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Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice,

the villages that Kedar inhabits;

let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy,

let them shout from the tops of the mountains.

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11. Let the desert and it’s cities cry aloud. While the Prophet includes all the parts of the world, he mentions particularly those which were better known to the Jews; for on the west Judea had the sea, and on the east the desert and Arabia. When he speaks of the tents of Kedar, the desert, and the rocks, he means Arabia; but it is a figure of speech by which a part is taken for the whole, for it includes the whole of the east. It is as if he had said, that from the rising to the setting of the sun these praises shall be heard; for God shall be worshipped everywhere, though formerly he was worshipped in Judea alone; and thus the state of affairs shall be changed, and that praise shall be beard in the most distant parts of the earth. 157157     “If these are not all parts of the same great picture, it is impossible to frame one. If they are, it is absurd to take the first and last parts in their widest sense as an extravagant hyperbole, and that which is between them in its strictest sense as a literal description. The only consistent supposition is, that sea, islands, deserts, mountains, towns, and camps, are put together as poetical ingredients of the general conception, that the earth in all its parts shall have reason to rejoice.” — Alexander.

The towns where Kedar dwells. He mentions Kedar, because the Scenite 158158     The name is derived from σκηνὴ (skene), “a tent,” because they dwelt in tents. Their modern name is Saracens. — Ed Arabians, as is well known, dwelt in tents. But he employs the word towns, while he is speaking of a desert; and therefore it ought to be remarked, that desert denotes not only the vast wilderness which lay between Judea and Arabia, but the more distant countries which were commonly designated from that part which was adjoining to them, as some people give the name of “mountainous” to those plains which lie beyond the mountains; for the common people have their attention so much directed to what they see close at hand, that they suppose them to resemble other places that are more distant. Yet the Prophet here exalts and magnifies the greatness of the grace of God, in reaching even rude and barbarous nations, whose savage cruelty was well known.