Sheba (Ezek 27:22-27:22)

“The merchants

Of Sheba,

With Raamah,

Traded with you.

They exchanged

For your wares

The best

Of all kinds

Of spices,

Precious stones,

As well as gold.”

Sheba and Raamah, on the other hand, were in the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. They traded with Tyre also since they things like very good spices, precious stones, and gold. How they had these things was not clear.

Arabia (Ezek 27:21-27:21)

“Arabia,

With all the princes

Of Kedar,

Were your favored dealers

In lambs,

Rams,

Goats.

They did business

With you

In these things.”

The princes of the Arabian Peninsula were the favorite trading partners of Tyre as regards livestock, especially lambs, rams, and goats. The princes of Kedar referred to those dark skinned Arabs who were descendants of Ishmael that lived in the northwestern section of the Arabian Peninsula.

The female lover (Song 1:5-1:6)

Female lover

“I am black.

O daughters of Jerusalem!

I am beautiful,

Like the tents of Kedar,

Like the curtains of Solomon.

Do not gaze at me

Because I am dark.

The sun has gazed on me.

My mother’s sons were angry

With me.

They made me

Keeper of the vineyards.

But my own vineyard

I have not kept.”

This female lover is black but beautiful. Black is beautiful was a major theme of the USA civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. She seems to be taking to the daughters of Jerusalem. These daughters of Jerusalem will be like a Greek chorus in this presentation. Her beauty is like the tents of Kedar. Kedar was the second son of Ishmael, the half brother of Isaac. His descendents known as Kedarites were very strong during the Persian period in the 6th century BCE in the Arabian Peninsula. They were known for their large dark colored tents. Obviously the wonderful curtains of Solomon must have been well known also. She did not want to be stared at. She was dark skinned because her angry brothers made her work in sunlight of the vineyards. However, for some reason, she did not take care of her own vineyard. The allegorical part may be that she, like Israel, had to toil or work other vineyards other than her own, an allusion to the Exile.