Psalms 120:5

5 I'm doomed to live in Meshech, cursed with a home in Kedar,

Psalms 120:5 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 120:5

Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech
Meshech was a son of Japheth, ( Genesis 10:2 ) ; whose posterity are thought by some to be the Muscovites F26 and Scythians, a barbarous sort of people: Mesech is frequently mentioned with Tubal and his brother, and with Gog and Magog, ( Ezekiel 38:2 Ezekiel 38:3 ) ( 39:1 ) ; the Targum here calls them Asiatics. Rather the Cappadocians, according to Josephus F1; and Strabo F2 makes mention of a city of theirs, called Mazaca: and the rather, since they are mentioned with the Kedarenes, or Arabian Scenites, and were nearer to the land of Judea than the former;

[that] I dwell in the tents of Kedar;
Kedar was a son of Ishmael, ( Genesis 25:13 ) ; whose posterity were Arabians, as the Targum here renders it; and Suidas F3 says, they dwelt not far from Babylon, when he wrote; they lived a pastoral life, and dwelt in tents: Pliny F4 makes mention of Arabs, called Cedrei; and also of Scenite Arabs, from the tents they dwelt in, which they could remove from place to place for the sake of pasturage. And among these David dwelt, when in the wilderness of Paran, ( 1 Samuel 25:1 ) ; though some think David never dwelt among any of those people, but among such who were like unto them for ignorance, idolatry, and barbarity. Some render the words, "woe is me, that I sojourn so long, dwelling as in the tents of Kedar" F5; as when he was among the Philistines and Moabites; nay, even he may compare his own people to those, many of whom it was as disagreeable dwelling with as with these: and we find Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, speaking of them in their times in like manner, and making the same complaints, ( Isaiah 6:5 ) ( Jeremiah 9:2 ) ( Ezekiel 2:6 ) . And very grieving and distressing it is to good men to have their abode among wicked men; as well as it is infectious and dangerous: to hear their profane and blasphemous talk, to see their wicked and filthy actions, and to observe their abominable conversation, is very vexatious, and gives great uneasiness, as it did to righteous Lot, ( 2 Peter 2:7 2 Peter 2:8 ) . The first clause is rendered by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, "woe is me, that my sojourning is prolonged"; to which the next words agree, ( Psalms 120:6 ) .


F26 Davide de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 86. 1. 3.
F1 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6.
F2 Geograph. l. 12. p. 370. Rufi Fest. Breviar. Vid Suidam in voce (tiberiov) .
F3 In voce (khdar) .
F4 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 11.
F5 Weemse's of the Ceremonial Law, c. 3. p. 8.

Psalms 120:5 In-Context

3 Do you know what's next, can you see what's coming, all you barefaced liars?
4 Pointed arrows and burning coals will be your reward.
5 I'm doomed to live in Meshech, cursed with a home in Kedar,
6 My whole life lived camping among quarreling neighbors.
7 I'm all for peace, but the minute I tell them so, they go to war!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.