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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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KEDAR . The name of a nomadic people, living to the east of Palestine, whom P [Note: Priestly Narrative.] ( Genesis 25:13 ) regards as a division of the Ishmaelites. Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 49:28 ) counts them among the ‘sons of the East,’ and in Jeremiah 2:10 refers to them as symbolic of the East, as he does to Citium in Cyprus as symbolic of the West. In Isaiah ( Isaiah 21:17 ) they are said to produce skilful archers, to live in villages ( Isaiah 42:11 ), and ( Isaiah 60:7 ) to be devoted to sheep-breeding. The latter passage also associates them with the Nebaioth . Jeremiah alludes also ( Jeremiah 49:29 ) to their nomadic life, to their sheep, camels, tents, and curtains. Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 27:21 ) couples them with ‘Arab. [Note: Arabic.] ’ and speaks of their trade with Tyre in lambs, rams, and goats. In Psalms 120:5 Kedar is used as the type of barbarous unfeeling people, and in Song of Solomon 1:5 their tents are used as a symbol of blackness. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (b.c. 668 626), in his account of his Arabian campaign (cf. KIB [Note: IB Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek.] ii. 223), mentions the Kedarites in connexion with the Aribi (the ‘Arab’ of Ezekiel) and the Nebaioth, and speaks of the booty, in asses, camels, and sheep, which he took. It is evident that they were Bedouin, living in black tents such as one sees in the southern and eastern parts of Palestine to-day, who were rich in such possessions as pertain to nomads, and also skilful in war.

George A. Barton.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Kedar'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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