Kedar: dark from a root meaning to mourn or black. 1 Kings 18:45; Job 5:11; 6:16; 30:28; heavily Ps 35:14; mourning 38:6; 42:9; 43:2; Jer 4:28; 8:21; 14:2; mourn Ezek 31:15; 32:7,8; Joel 2:10; darkened 3:15; Micah 3:6.
Qdyrn Mareshah onomasticon (2)
Qidri / Qi-id-ri Assyrian
Qadri, Qidarri, Qidari, Qudari Neo-Babylonian
Qdr Arabic root: An Arabic root meaning measure, compute, estimate hence the verb qadara to decree, appoint, ordain or to have ability. Other arabic words arise from this root such as Qidr meaning kettle or cauldron or associated verbs meaning to cook.
Cedrei, Cedareni, Cedarenes Pliny
Kedar is noted as being the place of the men of the east Ezek 27:21 where Babylon would go to spoil. Suggested to inhabit vast tracts, including the north-western deserts of Arabia, (1) and southeast of Damascus and eastern segments of Transjordan (3) and northwest of Medina (14) The tribe appears to have incorporated his brother’s family and found it’s base in Dumah a strategic caravanserai and trading city. Anyone intending to travel from the south to Mesopotamia were obliged to pass through this centre, or an alternate to the Northwest to Damascus. (4)
It was considered a vast extremes of distance to travel from Judah in the opposite direction to Cyprus or Chittim, Jer 2:10.
It is listed alongside a kingdom called Hazor, Ezek 27:21. This is not the Hazor north of the sea of Galilee. Hazor here is not a proper noun and should be translated as villages, and refers the enclosed buildings of the centre of the tribe, and is the same idea as in Isa 42:11 the villages that Kedar Inhabits.
Mentioned alongside Selah, which may either be a generic reference to a strong buttress of rock or the place Selah in Edom. If it is a further reference to Selah, then this son also had some links with the kingdom of Edom. His younger brother Hadar(d) was probably the forebear to become named as a king of Edom see Gen 36:39.
The practice of shaved temples is mentioned in Jer 49:32 which was a foreign practice prohibited under the law Lev 19:27.
The term Kedarites became known throughout history as an alliance of Arabic tribes or confederation Jer 49:28-33 styled Arabia and all the princes of Kedar Ezek 27:21.
Tents of Kedar
Noted for it’s tents, and hence the nomadic nature of the tribe arising from this son, Song 1:5.
South Arabic inscriptions refer to qdrn (“Qadirān” or “Qadrān”) as a person or people. Gra ti found in al-Ula, known as the Gra to of Niran at Dedan, mentions Gashmu I, son of Shahr I, as King of Qedar. A “king of Qedar” is also mentioned in a late 5th century BC Aramaic inscription on a silver vessel found at Tell Maskhuta in the eastern Nile Delta in lower Egypt. The inscription names him as “Qainū son of Gashmu,” with the vessel described as an, “o ering to han-‘Ilāt”. While it does not specifically mention the Qedar and is therefore a subject of debate, an Aramaic inscription dating to 5th century BC discovered on an incense altar at Lachish and dedicated to, “Iyas, son of Mahaly, the king,” is interpreted by André Lemaire as a possible reference to kings of Qedar (9b,10)
Tiglath Pilliser III
The tribe give tribute to the king ca 737 BC and is noted amongst a list of tributories, the tribe represented by a Zabibe Queen of the Qidri (Kedar) and the Aribi (Arabs) (5)
Her successor sent troops led by the brother of the Queen in support of Merodach Baladin in his bid to retain Babylon 730 BC (6)
Sennacherib was joined by forces from Elam, they oppose Sennacherib 703 BC led by Yatie Queen of the Arabs (7) and following the successful campaigns of Sennacherib in 690 BC inscriptions record the capture of a Queen Te’elkhunu, who along with religious tokens was taken as loot to Assyria.
The Qedarites are mentioned in inscriptions around the time of these Assyrian kings, and is used as a term almost synonymous with Arabia generally (3) It appears that some of the religious items were restored by Asarhaddon with an appointed Queen, who was replaced after a short time due to rebellion by one named Hazael and his son Yauta. Inscriptions outline forces sent by Yauta were sent against the Moabites in 604 BC who were loyal tributes of Assyria. On their failure, he ed to the Nabateans. He was subsequently captured and a public example was made of him in Nineveh where he was collared and kept in a kennel like a dog. (3) His appointed successor joined the Nabateans to revolt against the Assyrians which led to a three month campaign against Palmyra, Damascus and into the southern part of Trachonitis (8,9)
The tribe was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar in 599 BC(1) confirming the judgment of Jeremiah in 49:28 and the prediction of 25:23,24.
The Kedarites assisted Cambyses II in his invasion of Egypt in 525 BC. (9, Herodotus)
Geshem the Arab
Gashmu, the king of the Qedarites mentioned in the 5th century BC Aramaic inscription described above, is also referred to as “Geshem the Arab” or “Geshem the Arabian” in Nehemiah 2:19; 6:1,2,6 A strong adversary of Nehemiah, against Nehemiah’s governorship over Judea in ca447 BC. (13)
As previously mentioned there was close alliance between the Kedarites and the Nabateans under the time of the Assyrians, and it appears probable that the combination of their people formed the Helenistic Nabatean kingdom. Nabateans mentioned by Diodorus in his retelling of events that took place in 312 BC are said to be Qedarites. (11)
Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD), locates the tribe south of the Conchlei and adjacent to that of the Nabataei. Jerome (c. 357–420 AD), “a region of the Saracens, who are called Ishmaelites in scripture”; in another, he writes it that is was a “once uninhabitable region across Saracen Arabia”; and in a third, he writes that it is a “deserted region of the Ishmaelites, whom they now call Saracens.” (12)
Out of the Abyss
The control of the area of the Dead sea, the lowest place on earth, and the conduit of the Wadi Sirhan is considered the place of the abyss. The arabic tribe in the Hejaz are called Beni Harb – “men of war” a segment of the Korish tribe coming through Kedar through which Mohammad claimed his lineage. (14) It was this people who assaulted the catholic roman world with the trumpet woes of Rev 9:1.
Like the tents of Kedar
The Amplified version has “I am as dark as the tents of the Bedouin tribe Kedar! like the beautiful curtains of Solomon” The bride first remembers her origins it is both a tabernacle cf 2 Pet 1:13,14; 2 Cor 5:1 and as Kedar. Although being from the spiritual Israel, her origins are from natural Israel, the national parable illustrated in Ishmael’s sons. It is not the firstborn mentioned, but the second son, so not the natural force and strength of Ishmael, but relationship of family. The tents were black from construction with goats hair, the animal representing natural rebellion to the things of deity. This natural rebellion is a constant difficulty Rom 7:15 Her companions remind her of the beauty to which she has become attached, the weavings of the curtains of Solomon! indicating the integration of thought and aspiration with the groom. The brides clothes are described as raiment of needlework Ps 45:14.
Kedar, the Hireling
Ishmael representing national Israel, Kedar represents a feature of this constitutional arrangement as Israel responded for wages. Isa 21:16 cf Matt 17:24 the trial of Jacob
under Laban Gen 31:7, 8, 41
(1) Jeremiah, an archeological companion P King pg 40
(2) Eshel in Lipschitz, 2007, pp. 148-149
(3) Bromiley, Geo rey W. (1994), International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: K-P (Revised ed.), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing pg 5
(4) Avanzini, 1997, (1997), Profumi d’Arabia: atti del convegno, L’erma di Bretschneider pp. 335-336
(5) Eph’al, Israel (1982), The ancient Arabs: nomads on the borders of= the fertile crescent, 9th-5th century B.C, p. 82
(6) Boardman, 1991, The Assyrian and Babylonian empires and other states of the Near East, from the eighth to the sixth centuries B.C., Volume 3, pg 34
(7) Eph’al, Israel (1982), The ancient Arabs: nomads on the borders of the fertile crescent, 9th-5th century B.C, p. 112,113
(8) Paton, Lewis Bayles 2008, The Early History of Syria and Palestine, BiblioBazaar pg 269
(9) Guzzo, Maria Giulia Amadasi; Schneider, Eugenia Equini; Cochrane, Lydia G. (2002), Petra (Illustrated ed.), University of Chicago Press, pg 10 (9b) pg 11
(10) Kitchen, K.A. (1994), Documentation For Ancient Arabia, Part 2, Liverpool University Press pg 169, 722
(11) John Boardman, ed. (1991), The Assyrian and Babylonian empires and other states of the Near East, from the eighth to the sixth centuries B.C., Volume 3 (2nd, reprint ed.), Cambridge University Press, pg 148
(12) Beckett, Katharine Scarfe (2003), Anglo-Saxon perceptions of the Islamic world, Cambridge University Press, pg102
(13) Malamat and Ben-Sasson, 1976, p. 177.
(14) William Smith; Bible dictionary pg 171