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Hebrew Thoughts

qâdhar - קָדַר (Strong's #6937)
Black, dark

qâdhar 'black, dark' קָדַר (Strong's #6937)

"I will cover the heavens and darken the stars, covering the sun with cloud...all the bright lights of heaven I will make black" (Ezekiel 32:7-8, JPS)

Song of Songs 1:5: "I am black, but comely...as the tents of Kedar" describes an appearance that is as black as the tents of Kedar קֵדַר qêdhar "dark, black" (Strong's #6938, x12). Kedar was a son of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13) and father of a tribe that came to do service for many Arabians generally (cf. Ezekiel 27:21) and in the Rabbinic era of the Arabic language as lashon Kedar (לָשׁוֹן lâshôwn "tongue, language", Strong's #3956, x117).

The "black" of Song of Songs 1:5 is שָׁחר shâchôr "black" (Strong's #7838, x6) which is used to describe darkening by the sun, or dark hair - that which hasn't been bleached by the sun, not a simple black as opposed to white.

קֵדַר qêdhar itself comes from קָדַר qâdhar "be dark, mourn" (Strong's #6937, x17) and often seems to relate to the idea of moody darkness, whether of a change in the weather leading to a lack of sun, or used metaphorically of mourning e.g., conventional loss as in Psalm 35:14, 38:6, or being under the oppression of an enemy, Psalm 42:9, 43:2. Job 30:28 "I go mourning without the sun" describes missing the sun, elsewhere, of the weather, it is easy to see how "black" or "dark" could be used interchangeably.

"And it came to pass in a little while, that the heaven grew black with clouds and wind" (1 Kings 18:45)

"I will cover the heavens and darken the stars, covering the sun with cloud...all the bright lights of heaven I will make black" (Ezekiel 32:7-8)

Twice in Joel, the sun and the moon are described as "becoming black" in judgement (Joel 2:10, 3:15). Micah 3:6 speaks of the withdrawal of vision and prophecy as being "dark" using חָשַׁק châshaq "to darken" (Strong's #2821, x19) and the "sun going down over the prophets, and the day being black over them".

Weather and sorrow are combined in the parallel usage of the earth "mourning" using אָבַל ’âbhal "to mourn, lament" (Strong's #56, x39) and "the heavens above being black" using קָדַר qâdhar, in Jeremiah 4:28. Jeremiah 14:2 also pairs the two verbs in "Judah mourns... and her gates are black".

Job 6:16 describes rivers "which are black by reason of the ice", so says the JPS, whilst the KJV uses "blackish", NKJ "dark", and the NAS "turbid". Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament says it is a "dirty, blackish colour, as of a sunburnt skin" which is somewhat archaic and pejorative.

There is actually a stream or brook called Kidron that is derived from קָדַר qâdhar, קִדְרוֹן qidh'rôwn "dark" (Strong's #6939, x11).

   
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