Song of Solomon 1:5
New International Version
Dark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon.

New Living Translation
I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem--dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon's tents.

English Standard Version
I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

Berean Study Bible
I am dark yet lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

New American Standard Bible
"I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.

King James Bible
I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

Christian Standard Bible
Daughters of Jerusalem, I am dark like the tents of Kedar, yet lovely like the curtains of Solomon.

Contemporary English Version
My skin is dark and beautiful, like a tent in the desert or like Solomon's curtains.

Good News Translation
Women of Jerusalem, I am dark but beautiful, dark as the desert tents of Kedar, but beautiful as the draperies in Solomon's palace.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Daughters of Jerusalem, I am dark like the tents of Kedar, yet lovely like the curtains of Solomon.

International Standard Version
The daughters of Jerusalem, I'm dark and lovely like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.

NET Bible
I am dark but lovely, O maidens of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Qedar, lovely like the tent curtains of Salmah.

New Heart English Bible
I am dark, but lovely, you daughters of Jerusalem, like Kedar's tents, like Solomon's curtains.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Young women of Jerusalem, I am dark and lovely like Kedar's tents, like Solomon's curtains.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar, As the curtains of Solomon.

New American Standard 1977
“I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I am dark, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, more desirable as the booths of Kedar, as the tents of Solomon.

King James 2000 Bible
I am dark, but lovely, O you daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

American King James Version
I am black, but comely, O you daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

American Standard Version
I am black, but comely, Oh ye daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar, As the curtains of Solomon.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I am black, but beautiful, ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

Darby Bible Translation
I am black, but comely, daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar, As the curtains of Solomon.

English Revised Version
I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

Webster's Bible Translation
I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

World English Bible
I am dark, but lovely, you daughters of Jerusalem, like Kedar's tents, like Solomon's curtains.

Young's Literal Translation
Dark am I, and comely, daughters of Jerusalem, As tents of Kedar, as curtains of Solomon.
Study Bible
The Bride Confesses Her Love
4Take me away with you—let us hurry! May the king bring me to his chambers. The Friends We will rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love above wine. It is only right that they adore you. 5I am dark yet lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. 6Do not stare because I am dark, for the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me a keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have neglected.…
Cross References
Psalm 120:5
Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech, that I live among the tents of Kedar!

Song of Solomon 2:7
O daughters of Jerusalem, I adjure you by the gazelles and does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until the time is right.

Song of Solomon 2:14
O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the crevices of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely.

Song of Solomon 3:5
O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until the time is right.

Song of Solomon 3:10
He has made its posts of silver, its base of gold, its seat of purple fabric. Its interior is inlaid with love by the daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon 4:3
Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon, and your mouth is lovely. Your brow is like a slice of pomegranate behind your veil.

Song of Solomon 5:8
O daughters of Jerusalem, I adjure you, if you find my beloved, tell him I am sick with love.

Song of Solomon 5:16
His mouth is most sweet; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon 6:4
You are beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, majestic as an army with banners.

Song of Solomon 8:4
O daughters of Jerusalem, I adjure you: Do not arouse or awaken love until the time is right.

Isaiah 21:16
For this is what the Lord says to me: "Within one year, as a hired worker would count it, all the glory of Kedar will be gone.

Isaiah 60:7
All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth will serve you and go up on My altar with acceptance; I will adorn My glorious house.

Treasury of Scripture

I am black, but comely, O you daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

black

Isaiah 53:2
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

Matthew 10:25
It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

1 Corinthians 4:10-13
We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised…

comely

Psalm 90:17
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Psalm 149:4
For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

Isaiah 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

o ye

Psalm 45:9
Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

Luke 13:34
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Galatians 4:26
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

as the tents

Psalm 120:5
Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!







Lexicon
I
אֲנִי֙ (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 589: I

am dark
שְׁחוֹרָ֤ה (šə·ḥō·w·rāh)
Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7838: Dusky, jetty

yet lovely,
וְֽנָאוָ֔ה (wə·nā·wāh)
Conjunctive waw | Adjective - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5000: Suitable, beautiful

O daughters
בְּנ֖וֹת (bə·nō·wṯ)
Noun - feminine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 1323: A daughter

of Jerusalem,
יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם (yə·rū·šā·lim)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3389: Jerusalem -- probably 'foundation of peace', capital city of all Israel

like the tents
כְּאָהֳלֵ֣י (kə·’ā·ho·lê)
Preposition-k | Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 168: A tent

of Kedar,
קֵדָ֔ר (qê·ḏār)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6938: Kedar -- perhaps 'swarthy', a son of Ishmael, also his desc

like the curtains
כִּירִיע֖וֹת (kî·rî·‘ō·wṯ)
Preposition-k | Noun - feminine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 3407: A hanging

of Solomon.
שְׁלֹמֹֽה׃ (šə·lō·mōh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8010: Solomon -- David's son and successor to his throne
(5) As the tents of Kedar--i.e., Dark as the Kedareen tents of black goats' hair, beautiful as the royal pavilions with their rich hangings. For a similar style of parallelism, comp. Isaiah 15:3 : "On her housetops, and to her open streets, every one howleth, descendeth with weeping." For Kedar, see Genesis 25:13.

As the poet puts this description of the lady's complexion into her own mouth, we must understand it as a little playful raillery, which is immediately redeemed by a compliment. It also prepares the way for the reminiscence of an interesting passage in her early life. See next verse.

Verse 5. - I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. The word "black" (שְׁחורָה) does not necessarily mean that the skin is black, but rather sunburnt, dark brown, as in Lamentations 4:8, where the same word signifies the livid or swarthy appearance of one who has suffered long from famine and wretchedness. There is certainly no reason to take the word as an argument for the bride being Pharaoh's daughter; but it points to what is confirmed by the rest of the poem - the rustic birth and northern blood of the bride. She has been living in the fields, and is browned with the ruddy health of a country life. The best explanation of the words is that they are drawn out by the fact that the bride is surrounded by her ladies. Some think that they look askance at her, or with indignation at the boldness of her words; but that is quite unnecessary, and would be inconsistent with the dignity of the bride. The country maiden feels the greatness of the honour, that she is chosen of the king, and with simple modesty, in the presence of courtly ladies around her, sets forth her claim. The simile is not uncommon in poetry, as in Theocritus and Virgil. Comely; i.e. attractive, agreeable. Kedar (whether from the Arabic, meaning "powerful," or from the Hebrew, "black") designates the tribes of the North Arabian descendants of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13; Isaiah 21:17), Kedareens, referred to by Pliny, and remaining in Arabia until the time of the Mohammedans. The Bedouin still calls his tent his "hair house;" it is covered with goat's-hair cloth, mostly black or grey. Whether the reference is to the colour of the goat's hair or to the tents being browned or blackened by the heat of the sun, we cannot doubt that the allusion is to the complexion, and the rest of the simile would then be applicable to the lovely shape and features of the maiden, the curtains of Solomon being the curtains of a pavilion, or pleasure tent, spread out like "a shining butterfly," i.e. the beautiful cloth or tapestry which formed the sides of the tent or the tent coverings, the clothing of the framework, or tent hangings (see Isaiah 54:2; Exodus 26:36; 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17:1, etc.). Egyptian hangings were particularly prized. The custom prevailed among Eastern monarchs of sojourning once in the year in some lovely rural district, and at such times their tents would be very magnificent. The LXX. has, ὡς δεῥῤείς Σολομὼν, "as the skins of Solomon;" but this is a mistake. The word is derived from a root "to tremble," i.e. "to glitter in the sun." Those who desire to find an allegorical interpretation think there is an evident allusion here to the sojourn of Israel in the wilderness, or the admission of the Gentiles into the covenant; but there is no reason for any such strain upon the meaning. The simile is merely poetical. The soul realizes its own acceptance before God, but ascribes that acceptance to his grace. "The bride, the Lamb's wife," sees the beauty of the Lord reflected in herself, and rejoices in her own attractions for his sake. There is no immodesty in the consciousness of merit so long as that merit is ascribed to him from whom it comes. There is often more pride in the assumption of humility than in the claim to be acknowledged. The same apostle who declared himself less than the least of all saints also maintained that he was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 1:2-6 The church, or rather the believer, speaks here in the character of the spouse of the King, the Messiah. The kisses of his mouth mean those assurances of pardon with which believers are favoured, filling them with peace and joy in believing, and causing them to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Ghost. Gracious souls take most pleasure in loving Christ, and being loved of him. Christ's love is more valuable and desirable than the best this world can give. The name of Christ is not now like ointment sealed up, but like ointment poured forth; which denotes the freeness and fulness of the setting forth of his grace by the gospel. Those whom he has redeemed and sanctified, are here the virgins that love Jesus Christ, and follow him whithersoever he goes, Re 14:4. They entreat him to draw them by the quickening influences of his Spirit. The more clearly we discern Christ's glory, the more sensible shall we be that we are unable to follow him suitably, and at the same time be more desirous of doing it. Observe the speedy answer given to this prayer. Those who wait at Wisdom's gate, shall be led into truth and comfort. And being brought into this chamber, our griefs will vanish. We have no joy but in Christ, and for this we are indebted to him. We will remember to give thanks for thy love; it shall make more lasting impressions upon us than any thing in this world. Nor is any love acceptable to Christ but love in sincerity, Eph 6:24. The daughters of Jerusalem may mean professors not yet established in the faith. The spouse was black as the tents of the wandering Arabs, but comely as the magnificent curtains in the palaces of Solomon. The believer is black, as being defiled and sinful by nature, but comely, as renewed by Divine grace to the holy image of God. He is still deformed with remains of sin, but comely as accepted in Christ. He is often base and contemptible in the esteem of men, but excellent in the sight of God. The blackness was owing to the hard usage that had been suffered. The children of the church, her mother, but not of God, her Father, were angry with her. They had made her suffer hardships, which caused her to neglect the care of her soul. Thus, under the emblem of a poor female, made the chosen partner of a prince, we are led to consider the circumstances in which the love of Christ is accustomed to find its objects. They were wretched slaves of sin, in toil, or in sorrow, weary and heavy laden, but how great the change when the love of Christ is manifested to their souls!
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