Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
The language is metaphorical, for the same people could not be in opposite countries remote from each other, and the two races did not intimately mingle in any border land. The implacable people among or near whom the children of the captivity had to work and wait, whether degenerate countrymen, oppressive Chaldeans, or, more probably, malicious Samaritans, were no better than the fathers of the Muscovites or the offspring of Hagar. In the same way we speak of the Goths whom we encounter, Arabs in our streets, and heathens in Christendom. The psalm, passing from figure to fact, explains itself in the concluding verses. "My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace." By Mosech and Kedar are meant the disturbers of Israel. The missionary abroad, persecuted by ungrateful pagans, and maligned and hindered by immoral and envious settlers; the evangelist at home, whom Pharisees pronounce a low person, and infidels despise; the Methodist, nicknamed by one party a schismatic, and by another now patted on the back, and then cuffed and kicked; the Christian student, in a class composed mainly of disdainful unbelievers and provoking worldlings; the religious workman hated by intemperate associates for his purity, and cursed by blasphemers among them for his piety; the God-fearing apprentice, under an ill-tempered taskmaster who construes his mistakes into proofs of hypocrisy, and among thoughtless shop-mates who ridicule his habits of devotion and his scrupulous behaviour; the converted youth whose parents are not ashamed of being without sittings in the sanctuary, and whose brothers and sisters are Sabbath breakers; any one of these tried saints of the Lord, and many another sufferer from proud and false tongues, may use the words, "Woe is me," etc.
(E. J. Robinson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!