The burden on Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall you lodge, O you traveling companies of Dedanim.…
The term "Arabia," in the Old Testament, is not used in such a wide sense as in modern English, and denotes merely a particular, tribe, having its home in the northern part of what is now known as the Arabian peninsula, and mentioned in Ezekiel 27:20, 21, by the side of Dedan and Kedar as engaged in commerce with Tyre. Isaiah lines a tide of invasion about to overflow the region inhabited by these tribes, and addresses the Dedanite caravans, warning them that they will have to turn aside from their customary routes and seek concealment in the forest. In verse 14, he sees in imagination the natives of Tema bringing food and water, to the fugitive traders. Tema was the name of a tribe settled in the same neighbourhood, about 250 miles S.E. of Edom, on the route between Damascus and Mecca, in a locality in which some interesting inscriptions have recently been discovered. Within a year, the prophet concludes, the glory of the wealthy pastoral (Isaiah 9:7) tribe of Kedar — here used so as to include by implication its less influential neighbours — will be past, and of its warriors only an insignificant remnant will survive.
(Prof. S. R. Driver, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The burden upon Arabia. In the forest in Arabia shall ye lodge, O ye travelling companies of Dedanim.