I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon (Song of Solomon 1:5).
Many translations write the first few words as “I am black.” Given the part of the world the Israelites were in, it would be quite natural for the woman that Solomon pursed in this song did, indeed, have black skin. The Queen who came to visit Solomon to research for herself all the rumors she had heard about him, was the Queen of Ethiopia, and she was no doubt black of skin. When one considers how beautiful that dark skin is, how soft it is, and ageless, then we cannot wonder that Solomon is writing about a dark colored woman, maybe even the Queen, as certainly such women are lovely.
The Shulemite woman is speaking to the chorus. She likens herself to the tents of Kedar. I can’t find a reference to the word Kedar, but I do know that tents were made of animal skins, pounded into thin segments and sewn together. Kedar skins must have been superb, as were the curtains of Solomon. He had nothing but the best.
Any woman who is well, well loved, can describe herself with confidence like the Shulemite woman is doing, considering herself without arrogance, to be lovely in appearance. After all, her lover has convinced her that she is lovely. God considers every one of His creations to be absolutely perfect, and He loves to admire His work. If we’ll listen with our spiritual ears, we will hear Him convince us of our loveliness.