2005, hej


1) Dwelling in the Tents of Kedar

Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar. My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. I am for peace but when I speak they are for war (Psalm 120 :5)

The Psalmist in the quote above could be expressing the Israeli's opinion of their vacillating warlike neighbours who cannot dwell in unity with each other, let alone Israel. With a little research, we do find that modern Israel does dwell in the tents of Kedar. There were 12 sons of Ishmael (just as there were of Jacob Cp. Genesis 17:20), Nebajoth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hodar, Tema, Jetur, Maphishar, Kedemah. Kedar became the most powerful and came to represent all the descendants, in the same way Judah became synonymous with Israel.

In Ezekiel 27:21 Kedar is equated with Arabia and is noted in trading in Lambs, rams and Goats with Tyre. Arabia is again equated with Kedar when Jeremiah delivers a prophecy "concerning Kedar and the Kingdoms of Hazor which Nebuchadnezzar.. shall smite" (Jeremiah 49:28)

The quote above is a prophecy being fulfilled. Before Ishmael was born God said of his descendants, of Kedar,

He will be a wild man, his hand will be against every man and every man's hand against him and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren. (Gen 16:12).

The description still fits the Arab nations.

Prophecy also shows a remarkable change in these people. In Isaiah 21: 13-17 Kedar or Tema is commanded to bring water and food (see margin) to help the fleeing Israeli's at war, a role they will be yet be called upon to do when the Gogian host invade Israel. In Isaiah 42:11, which begins with a description of our Lord's work in judging the nations, those of Kedar are named as giving praise "let the cities thereof lift up their voice; the villages that Kedar shall inhabit".

Isaiah 60 is more detailed. In it says:

The Gentiles shall come to thy (Zion's)light and Kings to the brightness of thy rising". Coming second after Median and Sheba, "all the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered unto thee, the rams of Nebajoth they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar. (Isaiah 60:7).

In Isaiah 60 it is not until verse 13 that "the glory of Lebanon comes" unto Zion, showing that Kedar, or the Arabians shall be first.

So we look forward to the time when it is not 'woe' for those who dwell in the tents of Kedar, but instead they echo Solomon who calls the tents of Kedar beautiful or "comely" (song 1:5).