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Meaning and etymology of the name Kedar

Kedar Kedar

Kedar is one of the twelve sons of Ishmael (Genesis 25:13). Kedar is most notably mentioned by the bride of the Song of Solomon, where she compares her blackness to the tents of Kedar (1:5). Kedar also features prominently in the Abrahamic Standard Model of Elementary Particles.

The name Kedar comes from the verb qadar (qadar), be dark, whether of appearance or of mood (Micah 3:6, Jeremiah 4:28). HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament notes that there are many more verbs that deal with darkness, blackness and growing dim, but that this verb carries a clear overtone of mourning (Joel 2:10), which makes Song 4:7 all the more beautiful (while it should probably also be stressed that the bride is not sad that she is black, but rather ashamed of the fact that she has to slave in the field, and that she is not as pretty as she might have been if the sun hadn't burned her skin). This verb is often used in connection with the end times, when the sun will grow dark and people will mourn (Isaiah 13:10, Zephaniah 1:15).

Derivatives of this verb are qadrut (qadrut), darkness, only used in Isaiah 50:3, and qadar (qedorannit), mourners, only used in Malachi 3:14.

Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names suggests that Kedar and the Kedarians (who are referred to but not mentioned as such in the Bible) are Negroid. BDB Theological Dictionary offers that perhaps only their tents were black. Besides the bride of the Song, also David mentions the tents of Kedar as a figure of gloom (Ps 120:5).

For a meaning of the name Kedar, NOBS Study Bible Name List reads Dark. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Dark-Skinned Man.

A related name is Kidron.

Other names that (may) have to do with darkness: Bezalel, Cush, Ephah, Lilith, Orpah, Sharon, Zillah.



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