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What is the significance of Kedar in the Bible?

Kedar in the Bible

Kedar is the name of Ishmael’s second son (Genesis 25:13, 1 Chronicles 1:29). The other instances of Kedar in the Bible refer to the Arabian descendants of Kedar and/or the territory where they settled.

A few details about Kedar are mentioned:

• Apparently, Kedar was known for dark-colored tents: “Dark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon” (Song of Songs 1:5). Since the people of Kedar were known for their tents, we can assume that they were also nomadic.

• God uses Kedar as an example for Israel. Israel had exchanged God for a false god. No other country had ever changed her gods. Kedar had remained faithful to her false gods, but Israel had been unfaithful to the true God (Jeremiah 2:10).

• Kedar was a trading partner of Tyre (Ezekiel 27:21). Since this passage is in the lament over the fall of Tyre, it would appear that Kedar was a significant trading partner.

In several passages of Scripture, Kedar is the recipient of divine judgment:

• Isaiah 21:16–17: “This is what the Lord says to me: ‘Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar will be few.’ The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.”

• Jeremiah 49:28: “Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked: This is what the Lord says: ‘Arise, and attack Kedar and destroy the people of the East.’”

• Isaiah 60:7: “All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple.” In other words, the flocks that Kedar owns will one day belong to Israel.

• The faithful Israelite would view the territory of Kedar as a place of banishment from the Lord: “Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek, that I live among the tents of Kedar!” (Psalm 120:5).

Isaiah 42:11 looks forward to a future day when those in such areas as Kedar will join in praise to God. Regardless of their history, people of every tribe, tongue, people, and nation will be included in the Body of Christ (Revelation 4:9–10).

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What is the significance of Kedar in the Bible?
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This page last updated: September 8, 2022