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Song of Songs 1:5 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— I am black, but comely, Oh ye daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar, As the curtains of Solomon.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— I [am] black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— I [am] black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— I am black, but comely, daughters of Jerusalem, As the tents of Kedar, As the curtains of Solomon.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [SHE] Swarthy, I am but comely, ye daughters of Jerusalem. [THEY] Like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Dark [am] I, and comely, daughters of Jerusalem, As tents of Kedar, as curtains of Solomon.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— I am black but beautiful, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Cedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— I [am] blacke, but comely, (O ye daughters of Ierusalem) as the tents of Kedar, as the curtaines of Solomon.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— I am black, but beautiful, ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— I [am] black, but comely, O ye daughters of Yerushalaim, as the tents of Qedar, as the curtains of Shelomoh.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
I x589
(0589) Complement
Contracted from H0595; I.
[am] black, 7838
{7838} Prime
From H7835; properly dusky, but also (absolutely) jetty.
but comely, 5000
{5000} Prime
From H4998 or H5116; suitable, or beautiful.
O ye daughters 1323
{1323} Prime
From H1129 (as feminine of H1121); a daughter (used in the same wide sense as other terms of relationship, literally and figuratively).
of Yrlaim יְרוּשָׁלִַם, 3389
{3389} Prime
A dual (in allusion to its two main hills (the true pointing, at least of the former reading, seems to be that of H3390)); probably from (the passive participle of) H3384 and H7999; founded peaceful; Jerushalaim or Jerushalem, the capital city of Palestine.
as the tents 168
{0168} Prime
From H0166; a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance).
of Kr קֵדָר, 6938
{6938} Prime
From H6937; dusky (of the skin or the tent); Kedar, a son of Ishmael; also (collectively) bedawin (as his descendants or representatives).
as the curtains 3407
{3407} Prime
From H3415; a hanging (as tremulous).
of lm שְׁלֹמֹה. 8010
{8010} Prime
From H7965; peaceful; Shelomoh, David's successor.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Song of Songs 1:5

_ _ black — namely, “as the tents of Kedar,” equivalent to blackness (Psalms 120:5). She draws the image from the black goatskins with which the Scenite Arabs (“Kedar” was in Arabia-Petraea) cover their tents (contrasted with the splendid state tent in which the King was awaiting His bride according to Eastern custom); typifying the darkness of man’s natural state. To feel this, and yet also feel one’s self in Jesus Christ “comely as the curtains of Solomon,” marks the believer (Romans 7:18, etc.; Romans 8:1); 1 Timothy 1:15, “I am chief”; so she says not merely, “I was,” but “I am”; still black in herself, but comely through His comeliness put upon her (Ezekiel 16:14).

_ _ curtains — first, the hangings and veil in the temple of Solomon (Ezekiel 16:10); then, also, the “fine linen which is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:8), the white wedding garment provided by Jesus Christ (Isaiah 61:10; Matthew 22:11; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 1:28; Colossians 2:10; Revelation 7:14). Historically, the dark tents of Kedar represent the Gentile Church (Isaiah 60:3-7, etc.). As the vineyard at the close is transferred from the Jews, who had not kept their own, to the Gentiles, so the Gentiles are introduced at the commencement of the Song; for they were among the earliest inquirers after Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:1-12): the wise men from the East (Arabia, or Kedar).

_ _ daughters of Jerusalem — professors, not the bride, or “the virgins,” yet not enemies; invited to gospel blessings (Song of Songs 3:10, Song of Songs 3:11); so near to Jesus Christ as not to be unlikely to find Him (Song of Songs 5:8); desirous to seek Him with her (Song of Songs 6:1; compare Song of Songs 6:13; Song of Songs 7:1, Song of Songs 7:5, Song of Songs 7:8). In Song of Songs 7:8, Song of Songs 7:9, the bride’s Beloved becomes their Beloved; not, however, of all of them (Song of Songs 8:4; compare Luke 23:27, Luke 23:28).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Song of Songs 1:2-6.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Song of Songs 1:5

Black — I confess, as to myself, I am contemptible and deformed. She alludes to the complexion of Pharaoh's daughter. Comely — Yet I am glorious within, and comely through the beauty which my husband hath put upon me, by his graces conferred upon me, in justification and sanctification. Daughters — By which she understands particular believers, whose mother, Jerusalem is called, Galatians 4:26. The tents — Of the wild Arabians, the posterity of Kedar, Genesis 25:13, who dwelt in tents, and were black and uncomely. The curtains — As the hangings wherewith Solomon's house was furnished, which none can doubt were most beautiful and glorious. So these two last clauses answer to the two first, and that in the same order in which they lie.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Song of Songs 1:5

I [am] (f) black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of (g) Kedar, as the (h) curtains of Solomon.

(f) The Church confesses her spots and sin, but has confidence in the favour of Christ.

(g) Kedar was Ishmael's son, of whom came the Arabians that dwelt in tents.

(h) Which within were all set with precious stones and jewels.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

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. ... Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, [and are] the offscouring of all things unto this day.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.


Psalms 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.
Psalms 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.
Ezekiel 16:14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it [was] perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.
Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on [his] feet:
Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof].
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

O ye:

Psalms 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:

Psalms 120:5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, [that] I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ps 45:9; 90:17; 120:5; 149:4. Is 53:2; 61:10. Ezk 16:14. Mt 10:25; 22:11. Lk 13:34; 15:22. Ro 13:14. 1Co 4:10. 2Co 5:21. Ga 4:26. Ep 5:26. 1Jn 3:1.

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