Solomon’s bride, the Shulamite, is speaking in this verse. In an age when women prized pure white skin, she was a country girl whose skin had been darkened by long exposure to the sun.
She compared her complexion to the “tents of Kedar.” Kedar refers to a nomadic tribe that lived in the Arabian Desert. Their tents were made of animal skins that had been turned a dark color by constant exposure to the hot desert sun.
In spite of her dark skin, the Shulamite knew she was still “lovely” in Solomon’s eyes. True love always sees beneath the surface to the deeper qualities of the inner person.
SONGS OF SOLOMON 1:5 – I am black, but comely [dark. . .yet lovely, NIV], O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of kedar.